Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Name of the Wind

This weekend brought with it much consumption of media, because apparently that's what we fall back on when we want to relax. Late last week I found myself in Bakka Phoenix Books, the sci-fi bookstore dangerously along my route home, and a kind bespectacled and beponytailed man highly recommended Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind, as its sequel has just come out.

So I read The Name of the Wind, a hearty 700 pages of dense print in my favorite fiction form-factor: paper brick. Useful for hours of entertainment, as well as quick-and-brutal unexpected streetfights.

It was good.

That's about it: I found nothing exceptional to comment upon. It is a fantasy novel, with the usual worldbuilding and pre-industrial-revolution culture, where magic and fairies are real. (Spelled faerie, of course.) It was good, if you like that sort of thing, and to make it stand out from other bricks of fantasy, it is a story told in the retrospective first-person, by a (former?) hero who is now fleeing his past -- or faded in strength? -- or laying in wait for some epic event he set in motion? I'm not sure; I've only read the first third of the story, since this is a trilogy. So we're still missing the bits where he gets from the University (a setting that is a mix of Ender's Game, for its psychological challenges, and the Earthsea novels, for its pervasive magic involving real academic study) to his present conditions.

It was interesting. I'd read the next book in the (predicted) trilogy.

In conclusion: I'm a bit disappointed that 700 pages only lasted me one weekend, during which I did some other stuff. But if you like fantasy bricks and good solid writing, I recommend Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.

This post's theme word: autolatry, "self-worship." Like idolatry. The hero's first-person epic tale came off as rather autolatrous at times.

This post written like David Foster Wallace, though I don't know why. His style is very complicated. I usually write like whatever I've just read, especially if it's a brick -- and the book has a simple style, the tone of verbal storytelling. Maybe this means my own style is more sticky and resistant to intrusions than I thought.

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