Wise Man’s Fear, part one
Posted March 5, 2011on:
what tastes bland when consumed quickly
but tastes perfect when savored?
What demands you take the proper time
without making a single request of it?
I suppose acceptable answers could include love, patience, life, learning the shape of the world.
Also, a book called The Wise Man’s Fear. Only 100 advanced reading copies were ever made, all signed for, tracked, and with RFID chips. Reviewers who received these books signed a contract in blood that they would not only buy an Eolian t-shirt, but that they would also have a lute tattooed somewhere on their body in a secret location known only to them and the author. It’s been said the author can change the color of his beard by snapping his fingers. This book is so heavy you could never read it in the bathtub. An audio version would take you the rest of the year to listen to, the rest of your life to understand.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
(by the way, that stunning peice of artwork is by Kim Kinkaid)
This isn’t exactly a review, as I’m only about 600 pages into the book. But I’ve already got plenty to say. Like a few other reviewers have already said, The Wise Man’s Fear is like The Name of the Wind, only more so. It is more polished, subtler, the writing and dialog is tighter, it’s far funnier, although it doesn’t read quite as intimate, yet. If you enjoyed The Name of the Wind, you will enjoy The Wise Man’s Fear more. If the first book wasn’t your cup of tea, the second one won’t be either, probably more so.
I’m kicking myself for not doing a re-read of The Name of the Wind last month. The Wise Man’s Fear picks up literally hours after the first book ends, with zero gentle reminders of what came before. After all, Kvothe spent all day yesterday talking to Chronicler, how much could he possibly have forgotten overnight? A lot less than I forgot over the last 6 or 8 months or however long it’s been since I read Name of the Wind.
Rothfuss seems to be treating his reader like his reader is Chronicler. If Kvothe things something is boring, he skips over it. If he’s tempted to lie, he says he’s tempted to lie.
The book is slowly seductive. At times you wonder why Rothfuss spent so many pages on that, only later realizing if you’d bothered to slow down and pay attention you’d see he didn’t spend enough pages on it. At times you’ll say outloud “I can’t believe he wrote that!!!” No fifty-cent words abound, however it refuses to be read quickly. Reading it quickly misses the point. I’m six hundred pages in. six hundred pages closer to learning the shape of the world.
I may be done with this book on Sunday. Maybe Monday. I hate to rush through the experience, rush through writing a review. I feel like it would cheapen the whole experience.
This book has been doing strange things to me. At the grocery store the other day we were trying to decide what kind of juice we wanted to buy. He said something along the lines of “you only like orange juice when it’s with vodka”, which is only mostly true by the way. I had to stop myself from responding with “only because they make the most beautiful music together, with their perfect harmonies”. I always say weird stuff, but rarely that weird.
Last night I dreamt that I cosplay’d Kvothe. Come on, it’s not that weird for a girl to cosplay a boy, is it? I’d cosplay Sabetha, but other than being a redhead I won’t know anything else about her until later this year. Anyway, in my dream I’m wearing my “job interview” black slacks, a creamish colored blouse and a leaf green vest. I’ve repurposed an old long black coat to be a cloak and sewn a ton of pockets in it. One pocket has a baggie of baking soda next to a vial of vinegar. I’m hoping I don’t get searched at the convention. My other half asks me if I’m taking the guitar or the lute (I’ve got a lute?? sweet!!!), and when I tell him I’m taking the guitar because I can play it, he says “no, you need to take the lute”. I look down at my hands to see I’ve got still perfect calluses. This morning my other half said he dreamt our car broke down. my dream was totally way awesomer than his.