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The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Joe, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Amreio

    Amreio Muggle

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    Aaaaaaargh.

    This series gets my hopes high enough for its shortcomings to frustrate me.

    It hits my fetish for stories about a character's journey to greatness in most of the right spots, and I love the way Rothfuss writes certain moments for his characters that border on pretentious but still ring true for me-
    “Denna peered out of the hedge toward the path, and I looked at her. Her hair fell like a curtain down the side of her head, and the tip of her ear was peeking out through it. It was, at that moment, the most lovely thing that I had ever seen.”

    Speaking of Denna. Every time she comes into the story it seems to just suspend. All other plot lines grind to a halt until Denna suddenly flits off to wherever. Why Kvothe is so infatuated with her? She just strings him along while going from one sugar daddy to the next. I hate Denna for freezing the plot and I hate Kvothe for being an idiot about Denna.

    Will definitely read the next book- anything that makes me this frustrated is win. I don't think I've felt this strongly about a book since Prep.

    Also the Felurian part was hilarious.
     
  2. CareOtters

    CareOtters Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    Denna is presented as Kvothe's foil - she's supposed to be a mirror of him, in a lot of ways. Different skills, a different education, but presented in many ways as wise to the ways of the world and superior to the games of peasants and mortals around her in much the same way as Kvothe is.

    Kvothe gets a free pass because he's the protagonist. Seeing that in a second character is jarring, to begin with. And then there's the fact that the entire story is quite literally told by Kvothe. Our every perception of her is filtered through his own bias. Other characters often comment that she's not worth the toruble, or that she's not so attractive as Kvothe makes out. And this isn't argued against; rather, it's irrelevant.

    It's not possible to be certain at this stage, but it seems likely that Kvothe is putting a spin on the story when it comes to Denna. I like to think that something truly awful happened to her, he was in some way to blame, and he's telling this story through a haze of nostalgia and guilt tied specifically to his relationship with her.
     
  3. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Too bad the series will never be finished.
     
  4. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Why do you say that? Rothfuss is youngish and his Book 3 window is 2019-2020. Book 3 will conclude Kvothe's "story".

    If he decides to write one, he could probably finish a present day Kvothe novel and wrap it all up by 2025. 2035 if he does another trilogy.
     
  5. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Lol you joker you. Doors of Stone will never be written. It's just a pipe dream. About the only way would be if it was made the center of a charity event because apparently he's real big into that.
     
  6. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    Screw Rothfuss. At least GRRM has the TV show as an excuse. What does Rothfuss have? Hair maintenance?
     
  7. Caledfwlch

    Caledfwlch Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    I think he had two children since the last book was released? But tbh most of his time seems to be consumed in his charity work.
     
  8. Arthellion

    Arthellion Death Eater

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    So...I read the first book and enjoyed it..

    Got to the second book and about halfway through put it down.

    What started so good honestly felt like an IndyHarry story by the middle.
     
  9. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Pretty sure the entire purpose of the charity work is to provide an excuse not to write which people can't criticise.
     
  10. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    Agreed with Taure. Seems like an excuse to not write more. Fwiw, maybe the muse has left him? The stuff he’s doing might seem important to him, but maybe it’s merely masking a drying up of inspiration.

    Stretched too much, I felt. The Name of the Wind had enough substance to justify the word length. This story just felt too, well, stretched to justify it. In addition, did anyone else feel that part of his journey to his patron (I’m forgetting the name) was clipped out during editing?
     
  11. Caledfwlch

    Caledfwlch Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    He's said that he finished writing the story before he published the first one, he's just stuck on endless revisions through the editing process. I just don't understand how he's taking so long to do it, even if he's a perfectionist.
     
  12. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    He's lying for sure. Unless he's re-creating the Sistine Chapel in prose, he's bluffing about having the story completed.
     
  13. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Rothfuss has a great way with words but the story he tells with them is a bit meh and while I did read both books and really enjoyed the first, I was lukewarm on the second. For me, the kingkiller chronicle piqued in the first third of the first book, the trope of Kvothe's parents, their characterization and the worldbuilding was outstanding and fiercely interesting. But after book 2, I honestly don't really care anymore and rarely think about them, really only when I see Rothfuss being mentioned but never on my own. If book 3 comes out, I will give it a try but if it never comes out, I won't feel like I missed something the way I would feel with something like ASOIAF, where I will be rather miffed if there is no book 6.

    There are good lines, quotes and scenes in the two books, I still remember the poem about tinkers, or the quote on how the point is the beautiful game, and others but the vast majority of things that happened, I think I mostly forgot/was never that invested in. That said, I still remember characters and scenes, so there is definitely good stuff there. It's just, there is so much meh stuff as well.
     
  14. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    It says something that the last post in this thread was November of 2014. Basically, I've reached the point where I'm not emotionally invested in either Doors of Stone or Winds of Winter. Rothfuss and Martin both enjoy being successful fantasy authors more than being authors of fantasy. They've bought into the lifestyle, the fans, the money, the conventions, and the reputation. Can't let writing get in the way of that. In short, they can both fuck off. If I even bother to read either book, it'll be a pirated version so they don't see another dime of my money.

    Name of the Wind was fantastic, half of Wise Man's fear was trash, and his side story was just an opportunity for him to ruin an interesting character while meta-proselytizing about the real world.
     
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    Tbh Martin at least is productive. He writes scripts for the series, he helps writing extra books expanding on his creation, he wrote extra things like that 30k book about the Dance of Dragons, and he releases chapter. Like, I don't disagree with your assessment of him, but at least he does something.

    Rothfuss is just a fuck that uses personal problems that plenty of people have like personal loss and bouts of depression to justify him more or less stopping to work. He's also a complete asshole to fans.
     
  16. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I can understand the complaints about his interactions with fans. He is an extreme introvert and a bit of a pretentious douche. Not super desirable PR qualities for a mega-popular fiction writer.

    That said, I really can't fault him for writing draughts if depression and loss genuinely hindered him. When I was diagnosed with clinical depression, I basically stayed in my house doing fuck all for about 3 solid years, using various escapist media to cope with my shitty life. At the time, finishing up college was my only real life obstacle, and I barely had the energy to get out of bed most days, let alone write a polished 300,000 word novel.

    I first read Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear about 3 years ago, so I haven't been stuck waiting the painful 3/4ths of a decade for the third book like some of you, but I just think all the hostility toward Rothfuss is stupid. The man is writing a multimillion word magnum opus, and the vast majority of writers can't poop those out at Brandon Sanderson levels of productivity/quality. I fully expect him to at least finish it before he dies though, which is more than I can say for GRRM.
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    I see. So it's those extremes, you either demand something out every year or you need to wait someone 10 years to write a single book without complaint and then duly buy it. Like, as a fan and part of the community that is actually why he's a sucessful writer I can't just ask... something regarding a very reasonable timeframe?

    J.K. Rowling. Jim Butcher. Brandon Sanderson. Rick Riordan. Robert Jordan. Joe Abercombrie. Terry Pratchett. Pierce Brown. Terry Goodkind. Christopher Paolini. Anne Rice. All of them have and always had better productivity than Rothfuss. None of them took 7 almost 8 years to finish a book, specially one in a still unfinished series.

    'Oh but you can't demand anything. You bought your books. You read it. That's the end of your relationship with him.' - Which is blatantly untrue. As Sauce said, he lives the successful fantasy author style, that's what pays his bills, allows him to appear in popular nerd shows, go to conventions and meet famous people. Basically live a nerd dream because not only of what he wrote, but what he promised to wrote by creating a story and making.

    Regarding depression, I understand the struggles one has to face when depressed. The days feel long and laborious, the sleep of the night a welcome escape. You start sleeping more and more, just so that you’re less conscious during the day. The awaking life is chore, pretending to your friends or family or coworkers that everything isn’t collapsing inside itself in you life takes an immense effort.
    You eat less, you never go out and you waste more and more time escaping your problems, dreading facing even a hint of them.

    It’s awful, it sucks and it happens to a lot of people, but while society sees it as a problem, it doesn't see as a permanently crippling problem. It still expects you to do your share of work and living or else what, others will support you? Not everyone, actually very few people do, have family willing to sustain them through years of that or even rarer, a government that would do that.

    Either way, if you do, you can’t remain in such an estate, you’ll either do something tragic or gather enough of yourself to get help. And spending your entire day distracting yourself until the day finally ends isn't anything but letting the snowball grow.

    Rothfuss is a very successful writer. He has a great talent a calling in life and a really cool circle of friends to play DnD with. It’s been eight years and we barely heard anything of the book. It doesn’t seem like he can’t write. He just doesn’t feel like it and isn’t honest about it.

    I think that’s what happened to GRRM, he just doesn’t feel like writing anymore. It used to be his job, his hobbie, but moslty the way he supported himself, mow he’s magnanimously rich and can do what he wants, and maybe he thinks with the series finished he doesn't have to rush it. I don't know. Doesn’t mean it’s justifiable to message him about finishing the book, obviously, but I can complain and say I disagree with it. Like Neil Gaiman said, you can't bully someone into writing a book. Doesn't mean I have to think it's a fine behaviour or that I have to keep supporting him with my money, directly or indirectly.
     
  18. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid First Year

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    My biggest issue has been his inability to establish a suitable time frame. He's said "Eh, maybe 2 years?" for nearly the last decade. But that hasn't stopped him from exploring in depth all sorts of random things on his blog.
     
  19. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I didn't say that. At all.

    Or that. You are fully free to complain. Just as I am free to have an opinion based upon my own personal experience with crippling depression that such complaints are petty and unfeeling.

    Again, I didn't say or mean to imply you couldn't. Literally my entire post was just me stating my personal reason for not holding the wait against him, and stating my personal disapproval of those that do. I'm sorry that you fall into that category, I guess?
    --- Post automerged ---
    I agree that this is his biggest problem. He just needs to stop talking about it until the final draft is finished.
     
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    Then... why did you quote me? I'm confused. I said that 8 years was a long time. You immediately jumped talking about how not everyone is Sanderson. Which I never demanded. Just... besides once a decade. If you think my opinion is completely fine and you have your own you could've just posted it. You quoted me and then talked about how the hostility is stupid when I just criticised him. Is it weird for me to think you you were talking about me and not in general after all that?