Monday, 28 March 2011

The Wise Man's Fear

I was sad when I finally finished Patrick Rothfuss' new book on Saturday afternoon, despite the fact that 1) it made me late for work twice last week, 2) the weight of it has probably given me a permanent injury, and to top it all off 3) I am now also suffering from a serious case of 'Great Fantasy Book withdrawl'. Fie!

Injuries aside...what a great read! Getting back to Kvothe the flame-haired (sounds better than 'ginger' doesn't it?) renaissance man posing as an inkeeper, Bast his shifty 'assistant' (read 'powerful but slightly unwise god-like being also undercover, sort of), and Storyteller, in a room, the one telling the others the next installment of his life story, was just SUCH a treat. I am a total sucker for libraries, and machines, and music, and fighting. And that is basically all Kvothe does. Shiver with glee.

When I read the first book The Name of the Wind (recommended to me last year by a marvelous stranger who I will thank forever) I was struck by how well the simplicity of the structure worked. I've read so many books, and enjoyed so many intricate and clever structures - how can I be satisfied with such a simple framing device for such a big story? I was thinking recently that it's not complexity that grabs your imagination and tickles it and won't let it go, but space. Walking out on stage, pitching a book to a buyer (I work in publishing) or telling someone what I did at the weekend, it's allowing the OTHER person's imagination to supply the story, at moments chosen well and committed to wholeheartedly, that the whole thing comes off convincingly.

The Wise Man's Fear took me just under a week, was almost half a million words long, and I loved every minute of it. When do we get the next one!?

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