The Name of the Wind

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hereford Eye, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    Here's a question for the many readers who didn't like the book: if you dislike Kvothe because of his perfection and brilliance and many capabilities, do you dislike David Gemmell's books as well? Gemmell writes similar characters that you could call one-dimensional (or heroes) that lack conflict or flaws. I've been wondering if it is specific to Rothfuss or if you just don't like hero-literature.
     
  2. Arkeus

    Arkeus Registered User

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    I myself can like hero-litterature, but the less flawed the hero is, the less i take the book seriously, and the more it becomes a guilty pleasure.

    Even then, i'd have to have other characters i like, and i'd prefer if the hero isn't also an arrogant asshole (or what i consider one).

    For example, the Dresden Files is clearly Hero litterature, but Dresden is Flawed enough that i don't mind.

    Also, having a great many secondary characters that have real importance changes everything.
     
  3. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I haven't read Gemmell, so I can't say. I can say, however, that I greatly dislike Gary Stu literature. I don't mind hero lit in a general sense.
     
  4. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    That's a very good question. I've never thought about it. I suppose since some of my favorite books have extremely flawed characters (Hunter's Run to name one), then I must not like "hero-literature". However, to be fair to myself, I think I do like the concept of heroes. Interesting question, phil_geo, something for me to ponder on and learn from. Thanks.

    Never read Gemmell so can't comment about his characters.
     
  5. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    When it comes to NoTW I never had a real moment of 'not liking' Kvothe. I think that I felt a little more of that in reading WMF, but not much in NoTW. It could be that the story moved along in a much more captivating way in the first book, and in WMF the story seemed to bog down into a lack of progress in such a way that the flaws may have seemed more evident to some. IMO alot of this discussion is more a result of lack of progress of the story in WMF than of any problems with NotW.
     
  6. TooNice

    TooNice Banned

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    Is it just me or is there a pattern here? The sole determining factor behind peoples opinions of this book seems to be the readers view on Kvothe himself.
     
  7. Arkeus

    Arkeus Registered User

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    yep.

    As i and other said, the book is pretty much kvoth-only. There is next to no action, and next to no plot when it comes to it.

    It's all about Kvothe. It works great if you like Kvothe (and it seems most do).
     
  8. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    The character of Kvothe is not the only problem I have with the book, but it is a major problem. For an example of another problem, I was also exasperated by the constant use of cliched phrases -- "ass over teakettle" and so on. Back when I was reading the book, I counted several such phrases within just a couple pages of text, and they were repeated throughout the book. It seemed like lazy writing to me.
     
  9. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    It does seem that readers' view of Kvothe as a likable/annoying main character is the main sticking point. I enjoyed NoTW enough that it didn't bother me but if you have a problem with Kvothe you have a problem with NoTW because ...that's pretty much all you get. Instead of main character I maybe should have said 'only character'. I enjoyed the story enough to not be bothered by it though. On the other hand WMF seemed to be move the story forward so little ... in soooo many pages.... that it did bother me reading that one.

    Maybe this is one reason I enjoy ASoIaF so much... if I get annoyed with one story line ... no problem... in a few minutes it changes to a different 'main character' with a different perspective. With Kvothe it only seemed to switch the topic of what he was great at.... (music, stealing, cheating on tests, defying authority, magic, playing games, writing songs, taking a whipping and keeping on ticking, fighting, sex, setting wrong to right by cutting some throats...) It can be tough to have all your eggs in one basket (Kvothe) if that basket annoys people.

    Having said that... hope springs eternal and I will be in line for the next book in the hopes that it reminds me of NoTW (awesome) instead of WMF (disappointed).
    Twinner (formerly rhallva.... Thanks Hobbit for the name change!)
     
  10. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    I don't fall into this. I'm kind of indifferent to Kvothe. What is currently keeping me interested in the series is the between-the-lines stuff that's going on and the overall structure of the narrative. What I end up feeling about the trilogy as a whole will depend a lot on whether he sticks to his guns with where the story ends and whether all those little bits end up being easter eggs or whether they do become significantly important to the overall arc. But, like others, I found the way he chose to give me those bits in the first book was engaging and the way he chose to give them to me in the second book was less so.
     
  11. nonbeliever

    nonbeliever Registered User

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    I adore this series: Kvothe is an engaging character that can drive you crazy with his decisions but still leave you loving him.
     
  12. Westsiyeed

    Westsiyeed The Fifth Dominion

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    I'd have to agree with Erf on all points here; I'm exactly the same. I'm fairly indifferent to Kvothe too, but the story, the narrative, the things that happen to him all make for an engaging read, only less so with WMF.

    The Name of the Wind is in my top 10 Fantasy, WMF was very good but to nitpick - too long with not enough happening.
     
  13. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    Kvothe is one of the most likable and relatable characters that I've ever read.

    But I found other key reasons to love the KKC too. All of the hints and clues and foreshadowings can keep one searching and speculating for months or years. So much hidden in plain sight. And the prose just warms the soul. And I loved things like the
    trial and ship journey
    in WMF. Of course I think it's folly to care about how much "happens" in a book. For those that do, I can understand why they would/could be less enamored of these books.
     
  14. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    But, see, I don't care how much "happens" in a book. And I also absolutely loved the ship journey and the trial. But as much as I understand what he's really doing, I don't feel he did it *really* well through Felurian and the bandits and the Adem. I thought all that was passable, at best, even though I feel like I get what he's doing. I just don't think he did as good a job at all of that, *for me*.

    EDIT: That said, I still really enjoyed NOTW and WMF, so I think they're worth the read, even if they didn't work to maximum effect for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  15. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    If you loved the trial then you must have run across some info that I didn't have in my version of the book. It seemed to me that the book says there was a trial and that Kvothe used some sort of amazing self defense tactic to save himself. But no details at all that I remember. Seemed like a teaser that Rothfuss would come back to later, but he never did. There were certainly enough rambling pages to have devoted another page to the trial. Maybe he will get back to it in some way in the next book.

    Edited to add: The trial I wanted more info about was in WMF so maybe belongs in the other thread. Still hoping Rothfuss deems it worthy of dealing with at some point in the third book.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  16. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    I still need to read WMF, and reread TNOTW. I dont know if I like Kvothe or not. Excellent story telling, and I been trying not to look at spoilers, but there are way more clues & secrets etc, like ASOIF then I'd realized, I remember the first time I seen the theory thread over on westeros, I was blown away at how much there is going on, and how much I missed.
     
  17. marshal atkins

    marshal atkins Registered User

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    I'm starting to think that Auri is more then she seems. I wonder if Kvothe tricked into betraying Auri to her death by Denna would have enough power to cause him to flee events to the Inn? What could Auri be? The moon?
     
  18. Farragut

    Farragut Damn the torpedoes!

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    AmethystOrator was kidding. You didn't "miss" any details in your read. However, you are unlikely to get any more than what was in the book.
    It's not that Rothfuss was teasing you necessarily, but that 1) you get the main description of the trial in the frame story with Chronicler at the inn, and 2) Kvothe is telling the story, and he's only telling Chronicler, i.e. us, what he feels is pertinent. So thus, skipping over the entire exciting journey between the University and meeting up with the Maer, with pirates and shipwrecks, is entirely skipped over. You should read Jo Walton's read through on Tor.com for some of the narrative tricks that Rothfuss has used.
     
  19. saintjon

    saintjon Illustrious Gambler

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    My fiancee noticed that she was similar to one of the original Amyr as described in Skarpi's story. I wonder if anyone else has voiced this theory or is the lovely Jess onto something new here? That would be pretty interesting if she was right.
     
  20. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    We read the same trial. Rothfuss has said that he did write out at least one of the trial and/or the sea voyage (I forget which and it might have been both), but it/they were cut from the book. I enjoyed these on a more meta level. Some readers have complained about how much "bloat" there is in these books, in the descriptions of Kvothe's classes and some of his "side" adventures. By writing the trial and sea voyage this way, Rothfuss proves that he absolutely could have made these books much shorter (by writing other scenes in the style of these two), or conversely made them quite a bit larger (by expanding these two stories), but that he purposely and consciously did not. They help argue, imo, that the rest of the stories there are there for a reason and it's incumbent upon the readership to discover why they are present.