Recently I began listening to The Name of the Wind, the first novel in a planned fantasy trilogy by author Patrick Rothfuss. By listening, I do mean audiobook, yes. Off-topic thought/question/kinda tangent: are there any book snobs out there who get offended when I mention I listen to audiobooks? Is that frowned upon in certain circles? I’m not particularly sure. I’ve listened to them my entire life. Mostly due to my parents wanting to listen to a nice long story on a long drive or road trip. That’s not to say I don’t read. I do, and I like it when I can get the chance. (I also like writing but that’s a post for a different day). For those who roll their eyes at the fact that I’ve listened to audiobooks, I like audiobooks, and/or am currently listening to one, please feel free to let me know (because honestly, that seems like a curious thing to roll their eyes at in my opinion. But I’ll have you know I do love a good book, and when I get the chance I love to sit and read one. Better still, I love to read my physical copies with the audiobook playing in the background. It’s like surround sound (well it is really). – End tangent.
To read my thoughts on Part 1 of 4 of the unabridged audiobook of Name of the Wind, check it out here.
I wasn’t particularly sold with the first 24 chapters. The world Rothfuss had built hadn’t yet taken shape in my mind and heart. I felt it was overly long, and took far too long to get to the point. And I felt it relied to heavily on our understanding of the realities around us, such as religion and culture. But as soon as chapter 25 began, something inside me clicked, like a light in the back of my mind. It took me over 7 hours of listening through car-rides to and fro, and the spare time in between for me to finally grasp that I was fully invested in the story. And that’s when it began for me.
The next 5 chapters (or so) saw rapid development in pace and plot, in setting and imagination. I found myself at long last lost in the world Rothfuss created. I realized that the first part, or as I (perhaps rudely) deemed it the “slow part, was actually just character and setting development before the story took shape. Kvothe, the protagonist and narrator, quickly became someone I liked, cared, and rooted for – and this above all else is key to any fantasy.
It’s a delight partaking in the adventures Kvothe’s story takes us through. A boy prodigy in a world that, for the most part, is against him, and how he uses his skills and wit to get him from point a to point… C, and then back to point b – and so on. His admittance to the arcanum a particularly enjoyable listen, I grinned from ear to ear throughout the entire series of events, often laughing audibly in my car, or in the kitchen as I got ready for the day brewing a cup of coffee.
Anyway, suffice it to say, part 2 of 4 was far more enjoyable than the first and I can’t wait to listen to the rest. If the first 24 chapters felt like Arya’s storyline in Game of Thrones, chapters 25-50 feel like Arya went to Hogwarts. Also, sorry about the tangent.