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Thread: What's so good about The Name of The Wind?

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Gabriela Jessica's Avatar
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    Question What's so good about The Name of The Wind?

    I have read The Name of The Wind. I think it's a good book but I don't think it's sublime. And the books sold more than Brandon Sanderson's books (who I think is on par with Patrick Rothfuss and can produce more books) What is it that make the book so popular?
    Last edited by Gabriela Jessica; 08-11-2017 at 12:17 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I liked the mystery element a lot but I liked the central question of how Kvothe became Kote.
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    cutsie-pie Curlz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela Jessica View Post
    I have read The Name of The Wind. I think it's a good book but I don't think it's sublime. And the books sold more than Brandon Sanderson's books. What is it that make the book so popular?
    It's a very finely crafted book that also manages to surprise the reader at almost every page. What's not to like? But tastes vary. Which book do you consider "sublime" (so that we can compare how it's better than TNOTW)? And what does Sanderson have to do with it?

  4. #4
    What's so good about Goodkind?
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    Read the first and part of the second, felt it was decent but had some strong thoughts on what turned me off about it. Curiously, teens seem to LOVE this book, though so far none of the ones I've talked to seem to catch that Kvothe might be embellishing a bit (a lot).

  5. #5
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela Jessica View Post
    What is it that make the book so popular?
    A lot of people like it, and then tell their friends.

    That sounds like a snarky answer, but I mean it genuinely. A book becomes popular when a bunch of people like it well enough to recommend it to others. That doesn't mean the book is good by every possible yardstick -- only that it was good enough by some criterion that it pleased its audience into a state of enthusiasm.

    I've only read The Wise Man's Fear, but I did enjoy the first half of the book, when Kvothe is still at school. He's got obstacles, he's got energy, and he's relatably keen. As soon as he bounced out of school for his year abroad, however, it all turned into Gary Stu-ish wish fulfillment, in my opinion. If I hadn't had that reaction to the latter half, I probably would have put the book down, gone and gotten my hands on the first one in the series, and anointed myself as a fan. I still might read the first book; there was a lot in the second one that I found very pleasing and pleasant to read.
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Morri's Avatar
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    I read it in college and I loved it. I liked the mystery and the prose, and the magic was nice, too. I was very excited about the The Wise Man's Fear, but I caught wind of what made up its second half and that turned me off from it. It's a shame because I really enjoyed the first one, but I have no desire to come back and finish the rest.

  7. #7
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    I liked it well enough, but it's not on my short list of favorite fantasy reads either. I found the narrative voice and style a bit off putting, especially the parts taking place in the "now," so to speak. They felt a bit overwritten with way too many adverbs for my taste. I didn't particularly like the way kvothe was such a genius, gifted in everything and so conceited. I tend to prefer protagonists who are a bit more of the ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances sorts (or characters who have low self esteem or are very modest, so they aren't aware of their talents for a long while).

    However, the author certainly did a good job of portraying the kind of cocky little you-know-what some of us have run into when we were in grad school or wherever. And he did a good job of showing a classist and hierarchical society that makes it almost impossible for someone, however talented, to get ahead if they don't have money or status behind them going in.

    The enormous amount of time it's taken for him to finish the trilogy has led to my declining interest too.

    Taste is very subjective. It's hard to say how much a particular book becoming a bestseller is down to the author's overarching brilliance versus a book being in the right place at the right time (or attracting the notice of the right person at the right time and getting promoted aggressively). As I understand it, Rothfuss had a tough time getting an agent (possibly because of the book's length and an opening that violated every "don't do this" rule aspiring authors hear ad nauseum) but caught some notice after winning Writers of the Future with an excerpt from it, but I know of others who have won that contest and not done as well.

    The thing is, even bestselling authors won't be beloved by all, and many mid listers have a core of loving and devoted fans. Most of my favorite fantasy writers seem to be mid listers, or modest best sellers at most, so maybe I have weird taste,
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 08-11-2017 at 05:47 AM.
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  8. #8
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    I've read neither Rothfuss nor Sanderson, but I know people who love and hate each of them.

    And I've read books that I've loved that nobody else has ever heard of, and massive bestsellers that have left me cold.

    I'm just glad there are enough books out there for all of us to find something we love.

  9. #9
    Pie aren't squared, pie are round! Introversion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjdebenedictis View Post
    I still might read the first book; there was a lot in the second one that I found very pleasing and pleasant to read.
    Am a little bit nervous about the third (whenever he fooking well finally finishes it), but will read it just 'cause I really liked the first. The second was mediocre by comparison, IMO, but I was still entertained.

  10. #10
    permanently suctioned to Buz's leg Putputt's Avatar
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    It's been a while since I read the 1st and 2nd books, but I remember one of the things that immediately pulled me in was the writing. It flowed easily, but was detailed and colorful enough to paint a vivid image. I empathized with Kvothe and absolutely LOVED the magic system and how much it takes out of you. I also loved the social hierarchy and the university.

    But I won't be reading the 3rd book, because the 2nd book was...yeah. Let's see...

    100+ pages of a 16-yr-old virgin outsexing a 1000-yr-old sex goddess.
    Denna/Allora/whatever name she gave herself currently and the whole flirting in VERSE with Kvothe.
    Kvothe, who is apparently brilliant at: magic, sex, being hot, music, did I mention being hot, did I mention how every woman he sleeps with swears he is the BEST EVER, oh also he is a ninja now.
    200+ pages of Kvothe wandering around the wilderness looking for bandits and learning yoga from a ninja.

    I just...yeah. Here's my review on the 2nd book.
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    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Ha ha ha, Brilliant review. I got through the first book and generally liked it, but not enough to bother with the others. Good mysteries, decent writing, but Kvothe went (even in book 1) from being a charming unreliable narrator to an annoying Gary Stu. Plus, I found Scott Lynch around that same time, and never looked back.

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    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Gabriela Jessica's Avatar
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    I've read your review and it cracked me up. I also don't like the second book but I'm still going to check out the third book if it's released.
    Last edited by Gabriela Jessica; 08-11-2017 at 12:22 PM.
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  13. #13
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    okay, well, I'm going to stick my neck out and say it doesn't justify the hype imo.

    It could have been a good book, but nothing happens and no one has properly edited it. It's full of negative space and I can't see any possible way he can cram in every required event from 16-24 in book 3 with his current pacing. Kvothe also doesn't seem particularly interested in his own quest.

    NotW exasperates me not because it is bad, but because it is average and unfinished, yet is championed as polished and exemplary literary fantasy. There are plenty of normal fantasy books which fill time and are enjoyable, and plenty of pulp ones too, but they've none of them received the same hype.

    Inb4 I get accused of book snobbery! We all have books that make us tick. This is mine, for a huge variety of reasons. Also Ayn Rand, but that's a whole other rant ;-)

    I also don't understand how anyone can read the 100+ pages of teenage sexual wish-fulfilment, with a bona-fide sex fairy no less (in Wise Man's Fear) and not be at least a little put off. Not for the actual content, although that is cheesy, but for the way it's done. Yet apparently thousands of people have read through and thought it was completely fine.

    There's a really good article on NotW, exploring why it doesn't work and why it was also very successful.

    Name of the Wind review

    Wise Man's Fear
    Last edited by Harlequin; 08-11-2017 at 02:24 PM.
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  14. #14
    Assistant Deputy Backup SillyLittleTwit's Avatar
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    The Slow Regard of Silent Things is actually Rothfuss' best work. Primarily because Kvothe isn't in it.

    Rothfuss has a delightful prose style, and an interesting world and magic system. Shame about the main character.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyLittleTwit View Post
    The Slow Regard of Silent Things is actually Rothfuss' best work. Primarily because Kvothe isn't in it.

    Rothfuss has a delightful prose style, and an interesting world and magic system. Shame about the main character.
    Count me as someone else who liked Rothfuss's writing style but disliked his main character. Maybe TNOTW is wish fulfillment for teenage boys, fulfilling a similar niche to Twilight for their female counterparts. There's nothing wrong with that, but those of us looking for something else are going to be disappointed.
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  16. #16
    I'm not crazy, I promise. tinyCirrusCloud's Avatar
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    The world and writing immediately drew me into the first book. Combine that with the mystery of how Kvothe came to be a grumpy innkeeper and the hype built by all the stuff in the blurb (and the fact that it's called the Kingkiller Chronicles), and I was totally hooked even though Name of the Wind doesn't follow a standard plot structure and not much actually happens in regards to Kvothe achieving his main goal. I do, however, also understand the criticisms leveled against the book. For me, the good simply outweighed the bad. It's all a matter of taste, and it's ok to go against the hype.

    I had...issues with the second book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
    It's been a while since I read the 1st and 2nd books, but I remember one of the things that immediately pulled me in was the writing. It flowed easily, but was detailed and colorful enough to paint a vivid image. I empathized with Kvothe and absolutely LOVED the magic system and how much it takes out of you. I also loved the social hierarchy and the university.

    But I won't be reading the 3rd book, because the 2nd book was...yeah. Let's see...

    100+ pages of a 16-yr-old virgin outsexing a 1000-yr-old sex goddess.
    Denna/Allora/whatever name she gave herself currently and the whole flirting in VERSE with Kvothe.
    Kvothe, who is apparently brilliant at: magic, sex, being hot, music, did I mention being hot, did I mention how every woman he sleeps with swears he is the BEST EVER, oh also he is a ninja now.
    200+ pages of Kvothe wandering around the wilderness looking for bandits and learning yoga from a ninja.

    I just...yeah. Here's my review on the 2nd book.
    Not to mention the MAGICAL SOMETHING he apparently gets by sexing up the sex goddess so now every woman can tell just by looking at him how amazing he is at The Sex.

    Also, that review was the funniest thing I have read all week.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyLittleTwit View Post
    The Slow Regard of Silent Things is actually Rothfuss' best work. Primarily because Kvothe isn't in it.

    Rothfuss has a delightful prose style, and an interesting world and magic system. Shame about the main character.
    it's just - wonderful
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  18. #18
    figuring it all out johnsolomon's Avatar
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    Yep, it's great wish fulfilment. I enjoyed Kvothe's journey. I suppose it depends on how much you like that thing. Wish fulfilment is always hit and miss because it probably don't do much for you if your desires don't line up with the target audience's. The writing was also pretty nice. I remember I really enjoyed the way Patrick Rothfuss worded some things.

  19. #19
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
    I just...yeah. Here's my review on the 2nd book.
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    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    I guess my only grumble re the wish fulfillment thing is that Twilght tends to be appreciated for what it is: comfortable, straightforward enjoyment for a largely female audience.

    But make that wish fulfillment for guys and suddenly it's groundbreaking. Genre defining. A revolution in fantasy.

    Probably I'm just cynical and reading too much into it.
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  21. #21
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
    ...
    But make that wish fulfillment for guys and suddenly it's groundbreaking. Genre defining. A revolution in fantasy.

    Probably I'm just cynical and reading too much into it.
    Nope. You're right on target!

  22. #22
    What's so good about Goodkind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
    oh also he is a ninja now.
    I...was not aware this happened. Did I mention how much teens LOVE this series?

  23. #23
    figuring it all out bin_b0x's Avatar
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    The fresh change of pace. It has the trappings of an epic fantasy adventure, yet they're kept as a background detail more than anything else. For most of the novel, Kvothe dedicates the retelling of his life to his family, their death, his struggles with poverty, getting to the University, and his interactions with the novel's roster of amazing characters. Sure, the Chandrian holds much importance in Kvothe's life, but for much of the story, it isn't his primary goal. It's crazy how an author can deliberately deviate a story from its primary antagonist and still make a brilliant adventure out of it. Rothfuss does just that.

    A shame Wise Man's Fear was nowhere near as good.

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW
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    I cringe a little when I talk to people about books and mention how much I love fantasy, and this is the first series they mention. If it gets them into the genre, I guess I'm all for it.

    I didn't personally think this was amazing. As others have said, it's ripe with wish fulfillment, and reads like a D&D campaign. I'll read the last one, if he ever gets around to finishing it, but it won't be at the top of my list.
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  25. #25
    Arien + Tilion E.F.B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela Jessica View Post
    I have read The Name of The Wind. I think it's a good book but I don't think it's sublime. And the books sold more than Brandon Sanderson's books (who I think is on par with Patrick Rothfuss and can produce more books) What is it that make the book so popular?
    I had wondered this myself when someone recommened it to me last year. As many of the others have said, it probably comes down to a matter of taste, but just by researching it I could tell that it and the books that follow are very much NOT to my tastes. So, I saved myself well over 1,000 pages of reading and haven't bothered with any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
    But I won't be reading the 3rd book, because the 2nd book was...yeah. Let's see...

    100+ pages of a 16-yr-old virgin outsexing a 1000-yr-old sex goddess.
    Denna/Allora/whatever name she gave herself currently and the whole flirting in VERSE with Kvothe.
    Kvothe, who is apparently brilliant at: magic, sex, being hot, music, did I mention being hot, did I mention how every woman he sleeps with swears he is the BEST EVER, oh also he is a ninja now.
    200+ pages of Kvothe wandering around the wilderness looking for bandits and learning yoga from a ninja.

    I just...yeah. Here's my review on the 2nd book.
    All of the above is a large part of the reason I didn't bother with any of them.

    Also,
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