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The Slow Regard of Silent Things Hardcover – October 28, 2014
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“The best epic fantasy I read last year.... He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”
—George R. R. Martin, New York Times-bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire
“Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.”
—Terry Brooks, New York Times-bestselling author of Shannara
"It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing...with true music in the words."
—Ursula K. LeGuin, award-winning author of Earthsea
"The characters are real and the magic is true.”
—Robin Hobb, New York Times-bestselling author of Assassin’s Apprentice
"Masterful.... There is a beauty to Pat's writing that defies description."
—Brandon Sanderson, New York Times-bestselling author of Mistborn
“[Makes] you think he's inventing the genre, instead of reinventing it.”
—Lev Grossman, New York Times-bestselling author of The Magicians
“This is a magnificent book.”
—Anne McCaffrey, award-winning author of the Dragonriders of Pern
“The great new fantasy writer we've been waiting for, and this is an astonishing book."
—Orson Scott Card, New York Times-bestselling author of Ender’s Game
“It's not the fantasy trappings (as wonderful as they are) that make this novel so good, but what the author has to say about true, common things, about ambition and failure, art, love, and loss.”
—Tad Williams, New York Times-bestselling author of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
“Jordan and Goodkind must be looking nervously over their shoulders!”
—Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times-bestselling author of The Dark Between the Stars
“An extremely immersive story set in a flawlessly constructed world and told extremely well.”
—Jo Walton, award-winning author of Among Others
“Hail Patrick Rothfuss! A new giant is striding the land.”
—Robert J. Sawyer, award-winning author of Wake
“Fans of the epic high fantasies of George R.R. Martin or J.R.R. Tolkien will definitely want to check out Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.”
“Shelve The Name of the Wind beside The Lord of the Rings...and look forward to the day when it's mentioned in the same breath, perhaps as first among equals.”
—The A.V. Club
“Rothfuss (who has already been compared to the likes of Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and George R. R. Martin) is poised to be crowned the new king of epic fantasy.”
—Barnes & Noble
“I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone.”
—The London Times
“This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology.”
“This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence.”
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“Reminiscent in scope of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series...this masterpiece of storytelling will appeal to lovers of fantasy on a grand scale.”
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About the Author
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As many other reviewers, and Rothfuss himself writes in the Foreword and Author's Note, this is not your typical book. Many people will not like this book. If you do not satisfy the above questions then you will not like this book unless you enjoy reading things simply for the poetic aspect of the writing. Rothfuss constantly writes how he wasn't sure what this book was, what niche it satisfies as a book. Many of the people reviewing this say the same thing, both the detractors and the fans. I, however, can tell you why I enjoyed this book: It was simply insight and character development into Auri, one of the more interesting characters in the King Killer Chronicles.
This book is a look into a typical week in Auri's life, what she does with her time, why she does it, how she does it, etc. It does give you some very interesting insight into a few things towards the end of the book, but not enough for anyone who doesn't care about Auri to be worth it to them. There is no real point to it, it does not further the story in any meaningful way, it does not have the typical flow of a story, it simply ends without any real meat to the story.
Do you like Auri? Do you like character development? Do you like words as an art form? If yes, give this book a try. If not move along safely with the knowledge that you did not miss out on anything. I, however, loved this book as much as any part of Name of the Wind or Wise Man's Fear.
It is a character study of Auri, Kvothe's friend that lives in the Underthing under the university. It describes the rhythms and activities of her day-to-day life. It sounds really boring - and I'm sure it will be to some readers! I mean, there is quite a bit of her finding just exactly the perfect spot in the Underthing to put her possessions. To her, placing things correctly is an art form and perhaps even magical - placing things instead of naming things (as in The Name of the Wind).
That said, although it is probably not for everyone, I really enjoyed the read. Just go in knowing what you are getting in to.
However, for me, the backbone of a good novel is good characters. Characters with depth, characters with strength, interesting characters. I read once that romance novels -- not that this is a romance novel -- are successful if they make the reader fall in love with the man and/or want to be the woman. Stretching that point, I think a novel is successful if you'd want to live in that world or befriend that character. If you find yourself creating new situations in that world. Auri doesn't fit this mold ... no one would want to live in her world and certainly wouldn't want to be her; regardless, I adore her. Though she's highly unusual, and she has tremendous character. She is lovable, pitiable, and very real to the reader.
Practical Me kept asking questions about her life. Where does she get food? Where does she go to the bathroom? What's going to happen when she runs out of drops for Foxen? And the biggest questions of all: how'd she get here, why does she stay, and doesn't anyone in her family come looking for her? These topics are basically ignored, although one single sentence -- a sentence that stopped me in my tracks -- gives us a very strong hint about what "broke her" and sent her into the Underthing. But this isn't a novel for Practical Me; that is, it isn't about answers -- it's about experience. Specifically, it's about the experience of being different, thinking differently, and being mentally ill -- in that, it made me think of the excellent novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
Auri is mentally ill. Definitely mentally ill. I found myself asking, "Is she Schizophrenic or Bi-polar?" Her actions could indicate either one. She is absolutely suffering from OCD ... massive, massive case of OCD, but that alone wouldn't have sent her into the world of the Underthing. She seems pleased with her odd, lonely life interacting with inanimate objects.
In the end, I decided I do like this novel. I'm going to read it again in a couple days, and I expect to get more from it the second time now that I know what to expect. The language is beautiful and immersive, and I think the book contains more answers than I garnered from a first read.
If the Kingkiller Chronicles were complete, and this story was published in some anthology somewhere, maybe I could have appreciated it more for its quirkiness. But, really, this is a story in which NOTHING HAPPENS.
Top international reviews
This book is very unusual. It follows no typical format and ignores all the formulas for writing a fiction story. It unfolds very slowly - hence, no doubt, its having 'slow' in its title. The author's other books are bursting with action and adventures, and brimming over with interesting and in some cases unusual characters. This book is totally different. Auri is the only character, although she spends a lot of time thinking about another character from whom she's expecting a visit - we never meet this character nor even discover the character's name.
The 'characters' in the book, apart from Auri, are inanimate objects - the 'silent things' of the title. Auri invests them with thoughts and feelings and her (presumably self-appointed) task is to take care of them all and make sure they are always in the right place. It is Auri herself who decides where the right place is and sometimes the right place changes and the 'silent thing' is carried elsewhere.
The book unfolds so slowly as we follow Auri's daily care of the silent things. Auri lives to a very strict set of principles, which require her to be completely unselfish. She lives very frugally and takes great pleasure in ordering her solitary world. As the book progresses, the reader starts to understand more about Auri, even though nothing is explained by the author. We have no back story for Auri. She simply 'is'.
Almost all of the book is gentle. Almost all of it is unhurried. The reader needs to drop any idea of this book becoming an adventure or a love story or of there being a denouement that will explain everything. There are no explanations. It's left to the reader to make of Auri what they will.
Somehow the book wove a sort of spell over me. It slowed me down too - life just prior to Christmas is hectic and rather rushed. Auri shares an aura of peacefulness and rest with the reader. I think there is a moral in this tale, though I can't tell if the author intended one. I think it's about simplicity, and being satisfied with simplicity, while still remaining vigilant about the needs of one's environment and the things in it. I can't say that this is what the author intended, quite possibly not! I suspect that everyone who reads this book will draw their own conclusions about the character and the place where Aruri lives and the purpose of the narrative.
Being very drawn to language and linguistics, I was delighted by the words that Auri uses - many of them would never be found in a dictionary of the English language! But they fit, and their meaning is clear from their sound and shape - a sort of playing with onomatopoeia to express the truths of Auri's world and the things that are in it.
The book is an enigma. It has none of the tricks authors are supposed to use to make the reader keen to keep turning the pages. There are no cliff hangers, although Auri does have a few obstacles to overcome. I suppose it's the very strangeness of the book that keeps one turning the pages. It's 'strange' in a thoughtful way, an attractive way, and it doesn't remind me of anything else I've ever read! I'd say it's a book for winter hibernation.
I personally found it one of the most tedious books I've ever read. A shame because I like Rothfuss' other books.
I can't even remember the site that Rothfuss linked to. All I know is he is a very successful bully, in the nicest way. That link was enough to convince me to dip my toes in the waters of Rothfuss' rendering of the Underthing. What kind of idiot am I? How could I ever have imagined that the creator of Auri, and her world, could possible get it wrong? Such a perfect complement to the trilogy, Slow Regard does not dissapoint.
We are taken into Auri's world in a way that gently reveals much, yet her mystery remains. The minutiae of days spent waiting for "him" to come back. The detailed description of the places that make up the Underthing, create more questions than answers. Auri's world is filled, by measure, with soaring joy, deep-set fear and dread, and heart-wrenching pathos.
Would it work as a stand-alone book, without the background of the other two? Perhaps not, but it feels like it would for a reader's reader... if that is even a thing. I suspect that many hardened Rothfuss fans may struggle with its unusual form. Rothfuss, however, shouldn't apologise for it. Slow Regard is an assured, smouldering masterpiece. I really cannot recommend this short work highly enough.
Go! Read it!
I love the book. Auris world is oddly tilted, out of sync, but somehow just right.
Patrick Rothfuss has put together a magnificent book, which in its own rivals both "the name of the wind" and "wise mans fear".In my humble oppinion.
This is a novella about Auri and several days in her life, in which she picks up various objects and puts them down in the right place, and also makes soap. That really is all the novella is about, but it’s so much more than that for Auri herself, and since it’s told from Auri’s point of view, it took on a great amount of importance for me too.
I thought it was very well written – I really did feel a deep connection with the objects that Auri attaches personalities to. It also has a sense of purpose (Auri is preparing for a person’s arrival – it’s never said, but this is clearly Kvothe) and plenty of conflict (it is vitally important for Auri to put things in their proper place and to do things in their proper way, and this isn’t always easy), and it even has a larger sense of threat running through it (Auri is possibly the only thing that stands between the proper turnings of the world and complete disaster – whether this is entirely in Auri’s head or not is up to the reader and is irrelevant anyway because the important thing is that this is all vital to Auri). I do feel that it’s wrong to say this doesn’t have a plot at all, or any conflict, or purpose. They’re just not the traditional kinds that we’re used to seeing. As usual with Patrick Rothfuss, this is also beautifully written, in a way that is true to Auri’s own unique voice.
So this was a success for me, and I enjoyed it. But it is different and it is weird, and so I would recommend it with caution.
If you have read the other 2 books published so far of the Kingkiller series if will give an insight into the mysterious character of Auri. If you have not then I think it can be read stand alone - just the wider context will be a mystery.
But the thing is, I absolutely adored it.
Auri is by far my favourite character in The Kingkiller Chronicles so I was thrilled when I realised this novella was all about her. Here you see her going about her normal days. Have a peek into the working of her mind, and the things she shes.
Don’t expect a lot of action. But do expect a story with a lot of heart.
Await the next episode of the story proper with enthusiasm though!