I really really wish there had been a few more honest before I wasted my time and money on this book. The writing is horrendous at times and I l-i-t-t-e-r-a-l-l-y cringed sometimes it was so bad. I wish there was a zero star option. This is a book that deserves zero stars.
Tell me about it would have been nice to know this was a pass before wasting money on it. What really makes me mad is the wasted time. Reading a book should never feel like a complete waste of time. This was a complete waste of time. Just seems I was steered wrong on this one. It gives heartburn thinking about it. My husband got laid off too and $24.95 for the hardcover was big money but I thought we both deserved a treat. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Wish I could get my money back too. Too late for a return since I bought it then put it on my reading table. That'll learn me, huh? Guess I should have known better but it seemed like it should have been good. Talking about layoffs, got me too but least my hubby is still working. Still totally would have put the money wasted on this brick to better use if I had known how utterly unreadable it was. Wish there had been more warning about this one. At least we can all comiserate.
Hats off to you for your honesty about this book. A lot of reviewers have commented that for something rated so highly this is remarkably bad. One can echo that, but one must also note friends and family probably meant well. The writing is the worst of it. This discourtesy ranks up there with the worst of the worst of writers. So we look into world building, the story, world building and see what we find. The world is very poorly constructed, much like the characters. Every thing is so random and patched together and just doesn't fit so well. Perhaps shipping Rothfuss off to Iraq where many friends are serving would help him build some character and integrity? Until that happens, better to leave this untouched.
My original review from 2007, before Rothfuss forced Amazon to remove it, focused on the weak points of this novel and my disgust with the high praise for something so utterly unworthy of it. I was disgusted and am still disgusted. It took me 3 hours to write and was backed up by examples from the text. I'm sure Rothfuss didn't like the review as it was the most helpful critical review for some time and you'll notice the most helpful critical review for the past year and a half isn't really a critical review at all -- more of a plug to get you to think this novel in some way is similar to Harry Potter.
Rothfuss isn't alone among authors who've found a way to get reviews that aren't really critical into the most helpful critical review spot, but his shilling sets him apart.
Suffice to say I wasn't impressed with this novel. For my taste, and for many others I've spoken with, the writing is extremely mediocre and cliches abound. There are many parts that are cringeworthy -- I actually made faces the writing was so bad. My husband thought I was having a bowel movement -- no kidding it really is that bad at times.
Disguising this very weakly, very poorly told story as a "tale being told" obviously was a ploy to save the novel from a few more rounds of rewrites. Instead of developing defensive Amazon personas, Rothfuss should have spent his time rewriting. He would have had a better novel, and perhaps one worthy of some modest praise.
But then again, Rothfuss has shown he has no modesty at all, except false modesty when it earns sympathy. Watch out Rothfuss, pride goeth before a fall, and your greed and gluttony earn you three of the seven deadly sins. No doubt your wrath, soon to follow, will earn you the fourth.
Rothfuss sure knows how to work the system, heh? Read Sharon and Mark's review from May 13. It's explains a lot about the tactics used to sell this turkey. Kawika has it right. The authors who have written such goofy praise of this guy should be avoided like the plague. This is the only book I regret starting. Ever!! What a mess!
Wow, you people have no taste in actual literature at all. You're probably the people who'd rather curl up with a poorly written romance novel than actually recognize a piece of actual literary genius. Or worse, some of you guys probably actually enjoyed Eragon which has to be the most mediocre piece of crap thats every been allowed to be published. There is no way someone can call this a "Harry Potter clone" (thank you Z. Lentz). Unlike Harry Potter and Eragon where they flat out stole lines from books such as Lord of the Rings, and not out of clever literary allusions that would have helped the stories greatly, but out of pure stupidity and inability to write good literature. I will admit that there were a few mundane moments but every book has its dull points. I can't say that i can change any minds, nor will i try, but honestly people. There is a lot of depth in this book that most books tend to forget to even try adding that to their plot. But i can also understand how people have gotten use to the everyday, mundane, superficial writings of postmodernism and forgotten how real literature is written.
I agree that this book doesn't come close to deserving the high rating it has here on Amazon. I give it three stars at the most. While there were some fairly interesting and tense moments in the story it was mostly a snooze, and the writing bordered on the poor side. The book reminds of something like a spin on Harry Potter that was written by James Patterson- it falls pretty wide of the quality/originality that I expected. How is it possible that it has such a high rating?
The only part of the book that resembles Potter is the presence of a school where the principles of magic are taught, that's it. Potter was very much a "chosen one" archetype. Kvothe is flawed and the degeneration of his legendary abilities as an adult is a change from the prodigy found in Potter and was a bold choice for the author. Kvothe is as fragile as he is talented. I've come to the conclusion that the people who are turned off by this book do not have patience for the kind of back story that Rothfuss created and failed to pick up on the satirical tone of the novel. It is a different kind of epic fantasy and it is not for everyone.
I love how people enjoy implying that those of other opinions are stupid and have the attention spans of gnats. Because heaven forbid anyone have a (gasp) conflicting opinion! And they can (gasp) be very intelligent, well-read people! Maybe they just have, you know, different perceptions? Different backgrounds? Different tastes?
In my opinion, it was all right. That was it. Absolutely not a work of genius, but not a complete waste of time, either. I wanted to punch Kvothe in the head most of the time (especially for his dorky name, which was either derived from a random Scrabble hand or made up for Rothfuss' D&D character when he was 14 and feeling particularly cool), but it was an all-right ride. I just wish I hadn't bought it. Potential readers: visit the library first.
Well most positive reviews are rational and honest...no one saying how they danced in the street after reading it or wanting to have Patrick Rothfuss's children. Whereas in the negative reviews people are on the verge of vomiting or throwing the book in the trash when they finish it or saying what an egomaniac Mr. Rothfuss is. So yes..I take exception to these crap reviews. If I don't like a book I rarely get past the first 100 pages and then I move on to something else.I don't feel the need to go on Amazon and completely trash the thing.
I thought this book was a wonder to read, Its the sort of book that epic fantasy readers hope they are getting when they pick up a new author. I have to say I am really surprised at the amount of venom in this thread.
The writing style is horrible and impossible to focus on. Too many unnecessary self-pretentious similes and metaphors. Rothfuss is definitely not a genius, not even a great writer, though he has some talent. Unfortunately it is wasted on attempting to impress the mainstream. Oh, and I did want to like this.
>>The only part of the book that resembles Potter is the presence of a school where the principles of magic are taught, that's it.
Yeah, and the Snape and Draco clones. And a bunch of other stuff about the University that smacked of Hogwarts redux.
As for me, I didn't love it or hate it, though I definately disliked how overhyped the book was for the meager quality of the overall product. Rothfuss's prose is *OK* - not genius, and not garbage - but boy I hope he figures out how to write dramatic action for the second book, because tNotW had one of the most ridiculously facile "climaxes" I've read in a while.
>>"I've come to the conclusion that the people who are turned off by this book do not have patience for the kind of back story that Rothfuss created and failed to pick up on the satirical tone of the novel. "
Could you try and be more insulting? Seriously dude, this book was YA with a couple of adult themes interlaced and an enormous amount of pointless minutiae. Rothfuss doesn't come close to the complexity of GRRM, Bakker, or Erikson (who has other issues, but I won't go into those here), much less that of Wolfe, Donaldson, even Tad Williams or, dare I say it, early Robert Jordan. The world building was virtually nonexistant, the characters mostly flat or ciphers, the plot rambling and the conflict often contrived by emo manipulation when not obscured to add "mystery." And this is coming from someone who would probably rate it three stars! Just because someone doesn't like your current literary darling doesn't mean they are defacto ignorant. I advise you do some research into the term "Fallacy", because some of your comments to those who rate this less that marvelous are really foolish and annoying.*
*such as telling someone that their opinion doesn't "matter" because Robin Hobb gave it five stars - unbelievable.
Most of the 1 star reviews are tantrums, that is what I was criticizing. I wasn't being insulting, I was merely stating that this novel different than a lot of other fantasy novels because it relies heavily on the back story of the central character. It is introduced and told in an unorthodox manner. I enjoyed that facet of the novel and I thought Rothfuss succeeded in pulling off that balance.
And I think that the review of an accomplished fantasy novelist like Hobb does lend weight to the credibility of the book. That's just my opinion. I didn't read a single review before I bought the book. I just picked it up one day and enjoyed it. Some of the "reviews" that gave the book 1 star were near carbon copies of other reviews. You don't have to love it. Read them yourself and you'll see what I'm talking about. This also goes for anyone who wrote a 5 star review that wasn't really a review, just an outpouring of accolades.
As at the time of writing, 379 of the 502 reviews listed are 5 stars. That's over 75% of a pretty big sample.
I've just finished the book, and my own opinion is that it's not perfect, but in it I can see a tale told in a refreshing way. Quite frankly, it's well worth a look.
If I include the 4 star reviews, there's 438 out of 502 (or close to 87%) of people who were pleased with this book. That's a lot of people - too many to suggest that they're all stupid, have no taste, are all sheep, or that there's some author-driven conspiracy to list only good reviews.
I can understand that if someone bought this thinking it was the next Harry Potter, that they'd be disappointed. I can also understand that if someone wanted a more traditional formula tale, that this isn't it. The book is different, and that's its real value - perhaps not to everyone's taste, but a refreshing and interesting contribution to a genre that needs some new blood.