[Novel] The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)

The Name of the Wind

“I don’t know if it grows around here,” I said with the proper amount of uncertainty in my voice. “No harm in looking,” she said sensibly.

Apparently, the genre of modern fantasy is in peril, as The Name of the Wind is considered a well-written book, and Patrick Rothfuss a real writer. And while the guy has a certain vocabulary, and from time to time is able to paint a beautiful image, his book is riddled with more redundant adverbs than a piece of a twelve year old’s fan-fiction — we have smiles fading imperceptibly, voices of random characters ringing beautifully like bells for no reason and all sorts of other rubbish that successfully destroy any sort of flow the book could have ever had.

And it doesn’t help that even apart from the ridiculous adverb spam the whole narrative is almost completely “tell” rather than “show”, to an extent I had to actually call out bullshit on the narrator obviously being delusional. No, Kvothe’s smile doesn’t look like that of a man who has killed an angel — all I know is that he’s some sort of village idiot that works as an innkeeper and talks like a teenager trying to act cool — for all I know he’s making all this shit up (which would actually explain things). Anyway, I got the feeling that Patrick Rothfuss was hoping thesaurus would turn him into Jack Vance, but all he succeeded in writing was a sequel to Eye of Argon; a touch of proper editing would leave this book 1/4 of its original size.

I’m not usually this picky about the prose of the books I read, but since The Name of the Wind lacked both a plot and characters  — its only voice of mock sentience being the protagonist whose sole personality trait is being better than everyone else in any situation  — the only way I could find to entertain myself was to count the fallacies it incurred on the craft of writing, until I eventually dropped the whole thing mid-way through.

Positive: Negative:
Clunky prose describing every redundancy imagine-able
Generic, forgettable world of standard fantasy
Stilted, bland dialogue
The only real character is the protagonist, and he doesn’t even have a consistent personality
Almost nothing happens in the entire book — most summaries of its plot have 3-4 sentences
Reads like a power fantasy of a teenager whose only concept of being cool is being praised by adults for being better/smarter than other kids

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