Friends, I can’t do it. I’m throwing in the towel. I got to page 449 of 1000 (1000 pages for this dreck?!) and I’m done. And I’m counting this as a book because the time I wasted on this thing is going to be for something, dammit. For those of you that know the book I made it to Kvothe foiling the poisoning plot on the Maer in Vintas. So once again the brilliant, clever, handsome, talented and wise 16 year old boy wins the day through a mixture of plucky determination and a heaping spoonful of deus ex machina. Which is what happens in every single event in this book. And I liked The Name of the Wind but this one is so not good.
Perfunctory set up, Wise Man’s Fear begins right where Name of the Wind left off. Instead of sticking with an interesting direction after the dragon attack at the end of the book, Patrick Rothfuss unwisely/bizarrely/psychotically decides that what audiences want is more Kvothe at the University scenes so that’s what we get. Here’s Kvothe playing/losing his lute. Here’s Kvothe winning/losing money. Repeat for infinity. It’s so BORING. Kvothe is so smug and so all knowing that I just want someone to beat him to death with a sympathy lamp. Eventually he leaves University because he is, once again, out of money but at this point I don’t care what is happening. This book is 1000 pages long and every page I read I feel a piece of me is dying. I’ve been reading this book since spring. I keep putting it down to read more interesting books. Finally I stopped entirely until I was left with nothing in arm’s reach to read at night so I gave this one another go this week. After making it another 50 pages I decided there are far too many good books to read than waste my time on this.
I wrote the following before giving up last summer. Ugh, enough with the university and pining over walking archetype Denna and the fight with Ambrose. Its nearly 400 pages before Kvothe leaves the university. 400 mind numbing, repetitive pages. Then, when it seems something interesting may finally happen, Rothfuss summarizes a pirate attack, ship wreck and other calamities in to a single paragraph. It’s infuriating. The only interesting thing to happen in the first half of the book and it’s played as a joke, nothing more than another deus ex machina reset for Kvothe. If the book wasn’t written so well I would have given up days ago. I usually try to take a break between epic novels in series and I should have followed my own rule this time. Following up The Name of the Wind with this behemoth was a bad idea. I find myself reading a few chapters, switching over to another book, reading a few more chapters, reading another book, and on and on desperately waiting for something to happen.
After I wrote this I realized there was no reason to continue. As a rule I don’t “hate watch/read/listen”. If I like a show or movie I watch it. I don’t do it ironically. I have no problem abandoning a book or series when it is failing to give me any value.
Here’s the truly infuriating thing though, Rothfuss is a hell of a good writer. I just don’t care at all about the story he is telling. Maybe once he gets this albatross of a character out of his system he can write something I’ll care about. Until then you all have fun. I know this series has tons of fans, I know people re-read the stories, I know lots of Cannonballers like the series. More power to you. This is not an insult to you so please don’t take it as such. It’s just not for me and I’m pulling the eject cord, Goose.