Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Rothfuss

Amazon's listing for The Name of the Wind
Once upon a time there was a boy that wrote stories and poetry.  He grew up and went to college, where he took his sweet time graduating.  He went in with the intention of being a chemical engineer, and came out with an English degree nine years later.  He wrote a book during all these years, edited the heck out of it, and used a portion to win The Writers of the Future contest in 2002.  More stellar edits, five years, and three volumes later, The Name of the Wind hit bookshelves, won a Quill Award, and made the New York Times Bestseller list.

Patrick Rothfuss, ladies and gentlemen, is another one of those writers that makes me feel like this writing thing might turn out okay.  You know...eventually.  I'm closing in on a decade since I finished my first gigantic fantasy novel, which exists as a very old file on my external hard drive, and a single printed copy I haven't touched in three years.  So okay, maybe I'm letting that story slide, because I just don't see much value in fixing it, but I can't help looking at writers like Patrick Rothfuss and thinking, holy cow, sometimes hard work and dedication pay off, even if it takes a decade (or more.)

I want to tell you how fantastic The Name of the Wind is, but in the interest of full disclosure, I'll let you know I'm only half way through.  It's long, for those of you who have never picked it up in the book store.  I'm talking Wheel of Time long.  And it's fantasy, so if that's not your thing, you probably won't make it through the 700+ pages, which is too bad because even from where I stand, teetering in the middle, I can tell it's worth it.

So for all you fantasy fans out there, if you haven't checked this book out, do it!  And for anyone who has been working on a story for a decade, take heart: not only are you not alone, you're not doomed to a life of failure, either.  I'm not saying you are going to be the next Patrick Rothfuss, but hey, you never know if you give up now.


  1. I've heard a lot of great things about this book. I've already added it to my TBR pile.

  2. I actually have this book and have read like the first chapter or something. It has a slow start for me, but maybe that is just because I read way too much YA which tends to have a speed of light type pacing. I have heard so many great things about this book though, so I guess I need to give it another try.

    Great Post, Trisha.

    1. I think it's pretty typical for epic fantasy, but yes, compared to anything in the YA genre, it's a very slow start. I take it a couple chapters at a time, but it really is a great book. When I bought it, I thought the guy who rang me up was going to pass out from lack of air, he couldn't stop telling me how great it was. At the time I just smiled and backed away slowly, but now I get why everybody loves it so much. :) If you give it another shot, I hope it doesn't disappoint, but like I said, it's probably not for everyone. It's long, and occasionally slow. A complete 180 from YA. Sometimes I struggle to switch between such drastically different genres and styles.

  3. Like Jeff, I've heard great things about this book, but haven't taken the time to read it. It's been a while since I've dug into a thick-tomed epic fantasy. Thanks for the inspiration. Great post!

  4. Well, I wrote my first novel over a decade ago now. Fame and fortune have yet to throw themselves at my feet, but I can tell I'm improving (aka my new stories are of higher quality than my old ones!).

    It took me a while to add "The Name of the Wind" to my TBR pile, mostly because every time I looked at it, I would think "The Name of the Wind is Bob!" And then I would laugh for a while and go read something else.

    But now, after all these glowing reviews, I think I'm going to have to give it a try, and it's slowly moving its way up the list.

  5. Adding it to my list too. I had never even heard a small piece of his story before, and I'm so glad you shared it. When I finally publish something and people start comparing me to Grandma Moses, it will have been stories like this that kept my spirits up. :)


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