I figured it was about time I ended my blogging hiatus. I mean really, posting once a week shouldn’t be that hard, but life has a tendency to get in the way doesn’t it? Surprisingly enough, this time around, life actually did get in the way, just a little bit. It may have still been in between bouts of book reading, gaming, and TV bingey goodness, of course, but there was a glimmer of life shining through nonetheless! How exciting (and how the heck did that happen?)! Of course, I needed several weeks of comatose brain recouping to recover, as all good hermits would…but I’m really digressing here, so let’s get to the reviewing goods! Woo (yes, woo, I say!)!
Patrick Rothfuss‘ Slow Regard of Silent Things is unlike any other book I have read, and is something that you really need to read, after you have read his other two volumes in order to properly understand it (see here for my review of the first one. Although, if you haven’t read these yet and his first book just happens to be sitting beside (inside?) your phone/computer… or whatever you are using to be here, to heck with my review! Pick that sucker up instead, I say! Ok…why do I keep saying things like that? And actually, I guess it’s I type…but…uh, yeeeeah… anyway….).
You see, this slim 159 page read is all about a supporting, mysterious and completely intriguing character in his series, Auri, and a snapshot of her life. Now when I say snapshot of her life…well, that is…kind of…it. It’s not exactly a rollicking on the high seas kind of adventure story. The author even puts a warning about reading this book in his forward basically saying not to read this book. That’s not something you see everyday. In fact, I think the only other times I remember reading something where you get a warning about reading a book was from Grover in The Monster At the End of This Book (oh man, did I have to dig deep in the recesses for that one!) and in Mister. B. Gone by Clive Barker …but that really isn’t the same at all since those ones were part of the stories and this is actually from the author himself. Heed his warning, but don’t let it stop you (unless you haven’t read his other books, then please stop, oh please. You might just be wrecking the chance to experience something akin to word magic).
Even having read the forward, early in the story I found myself wondering what the heck I was reading (being a teetotaling, rule following, type A, avid story consumer, I could feel a small area of my brain whispering to me in full on mean girls tone “Just what am I reading here?” followed by a Gollumesque hiss “Precious – he’s not following the ruleses!” and feeling on the edges of somewhere between offended, confused and disappointed…and yet anticipatory and still enjoying it (apparently I’m complicated).
However, I like Patrick’s writing a lot, so my main brain (well, what I like to think of as my main brain, but who knows with all these characters jostling around in here) kept shushing them like we all would like to shush the obnoxious talking-during-the-film-behind-your-seat-at-the-movie-theatre-bozos and kept repeating the placating words (unless you are shooting a bow at an oncoming zombie hoard…wait…who said that!?) “….waaaait for it…”. Because, as much as I like to support the following of all the rules, I also apparently have a fairly good supply of faith and hope that the writers I read won’t let me down if I just keep reading. Yep, I be a wee bit crazy, but at least I’m dedicated.
And then it happened. The payoff. The moment I
desperately hoped knew was coming. I know the exact moment it happened, on page 77, in a chapter entitled “Hollow” made up of of a single line. Six words (talk about rule breaking, eh?). Then everything just clicked into place, floodgates creaked open and the hecklers in the background turned and fled in terror, shamefaced in the blinding light of this strange new magic.
I don’t know if this book will do the same for you as it did for me, but it has found a special nook in my heart. As a hermit herself, Auri’s story resonated with me in a way that is a bit hard to describe. Sort of like a single cello note heard in the darkness behind closed eyes before the music begins. Or maybe a foghorn. I hope that makes sense. Another thing that resonated was the last line in his authors note at the end, just before the post script…but perhaps you need to read it (after the first books, of course, saith the broken record) to understand. I hope you do. And Patrick…thank you.
A Challenge Update P.S.
Utter failure reigns. That’s OK. 🙂 Apparently, I had another life left in this game, so the new challenge date is Dec 31, 2017. That should be long enough to perhaps make my own magic happen. Perhaps….