I don't understand giving 5 stars to this book. The Lord of the Rings is five stars. Song of Ice and Fire maybe would get five stars. This book does not compare to either of those. I liked the story ok, but I found a lot of times I was either bored or annoyed.
I don't like that his characters all seem to have modern, american sensibilities, but that it's supposed to be another world, and pre-industrialized at that. I don't like that the university, which is such a big part of this story, is much like a modern university--tuition, finals, dorms, mess hall, etc. It just seems very anachronistic and contrived.
And how many different types of money are there? I can hardly keep track of them all or how much they're worth. Jots, chits, drams, talents, and on and on. At one point it seems like a talent is this huge sum of money, but then Kvothe pays a fee to enter a library of a talent and a half like it's nothing.
[TINY SPOILER ALERT]
Another thing that bothers me a lot is that Kvothe is supposed to be this great performer, brought up as a trouper, performing around the world with his entire family, but yet, when he is poor and needs money, he never thinks once to try to make it by performing. Not only that, but at one point he says that the students at the university all pay to go see people perform
I just can't help thinking that the 14,000 plus pages of this series could have been condensed into a trilogy. SHOULD have been condensed into a trilogy. It's just too repetitive and not compelling enough to devote the time necessary to finish this whole thing. My brother skipped the middle six books, and said he didn't feel like he missed anything, so I think I will do the same. I want to get to the Sanderson books, but I don't want to have to read the Jordan ones to do so. I think I will give it one more book and, if it doesn't get better, read summaries of books 5-11.
This is a very well written spy novel, and very well narrated. I could be mistaken, but I think this was Furst's first novel, which is quite an achievement. Everything felt very real and authentic. The only problem I had with it, and the reason I only give four stars, is that it didn't seem to be a cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end. I guess this is ok, as long as the book keeps you interested, which this book did. But, for a spy novel, usually I expect there to be a cohesive plot, whereas this book kind of wanders around, following the main character as he travels around, until at last it just kind of ends because the war is over. That said, I really enjoyed it, and will definitely read more by this author.
If I was a 12-18 year old buy, I would probably enjoy this, but unfortunately I'm not. This is a wish-fulfillment novel for the author. He wishes he was as cool as Kvothe, and he thinks it's really cool to be able to write about someone as cool as Kvothe. Unfortunately, for the (mature, or maybe snobby) reader, the product is an unbelievably tedious, sprawling and unrealistic (even for a fantasy novel) narrative, that culminates in a lot of love making with a faerie, and then more lovemaking with a bunch of amazons. Pointless. I do see, however, why a 14 year old boy would drink this stuff up.
Rothfuss's one redeeming quality is his ability (not always used) to turn a phrase. At times, the writing borders on being brilliant, while at other times, it is inane and clumsy. In fact, sometimes it seems like he is trying to tell us, "Look!! I can write really well if I put my mind to it." And then he goes off on a hundred pages of faerie lovemaking. Unfortunate.
So, now I'm in the dilemma of whether to bother with the third book, having hated (maybe hated is too strong a word, because these books are not really serious enough to hate), the first two. I probably will because I like to finish things I start, but I'm pretty sure the next installment will be more of the same.
First, about the narrator, he is superb. I also have Night Soldiers, by Alan Furst, that he narrates, and he is great in that one too.
I read this book about 20 or so years ago, and didn't really remember anything except that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it this time too, especially with the narrator. I love the world of the Gunslinger. It's brilliantly done as kind of an alternate reality of earth that's not quite the future and not quite the past, but kind of a mixture of both.
King can write some good action scenes, and this one has a few really cool ones, with King's usual descriptive (read "gory") style. Characters are well done and each have their good and bad sides, and although it seems like a fight between good (the Gunslinger) and evil (the Man in Black) things aren't that simple and clear cut. Just an interesting read all around.
This book delivered exactly what I thought and hoped it would deliver--an account of what it is like to be a navy seal, and a first hand account of what happened at Bin Laden's compound. I recommend also watching Zero Dark Thirty--the ending was very similar to the account given here. Very cool.
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