An Incoherent, Slightly Awed Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

So… I just finished reading this book. It was a small book, but that was right. It told me almost nothing I wanted to know and raised even more questions, but that too was right. This book was a right thing, a proper thing….

Hey, did I or did I not say that this review was going to be incoherent? People who have read the book should know what I was talking about. Which, now that I think on it, sort of defeats the purpose of a review. But, who am I kidding? These aren’t really reviews, they’re a convenient and potentially entertaining excuse for me to rant and rave and gush about books (it’s a full time hobby, I’ll have you know).

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten all the pedantic out, let’s talk about this bright apple seed of a book.

Now, this is a book with many covers so here’s the one all you important folks in the states, sorry, States will recognise.
Taken from Goodreads.com

But this isn’t my cover of the book, and to be perfectly honest I vastly prefer my version. Here’s the Uk version (and consequently the Australian version, hence my familiarity with it).
Also via Goodreads

I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I enjoy this book. Notice the present tense, it isn’t that I enjoyed this book. Any book can be a past experience when you turn the final page, but it takes a special kind of book to be present even after the cover has closed. The phrase “will stay with you long after the final page” is the marketing incarnation of this specialness, but it is not always accurate, due to people being the ridiculously, invariably, impossibly subjective creatures they are. So I can’t say that this book will ‘stay with you’ but all I can say is that some books are ice, they might be sharp and clear and they might pierce you to the soul, but they melt right away the instant you turn your back or snuggle up to something warmer. This book is not ice, although some might mistake it for such, no. This book is glass. Glass and copper and a subtle shine at the bottom of the Yellow Twelve (or perhaps Silver Twelve? This is a moonlit book.) This book planted shards of glass, speckles of moonlight and a few pretty pennies in my heart and they are not going anywhere soon.

Now, before you continue reading this and become as enamoured with this teardrop story as I am, I must issue a warning: THIS BOOK IS A LOCK. TWO KEYS SHALL OPEN IT. ONE IS CALLED ‘THE NAME OF THE WIND’, THE OTHER, ‘THE WISE MAN’S FEAR’. SEEK THEE OUT THESE KEYS AND THE LOCK WILL OPEN ADMITTING YOU TO THE WONDER BEYOND…. possibly. Some people out there will find it immensely boring. These people will probably also find this post to be nonsense. Eh, it’s no real skin off my back, as my main deal with people who dissagree with me is “don’t attack me for not agreeing with you and I won’t attack you for not agreeing with me, deal?” Then we shake hands and everything, mostly, remains civil (warning: disagreement deal may not apply to all issues or persons, always read the label, if symptoms persist consult your local Cthaeh… just kidding DON’T! I’m not messing with stuff that can scare Bast. Anyway…) But I digress, don’t look so surprised, the main point of this article is to tell you to read The Name of The Wind, and The Wise Man’s Fear, that’s the only way you’ll even remotely understand what these pages mean.

Oh, would you look at that, almost half way through the review and I have yet to even mention the author of all three of these fine books. You see There are some things you expect a review to do… and this one will probably not do most of them. Patrick Rothfuss is his name. Google is your bestest friend with this guy, you wont regret it. I also steal at least forty percent of my quotes, phrases and general smartness from him (well, if he doesn’t want to be quoted, then why does he speak?). Anyway, google is literally less than an inch away from your finger. Look up Name of the Wind, and Wise Man’s Fear, read both of them and then come back here. We’ll wait.

… …. … … …
Done? Awesome stuff, right? Anyway, before you are fully introduced to the sweet torture known as waiting for the dawn to rise on the third day (which we all need to calm the fuck down about, by the way. It’ll get done, just swallow a few stones worth of patience and wait!), lets talk about Auri.

Our Heroine:  Auri. Her name, which may or may not mean ‘sunny’, is perfect for her. It burns in her chest. It lifts her from the black days when she is all tangles. It is a flower in her heart. So much can be said about Auri, but not much should be said about her. She is a pretty girl who looks like the sun, and who leaves crystals in trees.

Our Hero: At first I thought it was going to be Foxen, but it wasn’t. I think it was Fulcrum, with his three threes, but it’s hard to tell.

Our Villain: Ummmmmm…. Hmmm…. I’m coming up with nothing…. Time? That seems most obvious. Time is certainly against Auri in this book. If you want to get meta (and who doesn’t?) Auri herself could be seen as the villain, in a small, broken, misunderstood and guttering kind of way. The truth is, I don’t want to even suggest a villain for this book, because it is one of the honeyed lackings. In this book, the things left out make it sweeter.

The Question: Where do I begin? So, so many questions. Just, all of the questions all of the time, and limited, hidden or just plain not there answers. Welcome to Auri’s world.

The Plot: Well, now. That would be telling, wouldn’t it?

My Honest Opinion: I have not slept with a cuddly toy in some time, and I have never cuddled a book in my sleep before. Any books on my bed are there either because I fell asleep reading them, or I was reading them in bed and the bedside table was too small or dirty and the floor was too far away. I tell you this because I’ve heard some people actually cuddle books in their sleep, and I want to make it clear that I don’t make a habit of this. The Slow Regard of Silent Things may change that.

I liked Auri a lot before I read this, she was an awesome bit of unexpected whimsy, a cool breeze against Kvothe’s fire. But, that was all she was to me. She seemed a way of tempering Kvothe, making him more human and less of a TOTAL IDIOT! (Sorry, but for a boy-genius he’s really, really stupid at times. Example: “Listen to the insane guy in the flowing black robes, HE’S TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!!” Thankfully, Wise Man’s Fear brought some reprieve from that particular frustration.)  Anyway, Auri was a lovely character with unexpected insights and she brought freshness to the books, but I was never in love with Auri the way others were, never felt that protectiveness. Now… Well, eighteen pages in and I was on the edge of the bus stop seat, praying she’s going to be ok and will get Foxen back, and this was with the entire book ahead of me. Long(ish) story short, Patrick Rothfuss made me miss my bus, and Auri is competing with Elodin for my favourite character (Why Elodin? “Stop grabbing my tits”, that’s why. Also, he ‘threw’ the main character off a roof… Kvothe’s an idiot.)

And after all this, I have one more thing to say. If you don’t like soap-making, this book may not be for you. But in Auri’s defence, it is brilliant soap.

Good night, good luck and may nothing be anything else for you,

Ashlee.

P.S. This post was finished at around four in the morning, the night before an exam. Any and all of your questions should be answered by that fact.

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An Incoherent, Slightly Biased Review (AKA: I LOVE THIS BOOK SO FUCKING MUCH!!!)

So… hi. Look at that, exactly a month since anything new appeared in this little internet space… I feel like I should apologize… but I honestly don’t think there’s anyone hanging out to read these. *Sigh*. One day. Anyway, in case you can’t tell I’ve been feeling a little depressed these past few weeks about my future as a writer, (something to do with Fear Number 1 raising it’s ugly head again) and you know what I like to read when I’m feeling depressed about the inevitable decay of it all? Apocalypse books, because it’s really REALLY cathartic. What’s my favourite apocalypse book you ask (how kind of you to take such an interest)? Well, to be honest, it’s my only apocalypse book, but that is irrelevant because, as you saw in the title…
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO FUCKING MUCH!!!… Ok, ok, ok, I’m calm, let’s showcase this bit of wonder-fiction to the seven or so of you who will actually read this (that’s right, I see you. I see you ALL! Muahahahahahahahahahah! *Ahem*).
Ladies and gentlemen, behold…

Image Via Goodreads.com.

Yup. That’s Nod, inscribed from the mouth of Cthulhu himself, set to ancient parchment in Grimm wolf-blood (“It’s like red chamomile tea!”) by Adrian Barnes. From what I gather of my past experiences, half of you have never in your lives heard of it (treasure your innocence), a quarter of you are joining me in a good bout of evil laughter as the darkness birthed inside you by this book squirms and grins, and the other quarter of you are gnashing your teeth and shooting steam from your ears at my obvious lack of any real judgement in literature. Whelp, sit tight, because, love it or loathe it “Nod” is one mind-fuck of a ride.

Our Hero: His name is Paul. He likes words. And Tanya. People besides Tanya tend to piss him off, particularly Charles. Mainly because Charles is a prick (an opinion I share with Paul. Fuck Charles).

Our Heroine: Tanya. Beautiful, normal, intelligent. She likes Paul enough to have stayed with him for five years at the opening of the book. Looks like hell the first time we see her, but is actually heaven. Paul has it backwards.

Our Villain: The Admiral in Blue? The Awakened? That one guy with the ship and the nukes? The messed up, disheveled, beaten and bleeding world at large? Humanity? Whatever the fuck was happening on that beach (if that scene doesn’t send some sort of shiver up your spine then you might not be human)? Honestly all of these are the antagonist and all of them are not. It’s one of the things I really like about the book. There’s a bad-guy here for everyone, pick your hate!

The Question (because every book needs a question): A huge, resounding, what the fuck?! What the fuck is up with all the fatal insomnia? What the fuck are those children so calm about? And, seriously, what the fuck is that magical golden dream all about? Yes, I am aware that is more than one question… It’s a complex book.

The Plot: No-one sleeps. Well, one in a thousand people maybe do. But most people don’t sleep. Things go to pot in a major, major way. Think of an atrocity and it’s probably committed within these pages, along with a few you probably haven’t thought of yet. Look at that cover, this is not a sane book. And yet there’s an almost indistinguishable grain of hope in there, among all the madness and attempted (sometimes successful) infanticide, there’s one tiny, desperate, dim, flickering point of hope. You have to look really hard to find it, and it offers no real comfort, but it’s there and in some ways it almost makes all the bat-shit insanity worth it.  Almost.

My Honest Opinion: This is not a book for the weak of heart or mind or stomach. This is not a book for a casual summer read, relaxing on a beach. You will find no relaxation here. But you figured that out already. The truth is, I read all one hundred and ninety nine pages of this book in three hours and I was a different person because of those three hours I spent inside Adrian Barnes’ head. My outlook, my speech, my thoughts and, most obviously, my writing have all been heavily influenced by those pages. I have read it once since, over the course of two days (roughly), and it’s punch, while not increased in the re-read, was far from diminished. In my mind, this is not a book, it is a series of images, events, emotions and experiences. “Nod” occupies the same space in my head as my actual memories of real life. It’s a wonder I don’t have PTSD from this shit. I did not turn the pages of this book I watched it happen and it implanted itself deep within me, digging its claws into my hippocampus and refusing to leave. I say I love this book, only because that is the only way to describe this strange cacophony of emotions and be taken seriously. I love Nod the way the abused loves the abuser, I know that it will tear me down, make me feel hopeless and depressed, that it will slap me in the face and punch me in the throat and leave me crying into my pillow, but at the end of the day it is what it is and as long as the bruises are metaphorical, then I will endure that agony. (Side note on abuse: Anyone who is being abused by anything more substantial than a book, say, by a person, PLEASE SEEK HELP! You are not alone, and there are a thousand ways out and a hundred thousand people who are willing to help. I do not condone non-metaphorical abuse in any way, shape or form.)

With that, ladies and gentlemen… Sleep Tight.