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Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



I made someone I know have a minor tantrum about how "mean" I am and how I'm "negative about everything" simply by saying I don't like these books and think they're bad, and that the author is not talented.

LASER BEAM DREAM posted:

So what was it that caused the books to be liked by so many people after the first read like myself and, Iím assuming, a bunch of other people in this thread?

I dunno about some of you but part of why it was so popular is because it's yet another Baby's First Darque Fantasie Novele. To people who are new to the genre and have only read a couple of the Modern Bestsellers and one or two of the handful of older books that sit on Barnes and Nobel shelves, it seems innovative and this guy is totally a thoughtful badass who doesn't even WANT to be a legend, unlike any other fantasy protagonists, who are all lame do-gooders who pet unicorns.

Lightning Lord fucked around with this message at 10:52 on Oct 10, 2017

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Syzygy Stardust
Mar 1, 2017

by R. Guyovich


Lightning Lord posted:

it seems innovative and this guy is totally a thoughtful badass who doesn't even WANT to be a legend, unlike any other fantasy protagonists, who are all lame do-gooders who pet unicorns.

The virgin Belgarion vs. the chad Kvothe.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Pretty sure Kvothe is like the world's biggest beta, especially in NOTW.

SpacePig
Apr 4, 2007

They want to murder you in a well!
Seems a bit harsh, but
apparently they want to,
it says here on this card.


Atlas Hugged posted:

Pretty sure Kvothe is like the world's biggest beta, especially in NOTW.

God, this is probably a big reason, isn't it? A bunch of beta incels who identify with Kvothe's "struggle" to woo and impress Denna, and thinking privately that she's his and nobody else's because there's nobody else "good enough" for her. And he's the kid who will tell of his teacher and be applauded for it, and accidentally be a very good wizard who even teachers admire, and gets to drag his bully constantly, whose only crime initially was hazing a newbie. Goddamn, I think this only just dawned on me somehow.

StonecutterJoe
Mar 29, 2016


SpacePig posted:

God, this is probably a big reason, isn't it? A bunch of beta incels who identify with Kvothe's "struggle" to woo and impress Denna, and thinking privately that she's his and nobody else's because there's nobody else "good enough" for her. And he's the kid who will tell of his teacher and be applauded for it, and accidentally be a very good wizard who even teachers admire, and gets to drag his bully constantly, whose only crime initially was hazing a newbie. Goddamn, I think this only just dawned on me somehow.

He's like r/thatHappened as a fantasy novel. "And then he made a cutting remark and the wizard teacher sputtered helplessly and was utterly shamed in front of his class and the class cheered and made him the teacher for life and gave him one hundred talents for being so awesome. And that student's name? KVOTHE EINSTEIN."

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



LASER BEAM DREAM posted:

So what was it that caused the books to be liked by so many people after the first read like myself and, Iím assuming, a bunch of other people in this thread?

I read the second book in two sittings the day of and after the release, and even with that one only just started to have a vague sense of WTF during the Furilion or whateverís name part. It was only after reading the prior threads here that all the serious flaws started to really sink in.

I'm convinced that no one has read it. Fans may have opened the book, moved their eyes up and down across the page and catalogued the plot points, foreshadowing, and sequel hooks, but I think very few people have actually read it. I know I didn't when I first scanned it back in high school.

The Kingkiller books are actually uniquely suited to this form of scanning. Most of Kvothe's characterization is done via epithet, which makes it easy to look for and remember the important plot points that happen to him.There's a lot of dialogue, but little of it actually has substance, so you can't really miss anything if you read it too quickly. The prose is flat, so although there's a lot of "lyricism" present none of it ever sticks out and causes you to think. The important stuff, like Denna, the Mean Tree, how good Kvothe is at sex, how he understands what it's like to be poor, are all discussed ad nauseam, so again, it's impossible to miss. The obnoxious chaptering encourages a "one more chapter" mentality. The supporting characters are all stereotypes that are easily understood with only a moment's thought.

As for why people actually like it, I'll guess that people might find the mechanical puzzle-solving clever ("How's Kvothe going to get out of this one?"), or they might consider Rothfuss' premises interesting. What are the Chandrian going to do and how is Kvothe going to fight them? What's in the box? Where are all the demons coming from? How is the Mean Tree going to mess Kvothe up? Who's the king that Kvothe kills? Any of these might be cool premises that might have a cool payoff. It's about a badass dude that is smart and powerful enough to interact with forces that have existed since the dawn of time. It grants political and interpersonal agency to a figure that's pretty much like you, the middle class male reader. It's like the Silmarillion if you didn't have to work to understand the text. It may not make for a good novel, but it might make for an okay TV show. It does make for a great Wikipedia/TV Tropes page, and since the fans aren't actually reading this crap, they can enjoy it on the same level that it's suited for. Fans like it because they think it's a list of cool plot points.

Personally, I liked it because I thought it was about a character who did reckless, dangerous things and cheated his way out of consequences until he couldn't anymore. The third book, potentially, would be about redemption. Instead of cheating his way out of trouble, Kvothe would actually resolve something, thereby addressing all the previous times he got away with stuff that he shouldn't have. It might actually be about that, we'll have to see in 2025. But I wouldn't be able to go back to the series now that I actually read.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Lipstick Apathy

I've been reading Demon Princes by Jack Vance. It's a kooky, multipart revenge story about a very cosmopolitan interstellar assassin trying to track down five highly dangerous and legendary master criminals. The twist is that instead of legions of minions or fortresses, each of the criminals is protected by their jealously-guarded anonymity. So instead of the hero fighting his way to them, each novel is about him trying to identify one of them so that he can exact revenge. This involves careful investigation, deduction, outwitting and outmaneuvering dangerous people, and a lot of bravado.

BravestOfTheLamps fucked around with this message at 15:45 on Oct 10, 2017

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



StonecutterJoe posted:

He's like r/thatHappened as a fantasy novel. "And then he made a cutting remark and the wizard teacher sputtered helplessly and was utterly shamed in front of his class and the class cheered and made him the teacher for life and gave him one hundred talents for being so awesome. And that student's name? KVOTHE EINSTEIN."

WIZARD RESIGNED

SpacePig
Apr 4, 2007

They want to murder you in a well!
Seems a bit harsh, but
apparently they want to,
it says here on this card.


pospysyl posted:

As for why people actually like it, I'll guess that people might find the mechanical puzzle-solving clever ("How's Kvothe going to get out of this one?")

See, this was me for a time, more or less. I liked reading about clever uses of sympathy to solve whatever problem was happening. It was pretty neat, I think, and I really like how the system works. On a re-read, though, I realized just how much of the book I had either skimmed or just straight up skipped, including any chapters dealing with the in-fiction legends and whatnot. There's not much of the "clever" usage of sympathy, honestly. A lot of it ended up being incredibly boring, and really only the most extreme events had stuck with me at all.

I honestly hope book 3 is just all of Kvothe's cheating catching up with him, and literally every bridge around him being burnt, forcing him to turn to civilian life as Kote. Like, he can do whatever cool poo poo he's supposed to do, defeat or seal the Chandrian or whatever. But in the process, everyone realizes what an underhanded shithead he is and finally is finally just done with him.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny also strikes me as a book that successfully tells the story of a roguish and powerful male protagonist who despite his intelligence and skill suffers enormous setbacks that can only be overcome by creative thinking and complex schemes, rather than the application of the appropriate puzzle piece. Unlike Kingkiller, there's a genuine political struggle as Sam attempts to overthrow his peers, the Hindu-styled techno-gods of a new world, that oppress humanity into primitive submission. The supporting cast is broadly drawn, but they all have engaging arcs, including a creepy, self-styled god of death and an impressively ferocious female villain. Language-wise, it's genuinely witty, with some pointed philosophical commentary and some tense action and battle scenes.

pospysyl fucked around with this message at 17:04 on Oct 10, 2017

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





... Are there actually any complex schemes or plans or cheating in the Kingkiller Chronicles? His most complex one is with the school treasurer and it makes very little sense. The rest is just "I hid in the back room and spied on question time!" or "I took a drug that made me not bleed."

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



The cute arguments and loopholes that Kvothe comes up with to get out of trouble (or even get a prize) when he breaks a rule or law might seem clever, I suppose. Otherwise, it's applying Knowledge A or Spell B to get out of Problem C. It's less that it's bad or dumb and more that it's uninspired, especially when compared to better books.

pospysyl fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Oct 10, 2017

SpacePig
Apr 4, 2007

They want to murder you in a well!
Seems a bit harsh, but
apparently they want to,
it says here on this card.


Kchama posted:

... Are there actually any complex schemes or plans or cheating in the Kingkiller Chronicles? His most complex one is with the school treasurer and it makes very little sense. The rest is just "I hid in the back room and spied on question time!" or "I took a drug that made me not bleed."

It's mostly cheating out of consequences, like pospysyl said. He spied on the questions given, and in return got paid to attend the university that usually charges an arm and a leg to attend. He performed malfeasance on a teacher, but got off lightly because he was hand-wavingly given permission. He finds a way to sneak into the library that he's banned from, and his friends who work there and could be expelled along with him if he gets caught just go along with it. He breaks a student's arm with more malfeasance, and gets promoted for it. He tries to boil a woman alive from the inside, and is forgiven for it because a friend vouched for him and also he was tired and not sleeping well.

He's all but untouchable whenever money's not involved, and even then it always seems to work out.

Malpais Legate
Oct 1, 2014



I know Mary Sue is a loaded term nowadays but Kvothe just hits all the points of a backpedaling Mary Sue. He's good at everything! Except not really, see he fails sometimes! Except not really in any meaningful way, and he fails upward! Except, sometimes he has no money, until he does, then he has all the money.

Did Rothfuss design him in high school on some wish fulfilment bit? Even the whole insistence on describing him immediately with "true" red hair and green eyes speaks to the character's creation.

But I'm still going to buy the third book because I hate myself.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

Rothfuss has said he originally wrote the story in high school, or maybe college, so yes.

The Glumslinger
Sep 24, 2008

Coach Nagy, you want me to throw to WHAT side of the field?




Hair Elf

My big problem is that with only 1 book left, I cant see how he becomes the guy who owns the bar. Like, these are just 2 completely different people, with completely different world views and personalities.

I mean, I know that poo poo is what these books are all about. hmm, well, I spent the last few years as the poorest of poor beggars, getting constantly hosed up and then I hear a single story and I'm suddenly a con-artist of the highest level, and now I'm a generational scholar.

Adding to that, we are 2/3s of the way in, and he hasn't done any of the poo poo we were promised he would do in the first couple of chapters. Yes, I get that a major theme is that stories get magnified and changed over time and distances, but gently caress me, do you honestly feel like it would be realistic for him to do any of that poo poo? Or how about whatever the gently caress was that crazy loving monsters in the intro? Again, hes gonna have to cover sooo much ground just to cover his promises, let alone introduce anything new.

That is assuming, he doesnt waste a quarter of the book being a wondergod at sex with faeires or ninjas. Whats next? Is he gonna gently caress a sexy samurai next?

Dienes
Nov 4, 2009

dee
doot doot dee
doot doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot


College Slice

The Glumslinger posted:

My big problem is that with only 1 book left, I cant see how he becomes the guy who owns the bar. Like, these are just 2 completely different people, with completely different world views and personalities.

I mean, I know that poo poo is what these books are all about. hmm, well, I spent the last few years as the poorest of poor beggars, getting constantly hosed up and then I hear a single story and I'm suddenly a con-artist of the highest level, and now I'm a generational scholar.

Adding to that, we are 2/3s of the way in, and he hasn't done any of the poo poo we were promised he would do in the first couple of chapters. Yes, I get that a major theme is that stories get magnified and changed over time and distances, but gently caress me, do you honestly feel like it would be realistic for him to do any of that poo poo? Or how about whatever the gently caress was that crazy loving monsters in the intro? Again, hes gonna have to cover sooo much ground just to cover his promises, let alone introduce anything new.

That is assuming, he doesnt waste a quarter of the book being a wondergod at sex with faeires or ninjas. Whats next? Is he gonna gently caress a sexy samurai next?

What's funny is that the little bits he does cover from that (e.g., whipped and didn't bleed, defended himself in court in a song, slept with Felurian and live) all happened pretty much exactly as the stories say anyway.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011


pospysyl posted:

The obnoxious chaptering encourages a "one more chapter" mentality.

Wait I'm on board with the other stuff but how is putting stuff into chapters obnoxious? Or is there a specific way Rothfuss uses chapters?

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Ccs posted:

Wait I'm on board with the other stuff but how is putting stuff into chapters obnoxious? Or is there a specific way Rothfuss uses chapters?
Arbitrary Dan Brown cliff-hangers.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at 03:37 on Oct 11, 2017

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



PJOmega posted:

The audiobook is beautifully narrated and sounds lovely on first pass. Beyond that I got nothing.

This is what got me.

Malpais Legate
Oct 1, 2014



The narrator of the audiobook is really good, I especially appreciate the voice he gave the Cthaeh. He does an odd change in pronunciation between books, like calling Devi "Davey" but otherwise it's a good performance of a book I dislike.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Ccs posted:

Wait I'm on board with the other stuff but how is putting stuff into chapters obnoxious? Or is there a specific way Rothfuss uses chapters?

There are just a lot of them. In the first book, there are I think over ninety chapters, each anywhere from 2 to 15 pages long. I'm not sure how Rothfuss decides how to start a new chapter, because there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to them. A tense action sequence might be divided up into four or five chapters. Sometimes he'll start a new chapter in the middle of a sentence. It's like how Goosebumps uses chapter divisions, only without the self-awareness.

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






pospysyl posted:

There are just a lot of them. In the first book, there are I think over ninety chapters, each anywhere from 2 to 15 pages long. I'm not sure how Rothfuss decides how to start a new chapter, because there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to them. A tense action sequence might be divided up into four or five chapters. Sometimes he'll start a new chapter in the middle of a sentence. It's like how Goosebumps uses chapter divisions, only without the self-awareness.

I couldn't read those books as a kid because they made me irrationally angry. It wasn't until I read Dan Brown as an adult that I figured out the reason was the idiotic chapter pacing.

Funny Dan Brown story. I was halfway into my art history education when The DaVinci Code landed, and had come back for spring semester right after it had become a cultural...thing. My cranky Gothic/Renaissance/Baroque professor stopped his lecture to rant about every detail Brown got wrong in his books, then tore into the style and pathetic use of language, and ended with, "and finally, HIS NAME IS LEONARDO. VINCI IS WHERE HE'S FROM."

My family still insists on asking me to help them understand the art references in that stupid book. I'm running out of conversational deflection strategies, and have settled for getting belligerently drunk well ahead of time.

Harrow
Jun 30, 2012



pospysyl posted:

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny also strikes me as a book that successfully tells the story of a roguish and powerful male protagonist who despite his intelligence and skill suffers enormous setbacks that can only be overcome by creative thinking and complex schemes, rather than the application of the appropriate puzzle piece. Unlike Kingkiller, there's a genuine political struggle as Sam attempts to overthrow his peers, the Hindu-styled techno-gods of a new world, that oppress humanity into primitive submission. The supporting cast is broadly drawn, but they all have engaging arcs, including a creepy, self-styled god of death and an impressively ferocious female villain. Language-wise, it's genuinely witty, with some pointed philosophical commentary and some tense action and battle scenes.

For some reason I assumed Lord of Light would be a book I'd bounce off of but that description sounds pretty fantastic.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Harrow posted:

For some reason I assumed Lord of Light would be a book I'd bounce off of but that description sounds pretty fantastic.
It's great, go for it.

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






Harrow posted:

For some reason I assumed Lord of Light would be a book I'd bounce off of but that description sounds pretty fantastic.

Zelazny is a great writer.

TV Zombie
Sep 6, 2011

MAMAMOO STAN



Dinosaur Gum

Rothfuss on the writing process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j61o_ow86j0&t=518s

Paragon8
Feb 19, 2007




I suppose that is a really accurate depiction of his writing process.

Dienes
Nov 4, 2009

dee
doot doot dee
doot doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot


College Slice


Jesus, that is thousands and thousands of dollars worth of painted D&D dungeon tiles stacked up behind him.

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



How anyone can listen to that man talk for any length of time is a mystery to me

the old ceremony
Aug 1, 2017

by FactsAreUseless


rothfuss on the writing process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDxK48wEO9Q

Otto Von Jizzmark
Dec 27, 2004


The next books gonna rule and all you negative nancy's are gonna buy it anyway.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



I for sure won't.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I didn't even finish the first one.

Solice Kirsk
Jun 1, 2004

.



I'll slog my way through it just to finish the series. There's a not zero chance I'll flip to the last chapter and read that in the bookstore before deciding if reading the entire thing is worthwhile.

SpacePig
Apr 4, 2007

They want to murder you in a well!
Seems a bit harsh, but
apparently they want to,
it says here on this card.


I am going to read it, too, but to prove some non-specific point to myself. I might actually wait for the paperback to come out for this one.

If at least one of Kvothe, Bast, or Denna don't crumble to dust because of something Kvothe did by the end of the book, I am going to be sorely disappointed.

Pash
Sep 10, 2009

The First of the Adorable Dead


I'm going to read it, but I am going to wait till I can get it from my local library.

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008






Ultra Carp

Assuming it's ever released. It might not be. Maybe Rothfuss decides to go into poetry or some other poo poo he's unqualified to do.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

Nice piece of fish posted:

Assuming it's ever released. It might not be. Maybe Rothfuss decides to go into poetry or some other poo poo he's unqualified to do.

He probably thinks his writing style in Slow Regard is poetry.

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Chef Boyardeez Nuts
Sep 9, 2011

I rescued a pup on Thanksgiving instead of chowing down,
earning me this avatar.


I'm looking forward to hate-reading it.

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