Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Wise Man's Fear

So this was released today, the sequel to The Name of the Wind. You can buy it right now. You should. If you have an ipad or a kindle or a nook, you can literally be reading this in a matter of minutes.

I was loaned the Name of the Wind a couple of months after its release by a member of the D&D group I played with. It was good times. We were all professionals, we drank coffee or beer while we played, as opposed to the little debbie snack cakes (strawberry shortcake rolls were my particularly insidious vice) and mountain dew of those summer days of AD&D youth. Activists and teachers and publishing people living in the fading dream of the Brooklyn renaissance that our too-slowly rising salaries afforded us in Greenpoint. I never got that book back to the owner unfortunately. He stopped being able to make the games. Then he moved.

But man am I happy I still have that copy. I've had 4 or 5 other copies over the years as well, Rothfuss joining Tolkien and Vonnegut and Winterson in the pantheon of writers who I can't help but pick up multiple copies of. And the book was a stunner. Literally, like One Hundred Years of Solitude or The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, when I finished The Name of the Wind I have only the vaguest recollection of where I was, as if I had been shot through with light and separated from my mind while the vast, sleepy realms of thought and the deepest reaches of my awareness churned far from my waking consciousness. It was like a magic spell.

It was as if the book had channeled a wormhall into my brain that I could only access by separating from myself. I am convinced Grant Morrison does this kind of thing, implanting alien thought into your mind through language, and Warren Ellis is very forward in putting his disease textually.

And of course, it all feels as good as it sounds, hence the allure. A book like this is a drug. It takes root in you, and begins to change you from the inside out.

Rush out, rush out now, and get your fix

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