BOOK & BLOG
February 21, 2011
Books of the Week
When I read Patrick Rothfuss’s first book about Kvothe, The Name of the Wind, I knew I was reading a major talent, a fabulous storyteller. Now that I got an early copy of The Wise Man’s Fear, my opinion is confirmed. Someone asked me why I was so enthusiastic about the book, and I didn’t know where to start.
The two books are the first installments of the adventures of Kvothe, as told to a Chronicler when Kvothe is living in a small village under another name. The world Kvothe lives in is pre-technology, for the most part, and he’s from a family of what we would call gypsies. His whole family is dead, and their deaths have shaped his life. Ferociously intelligent and talented, Kvothe gets in to the University by sheer tenacity and courage, and makes his first friends there, and his first enemies. The Wise Man’s Fear picks up where Wind left off, and from page one I was just as enthralled with Rothfuss’s storytelling as I was before. It flows like water.
These books are intimidating in length, but don’t be thrown off. There’s just more to enjoy.
I downloaded eight Oz books onto my Nook for a ridiculously small sum. It’s amazing how well I remember these books, which I read over and over as a child. I’d like to find a good biography of L. Frank Baum, because he must have been a very interesting man. He was incredibly good at imaginative thinking, especially where children were concerned. Almost everyone is familiar with the movie, which is a much-abridged version of the first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I had forgotten that the ruby slippers of the movie were silver slippers in the book, and many other small details. I’m having a great time in my revisit of a childhood favorite, and though reading them as an adult raises questions I never thought of then (How old is Dorothy? Why hasn’t she grown between her first visit to Oz and her subsequent visits? If people in Oz never die, does that mean they never age? Because there are children, but no mention is made of them maturing. I guess Baum didn’t think the answers to these questions fit within the scope of the books.)
I had a very good time at Boskone, a science fiction convention in Boston. It was a pleasure to talk to some writers I’d only met briefly before (Peter Brett, Myke Cole), and meeting some new ones, including Joe Hill. We signed next to each other, but we were busy enough to only exchange a few words. Charles Stross was the guest of honor, and I was very pleased to get a bound and signed copy of one of his books with artwork by the art guest of honor, Gregory Manchess. Pretty good, huh?
I got to see Christopher Golden in passing; we’re soon to collaborate on a graphic novel. And my old friend Toni Kelner and Dana Cameron were there, and we had an excellent time together.
Boskone was small, personal, and well-run, which is a lot to say for what’s essentially a regional convention. There’s a lot of camaraderie at science fiction cons, and many of the aficionados really know their stuff. This especially pertains at Boskone, which is one of the oldest regional science fiction cons in America.
My “special guest” interviewer was Darlene Marshall, and she was really a very good interviewer. None of her questions sounded stale or hackneyed, and it was a real pleasure instead of a tedious chores. Darlene writes historical romances set in Florida, and she had some devoted fans of her own in attendance.
Though this time of year can be very tricky weather-wise, I managed to get to and from Boston with no plane delays, and (most fun of all) my agent, Joshua Bilmes, treated a group of his clients to a spectacular dinner at Morton’s in honor of his 25th anniversary in the business. I couldn’t have a better agent.
Back to work, now!
© 2011 Charlaine Harris