You might not want to buy this book.'
These are not my words but the first line of the authors foreword, a warning that this book by Patrick Rothfuss is not for everyone. I have previously mentioned his books about Kvothe, the young student and eventual master of the Arkane, that form the 'King Killer Chronicles’ using an episode from these books as inspiration for a post titled ‘What questions shall we ask?’. In “The Slow Regard of Silent Things’ Patrick tells his readers more of the story of ‘Auri’ who lives in the ‘Underthing’ beneath The University. His warning in the foreword is apt for many readers of his previous works but should not dissuade anyone who loves words and writing from giving it a go.
In ‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’ the reader will find the results of an exceptional and successful author taking the liberty to have fun with language. If ‘The King Killer Chronicles’ are the meat and potatoes of a literary meal prepared for you by Patrick then ‘Slow Regard’ is the exquisite chocolate truffle served just before you collapse, fully satisfied into a comfortable lounge by a comforting fire.
For teachers and students of the literary arts it is full of gems to tantalise the mind and stimulate a style of writing that will captivate any audience. Patrick is a master of metaphor and through this and countless other games with words he paints pictures of delightful beauty. A book that is 'full of green grass and leaping’ that will leave the reader with 'excitement fizzing in her chest’.
While for lovers of Kvothe’s story ‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’ will not ease the wait, it has been 'A long time. Long for waiting’. But if this is the way Patrick exercises his mind and keeps his writing sharp and poignant then the wait will be worth it and in the meantime he has given us a lovely piece of writing to share with our students.
By Nigel Coutts