Alright, folks, it is time for a book review. The first I want to include is one of my all time favorite books, The Name of the Wind, by Pat Rothfuss. I have read this book about a dozen times. I have read it in print, on my kindle, and I have listened to it several times on audible.
I decided that I would review the audiobook, since it covers the book itself, as well as the performance by Nick Podehl, and it is also the most recent way I have read it.
Before I get too far into the review, here is a pic from 2011, when I drove 11 hours to meet Pat and get my first edition of Wise Man’s Fear signed
The Name of the Wind is the story of a man, but really it is more than that. We have a man that has hidden himself away for his own safety, and perhaps that of the world. He is found by Chronicler, a scribe and–let’s face it–a medieval era investigative journalist. Chronicler gets Kvothe, the hero, to tell his story.
Kvothe begins the tale when he is around 8 years old, and we follow him from childhood on the road, with teachers of various types, to living on the streets, to attending the University.
It is a great setup for a tale. We have pure and beautiful narrative fiction set in a colorful and exciting fantasy world. The magic systems are unique in that there are two main systems, the common sympathy, and the rarer and most prized art of naming.
And then there is music. There should always be music. And for someone with little experience in making music or song, Rothfuss does an amazing job grasping the depth of a musician’s love of his art and his instrument.
Some have told me that they don’t like that Kvothe is so cocky, or that he always manages to do the right thing at the right time, but to that I say PAH! It is Kvothe’s story. His hubris is his downfall, and it is intentional. And he definitely makes some wrong decisions in there.
As to the narration by Nick Podehl, I love it. He gives life to the characters, and stays away from monotonous droning that makes people want to sleep. I would love to hear him do more audiobooks.
Overall, the book is phenomenal. It is part coming-of-age, part heroic fantasy, part tragedy. It’s an amalgam of sorts. Between Pat’s use of beautiful words and imagery, and Podehl’s smooth and clear narration, this audiobook is a great first choice on audible.