Less than a day after I wrote that post declaring my NaNoWriMo intentions here I am struggling to sit down and write. What is it about me that as soon as I announce my plan to the world I cannot follow through? With the exception of my marriage, every time I’ve done that it’s been doomed to failure. Diets, law degrees, resolutions–none of them survive going public. I suppose it’s a great thing that I’ve never had a company for which I’ve had to sell shares.
So here I am looking for something to write about and hitting a wall.
The main reason for today’s wall is that the topic first and foremost in my mind is the book I’ve been engrossed in but have not yet finished. I feel like it’s a cheat to review something when I’m only at the midway point and I also fear (see above) that if I do write about it then I’ll never finish reading it! But it’s on my mind, so we’ll go there.
As regular readers know I started reading Fantasy again last year, giving in to all the friends who kept assuring me the water was fine and I should join them now that there was a bigger, newer pool with slides and stuff and Terry Brooks wasn’t hogging the diving board anymore. Of course I made the colossal mistake of STARTING with the George RR Martin books, which is definitely like eating the best dish first and then looking at your plate and realising that the only things left are green beans, lima beans and that weird potato dish your Aunt Louise makes. The one with Sauerkraut.
But then–miracle of miracles–I found Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name Of The Wind. That was like your wayward Uncle Chad showing up late to the meal, but bringing a bucket of KFC. All thighs!! I swear to you, I love The Name Of The Wind just short of Harry Potter. At this point I almost love it more than To Kill A Mockingbird, although it pains me to cheat on Harper Lee in this fashion. I read through it twice in a row and didn’t want to put it down. That was a year ago exactly. And now I’ve broken into the thrice-locked chest where I was saving the sequel (The Wise Man’s Fear) for a rainy day. When the book came out in March it was thumped on pretty badly. Accusations of “Sophomore slump” and “too long and dull” were piled on and those who gave the fannish “I loves this bewk” style reviews were mocked for lacking taste and reading comprehension skill.
I’m in it now and half-way through I can tell you that I like it easily as much as book one. I’ve started hitting the place that others complain about and it seems to me like their problem may be that they’ve read too much Fantasy. Because I wouldn’t call these books “fantasy” as much as I would call them “a story”. They have more in common with things like The Odyssey, The Iliad and The Waltons than with anything Tolkien ever wrote. And I’m starting to suspect the negative reviews are based in those expectations of Tolkienesque fare that so many fantasy fans have built up over time. It’s not wrong of them–I know I’d be irked if I picked up a mystery novel only to find that the killer is never revealed and the cops are quitting detection to teach third grade.
So while I suppose I might be in for some disappointment in the next few pages I’m not really feeling it yet.
And look at that! I at least made the blog post. (But now will I finish the book?)