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The Slow Regard of Silent Things (edition 2014)

by Patrick Rothfuss

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1,343755,754 (3.82)56
Member:TheAlternativeOne
Title:The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Authors:Patrick Rothfuss
Info:DAW Hardcover (2014), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

  1. 00
    Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: A human in a family of mostly inanimate objects
  2. 00
    Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Another book starring inanimate objects.
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Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
When I first read The Name of the Wind I remember thinking Pat's prose was so beautiful that I could read a book about paint drying, if it were written by him. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a perfectly and beautifully named book (what else would you expect from an author of books about naming magic?). It is a book in where silent things (objects) are slowly regarded by Auri. It is book without a plot. It comes very close to testing my paint-drying theory, and I guess I was right. Despite the lack of many things a book should typically have, I found myself captivated while reading this. Getting started was the hardest part. For the first twenty pages I didn't like this book. It felt like getting lost in a corn maze in the dark while it's freezing and you have no coat. It was uncomfortable, confusing, frustrating. But then it wasn't, and it was lovely.

Pat's brilliant prose allowed him to pull off something here in full whose baby steps started with the first two Kingkiller chronicle books—a story without a clear plot or goal, about a character who doesn't really change or grow throughout the story emotionally, but is nevertheless interesting as they are.

As a fan, I loved getting to see more of Auri's day to day life in the underthing. More than anything I loved being in her head and seeing things from her perspective. She's almost like someone with OCD and/or autism. Everything has to be in it's proper place. She washes her hands, feet, and face constantly. There are days for doing, and mending, etc. and she somehow knows which it is when she wakes up. Everything speaks to her in the hushed tones of creation. She's...just a little bit crazy, just like Elodin...hmm. Because just like Elodin, behind her madness lies a wisdom that comes from knowing true names, and the true turnings of her world. She could be quite a powerful namer, if she wasn't who she was, and I think this excerpt makes that quite clear:
Auri stood, and in the circle of her golden hair she grinned and brought the weight of her desire down full upon the world.
And all things shook. And all things knew her will. And all things bent to please her.This book, despite having no critical information about the Kingkiller world, somehow deepened and enriched it for me. The fact that this book even exists makes that world feel more real, like Pat's not really coming up with these things. Like he has a magic mirror that lets him look in on this other world, and he just decided to watch Auri for a week and see what she did.

It was a fantastic, pointless, delightful ride. ( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
Well, major book hangover. This book is a brief glimpse into Auri's world -- as shattered and as beautiful as you might expect. Not the same "lyrical" as usually used in reviews of Kingkiller series books; both plainer and more poetic somehow (despite the less than an hour it took me to read this).

Definitely the best novella or short work I've read in a decade. It should not be; it's not what you'd expect from a story.

I have no more idea how to explain or review than anyone else author mentions in the endnotes from publishers to editors to initial readers. I won't try to be original and just agree with everyone else that oh boy did I like this. And boy was it a mess of a tale that should not have worked. ( )
  Spurts | Mar 24, 2017 |
A short(ish) story just about Auri, who we met in the KingKiller chronicles, but is mostly a side character/distraction. I think the author really loves this character, so I am glad he took the time to give her her own little book, as I really like her, too. It's not a long story, so easy to breeze through in a day or two and just enjoy this other side-world that Rothfuss created. When focused on one character, I think his writing is sometimes a little better. ( )
  reyrey | Feb 23, 2017 |
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: The slow regard of silent things (on Librarything)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Language: English
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5
Reviews for other books in this series (up till now): The Kingkiller Chronicle #2: The wise man's fear
Format of publication: e-book
Number of pages: 103
Publisher: Gollancz
Year published: original 2014, my edition 2014
ISBN number: 978-1473209343
Topics: fantasy, short story taking place in the "Kingkiller Chronicle" world about Auri and the Underthing.
Reason for reading: Waiting for book 3... And I hadn't read this story yet!
Recommended: Only if you enjoyed book 1 and 2 of the Kingkiller Chronicle (book 1 is called "The name of the wind").

Short summary:
The reader gets to know more about the way Auri, a mysterious character from the Kingkiller Chronicle series, is living.

Back cover text (from Amazon):
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows....

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

First paragraph:
WHEN AURI WOKE, she knew that she had seven days.
Yes. She was quite sure of it. He would come for a visit on the seventh day.
A long time. Long for waiting. But not so long for everything that needed to be done. Not if she were careful. Not if she wanted to be ready.
Opening her eyes, Auri saw a whisper of dim light. A rare thing, as she was tucked tidily away in Mantle, her privatest of places. It was a white day, then. A deep day. A finding day. She smiled, excitement fizzing in her chest.

Review:
Story:
First off, don't read this if you haven't read book 1 and 2! The story will then be even more vague than it is now. It's a very atypicial story; Auri is mostly just running around carrying objects (and sometimes making things, but mostly fixing things). She has her reasons for doing this, though.

There's hardly any action, though the story stays interesting because you learn more about Auri and why she actually does things. It makes clear some more things about her history, but only if you have read the other two books (yes, again...). It also gives some hints about things that might happen in book 3.
Even though someone else makes a very short appearance, the story is actually only about Auri; she's the only human character. There are a lot of inanimate objects in the story, which almost seem to get a personality, but not quite.

The ending isn't really conclusive either, but as the time frame "seven days" is mentioned in the first sentence and each day is described, you come to expect early on that the story only describes seven days from Auri's life. The day when he visits isn't described, but I do think that day will be a scene in book 3. It's very easy to guess who the "he" is though, as that's the only person Auri has any real contact with in the other books.

Writing style:
The story is written very much in the manner that Auri thinks, though it is written in third person (unlike the main series' books). Because of this, the story quietly carries on, not hurrying.

Art:
I hadn't expected any drawings, but there are very nice black-and-white illustrations that depict scenes from the story.

Conclusion:
Nice addition to the series, but certainly not readable without having read the other books. Auri is an interesting character and this story explains more about why she is the way she is now.

Rereadability:
Yes.

On my weblog here.
  mene | Feb 4, 2017 |
I'm going to have to write a nice long review of this one. ( )
  aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Rothfussprimary authorall editionscalculated
Taylor, NateIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Theodor, AlissaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Vi, without whom there might be no story. And Tunnel Bob, without whom there would be no Auri.
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When Auri woke, she knew that she had seven days.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756410436, Hardcover)

A companion novella to Patrick Rothfuss’ bestselling Kingkiller Chronicle novels, The Slow Regard of Silent Things shares an enchanting new perspective on the Four Corners realm.
 
Renowned as a bastion of knowledge, the University draws the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below its bustling halls lies a complex web of abandoned rooms and ancient passageways. In the heart of this cavernous maze is a young woman named Auri, who calls this Underthing her home.
 
Formerly a student at the University, Auri now spends her days tending to the world around her. She knows that some mysteries are better settled and safe. No longer fooled by the sharp rationality so trusted by those above her, Auri sees beyond the surface of things, into subtle dangers and hidden names.
 
At once joyous and haunting, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a richly atmospheric and lyrical tale, featuring one of the most beloved characters from Rothfuss’ acclaimed fantasy series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:43 -0400)

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