The Slow Regard of Silent Things

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Book - 2014
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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
Publisher: New York, NY : DAW Books, Inc., [2014]
ISBN: 9780756410438
0756410436
Characteristics: 159 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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ZE1TGE15T
Sep 06, 2017

Well, the author did warn you it was gunna suck.

So the book is weird and un-eventful. Un-eventful may even be an understatement. I might say however, for a story with so much absolute nothing, it had a lot of something.

I'm not even mad about the void of dialog, lack of events, and the 8 pages of Auri making soap being noted as the most action you would read in this novel. I was most disappointed in the repetitiveness of this piece. An example paragraph:

Auri made her way through Wains, ran along the pipes, careful to not disturb anything. Everything was in it's proper place (or other cases not). She moved (an object) into it's right place. No. no no. That wasn't the perfect fit for it. She washed her hands and face and came back to decide where to put it. He would be here in X amount of days. She moved (said object) into new place and smiled wide, wild, waned even, as the moon because everything was in it's right place.

This book is the equivalent of reading the above example paragraph a few hundred times. Interchanging small things like the order of what is done, and objects which are moved.

Auri is a very beloved character, and this really showcases what she goes through, and what The Underthing looks like. Readers might even feel a connection with Auri, or newfound appreciation for her. That is all. This book doesn't really tie into the Kingkiller chronicles chronologically. It doesn't reveal a divine revelation, or plot twist relevant to the main story.

I definitely do not recommend this to anyone who hasn't read the other Rothfuss novels. I read this and didn't think it was great. however all that being said. I was glad to read it.

I'm hoping the next Kingkiller Chronicles book can use something from The Slow Regard of Silent Things to tie it better into the story.

a
aciana
Jul 13, 2017

Slow Regard is an odd story and one might understand it better by reading the Name of the Wind first. At the beginning I thought I would not be interested enough to finish reading it, but Auri got in my head. The way she gave personality to inanimate objects was slightly familiar to me. She was broken by something that happened to her and a subtle reference to a wrist being held down by a hand, breath of wine and want brought a thought of abuse. Another familiarity. The mere idea that she existed alone in the underthing, yet all of humanity went on above kept me moving along in the story line until the end. Self sufficient, reliant upon her 'balance' of the world against her unbalanced mind is brilliant. I was actually sorry it ended. That being said, it is true that this may not be the story for everyone. I felt oddly attached. I liked it enough to give a review and that for me is a rare thing. Rare like this story.

Chapel_Hill_MaiaS Mar 15, 2017

With beautiful literary writing, this is a significantly different sort of book from the Kingkiller Chronicles, although they exist in the same story universe. In fact, I think you could read this without having read the original series at all and still appreciate it. There is almost no real action in this book, and somehow I felt super involved in every little thing that happened because of the emotional weight it clearly holds for Auri. As Rothfuss explains in the afterword, he never thought people would want to read such a book, but everyone who requested to see it loved it because they could relate to Auri's brokenness. He says he wrote this for all the broken people in the world who can understand where Auri's coming from. Auri has always been my favorite character in the Kingkiller Chronicles and I loved reading more about her--the fragmented hints of her past, the explanations of her thinking, and the experience of her daily life.

h
humming
Jan 02, 2017

While the author recommends reading his books "The Name of the Wind" and "The Wise Man's Fear" before reading this book, I suggest reading about Auri innocent of any previous awareness of who she is. Just be present with an open heart as you read.
This book is almost like a day dream... almost like a poem... almost like an exercise in mindfulness... being here and now... washing face, hands, feet...
Enjoy!

k
KlügerKater
Dec 21, 2016

Although Rothless certainly deviates from the previous two books in his Kingkiller Chornicle Series in terms of style and approach, this book is still nonetheless a splendid literary adventure, delving further into the world which he has so excellently created. As other reviewers have noted: This book is not for everyone, as it is by no means the standard "fantasy" book, and is devoid of the memorable characters from the earlier books, aside from Auri of course. Instead, Rothless takes us on an immense journey of discovery to the more unknown parts of the world--and character--which certainly demand greater attention to unravel the mysteries within. A must read for fans of Rothless's earlier works.

JohnK_KCMO Dec 05, 2016

As Rothfuss warns us in the author's intro: this isn't a normal story. There's little plot, nothing much happens. This book is a meditation. A character study. A delving into a deeply imagined world. This is a tone poem and a love letter to language. Coupled with spare black-and-white drawings, this book is utterly gorgeous. It's time spent with beauty.

AL_JOSHUAS Oct 08, 2016

I'm struggling with how to rate this one. Honestly nothing really happens... but we do get some wonderful insight into the daily life of Auri. It's a beautifully written story... that goes nowhere ... but it kind of works that it goes nowhere. Its not for everyone, but its definitely worth giving a chance to see if it resonates with you.

r
rsiguenza
Oct 08, 2016

Excellent. Did not read the Kingkiller Chronicles beforehand. Did not affect the enjoyment of the read. Excellent.

FindingJane May 10, 2016

This slim volume about Auri, an enigmatic figure from Mr. Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, is a slow immersion into the chaos of a broken mind. It’s filled with wonderment and joy, as Auri finds beauty in leaves, a thin cup and a gear fetched from the depths of a pond. But I couldn’t bring myself to like it entirely. While I was won over by the lyrical prose and the minutiae that make up Auri’s existence, I couldn’t help but be frustrated as the book left me with more questions than answers.

It doesn’t purport to answer anything about Auri’s life. It’s clear that she studied alchemy and that she was a scholar in the Arcanum, the very same school that we read about in books one and two of this series. But what happened to drive her from its halls? Why does she hide herself in the bowels of the school? Why is she so afraid or annoyed that others might come into her secret places? What’s wrong with her anyway?

While I was swept up time and again by the unique slant she has on the world around her, I was constantly jarred by the whisper that this was actually a very deranged mind. This was brought sharply home to me in the last few paragraphs when Auri decides that her best gift to her unnamed visitor will be to give him a place to stay, a permanent hidey-hole in the dark for when he too is all hollow inside and broken.

Brrrr. Imagine, for a moment, if the gender were reversed, if Auri were a man talking about hiding away a woman. Imagine a man talk about using his cunning and craft to keep her secreted from the world. Imagine a man taking a woman, stuffing her in a place beneath the earth and giving her a new name, one of his choosing.

That doesn’t sound so terrific, does it? Auri seems harmless, incapable of exerting physical strength to detain someone against their will. But she does know alchemy, perhaps enough to drug someone into submission.

While the poetry of this book is undeniable, so is its lunacy. Thus, it left this reader with a lingering sense of unease. Beware the darkness underground.

CMLibrary_jpeitzman Jan 21, 2016

This book is not for everyone. Really. There is only one character, there is no dialog, the biggest scene revolves around making soap. But if you've read The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, and you love Auri, and you love Rothfuss' writing (i.e., you're a right thinking person): well, then, this short book is an unalloyed delight.

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peter_leitch
Feb 22, 2015

peter_leitch thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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