I love Patrick Rothfuss’s previous novels, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. When I heard him read snippets of this at a con, I loved the idea of it. When I saw people’s reviews of it, I worried. Heck, even Pat seemed worried.
I was worried enough that I put off reading it for three weeks after it arrived at my doorstep, and once I started reading, I allowed people’s opinions to color the experience. That’s not something I typically do, and it disappointed me that I allowed it to happen. So I put the book down for another day or two and picked it back up with a clean perspective.
Picture the most autistic, ADD, and OCD people you can think of, mix them all together, and that is this book. In the first two Kingkiller Chronicles’ novels, Auri is a mystery. An intriguing anomaly. In The Slow Regard of Silent Things, she still is, but having the story written from her perspective is a bit maddening. The story is beautiful and honestly, a great look into the life of those who suffer from severe OCD and autism. Every item has a place, a name, and a purpose, to the point of insanity. Little things that are mere irritations to you and me, are world-shaking disasters to an autistic child.
I have no idea how Rothfuss was able to dive so deep into the mind of someone with such afflictions, but he does so brilliantly. Perhaps some folks won’t like this story. Perhaps some of them don’t like how uncomfortable it makes them feel to be reminded that people such as this exist and need our help and support.
While at times, the read was frustratingly OCD, it was a beautiful reminder of the oddities in the world. Folks like Auri or the special needs children I taught for years as a teacher.
It is worth the read, as they are worth the time.