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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2011-03 THE NAME OF THE WIND: Kote vs Kvothe, or the tale vs the framing story (SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
I thought one of the most successful aspects of this book was the way Rothfuss used the present day (Kote telling his tale) to frame the actual story of Kvothe's past. What did you think of how Rothfuss handled this?

(And bonus question - did you catch the meaning of the word "kote"?)


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 187 comments I have mixed feelings on the framing story.

I couldn't decide if "kote" meant "seven" or "disaster" when it was introduced. After having read the book, I'm leaning toward "seven."


message 3: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
I thought it was "disaster". The quote "Caen Vaen edan Kote" was translated to something like "expect disaster every seven years" (I'm working from memory here, so forgive me if it's not verbatim). Anyway, "Caen" would be seven (also the root of the word Chandrian, which is explained somewhere earlier in the book). I thought "disaster" was more appropriate anyway, given where Kvothe is now compared to his earlier high-flying days of adventure.


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 187 comments Heh. Honestly I thought the protagonist kind of was a walking disaster waiting to happen, and so "disaster" was my first inclination. But given his occasional tendency to speak in seven-word sentences (as pointed out by Denna), I started to lean that way. I can't help thinking either would be appropriate.


message 5: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
No, you have an excellent point, and both would be appropriate. I never considered "seven" as an option and automatically assumed it was "disaster" (which maybe says more about me than about the book!), and then I realized "caen" is seven.

I just love the contrast between his present day circumstances and his legendary past. Without that framing story, I think I would have been more annoyed at how brilliant and gifted Kvothe is.


message 6: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 187 comments I do not remember this "kote" thing at all. . . too many books in between my reading and now. . . but I quite liked the framing story. I was far more interested in it than in the main story, mostly because I kind of abhor the bildungsroman in any form. . . so the framing story got me through all the parts where I was rolling my eyes at the idiocy and self-centeredness of youth, and let me know that said idiocy and self-centeredness would (eventually) reap its just rewards. ;)


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 187 comments I think Kote's being ... call it intelligent but not wise (or particularly good/nice, at times) ... kept me from being annoyed by his precocious intelligence. Without his character flaws, he would have been too perfect to bear.


message 8: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2175 comments Mod
I liked the framing story too, though I have to say I had a hard time imagining Kvothe/Kote just sitting there talking for days. But I too really enjoyed the contrast between his present modest circumstances and his youthful past.


message 9: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
I found it easier to imagine Kvothe talking for days because he's a performer (used to being the center of the attention) and also incredibly self-centered. I mean, here's a guy who made up stories about himself to build his own legend. It makes sense he wouldn't mind spending a few days talking about himself. Also, he was busy trying to write his own autobiography already.

Another aspect of the framing story I really liked were the stories told by the villagers for entertainment, which then later resurfaced in the main narrative. E.g. in one of the first chapters Jake tells the story of how Taborlin the Great escaped - and then later in the book, Elodin tells that same story almost word for word when he shows Kvothe how he escaped from the Rookery.


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 372 comments To me Kvothe, how he is great performer makes me feel like he is one of those aging rock star where they are passed their prime then falling off the face of the earth, then one random person finds them in the most random plays doing the most boring thing, but finds out he is that guy with all those great records all but forgotten in the past. It takes the person that finds him to set down in order for the rock stay to relive the memories of the past.


message 11: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
That's actually a good comparison, I think. It's like "VH1 Behind the Music", showing the early days, rise and fall of a star. (Extending the comparison, you could even say the "interludes" when Kvothe stops narrating for a bit are like commercial breaks...) I just like that tension between the high-flying days-of-yore and the modest innkeeper-in-retirement.


message 12: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 820 comments Except I was given a very strong impression that the story he is telling isn't exactly finished. the Interludes in between the story telling are the build up to the finish.

Sorry, wish I had more time to elaborate other than Kvothe's story isn't yet done. I suspect the final climax will occur after he finished his story telling.


message 13: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
My impression is that book 3 will end with his life up to the start of book 1, and this will then lead into another book or trilogy. After all, Rothfuss wrote this trilogy as one big book, so I think it's plausible that there'll be more to come. (I realize this opinion isn't popular, but that's what my gut tells me...)


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 187 comments Interesting, Stefan. I'd been thinking book 3 would end with K. having snapped out of it and done something heroic to save the world. But I can certainly see it going the other way.


message 15: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 820 comments Stephan, interesting idea but I keep thinking this may all end in Kvothe's death.

"It is the patient, cut flower sound of a man who is waiting to die."


message 16: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
True - good point.

But then, even if that's the case, I think there may be more stories that can be told in that fantasy world. (Then again, I'm the kind of person who'll always hope for more stories set in a fantasy universe - kind of like L.E. Modesitt Jr. does when he sets a book in the same world but a few hundred or thousand years earlier or later than the others.)


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) I liked the framing story in the sense that I find the current-day story more interesting than the back story.

I don't like the framing story in the sense that I'm not a big fan of first person narrative, and I'm even less of a fan of first person memoirs when they're telling a story of however many years ago and remember it in absurd detail. Of all the many story-telling devices, the way this story is told is my least favorite.

As to the the intelligent but not wise and all that stuff - I didn't like Kvothe. I did feel like he was too perfect, too arrogant, too effing "brilliant", and I was irritated at how often we were reminded of his brilliance.

Even his flaws, to me, felt manufactured. "Oh, he was drugged and got tricked into taking a candle into the library." I mean - is that even really a flaw?

"Oh, he's so wonderful and brilliant and perfect... but he has trouble talking to girls." Blech - how typically Gary Stu.

*ahem*

Anyhoo - as for the talking for days, I had less trouble imagining him talking for days and more trouble imaginging that the entirety of the first book was told in one day. Especially consider how absurdly detailed the telling was. Heh.

Stefan wrote: "My impression is that book 3 will end with his life up to the start of book 1, and this will then lead into another book or trilogy."

I've heard that theory before, and I gotta say I wouldn't be happy if it were true.

It's clear, I think, that I wasn't all that impressed with the first book, mostly, as I said, because I'm much more interesting in the current day goings on than the backstory, which is one reason I'm not all agog about the new book coming out, since I figure it's more backstory.

If the third book ends the tale, then I'll probably read through. If the third book only ends the "tale up until now" and then there's another trilogy, I think I'll abandon the whole thing - which is why I'm pretty much planning on waiting until the trilogy is complete before deciding whether to continue with it or not.


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 187 comments Heh, Colleen, you have a point about the talking to girls thing. I wasn't thinking of that was a flaw, though. More of his instincts to lie to get out of trouble.


message 19: by Libby (new)

Libby | 19 comments I felt that the Kote / Kvothe thing was manufactured - frankly I was a bit annoyed at "humble" Kote bragging so heavily on himself as Kvothe.

I'm with Colleen - I wanted more of the current-day story that started the book.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) Snail in Danger (Nikki) wrote: "Heh, Colleen, you have a point about the talking to girls thing. I wasn't thinking of that was a flaw, though. More of his instincts to lie to get out of trouble."

I don't remember the book well enough to remember any specific incidents of this. But I suppose I think of lying to get out of trouble as human nature. Heh.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I pegged the fact he sucks at speaking with girls on him being, what, 13? 14? Never saw it as a flaw, really. Just typical adolescent idiocy.


message 22: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
That's true, Ala. One real flaw he never acknowledges himself is that he just doesn't know how to manage his money. As soon as he has some, he spends it, and then has to scramble again to get more.


message 23: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2175 comments Mod
Colleen ~blackrose~ wrote: "Anyhoo - as for the talking for days, I had less trouble imagining him talking for days and more trouble imaginging that the entirety of the first book was told in one day. Especially consider how absurdly detailed the telling was. Heh."

Yeah, I think that's what I meant when I said I had a hard time imagining it. You just put it into words way better than I seem to be capable of at this point in time (baby is due six weeks from today...YIKES!).


message 24: by Barb (new)

Barb (barbtrek) | 40 comments I sort of liked the format of the book with them main character telling his story. Although it does seem at times that he is dragging it out!

The great detail with which he remembers everything didn't bother me. It could be attributed to his "giftedness" I suppose. But, I looked at it more like a scene from a movie where when someone has a flashback & it brings up a scene from their past. The detail is there for the viewer/reader not necessarily implying that the storyteller remembered it all in such detail.


message 25: by Mach (last edited Mar 13, 2011 02:44PM) (new)

Mach | 15 comments I agree with you on that Barb. I prefered reading about his past instead of the present,
the story could have been better if it had been chronological.


message 26: by Chris, Moderator (new)

Chris (heroncfr) | 513 comments Mod
Snail in Danger (Nikki) wrote: "I think Kote's being ... call it intelligent but not wise (or particularly good/nice, at times) ... kept me from being annoyed by his precocious intelligence. Without his character flaws, he would..."

I think you've hit the nail on the head, here.


message 27: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) I'm leaning the seven and disater. After all there are the seven ages of man.


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 187 comments Yeah, I flipped through Name of the Wind looking for something else and came across the part where Abenthy is telling Kote's father that chaen (spelling maybe wrong) means 7. But the point about the seven ages of man is interesting.


message 29: by Morgan (new)

Morgan (tribal) | 9 comments Stefan wrote: "I thought one of the most successful aspects of this book was the way Rothfuss used the present day (Kote telling his tale) to frame the actual story of Kvothe's past. What did you think of how Ro..."

I really enjoyed the frame story here. And the fact that the frame story had stories within it was icing. it deepened the level of story telling for me.

It also let the reader witness a perfect example of how stories are twisted, changed, and altered each time they are told. For example Old Cob's story in Chapter 88 about Kvothe mixed in odds and bits, leaving me wonder where exactly it originated. I think it was the story of when Ambrose had tried to have Kvothe killed by the two thugs (alley @ night), but it also hints at his confrontation with Ambrose directly(broad daylight in the middle of town). It also has hints of his fight vs a sweet eater (the dragon perhaps), and his saving of Fela in the Fishery. Another of the men mentions Kvothe calling Fire and lightning, which he did against the thugs...sort of, and that is dismissed right away in place of calling a demon.

The point being that the more interesting they can make the story, the more flawed it becomes, but the more entertaining it becomes. And any true storyteller knows that. Skarpi, the storyteller that Kvothe finds says it best: "You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way. Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere." That quote alone makes me wonder how much of Kote / Kvothes story is true and honest, he is a trained storyteller after all. Which leads me to...

Colleen ~blackrose~ wrote: "I didn't like Kvothe. I did feel like he was too perfect, too arrogant, too effing "brilliant", and I was irritated at how often we were reminded of his brilliance."

Libby wrote: "frankly I was a bit annoyed at "humble" Kote bragging so heavily on himself as Kvothe."

This in itself is one of Kvothe's flaws. He is proud / prideful. Keep in mind that he is the one who keeps stating how brilliant he was. He is too arrogant. And he was quite perfect...but how much of that story is truth and honesty? How much of it was there simply to try and make the listened / reader like him better? We don't know everything about Kvothe, but he did not have many friends for being at a University (2 with a few acquaintances), one major enemy in Ambrose who basically made sure everybody of any standing hated / avoided him. A lonely life for sure. I went to school with a kid who graduated with my class when he was 15, most people were jealous of him, annoyed, and simply put, did not like him. That had to have been lonely...

So maybe Kote is doing nothing more than trying to pump up his own 'nice guy list' due to his loneliness? Or maybe it is just the opposite and he is hoping to make people dislike him more so that he is not bothered anymore and can become the simple inn owner that he is now comfortable in.


message 30: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Well, I'm liking the story within a story just fine, although when I'm in the present, Kote, I get annoyed when it shifts back to Kvothe, and likewise get annoyed when it shifts from Kvothe back to Kote. Which I'm sure says more about me than it does about the book. I'm not finding the detail annoying. He is, after all, a story teller.

I'm less enthusiastic though about the third level stories - that is the stories that Kvothe tells. It gets a bit 'precious' for me and I roll my eyes and read on, waiting for the story to be over.

Other than his intelligence, I find Kvothe far from 'perfect.' He does a lot of dumb things.

Over all, I'm enjoying it and finding it a page turner and easy reading, but I doubt if it'll make my favorites list, or even so far, my 5 star list.


message 31: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Does anyone think it's possible Kvothe/Kote is telling his story to draw out Cinder and the Chandrian? He's talking about them openly to the Chronicler, mentioning them by name... It makes me wonder.


message 32: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) You might be onto something.....


message 33: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Either that or he's incredibly stupid. :)


message 34: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Either that or he's incredibly stupid. :)"

Couldn't it be both?


message 35: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Chris wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Either that or he's incredibly stupid. :)"

Couldn't it be both?"


LOL, I guess so. He does seem to be missing some common sense.


message 36: by Helen (new)

Helen i get the impression that he knows something that we ae not party too. Along the same lines that Bast is, what? Fey? We need the second book!


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