I recently went through why I don’t like Rothfuss’s style and noted a disconnect between what I saw as clumsy wording and pained metaphors, and the glowing reviews from bloggers and published fantasy authors alike.
Are these people on crack, or am I missing something?
Shortly after posting I discovered that Ursula Le Guin has written
It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing not only with the kind of accuracy of language absolutely essential to fantasy-making, but with real music in the words as well. Wherever Pat Rothfuss goes with the big story that begins with The Name of the Wind, heâ€™ll carry us with him as a good singer carries us through a song.
This really worries me. Le Guin is an amazing writer, of real stylistic skill and poetry, and if she finds something to like in his work, then I really have to consider that, perhaps, I actually am missing something. I could agree with her that he has “real music” in his words, but the comment on precision is exactly what the exerpts I posted about would seem to me to contradict.
I did, briefly, worry that, even if Le Guin isn’t “on crack”, as I put it, she might not be as sharp a writer and thinker as she used to be. Thankfully, the BBC’s interview podcast with her (28th Jan 2011, available till late Feb) has put paid to that unfair suspicion. Aged 81, she is sympathetic, sharp, a resolute defender of genre writing, and great fun. Long may she continue writing!