Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yeah, Yeah, I know... "No Farting at the Dinner Table"...Rules, Rules...

OK, where to start?

Finished The Name of the Wind, and I'm simply blown away. I'm torn. I plan on writing a review of the book for Amazon (for what it's worth), but I don't know whether to write it right away, while it's all fresh in my brain, or wait until the emotion wears off, so I'm not given to overmuch hyperbole. It's funny, I'm also torn in this regard: On the one hand, I'm greatly inspired and encouraged to write. On the other, I'm discouraged, since it makes me very aware of my inferiority, as far as my own writing. Yet I see that such writing is possible, and it gives me something to aim for. So it's encouraging and discouraging, all at the same time...

And, as I mentioned yesterday, perhaps this is just a case of the right writer and the right reader crossing paths at the right moment. Or maybe the book is really that good.

I'm trying to come up with a good analogy, to compare it to the Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin. As much as I enjoyed the scope and feel of Martin's writing, there were plenty of places that I wish were edited out - mostly scenes that were "adult" and the excessive profanity. Now, I'm hardly a prude - but I think a strong tale can be told without such needlessly offensive (IMHO) material - and The Name of the Wind proves that in spades.

There's occasional mild profanity in Rothfuss' book, but it fits the scenes, and is not offensive (to me, anyway), and instead of "adult" scenes, it has (gasp!) romance. And I mean, so well done that I consider it perhaps the best aspect of the book - and I'm the most unromantic person in the world. It's heart-breakingly beautiful - but again, just one facet of the grand story. When I say "extremely well done", please trust me. Very moving.

So if Martin's writing is like a rushing river - swiftly moving, occasionally treacherous, with rocks and other things jutting up here and there, and not very deep - then Rothfuss' writing is like the ocean. Huge, deep, solid, one type of action near the shore, a different type of action out in the open water. You can watch the waves or look beyond them, out onto the horizon. Martin's is a great ride, with occasional obstacles to swerve around, with no time to stop and try to plumb the depths (so to speak). Rothfuss gives you terrific action, as well as very well-thought out characters, an intricate story, great history/lore, and ample opportunity to plumb the depths of not only the hero Kvothe, but of many of the other characters as well.

OK, enough rambling. The next in the series comes out in a couple months (April 7) in hardcover.

I think I'll segue into today's Favorite Scene. Let me issue a WARNING: this clip is very strong. If you are in any way in a fragile emotional state right now, and don't think you can handle a fairly gut-wrenching scene that is guaranteed to stay with you for a long time, then I would suggest skipping tonight's clip. It is taken from the movie The Abyss, which is a movie that is a wild ride, well made, lots of spills, chills, etc., etc. But this is the scene that always comes to mind first when I think of the film.

If you've never seen the film, what has just happened is this: a disabled undersea oil-drilling rig is peopled by the crew and a group of US Navy Seals that had descended to use the rig as a base from which to launch a search & rescue mission on a nearby downed nuclear submarine. The head of the Seal team didn't pressurize correctly on his descent and has pretty much freaked out. He hijacked a little submersible sub and took off to do some mischief, and Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio have taken the other submersible to try and chase him down. There's a cool duel, but Harris' submersible gets disabled and is leaking.

This is what happens next.

In any case, spent the day doing my normal routine. Some work, play, errands, reading and web surfing all rolled into a pleasant package. Last night was rough. Stayed up to about 2:30 am reading, then was rudely woken up by acid reflux at about 3:15. Got back to sleep about 4, Maggie woke me up about 8. So be it.

Not sure there's much more on tap for today, as far as this post. Sorry it's not goofy and quirky, as (hopefully) is my custom. Between the strength of the book and the power of that movie clip, I'm feeling kind of serious today.

Until tomorrow (cue Joker voice) "Why so serious?"


havah said...

Ahh...great imagery in your comparison between Martin and Rothfuss. Beautiful!

And a nice link to the clip. Thanks for the warning...I came armed with pizza. You knew I'd watch it anyway, right? I got all soggy, but it was worth it.

I'd completely forgotten that today's scene even existed, so don't worry about using movies we've seen. It's all good :D

Joseph said...

When you said indie films in your video the first movie that came to my mind was Old Boy. Remember that one shot fight scene in the corridor? That was pretty cool.

The rest of the movie ... whack.