Patrick Rothfuss, or how I learned to love audio and stopped dislocating my shoulder by carrying really really heavy hardbacks in my satchel on my way to work…

Hi, my name is Paul…

Hi Paul!

Hi, my name is Paul and I’m a Rothfuss-aholic…

Well, I thought I ought to get that out of the way early.

I started working for Orion in 2007 about 7 months before first publication of THE NAME OF THE WIND and first encountered it at the London Book Fair that year. I was intrigued and asked the editor for more details and she told me that, having taken 100 pages of the first draft home to read before acquisition she had come back to the office on a Saturday morning to print off the rest of the script, it was that good. I enthusiastically stole a bound proof and took it home one weekend to read. I finished the book at 2am on Monday morning. I’d pretty much read it in one sitting and it remains the best thing I’ve read since starting at Orion (and the book I’ve recommended to most other people).

So, if you haven’t read this book yet there’s the build up for you all to get past! I know it’s odd to have a blog post about something that is now almost five years old, but recent events have made this book a lot more relevant, at least to me. After much needling, pleading, threatening and negotiating (not necessarily in that order) I managed to convince my boss to acquire the unabridged audio rights to the whole series, and after much backing and forth-ing we managed to secure a deal and get Patrick’s approval on a reader for the series.

We brought in Rupert Degas, an audio legend, and producer Peter Rinne (aka Black Pete – one of the very best in the business, check out SONGS OF THE EARTH, WHITE CROW and MOON OVER SOHO for more proof!) and set to work. In March this year, after 22 days of recording to produce nearly 80 hours of finished audio, we released THE NAME OF THE WIND, with THE WISE MAN’S FEAR following three weeks later, both split into two parts due to their lengths. As their ratings on audible clearly demonstrate, the end products are really something very special. I had planned to write a lengthy exposition on just why the audio, and the book, are quite so good, but I think it’s better to let THE NAME OF THE WIND, and the reviews it’s got, speak for itself…

Peter’s orchestration, Rupert’s ability with voices and a magnificent opening. 5 distinct characters built and voiced in 6 minutes. Cob is particularly good. – extract one on our soundcloud page.

One of my very favourite passages in the audio – Kote and Bast as an arguing couple! I always picture Bast stamping his feet, half Salem good-wife, half spoilt child, which a calmly exasperated Kote slowly bleeding onto the floor. – extract two on our soundcloud page.

Patrick’s writing at its flowing best as he writes Kvothe’s descent into grief. – extract four on our soundcloud page.

A friend of mine – a real fantasy connoisseur and now an avid fan of the series – described Patrick’s writing as elegant and the audio edition makes that even more obvious – the words just flow past into the ears and the hours pass like seconds – listening is effortless . But a good audiobook can add so much to the experience, and so it proves in this case. When you reach Trappis’ story in his basement hospital and Scarpi’s tale of Lanre, Patrick’s skill as a storyteller comes to the fore. This second-hand narrative, an even older layer of narrative, plants him firmly in the kind of territory that Ursula le Guin inhabits – writing something that sounds ancient, like lore that should be read from a dusty leather tome in some long forgotten library. The audio edition is full of little gems of audio magic – Kvothe and Denna aping the Swinherd in Trebon, Ben’s very moving leaving party, Kvothe and Ambrose sparring at the university, an array of brilliant voices as he stands before the horns… I could go on and on and on.

But don’t just take our word for it – head to (or if you’re not in the UK – though unfortunately our edition isn’t available for customers in the USA or Canada) and read some of the brilliant reviews from all around the world, and if you’ve never tried an audio book then give it a go – his name is Kvothe, and now you’ve heard him…

Extract three on our soundcloud page.

Paul S

Paul Stark has worked for Orion for five years and has been involved with Orion Audio for nearly two years after a childhood reading Terry Pratchett and Anne McCaffrey books. He fell into publishing after a Christmas selling books and eighteen months working in stripes in an American themed restaurant, so he also knows how to make balloon animals. He lives in Greenwich, where time was invented. His favourite authors are Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie and Téa Obreht.
  • Wonderful website. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your effort!

  • Ne

    I LOVED loved loved Rupert Degas’s reading of the KKC! Surprisingly I couldn’t find anything on Patrick R’s blog about what he thought of the audio book.

    In anycase, I have book marked all the songs on the audio book and love to hear them 🙂 Bast’s “how odd..”*or the white riders song or Kvothe singing “Little Jenny No Shoes” – what incredibly rich fun!

    I’m glad things clicked so well together! =D

    *i often look at my little doggie when listening to the song and it makes me cry. Some people may take offense at this way of seeing things not understanding how a family looks at a creature that brings only joy in being and belonging.