books & music topic

Book review: "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss

I have read many stories in which poor orphans experience adventures in a medieval world. But none has touched and captivated me as much as the life of Kvothe, who loses his parents as a boy and denies his life in the world of Patrick Rothfuss. With his first novel "The Name of the Wind", the author has invented a lively, colorful world in which I would like to live myself.

The story begins with the chronicler Devan Lochees, who is attacked on the street and meets the hero of the book. Kvothe is a legend, a warrior and hero who supposedly died in a great battle, and he now lives as the owner of a hostel in a village that is away from civilization. However, the chronicler does not only see the exhausted innkeeper in him, as the other villagers do. He recognizes the hero of his childhood and decides to write down his self-told life story.

The novel is written in two time strands. In the frame story, Kvothe tells of the first years of his life on a day in the inn. At the end of the book, he has already experienced an incredible amount and is only 15 years old. He grows as one of the Edema Ruh, known as traveling jugglers. From his father, he learns to play sounds, write songs, and play any role he wants, and a traveling Arcanist begins to teach him how to practice magic. His loving environment and childhood is suddenly destroyed and he begins a life full of difficulties and dangers. His goal – the famous university. There he quickly becomes known for his intelligence, his talent for magic and his tendency to break rules and make enemies.

The world that Patrick Rothfuss invented is as colorful and full of contrasts as the characters Kvothe encounters in his life. You can see the big city of Tarbean reading in front of you and feel the sublime atmosphere of the university. Especially the friends Kvothe meets there are very versatile and complex. This makes them look real and you get to know the people very well while reading. An important topic that plays a role again and again are cultural differences and prejudices that can arise from this. Especially the students of the university come from many different situations and cultural backgrounds, which always has an influence on their actions.

The book itself has many different moods, although there is always a tragic undertone, like a longing for the past. After all, Kvothe has lost everything he talks about and regrets his current condition. Nevertheless, as a reader you can laugh from time to time and the mood is loosened up by your own comments. After all, he tells his story himself, decorates a lot and admits again and again how ignorant he was as a boy and what stupidities he did.

You can immerse yourself in a completely different world while reading and sometimes enjoy longer landscape or place descriptions. The characters are very real and (sometimes less) sympathetic from the beginning. Above all, Patrick Rothfuss' style inspired me. He has a very lyrical narrative style, the story takes surprising turns from time to time and is very varied in plot and language.

I can recommend the book "The Name of the Wind" to anyone who likes to read fantastic stories, full of everyday problems in a strange world, with mysterious allies, loyal friends and bitter enemies, old prophecies and a lonely and tragic hero.

(Text: Katharina Schwerdt)

Konzerticht: "Alte Bekannte" in Essen

Franka from our editorial team was at a concert of the band 'Alte Bekannte' in Essen. She shares her impressions about the concert and her opinion on the newly formed a capella group in her article with us.

The waiting and mourning has come to an end, because at least 3/5 of the last Wise Guys cast are back on stage together.

Old acquaintances: The name says it all, at least for most of the evening's viewers in Essen, because 'Alte Bekannte' is the successor band of the Wise Guys. If you don't know them: The Wise Guys were one of the best and most famous a capella groups in Germany. Yes, I have to admit - I was a big fan myself.

Most Wise Guys fans already know three band members of the Old Acquaintances (Dän, Nils and Björn), together with Clemens and Ingo they form the band. 

Admittedly, I was really sad when the Wise Guys announced their end and I saw them the last times at the final concerts. The old acquaintances were the hope for me to get over the separation. In December 2017, the five men released their debut album "Wir sind da!" and played their first concert in Essen on March 18 in the Weststadthalle. 

In my opinion, you can see similarities to the Wise Guys, which is probably due to the fact that the "lyricist" has remained Danish - but despite the similarities, the Old Acquaintances are also quite different. 

Anyone who has ever been to a Wise Guys concert knows that you can't compare it to any other concert. It was similar with Alte Bekannte. You could count them as vocal pop, but everything from rock songs to profound ballads is included.

Of course, the five mainly played their new songs, but also a few older hits of the Wise Guys were there. (Which ones I prefer not to reveal due to various discussions in fan forums!)

I always talked myself into one thing before the concert, but I've only really made it now: Wise Guys and Old Acquaintances are just as little compared as apples and pears. Nevertheless, I have drawn the comparison in this article again and again, what I think many Wise Guys fans feel: But they are just two different bands. The Alte Bekannte see themselves as the successor of the Wise Guys, but also as a completely new band, about which they themselves have made jokes several times. They draw this comparison with a certain irony themselves , but in a certain way do not want it at all.

A large part of the audience was certainly fans of the Wise Guys, which could be seen from the fact that many new songs were listened to intently and the old Wise Guys songs all sang along loudly. The audience consisted of a colorful mix of all ages and the atmosphere was terrific. A spectator remarked after the concert: "You can tell that the band itself [again] is having a lot more fun".

In general, it was a very nice and relaxed evening. Although the halls of Alte Bekannte are much smaller than those of the Wise Guys, most of the concerts, as well as the Weststadthalle in Essen, are sold out.

I can't wait until I see the five-piece band again in the Tanzbrunnen in Cologne. The album is ordered!