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The Things that Children Know

Every night I’m at home, I read to my little boy before he goes to sleep.

“Little” I say, but he’s creeping up on six now. It doesn’t matter. He will always be my little boy.

Every night we read. Usually at least 10 minutes. Usually not more than an hour. A couple short chapters. A dozen pages. Maybe just a picture book if I’m exhausted. Maybe just a page or two. But I always try to read him something.

We worked our way through all the Little House on the Prairie books this way. We read the Hobbit together. I hope to do Narnia soon.

I may not be the best dad all the time. I travel too much. I work too much. I have a short temper. I’m overly critical. But in this one thing I know I’m doing something right. Reading at night like my mother read to me.

Right now we’re between books. We took a run at Treasure Island, and he seemed to be enjoying it fairly well. But it was requiring a lot of explanation and on-the-fly editing….

And let’s be honest here: *I* wasn’t that into it. Besides, the further we kept reading, the more concerned I was going to have to explain what sodomy was.

So tonight we were looking for something to read, and I wasn’t quite ready to start Narnia yet… so I pulled a couple books off the shelf and let him pick.

He picked this:

velveteen-rabbit-cover

The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a book I’m terribly fond of, though I haven’t read in ages. In fact, the only piece of art I have on my wall here in my home office is a piece of art based off a quote from the book.

20150807_032856

(Witness the unspeakable glamor of my office.)

Yeah. I could take a better picture, but that would mean standing up. Trust me, it’s art based on a quote from the book. My mom gave it to me.

And just to be clear, it’s not that I don’t *have* any other art. It’s just that I’ve only lived here, like, six years, and I haven’t got around to decorating yet.

Anyway, I didn’t know we had a copy of this book until I pulled it off the shelf. But I was delighted when Oot picked it, because, as I’ve said, the book has a special place in my heart.  I was eager to read it after a decade or two away from it.

So I start reading, and in about three pages I’m crying so hard I can’t actually make words.

This is the passage that did it to me. It’s the same quote that’s on my wall:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Even just cutting and pasting that into the blog made me all teary again.

So there I am, sitting on the couch, crying too hard to keep reading, and Oot looks over at me and says, “Are you all right, Dad?”

Luckily, this sort of behavior isn’t something out of the blue for him. Sarah is a Olympic-caliber crier. She cries when she’s happy. When she’s sad. When she’s ambivalent. Because she loves me. Because she’s mad at me. Because she’s mad about the fact that she loves me. Pretty much any emotion, action, situation, or change in temperature can lead to weeping.

And I’m only being slightly hyperbolic here. Ten years back, I asked Sarah how much she thought she had cried in her life. Something quantifiable: volume of tears shed. She guessed it at somewhere over seven gallons. And honestly, I think she might have been conservative in her estimation.

So. Oot is no stranger to out-of-the-blue crying. He gets up off the couch, gets me a tissue, and brings it back. He’s a good boy.

As I sit there, trying to pull myself back together, I try to think of how I can explain why I’m crying. The truth is, I’m not entirely sure myself.  Sometimes a story just hits me a certain way and it destroys me. The Last Unicorn Does it all through the book. Gaiman’s Sandman in places.

But while Oot is a pretty perspicacious little guy, he doesn’t have the vocabulary I’d need to explain this. Or the experience base. Or the emotional wherewithal.

Still, I feel like I owe him an explanation. There’s nothing obviously sad in this part of the story. Not even a little. That’s got to be confusing.

“Some things are hard to explain,” I said. “Because some people know things that other people don’t.”

He’s listening to me. He nods.

“You know how you’re scared of going into the basement?” I ask him.

He nods again, his little face serious.

“That’s something you know,” I say to him. “You know that the basement is scary when it’s dark.” I pointed to myself. “I don’t know that. It’s hard for me to understand because I’m a grown-up. That means if you tell me that the basement is scary, I have to get you to explain it to me. Or I just have to trust you when you tell me it’s scary to you.”

He nods a third time. This makes sense to him. He knows that I don’t have a problem with the basement, but at the same time he knows it’s scary.

“There are some things only I know,” I tell him. “When I read this part of the book, I get happy and sad and I can’t help crying. You don’t feel that way, and it might not make sense to you, but it’s still the way I feel.”

He reached out then and patted my arm. “That’s okay, dad,” he said gently, “I believe you.”

He’s my sweet boy.

More soon,

pat

This entry was posted in Oot, Stories about stories.. By Pat52 Responses

52 Comments

  1. Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Sniff. He’s such a good boy.

    The Last Unicorn makes me tear up too. And Stone Fox, and Where The Red Fern Grows, and Bridge to Terribithia. And if the mood his me just right Leo the Late Bloomer.

    My sister and I endlessly amuse her 3 year old daughter crying uncontrollably through the “Do you want to build a snowman” from Frozen.

  2. sbherr
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Beautiful blog. You’re not alone in weeping your way through The Velveteen Rabbit. My son is still too young for that book, but I dread/am looking forward to sharing it with him.

  3. tarvik
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    I may not cry through the Velveteen Rabbit (I haven’t read it since I was a boy myself), but I sure want to cry when I read about Oot’s responses. That child is far too precious…

  4. Pafkay
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    I totally understand this, we have a picture of my eldest son with his bear “Spencer” beside him in his cot/crib on the day of his birth. Fast forward seven years, terror number 1 and his bear are totally inseparable, the bear is all misshapen, his eyes are scratched and he would never survive another trip around the washing machine, but Spencer is totally “real”

    Thinking of this brought a lump to my throat, thank you :)

  5. Auri Rodrigues
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    Believe it: you are writing a beautiful real story with your family.
    All the best for you always!

  6. DraccusPlum
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    So…Damn you, Rothfuss, you’ve turned me into a blubbering idiot. Proof:

    Any no one is a Perfect Father, but it seems like you usually get most of it right.

    • DraccusPlum
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

      And I’m too blubbering to figure out how to edit that to have the Proof: and not as the next sentence. So, uh. Sorry, Internets.

  7. Kthaeh
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    Wow. Just wow.

  8. Cronos
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    He’s a good dad.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Khyshael
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    You are a great father. You make the time when you are home to do that with him and it will stick. And you are teaching him great things by doing what you said to him as an explanation. :)

    I love this book. Reading this reminds me that I need to get a copy to add to my daughter’s collection so I can read it to her and eventually we can read it together.

  10. Christer
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    Sometimes the words reach out of the page and tug on something. I, for example, can’t read the section where Kvothe is talking to Auri in his room without getting choked up. And kudos to you for reading to him, books have always been part of the bedtime ritual with my kids, just like it was for me when I was young. Readers beget Readers, and the world is better for it.

  11. Pam Doremus
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this post. As my boys got older, they would always choose The Velveteen Rabbit and watch me struggle to read without crying. I would try to hide the book, but they always found it. You flavored my morning with great memories.

  12. arvy_p
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    Now you’ve made ME cry. Thanks for spreading tears. Moments with kids like this are beautiful.

  13. Posted August 7, 2015 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    As a new mother going through postpartum depression, this struck me. I love my son, and I know I love my son with all my heart, but I feel ragged and shamed and guilty much of the time. I know my son loves me, in his infant way, and has since he was born 7 weeks early.

    And I am surviving it. “It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.” I am becoming a better mother, a better person.

    I love your books, and am a writer myself, hoping to write fiction, but it seems like my first book will be nonfiction about my son’s early birth. I’m starting that at pressurestory.com.

    • Posted August 7, 2015 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

      Damn. I’m so sorry. Postpartum depression can be a hugely crushing thing.

      Do you have someone helping out with it? It hit Sarah with Kid 2 pretty hard, and our Midwife gave her something that helped balance back out, chemically.

      I could dig up the name of it if you like…

    • MG Schroeder
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

      Same thing happened to my wife when she had our boy about a decade ago. It’s an awful thing and it took a while for her to get sorted out. It’s not the only reason why, but it played a significant role in the the fact that we only had one child. I hope you have someone helping you. I can’t pretend to know what it’s like, but I watched someone I love go through it too and if there’s one thing I wished she’d have done earlier it was to go in for help. She tried to “just deal with it” or “tough it out” and frankly it ended up lasting longer and cycling higher as a result. Good thoughts your way. Take care Beverly.

    • LadyIsta
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

      Beverly, I just wanna tell you: you are not alone. Depression is the pits, especially when you have a new thing to take care of. One of the hardest things for me was that I felt like I couldn’t talk about this crushing weight, that I should only be in ecstatic-mom-mode. If you ever need to talk to someone going through the same thing, drop me a line.

  14. Jeddy
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Reading to my 7 year old son is one of my favorite things. My wife and I alternate books. She’s working through the Harry Potter books, I just finished the first half of The Two Towers.

    I’ve enjoyed Tolkien much more reading out loud than I ever did on my previous readings.

  15. abodenha
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know if there is a best dad of all time. Every dad is human, and being a parent is the hardest job in the world. There’s no way to not get it wrong, a lot.

    But from where I’m sitting it looks like Oot could do FAR worse. :-)

  16. Packman
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    That’s a great story Pat, I have a son who is almost 5 and I’m dying to start reading him some more interesting books, do you have any tips for how you choose the books that you read with Oot?

  17. smileyvirgo1
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    I loved this heartwarming story. You know, most awful dads are convinced they are great, but it seems all great dads have a bit of doubt about themselves. I felt honored to be allowed the glimpse into your precious moment, with your precious son. And while the quote is wonderful for beloved security “blankies” and toys, and while it can absolutely be applicable for many people in our lives, when I read the blog through the first time, for me it was all about Kvothe’s stories. Pat’s writing and editing process have made every page of his books as beloved to us as my daughter’s stuffed unicorn (Darla) is to her. Thank you, Pat, for making Kvothe and Bast and Auri and Elodin and Kilvin and Felurian and everyone else all REAL for me. You are truly a wizard in your own right, sir.

  18. eweedin
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Pat, The Velveteen Rabbit holds such a special place in my heart as well. My Grandmother took care of me when I was young as my mother was finishing college. I developed a close friendship with her and although I lost her 13 years ago, not a day goes by that I don’t miss her terribly. When I was a baby, she read to me while I sat in her lap. The newspaper, novels, kids books, it didn’t matter. She used this time to introduce me to Dickens, Tolkein, Twain, St. Exupery and more. Imagine a second grader reading The Hobbit with his Grandmother! The Velveteen Rabbit made me sad often as a little kid, but was still a frequent request of mine. I grew up and as time grew, the memory of that book faded. When Grandmother passed, Grandpa let me go through her books to choose what I wanted. I found the book and immediately reread it. Weeping like a little boy. My Grandmother was the most Real person I have ever known. I can’t even see that book without a smile that just barely holds back the tears. I miss her every day. I always will.

  19. Posted August 7, 2015 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    Being and becoming. This reminds me of David Bentley Hart’s most recent work…

  20. MG Schroeder
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    I read that one to my son when he was five. When he learned to read he took it into his room and read it to himself for about two months straight before he brought it back down and asked my wife to read it to him every day for a couple of weeks. It remains one of his favorites. My wife tears up every time she reads it. That one doesn’t get to me, but there are others that do. “Guess How Much I Love You” kicked my ass when I read it to my baby the first time when he was about 3 months old, and pretty much every time I read it to him until he was old enough that he chooses to read most nights on his own. Now that he’s 10, sometimes he pulls it off the shelf and tells me to read it to him and then chuckles because he knows it made me cry back when I read to him all the time. I usually make some excuse because I’m brainwashed enough to not be able to divorce myself from the notion that it’s not cool for men to cry over something like a children’s book. Not always though, but when I say I’ll read it to him he gets embarrassed and doesn’t actually let me do it these days.

  21. Elizabeth
    Posted August 7, 2015 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    The book I can’t get through without tears is “Oh The Places You’ll Go”. I never read it until I bought it for my kid, and it hit me in all the Feels.

    I don’t know about my kid, but I am gonna move mountains.

    My kid is 7 now and prefers to read without me, but she’s always got her head in a book and that makes my heart happier than if she loved the books I love. As long as she’s reading.

  22. tyrarachele
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    My children know that I can not get through the endings of many books without tears. The Little Prince and Wrinkle in Time are especially hard for me. And, of course, Charlotte’s Web. I just finished reading The Last Unicorn for the first time and the section when Molly Grue meets the unicorn hit me so hard. Now some of my kids are now at the age where they can take over the reading for a few paragraphs while I pull myself together. It won’t be long before your boy asks, “Do you want me to read?”

  23. Sarita
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

    Any chance you’ll give us the grown-up explanation?

    I understand if it’s personal. Or if it’s the same. The answer you gave Oot is as good an answer as anyone could reasonably ask for.

  24. SporkTastic
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 3:19 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Pat. I needed that.

  25. Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    The one I can’t read without crying is the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Gets me every time.

  26. AnotherLiz
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Mo Willems has a book City Dog, Country Frog that gets me every time. The Velveteen Rabbit and the Steadfast Tin Soldier also do me in.

    Since I have a 6-year-old and have read her the Little House and Narnia books, may I share some of our other favorites? They include Redwall, The Reluctant Dragon, Trumpet of the Swan, Catwings (and sequels… trust a Le Guin children’s book to make me cry), Misty of Chincoteague (and sequels), and we’re currently reading The Black Stallion and its sequels. I think we may tackle Howl’s Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci Quartet next.

  27. Avarweth
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    I love how you can put things into words when I didn’t even know there were words that could fit. Your explanation of that elusive feeling almost brings me to tears. Thank you, as always.

  28. ARMed_PIrate
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Great story, Pat. Thanks for sharing. I’ve had a few moments hit me that way, too, occasionally in the Discworld books, but also a few others, and a few places in video game RPGs. A scene involving Chu-Chu in Xenogears hit me surprisingly hard; thinking back on it, it also involved a living stuffed animal explaining the nature of love.

    My dad was also very busy with work and not around very much, and very, very critical, but he did read to my brother and me, which is something I’ll always be thankful for. He read us the Oz books, many of which his dad read to him.

    If you’re looking for something at least as accessible as the Narnia books, but (honestly) much more creative (and not at all allegorical, despite what U.S. History teachers will have you believe), I can’t recommend the Oz series enough. It goes on practically forever, even if you only stick to the ones written by L. Frank Baum. If you include the ones written by others who took over the series later, you’ll probably never hit the end. And the only thing that comes close in terms of the sheer wealth of bizarreness is its contemporary, Little Nemo in Slumberland.

  29. Alex_Mars
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never posted before, but this post just demanded a response.

    I lost my father a month ago and he is the one who (like your mother) introduced me to Middle Earth and Narnia. (He never got to meet Kvothe, but I know he would have loved him.) He always read to my brothers and I every night and it was one of the greatest gifts anyone ever gave me. I remember him crying when he read us Charlotte’s Web and though I didn’t really understand the complexity of his emotions when I was little, it’s one of the most precious memories I have of him that he was willing to be that honest and vulnerable with his children. No father is perfect, but it sounds like you’re a damn good one. Your little ones are very lucky.

  30. mxg312
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Pat. I love your posts on parenting just as much as your books. I have 2 girls similar in age to Oot and Cutie Snoo. I’ve never read the velveteen rabbit, but now we will!

  31. Arydis
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    When the conventions and touring stops, even if you never write another page, even if Kvothe’s story lies unfinished throughout time, and if the movie/tv deals break apart while the internets rage against you, you can still be Real to your two children. That is one of the loveliest truths of all. I was glad to hear you share this part of yourself.

  32. cvarner
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Yeah, Pat — you’re a rotten dad. On the other hand, I’ll turn 52 this year — any chance you might adopt me? :)

    Thought I’d put a vote in for “A Wrinkle in Time” as a book for Oot. He would understand it at face value, pick up the symbolism later…

  33. Jigawatt
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    The only thing that has made me feel the same as this passage from Velveteen is the one you wrote of Auri and her bronze wheel.
    “This is a gear. It is all of brass. It is broken and brazen and perfect and true. It is entirely scintillant and sweet and will not tarnish. Of course. Nothing proper true need fear of growing dull. Dun. Done. Dim. Dint. It is a pin. When all the world is palimpsest, it is a perfect palindrome. Inviolate.”
    I met you at comic con and was too starstruck to say anything of substance but this one little quote has resonated in me and made me feel stronger during what I will hope is the darkest time I will go through. Somethings can be broken and still perfect. Somethings can be belabored by all life has but shine no less bright. Because that’s the nature of them. It’s simple and hopeful and wonderful. I doubt I will come out of this shining, true, or perfect but I have a little more hope that when this chapter is said and done I won’t be too bad off.
    Thank you for helping me find a spark of hope and giving me an escape in your work. I wish I could fully express how deeply I care for your books and what they have given me.

  34. lewis
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, not a kids book but I read it around 12 years old. That book repeatedly beat me round the head with life lessons and beauty amid broken people and things. well worth a tear or two in places.

  35. Pedro Cruz
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    On one hand, I’d love to see your stories on film, on the other, we know it won’t be the same. Even if it’s good, it’s never as good as what your words trigger in our imagination.

    Movies? Would 3 hours ever be long enough? Tv series? Wouldn’t 1 week pauses make it confusing?

    Eventually, there’ll be enough pressure to turn it into reality, but if Slow Regard ever taught me anything is that every thing has its place. I trust you’ll find it, wherever it might be. Afterall, you don’t get to turn such a complex book into a success without proper thinking and planning.

  36. kiah85
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    So, I am a clinical mental health counselor and I was struck by the fact that you think you are not a good father. I just want to point out that the purpose is not to be perfect but to be consistent and involved. You do both of those things it seems to me. Be encouraged, you are doing a good job if half of what you write about Oot is truth.

    Additionally, a disturbingly large number of teenagers and young adults (heck, older people too) who come through my office simply do not know how to think. Left to themselves, they are unable to consider what happened, pull the truth out, and apply it to their life. Nobody has ever taught them how to think things through.

    I would be willing to bet that your children will never fall into this category of people because you take the time to teach them how to think. Kudos to you sir, that is rare in this day and age, don’t knock it.

  37. Gunzy
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    As a long time fan and reader of your work I’m not sure why it took me so long to register here, but this post did it for me. I just want to say thank you for sharing this moment.

  38. Kristen Nicoson
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts in such a raw and real way. I work in an elementary school library and I read to children every day. Sometimes we are reading a book that has some tough parts to get through. Some parts of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate make me weep to the point that I have to stop and collect myself. I was reading it to 5 different classes last year and would cry at the same parts each time! Shoot, one day I even cried reading the Gettysburg Address! It’s very moving.

    My boys are 19 and 15 and I miss the days when they were little. Thanks for giving us a peek into your family’s life and letting us enjoy the tales of your delightful son.

  39. pininer
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    Three times he nodded. It’s only right.

  40. CorinneTS
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    My sister gave me a nephew 15 months ago and I have already got books for future presents, in case i get hit by a flying saucer. Mostly I find myself trying to figure out how old he has to be b/4 I give him books like magic’s pawn. A couple of books mom read me around rhe same time sge read Narnia, Lloyd Alexander black cauldron series, the princess and goblins, and the princess and curdy.

  41. trallala
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    Three things come to mind:

    1. Remember Commander Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s novels, who, no matter what strange circumstances he was in, always took extreme measures to get back to his son to read to him?

    2. The Quote from The Velveteen Rabbit is great on many levels. Seem’s like I’ll read that this evening, if it’s online somewhere.

    3. Patrick seems to be the most awesome father who ever was or will be.

    • Karissima
      Posted August 17, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with Vimes on my mind when I read this…

  42. Guille
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    I love how you share with us these tiny warm stories from your everyday life. It helps to close the gap between you as an author and we as the fans, making it a closer relationship.

    Oot is growing to be a respectable man. Both you and Sarah seem to be awesome parents, so keep up the good work.

    P.S.: Don’t wait too much to start Narnia! Marvelous saga that one…

  43. bunzostuarde
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    I am writing a non fiction book and much of it is about being real in just the way the Velveteen Rabbit quote described. I’m blown away. I have read that book numerous times and never saw the depth I grokked reading your blog. I am a new reader and LOVE your writing. I especially loved “The Slow Regard of Silent Things” Auri is Real. Wounded and real. Anyway Hi and thanks for you and your openness. Can Hardly wait for Book 3 of THE KINGKILLER series.

  44. ability
    Posted August 17, 2015 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    The Things that Children Know most likely if the book doesnt go out next year they are gonna screw you

  45. Epitome613
    Posted August 18, 2015 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    There are seven words some guy wrote that made me completely break down the first time I read it. Even now, I get teary eyed.

    “I’m never going to see her again.”

    Thank you for your wonderful work, Mr. Rothfuss.

  46. Govir
    Posted August 24, 2015 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Just so you know, there are two moments in your books that always hit me, and I can’t even explain it to myself. They happen close to each other as Kvothe is leaving Tarbean

    – Trapis’s “reaction” to cleaned up Kvothe (or lack there of)
    – The cobbler chapter, specifically: “Those shoes, on the other hand, are used, and I don’t sell used shoes.”

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