The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed

If you've been following Patrick Rothfuss' blog, you are aware that the guy can have a twisted sense of humor. Having met him in person, I can attest that what you read on his blog pretty much does justice to the author.;-)

So when I found out that he would be writing a "Not a kid's" book illustrated by Nate Taylor, my curiosity was immediately piqued. And when the folks at Subterranean Press sent me an Advance Reading Copy, I couldn't help it and read the whole thing in a few minutes.

Here's the blurb:

This is not a book for children.

It looks like a children's book. It has pictures. It has a saccharine-sweet title. The main characters are a little girl and her teddy bear. But all of that is just protective coloration. The truth is, this is a book for adults with a dark sense of humor and an appreciation of old-school faerie tales.

There are three separate endings to the book. Depending on where you stop, you are left with an entirely different story. One ending is sweet, another is horrible. The last one is the true ending, the one with teeth in it.

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle is a dark twist on the classic children's picture-book. I think of it as Calvin and Hobbes meets Coraline, with some Edward Gorey mixed in.

Simply said: This is not a book for children.

Visually, I must say that Nate Taylor did a great job. The art features all the trappings of a children's book. Humorous and cute in the foreground, yet a closer inspection reveals a few details that have nothing to do with children's books. The artist managed to give shape to Rothfuss' narrative perfectly, creating a wonderful imagery in the process.

Story-wise, Patrick Rothfuss uses our own childhood preconceptions to surprise us with unexpected twists. It's a fun read, albeit a short one. But for Rothfuss' biggest fans and collectors, The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed should do the trick. And I have a feeling that will be seeing more of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle in the future.

For more info about this title, check out the Subpress website.

26 commentaires:

machinery said...

so let me get this straight :
1) he has a series to finish, although he says it's already finished.
2) the first book was published 3 years ago (?), and the next books are stalled because of what exactly ?
3) he has time for a wierd children-not-children book.

I think it's fair to say that this attitude is not of a proffesional author, just someone who writes books.

alabrava said...

Ok, so go have your first ever book be a gigantic success, then have your first child, and see how much time you have on your hands. He does not owe his time to you. Noone held a gun to your head to make you buy his first book.

mathias said...

I imagine it's hard to force revisions when the point of the revision is to go beyond your everyday skill of putting words on a page, as Rothfuss still wants to become better in his craft.
And as many readers like to read more than one book at a time, so an author might have enough muse to switch between revising the draft of one book and a children-not-children book.


Unknown said...

Rothfuss is the same kind of lazy bum as George R. Martin. I am sure he will start to write aboute a blog about football as well. Most people write their effing PHD thesis in 3-4 years. Let´s face it: Rothfuss and Martin waste their truly enormous talent. That´s a shame. But an even greater shame lies in the behavior of those like Pat, who defend such bs at all cost and even feel good about themselves.

machinery said...

alabrava, no one holds a gun, correct.
and i made the mistake of buying the book (in part because of pat's glowing recommendation).
my questions come from what i've read of the books being offered as one big book, by rothfuss himself.
then he split it into 3 books.
there are more details of course, which I don't remember in full, but if he wrote the whole thing up, then how come 3 years after the release of the first, he still didn't issue the second ?
my questions have nothing to do with a martin-writers-block type of rants.
my questions are reasonable in that regard.
whether YOU agree or not.

mathias said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Truly, you are not in the position to judge, how a writer spends his time is entirely up to himself. He holds no obligation to you, nor did you invest in his future books. Rothfuss wants his books at their best when they hit the store, this he promised. You wreak havoc while you're duly misinformed, machinery. Rothfuss already turned in his manuscript and the little childrens book's story was thought up long before The Name of the Wind came out. It was his friend who did most of the developing of the children's book, and thus did not interrupt Rothfuss' writing, much. People like you make me sick, machinery.

machinery said...

i've met people like you.
you like to make yourself appear better than others, and that is the only point of your post.
have fun in your life, people like you go to hell.

Paradoxicaldr said...

I'm of the opinion that it's up to the author on when they want to write or release a book. Complaining about it comes off a tad selfish, don't you think?

machinery said...

paradoxical, the author makes the decisions.
i agree.
but i have a right to criticize him, regardless.
and the questions i asked originaly are the basis of the criticism.
believe me, his first book, didn't make me a die hard fan, my questions have merit, even if it doesn't mean the author has to answer them.

and neil gaiman can go fuck himself "he's not your bitch", is not the case here.

Unknown said...

I should like to point out that Pat wrote THE ADVENTURES OF THE PRINCESS AND MR. WHIFFLE years before his first fantasy novel was published.


Unknown said...

Heh, from such a small thing comes a soap-opera. Guys, seriously, just move along. Bitching over a children's book? Grow the fuck up.

alabrava said...

I would have LOVED to see what an author like Mark Twain would have said about people like machinery.

machinery said...

alabrava, you and everyone who respond to me in this way are a mob that just happens to read books.
wtf did I do that was so wrong ?
where is this sanctimonious shit coming from ?

how is it that i ask some questions and this "jeff" can say "you make me sick" and it's nothing.

how is it that in a blog about books, criticism is the first thing that is thrown out of the window ?

a mob with books ...

Unknown said...

Your criticism is poor. Not only in form, but in content. You start by complaining about your fellow commenter's, by saying things like, 'I've met people like you', which is just asking for backlash. Upon scrolling through your previous comments, I find it difficult to understand where your argument is coming from, but I'll attempt by answering your original post. You said:

'so let me get this straight :
1) he has a series to finish, although he says it's already finished.
2) the first book was published 3 years ago (?), and the next books are stalled because of what exactly ?
3) he has time for a wierd children-not-children book.

I think it's fair to say that this attitude is not of a proffesional author, just someone who writes books.'

This book has nothing to do with his series. It's a kids book. Have you ever seen one of those? They're small, and especially considering this one has illustrations, I'd imagine you could flip through it in 2 minutes.

You say it's 3 years since his last book, but it isn't quite. He handed in his first draft of the manuscript to his editor on May 11th, 2009, which was 2 years after the first book got published. Considering all that is going on in his life, and that this was following his début novel, I think he's not doing bad. I'd expect to see Wise Man's Fear sooner, rather than later.

You criticise his attitude, yet you can't come up with decent reasons as to why. Go away and do a re-think.

machinery said...

renasko, i am first to comment here.
and was attacked by this jeff.
and I responded to him.
then alabrava attacked me, and i responded again.
that is a fact, read the comments and tell me who i attacked here without provocation.

as for form ... wtf do u care about my writing skill, poor as it is, I do not presume to be anything more than I am.

btw, you are the first to answer my questions, the other two attacked me and ignored my questions.

let me sum my questions so that you'll see my point :
a guy sends a book , then splits it in 3, and then waits 3 years between the first book, and the second, which is already written.
maybe you can understand the logic in this, I can't.

and let me make myself clear, no one is above criticism.
as for me, I don't respect this kind of behaviour from an author.
if there are reasons that I am not aware of, then my criticism is invalid, but until I know enough , I can only base my opinion on what I know.
in this case, he has written the FULL book, released the first part, and just went on hiatus.

and please, a question, what do you think about jeff and alabrava attacking me like this without provocation ?
is that agreeable by you ?

Adam Whitehead said...

"a guy sends a book , then splits it in 3, and then waits 3 years between the first book, and the second, which is already written.
maybe you can understand the logic in this, I can't."

Rothfuss oversold the 'book being done' angle, by his own admission. The 'completed book' was very rough and it took some time to knock THE NAME OF THE WIND into shape. However, the changes to that book required significant rewriting and revision of THE WISE MAN'S FEAR to make it match up, apparently far more than was first realised, including significant rewriting of the original draft. It took a while for Rothfuss to get a handle on this, especially as he also had to deal with his wife's pregnancy, his mother's passing away and the enormous PR efforts that come from having such a huge bestseller as his first novel.

I do agree that the "This trilogy is complete and will require some moderate polishing up before publication," info we got back in 2007 was misleading, but since Rothfuss has apologised (and unlike the GRRM situation where the promises about publication dates were in the book for all to see, with Rothfuss that info was only available online in the first place, so it's not quite the same situation) I'm not sure if there is much more that can be done about the situation, especially as Bill said, this children's book was also written a long time ago and has had no bearing on the situation with WISE MAN'S FEAR.

Whilst I think Machinery's reply about someone going to hell was out of order, I also think there is a gram of legitimacy to his complaints. I know people who refuse to buy unfinished series because of the WoT/ASoIaF situations who did pick up NAME OF THE WIND specifically because of the promise that all three books were already done and would be out at 12-month intervals, and I can see why those people would be quite irritated at this situation.

Unknown said...

I am constantly amazed at the attitude of entitlement that has become so prevelant these days. Authors, musicians, game designers, etc owe each and every one of us one thing- our money's worth upon purchase. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am eagerly awaiting not only the Rothfuss follow up, but Scott Lynch's as well (and that one may very well be 'vapor ware' for all we know,) but I have never felt entitled to bitch because it's been 'X' number of years between books.

Dunno....different strokes for different folks, I guess.

machinery said...

adam whitehead, tnx for the answer.
much of what you said i didn't know and it covers things nicely.
that was my whole issue here.
rothfuss is too "young" for me to rant at him like at martin, which I barely do (and should do much more).
and my "go to hell" came as a reply to someone who said to me FIRST "you make me sick".
so, let's put things in ORDER.

Anonymous said...

Machinery was not wrong, he was just ignorant of certain facts. I really don't see the point of running at him like an angry mob in front of frankenstein. He complained? So what? Everyone should have the right to do so. It should even be in the bloody constitution(First amendment: Every one should be able to say fuck it). For me I am waiting "The Wise Man's Fear" with impatience but knowing that Rothfuss already gave the manuscript it's all in the Dawn's people hands now so let's wait and see and if it's half as good as the previous one it would be great.

Ian "Sol Invictus" Cheong said...

Machinery, do us all a favor and shut the fuck up.

Unknown said...

I think this book is going to do amazing things. It's hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I think the book was 2/3 bad

Frank said...

The great thing about books is that when one is held up there is normally a few more out there. I just ordered the wise mans fear and the teddy bear book. If you absolutely cant wait, so you leave comments on here constantly....well then I suggest either The Sea Wolf by Jack London or The Chronicles of Brothers series by Wendy Alec.

Jesper said...

Alot of the people leaving replies here should try rereading their comments, they are egoistic in the extreme, full of venom and an attitude befitting small children.
Patric Rothefuss got alot of things going on, can you blame the man for doing something for himself every once in a while?

Simmy said...

What you have to understand is that writing is not a 9 - 5 job. things come up, the situation changes. Promises may have to be broken.

I firmly believe that the author does not owe anyone anything. Sure you bought his book, but he/she spent days, months, years, creating and writing this world that in many cases she/he created on their own.

I feel that you should be happy that they decided to share it with us in the form of a novel or short story. Rather than complaining about their work habits. What works for one, doesn't always work for another.

Don't hate because it doesn't get published when you desire, in many cases the author will delay because they feel that it is not publishable at that point. be happy that they want it to be better. Not upset because you cant read it when you originally expected.