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The Fairview Fortknight (Biweekly Reviews of Books, Movies, and Music)

By Varun Narayanswamy in Arts & Culture

Books

Now I know that for Fairview students it’s not easy to find free time. However, when you get that unexpected moment of freedom, it’s quite relaxing to just sit back and read a good novel. In that light I believe that all of you readers should, after reading this of course, go to the local library and check out “The Name of The Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss.

“The Name of the Wind” is a novel which incorporates every element of a good book: romance, adventure, comedy and magic. The story follows an innkeeper by the name of Kot. He is new to the town and fairly quiet and unknown. However, “Kot” is not his true identity. In truth he is Kvothe, a mystical hero who has disappeared off the face of the earth. Until now. When a storyteller by the name of the Chronclour finds him, he convinces Kvothe to recall his story. He tells his adventure through the three books, the first of which is the “Name of the Wind.” In other words, it is a story in a story, and every once in a while in the story someone tells a story which makes that story a story in a story in a story. Storyception.

However, in all seriousness this book is a must read. The main audience is teenagers but almost all adults would? love this book. The second book “The Wise Man’s Fear” has also been published and can be found in any local library. However, I must warn you, the third book has not yet been released and is not going to be until 2016. These books are so good that you will speed through them in a day or so and will be left waiting for the third. However, I would still highly recommend this book to all fantasy/sci-fi readers.

Movie

Peaceful protests being interrupted by the police. Unarmed black teenagers being shot. Am I talking about Ferguson in late 2014, or am I talking about the film “Selma”, which takes place in 1965? It’s been 50 years since the eponymous march, and yet it feels like nothing has really changed. The movie itself was enjoyable - David Oyelowo deserved a best actor nomination for his uncanny performance as Martin Luther King Jr., and the overall story was enthralling, despite some historical discrepancies (added for drama, no doubt). The timing of the film doesn’t hurt, either; the fact that similar racial injustices are still occurring in the present day only adds to the strength of the movie’s message. It’s just as terrifying and upsetting to see innocent people die in film as it is in real life, no matter when it happens. Hopefully, “Selma” is another step towards erasing racial violence once and for all.

Music

Owen Pallett: “In Conflict”

For our inaugural Fairview Fortknight, my pick for musical work is Owen Pallett’s most recent album, “In Conflict.” Pallett is best known as a violinist and composer who has collaborated with such artists as Arcade Fire, The National, R.E.M., Franz Ferdinand, and Taylor Swift, among others. He has been releasing solo albums since 2005, and “In Conflict” is likely his most critically acclaimed effort yet.

Pallett incorporates the orchestral elements of his past works with electronic and ambient instrumentation heavily influenced by none other than Brian Eno himself, who assisted Pallett in the making of the album. Combine that with a subtle, tactful backing rock group and songs such as “The Riverbed” and the title track are explosively original sounding. This is one of the best albums of 2014, and I strongly recommend it to any listeners of indie rock, electronic, and classical music.

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