I don’t want to hand in my card, but…
I believe ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ is not only less than perfect, but nigh unreadable. I’m sorry! I really am! I just don’t get it.
I have always been a reader. I own a sizable library! I’m obsessed with absorbing as much information and as many stories as possible! Hell – I actually enjoy The Silmarillion! I just can’t read this particular series.
I’ve tried. Oh, Gods, have I tried! I received a paperback copy of ‘A Game of Thrones’ about this time last year. I had just finished reading the majority of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, ‘And Another Thing‘ (an awesome sequel to the Hitchhiker’s Guide series), and my 12th semi-annual reading of ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ “why not?” I said to myself. It’s popular enough…
I haven’t read a book since.
I’m about halfway through it, and I just can’t bear to pick it up! The narrative is so slow and so fractured. If I happen to come across a section I like, it’s another 100 pages before I get to see those characters again.
After awhile, I just have to ask myself – why do I care about these events? These people? Well. I don’t care. That’s the problem. Do I just not have enough patience? Am I broken in some way? Have I finally found a book that is too smart for me? Or could it be that George R.R. Martin has failed in some way?
And then there’s the spoilers. If you are that one person who hasn’t read, seen or had GoT spoiled for you in some way, do yourself a favor and skip ahead to the next paragraph. There’s a fairly well-known trope in film and television. If Sean Bean is in your show, he is going to die. Without fail. Sean Bean dies. When I saw that he was going to star in a new series on HBO, I was like “Finally! Sean Bean will live!” It’s have the reason I was reading the book. Sean Bean plays the badass Ned Stark! And then I was at a party. I was in the midst of a great discussion on the feeling of peril in fiction. The gist of the conversation was that if there is no risk of loss in the narrative of a book/film/video game then it loses a great deal of value. And my buddy quips: “Yeah, of course. Ned Stark has to die.” goddamnit. More recently, there was the Red Wedding. I’m fascinated, because this is at least partly based on events from my own family history. (Note well: Do not cross Clan Crichton). But I didn’t want to hear about it from everyone! Why continue? The *risk* of peril – of uncertainty – is gone! Added to the fact that these books are just so ponderous, I give up!
Have I made the right decision to give up halfway through the first volume? I’m still going to watch the series at least! I figure I can catch up before the next season.
Why did you keep reading?
Should I force myself through the rest? Does it get better?
If I walk away from Game of Thrones, what do I read to recover?
Please let me know what you think in the comments below.