I’m very much behind on this one, but I’m currently reading
the Game of Thrones books (or should I say the Song of Fire and Ice
books?). I started the first novel several years ago and read a little over a
hundred pages, but it wasn’t grabbing me. So, I left the bookmark in, put it
back on my shelf, and moved on to other books.
On a whim recently, I decided to give George R. R. Martin’s
series another chance. I just picked up where I left off, and this time I found
myself appreciating how well done it is, and how engrossing. I’m about halfway
through the third book, A Storm of Swords.
(And I’ve watched the first two seasons of the HBO series,
but the books come first … until the series runs out of book source material,
I love the technique of alternating POV characters. The
world-building is extraordinary; it’s almost like a historically plausible
fantasy epic, and the gradual introduction of those fantasy elements is
intriguing. More important, the characters remain grounded in humanity, for
good and for bad. And Arya Stark is quite possibly the greatest child character
created for an adult series.
It’s not a perfect series, of course (what is?). The second
book, A Clash of Kings, while still very good overall, drags a bit too
much at times. Personally, I could do with fewer sex scenes (and less nudity in
the TV series). And never mind all the blood and guts—the incest is what’s
truly disgusting. This is not a fantasy world I’d want to live in.
So, I’m certainly not a hardcore GoT fan at this
point. Nevertheless, I finally see what so many others have seen in it all this
This is why I don’t like to bash books that aren’t working
for me. In some cases, it might actually be just a bad book, but it could also
be that it simply didn’t work for me at that point in time. I could have been
in the wrong mood or the wrong frame of mind, or perhaps its flaws just bugged
me more than others. No book is perfect. No book is beyond criticism. At the
same time, a book that’s deeply flawed may still resonate with some people.
We’re not smarter just because we hate what everyone else
loves or love what everyone else hates. There are certainly well-established
principles of storytelling that are worth paying attention to. Ultimately,
though, reading is a subjective experience.
I started reading Game of Thrones and didn’t like it. I resumed reading Game of Thrones and am enjoying the series. Which me is correct?