Monday, July 16, 2012

Suffer the dragons... they're worth it.

If there's one thing that has suffered in the last few years of combining family, work, writing, blogging and, now, weeding, it's quality reading time. I'm fortunate in that I'm a quick reader, so I'm still getting through books, but I no longer get those long blocks of time in which to get lost in a story.

In the last six months, I've worked my way through the first five books of George RR Martin's A Song Of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series. And when I say work, I do mean work. It's war, adventure, mayhem and politics on an EPIC scale and the plotting has me in absolute awe. How the man kept track of all those characters and managed to create so many memorable ones in the mix is beyond me. I'll even suffer the dragons to find out what happens next.

To explain, I'm not a major fan of dragons and other mystical weirdness in my book. I don't mind them in a Lord of the Rings, peopled by Hobbits and Goblins. There they have context. In a book based so heavily on human nature, though, I struggle a little. But when the plotting and politics in a story are so good, I can overlook them. Very large elephants in the room, I know, but there you have it. And don't even get me started on the White Walkers...

Which brings me to my lesson of the day: don't start a series until you know it is complete. Having got to the end of book five, I have discovered that Mr Martin is still working on book six. And, given that he has taken up to four years in the past to create each one, I may be waiting some time. That's a long time to be on the edge of your seat...

In fact, I am faced with the prospect of having to read the whole lot again once book six comes out. Just so I can keep track of what's happened.

Good. Grief.

What was that I was saying about having no quality reading time anymore...?

Best I start now.

What are you reading at the moment? Do you love it?

[image from here]


19 comments:

  1. This is what happened to me with that series. I've read the first three books and by the time book four came out I had no idea where the story was up to. I may have to re-read the whole thing once the series is finished.

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  2. Oh wait - there's only five books so far? I thought there were seven

    *breathes huge sigh of relief*

    I am taking a break from GOT after book three because it's all getting a bit much for me. But when I go back there, it's good to know I only have to get through 2 books before a nice long break ;)

    PS Have you read Robert Jordan Al? GOT is epic for the sheer amount of characters and the plotting and the keeping track of it all ... Robert Jordan (RIP) surely set the benchmark though?!

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  3. Ive been reading these books too, and yes they are hard work! Half way through book two and loving all the twists and turns it's making.

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  4. To add to this, we've just watched the second series on tv (based on book 2), so I had to read them again. Just to confirm what was included and what was missing... and then to remind myself of what happened next. If you haven't seen the show yet - it's worth it.

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  5. I am just starting on book one - and it's massive - and also taking me much longer to get through because of all the different characters and locations. I hear you on the dragons, and the fantasy stuff, but the characters and plot and dialogue is what's holding my interest. I need at least a week by a pool uninterrupted with this book. Hahaha yes, that's a fantasy!

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  6. I am reading The Bloggess's Book and it is a total treat!

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    Replies
    1. I have heard nothing but good things about that one - I love her writing!

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  7. Game of Thrones is stuck in my head right now. last night we finished series two, and i surprised myself by really getting into it. Though i watch a lot through the tiny cracks between my fingers. I have just started reading Wolf Hall, in tiny snippets, while I wait for the toddler to go to sleep. it should keep me occupied for a while as it is enormous.

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  8. I know. The time to read. Where did it go? I miss reading! (And I understand your angst about waiting. I waited for all the Harry Potters to be finished before reading them all in one weekend.)

    This year I'm specifically making time to read, and it's working. Ish. I just finished The Etymologicon. Currently reading We Need to Talk About Kevin. Planet Word is next.

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  9. I could have written this post word for word! i finished book five a few days ago and haven't been able to get into anything else yet (book hangover). Best gusess for book six is mid-2014. Sigh. And i hate daenerys. Also i cant seem to spell or correct grammar on the iPad.

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    1. 2014????? Good grief. I'm not fond of Daenerys either. But I'm hoping the point of her will be made clear in ... 2014. Sigh.

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  10. I'm also reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, just finished part 1 of book 3. I find I need to move away for a while after each one, they are hard work! But totally worth it, as you say. And I've heard that about Mr Martin taking forever to write a book, although considering the complexities, I can see why! He drove my husband crazy with waiting for the most recent book to come out!
    Am currently reading The Mothers Group, which I won via an online comp that I think I found through one of your tweets?!

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  11. I'm reading Rachel Caine's Outcast series which is a spin off from her Weather Warden series. At some point I will be borrowing the first 50 shades of Grey book, so that I can debate the pros and cons of the book with some actual knowledge not just the hype.

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  12. I haven't read these yet!! Have just finished The Night Circus and posted about it tonight and whilst I am not a fan of fantasy I have just read the last (of 3) starting with The Magicians and Mrs Quent, The house in Durrow Street and finally the Master of Heathcrest Hall just loved them but I truly am sick of waiting for the next book!!!! Love getting recommendations for books.

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  13. I am actually working on LOTR! I have never read them. Also reading Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster. Then going to work on the Uglies series. I have a goal to read 100 books this year and I'm a little behind.

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    Replies
    1. I have a MAJOR soft spot for LOTR. Major.

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  14. I haven't read any of the GoT books but I am engrossed in the TV series. The White Walkers are terrifying! But, like you, hearing that the creator is still writing with no end in sight has me worried slightly. I do like things being wrapped up!

    Reading wise I've got loads on the go but am mostly concentrating on psychological/crime thrillers for a change. I've been reading Tana French (so good) and Ruth Rendell.

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  15. Ah yes reading. I vaguely remember that. I got half way through Peter F Hamiltons' Judas Unchained because he was writing about sex like a high school geek who never got laid. That was when my 2 year old was a newbie. I have written a pitch for my own "mummy porn" novel - "50 Shades of Earl Grey". I'm hoping that Michael Fassbender will star in the movie adaptation.
    http://mum-abulous.com/2012/07/12/50-shades-of-earl-grey/
    Happy reading you lucky, lucky people.
    Cheers Mumabulous

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  16. I hear you about not starting a series until you know the author has finished it... we got through 9 books of How to Train Your Dragon with the munchkin and guess what! 10 hasn't been published yet. Not a pretty surprise for a 5yo!

    These sound intriguing. I wonder whether hubby has discovered them. He's always up for a bit of dragon action!

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