Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Game Of Thrones. I Am Clearly Unbalanced.

A Game of Thrones (comic book)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Kindle has turned me - a lapsed bookworm - once again into a voracious reader and it's touch and go whether I've made more money from Amazon than I've spent on there. I'm constantly on the lookout for new reads, but it's hard - there is so much dross out there, it's not true and I'm not just talking self-published dross, either.

It's hard to get to the good stuff sometimes. I need a literary Hillary Briss...

I've just finished re-reading Frank Herbert's Dune, a book I read back when I first starting working in the Middle East. It's just as amazing now as it was then, although the 'writer' in me did unearth no fewer than three lazy instances when a sandstorm was described as being the colour of 'curry'. Jalfrezi or bhuna?

In hindsight I probably shouldn't have approached an unknown from such a high, but that's the breaks.

One of the things that makes Kindles so brilliant is whim. At a whim, I can have pretty much any book I want. So I downloaded George RR Martin's Game Of Thrones. Not because I've seen even one minute of the HBO series, but because I'd seen such intense praise for Martin's original books. The Kindle has made me considerably more catholic in my reading, I'm more up for an experiment than I would have been at £9.99 and 2 Kg of paper. I had Game Of Thrones in my hands within the minute.

Three days later I've finished reading it. I haven't finished the book, just finished reading. I got bored. Terribly, dreadfully, terminally, mind-numbingly bored. It's like The Bold and the Beautiful on horseback wearing leathers, a sort of two-dimensional fantasy version of a slightly dumbed-down version of English history with obvious situation played out over obvious situation in a sort of millefeuille of obviousness. The baddies are clearly bad, the goodies are clearly going to get into trouble. It's Punch and Judy on a lavish budget with some legendary dragons.

I can't finish it. The world's raving about it, glued to its TV sets with purple drooling faces, slack-jawed and wide-eyed as each trite event plays out on that flat backdrop painted by a four year old with wax crayons, a sort of medieval history lite with one-cal fantasy trimmings.

I am obviously alone in this, the only person still alive in a planet of shuffling, brain-eating zombies. Either that, or I'm simply unbalanced.

Game of Thrones is a Dorothy Parker book - not to be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force...

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Media Junkie said...

The first book was pretty boring. It gets better around end of Book 2 - Book 3.

Or, it's just not your thing. Which is fine too.

Penny Mackenzie said...

I do believe that some stories better served as a TV show than as a tome. I have not, nor will I read the books. But like everyone else on the planet I have loved the sheer mindless entertainment value of the HBO series which is just right for wind down viewing in the middle of a work week. On the subject of mindless entertainment and Zombies:- I did two things that I thought I would never do. I watched a Zombie Movie – World War Z and loved it, in my defense I appalling taste in films, and was shouted at by fans of the Book so read that. First Zombie book ever read and I loved it. My taste in books in marginally better than my taste in movies…..

Alexander McNabb said...

MJ - I'll never get to books 2 and 3. I didn't get through half of book 1!!!

Penny - I'll let you know when I get around to writing that difficult first zombie novel...

Macthomson said...

"...a sort of millefeuille of obviousness".

Take that, zombies!

Anastasia said...

Read the first one for TBC, listened to the second one as an audio book. I don't think I'm going to go any further with the series. Way too many other books to invest my time in and read than GoT.

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