Forgive me. For most of you, my week might be uninteresting, because ever since I bought the 4-volume boxed set of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice, I have been doing nothing but reading it nonstop. This is just fine for me, since the allergy siege continues (this too shall pass, I keep reminding myself).
It has been exactly uhmm… 6 hours since I read it last (I’m on the second book already, at the mid-point, I think. It’s hard to tell when they don’t tell you how many pages each book is, but instead, give you the total number: a whopping 3,1XX something pages). I got intrigued when HBO started its massive advertising for the show, which aired today, and read the character guide (the actual character guide is something like 70 pages). But I have to admit what really sealed the deal was that the fifth book, which took so long to write, is coming out on my birthday. I know it’s silly, but it just seemed like a fortuitous (and convenient) omen (or a big push).
So I have been reading the epic to beat all epics (it is sort of an epic, in tradition of Homer and Virgil, and I have a certain fondness for long fantasy epics involving witty, unlikely, and always tragic heroes) nonstop. I think I had to be reminded to eat at one point; it is that bad. So if you have a nice month off in which you just sit around and read and food is brought to you, this is not a bad way to spend your time. It’s got dragons and direwolves, it’s got kickass heroes and heroines (as well as slimiest villians and truly evil bitches), it’s gory, it’s well, not that sparkly and sunshiny, but it has its memorable points. The plot is not terribly new (it, is, after all, one long story about gaining power), and it is not say, Stieg Larsson, but the characters are well worth it. They are incredibly complex- there’s really no good or bad, there’s always a lot of gray areas, and they grow up (and die, but I’m not going to say more). If you liked J. R. R. Tolkein but thought it rather formal, well, this is the book for you. It is classy, bawdy, heartbreaking, smart, and just about everything in one.
This reminds me…it seems like every spring I get obsessed with a certain series of books. Two years ago, it was Sookie Stackhouse (of True Blood fame) by Charlaine Harris. A year ago, it was Diana Gabaldon’s extremely long and extremely entertaining novels. This year it’s George R. R. Martin. What all this means is that I am 1) a dork and 2) very predictable.
Oh well. It’s rather nice being deeply buried in a book. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have about 1500 more pages to go.