I should have been working on NaNoWriMo, so I read a book instead. Maybe, since it’s an audiobook, I claim it was research… YEAH! That’s the ticket!
Lisa Reads… A Game of Thrones
A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
By: George R. R. Martin
Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
This story is Complex, Rich, Flawed, and WONDERFUL!
I didn’t necessarily want to start this series, it is so popular. My taste often runs contrary to popular taste.
In addition, I received innumerable versions of the same bit of advice: Don’t become attached to any of the characters. Odds are, they will die.
It’s true. George RR Martin is more than willing to sacrifice characters when the story needs this to happen. It doesn’t occur randomly, though. He is a master of foreshadowing and he does it subtly. Some of the texture of the story comes from this deft hand. When certain events happen in the last 100 pages, I remember imagery from the first 30 pages that I thought was lovely but unnecessary. He told us PRECISELY what he was going to do, but hid it well in plain sight.
This is a complex story. I still don’t know if I know who all the characters are in just this book. I know some of them fairly well, but like real people in real life… Most of who and what they are lies hidden.
Some of the cultures remind me of peoples from history. Similar flaws and strengths show up in unexpected ways. Characters that you think are completely evil, sometimes show deep humanity. Others that you respect and love, betray those they come into contact with. And yet, sometimes others get their just desserts.
Many people should NOT read this book. It is sometimes quite bleak in its understanding of humans. It is sometimes brutal. It is sometimes almost unendurable. I don’t like it.
And yet, this is an excellent book. I am in awe of the skill that George RR Martin shows in storytelling.
Will I read the next book? Yes. I need to read a couple of others, first. I need to decompress.
A word about the reader, Roy Dotrice… I enjoyed his performance. People seem to either love or hate the way he handles characterization and voices. I thought it worked well.