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Old 09-02-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
carpetmojo
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Unhappy George Martin's latest is beating me ......

"Dance with Dragons" is, I'm sad to say, beating me ! There seem to be so many new characters, places and events that I'm assumed to have knowledge of, that I'm very confused.
My "suspension of misbelief" is struggling good and proper!
And my grey cells are overloading - more fish needed, perhaps....
I've even taken to "scanning" over sections 'cos I can't relate it to the story so far with certainty..........

It might help, I suppose, if I went back and read the first 4 again - but that seems like it would would take a big lump of my life, just in in the hope it'll clarify things. And I really don't think it'll help anyway.

I've tried re-reading the notes on the families and characters, not much help, as it describes them before the events of the book, and drifting away from chapters headed up by the characters names hasn't helped my poor brain !
I've tried taking it by surprise, to no avail...

Anyone else having/had my trouble ?
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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I feel your pain. I don't usually re-read either, so huge gaps between series installments can be disastrous for me as well. I've put this particular series on permanent hiatus until it's complete (and maybe longer), but I can suggest some good places to get quick, indepth refresher courses for those who don't/won't/can't re-read.

Tower of the Hand has excellent chapter by chapter summaries of the first five books (and the three prequel novellas). The fifth book is A Dance with Dragons, so don't accidentally spoil it for yourself. The chapter guides are especially brief (and handy).

Adam Whitehead of the Wertzone has also written four blog posts that do an excellent job of summarizing the series so far... up to (and including) A Feast for Crows

Part 1 - The ancient history
Part 2 - The Dragon Kings era
Part 3 - A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings
Part 4 - A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows

Hope something there helps.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 09-02-2011 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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I really enjoyed the first 3 books then book 4 seemed to disregard what i thought were important charcters like Bran and Jon Snow and Tyrion etc and suddenly a load of new names to take into account.
GRRM did make some sort of explanation in book 5 and has said that things will come together later in the book.
I hope so as I didnt really enjoy 4 and I have just started 5.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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I read all of them in a week a couple months back and even reading them one right after another it was hard to keep track of everyone.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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I really loved "Dance with dragons" and don't understand all the uprising against the book. It's like people expected a new bible with world shaking revelations. GRRM's style has always been rich on characters, events, history and that makes his fantasy world that good. If you want a fantasy with 5 characters get some Terry Goodkind and it's done.

I read the first four books some 3 years ago and had no problems on keeping the threads of the current one (well, I watched the HBO series too). The book was on par with my expectations and hated the wasted pages at the end for all the family trees...

The only thing that bugs me is that the next book won't be coming in the next 5 years if at all.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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Diap, thanks, that's excellent - but it does look like a few years before he finishes it, doubt I'll be compos mentis by the time that happens !

Quote:
Originally Posted by gollu View Post
I really loved "Dance with dragons" and don't understand all the uprising against the book. It's like people expected a new bible with world shaking revelations. GRRM's style has always been rich on characters, events, history and that makes his fantasy world that good. If you want a fantasy with 5 characters get some Terry Goodkind and it's done.
I read the first four books some 3 years ago and had no problems on keeping the threads of the current one (well, I watched the HBO series too). The book was on par with my expectations and hated the wasted pages at the end for all the family trees...
The only thing that bugs me is that the next book won't be coming in the next 5 years if at all.
I'm pleased for you, gollu, you obviously have an encyclopeadic memory.And I think "uprising" is just a trifle over-egging it - some of us just can't keep up with suddenly introduced swathes of (fantasy) history and characters, treated as if we know about them. Well, me, anyway....
Also, we know what his worlds are like, that's why we're up to 5 !

I have to say I get the feeling so far that he is writing up to the size and detail standards he's set himself, in a way. I find I don't care too much about many of them.

Oh, your reference to Terry Goodkind went over my head I'm afraid, don't know him - and with only 5 characters I shan't bother !
I like a bit of complication in me fantasies you know....
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #7
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I really loved "Dance with dragons" and don't understand all the uprising against the book.
I don't know about an "uprising" but GRRM wanders off on dead end tangents *COUGH* Quentyn Martell *COUGH* that don't advance the overall story one iota. I like all of the books in the series but a little push back from his editor probably would have been beneficial.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:43 PM   #8
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If it takes another 5 years before the next book I will for sure have forgotten most characters. I read the first books all in one go which made it easier but to come back in x years , I probably wouldn't do it.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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I read all of them in a week a couple months back and even reading them one right after another it was hard to keep track of everyone.
I'm Impressed! It took me over a month to wade through all of them.

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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
[snip]
I've put this particular series on permanent hiatus until it's complete (and maybe longer)[snip]
This seems like the best strategy. Maybe in 2025 when the series is finished, I will return to read this book and it's sequels.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemc2 View Post
I don't know about an "uprising" but GRRM wanders off on dead end tangents *COUGH* Quentyn Martell *COUGH* that don't advance the overall story one iota. I like all of the books in the series but a little push back from his editor probably would have been beneficial.
I agree - in fact, since my first depairing quote, I've come to the conclusion the prhase I needed was that I found it self-indulgent....

That may sound a bit harsher than I mean,...well, no, actually I don't think it is, it's reasonable, I reckon.

I managed to get to the end,but I was past caring - I'll give it a few months, then follow Diap's advice, I think.
If I've got the stamina.....
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:28 PM   #11
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5 books and 15 years and the story has not progressed that much at all. I don't think he has any idea where he is going with it. I think long ago he lost his way and is just milking it for the sake of selling another book now...
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:01 PM   #12
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5 books and 15 years and the story has not progressed that much at all. I don't think he has any idea where he is going with it. I think long ago he lost his way and is just milking it for the sake of selling another book now...
He's too busy making money from films, games, toys that he does not need to finish the story just keep it going.

I curse Jordon with the WoT series for showing authors this is the most profitable way to write a series.

BTW to the OP, he beat me on book two. After book three I just couldn't get into any more of his books.

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:38 PM   #13
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a series should never go beyond a trilogy, even series that i have loved beyond three books I start getting irritated with them.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:00 PM   #14
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I have been reading the series over the past few months and have just started into book five. I am feeling lost, too, with all the characters and towns - my poor head is spinning. I love his writing. The towns come alive and the characters are very real for me. That said, I am getting a little irritated at the cliff hanger at the end of each chapter and then the sudden shift to the next character. I thought it was just me over-dosing on them. I doubt if I will remember any of it when book six gets released.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:31 AM   #15
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I re-read a series every time a new book comes out. If you're not a fast reader, go with the chapter summaries or the like posted above.

I don't think it's too complicated at this point, but I've re-read the series 3 times now (once, then again when Feast came out, then for Dance). There are certainly a lot of characters and a lot of backstory, but that's Martin's style.
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