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Old 12-22-2011, 05:59 PM   #61
carpetmojo
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To return to the original thread requestion - I think we have, frankly.

Isn't there someone else we can be disappointed by ?

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Old 12-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #62
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So much ditto to both of these points. His format is just sheer laziness and ineptitude, IMO. Instead of telling a coherent and cohesive story in a natural progression, he hops around for 800 pages to tie up only some of the strings at the end. Oy. And winging it, absolutely. The last two books were a disgrace. Of course I did read them, lol! But I did it in one fell swoop and I won't be around for the next one in umpty-ump years.

You should always read the book first!
Man, I couldn't disagree with this more...

Personally, I think that Martin is truely masterful in his story telling. They way he "hops around" moves the story along and keeps it fresh. It also keeps me hooked to find out what is happening to my favorite characters (whom he eventually kills off with blatant disreguard! but that's another point...) I'm constantly being surprised as the plot develops, and for me that's one of the best parts of his writing. Also, to say he's "lazy" is just wrong. Look at the depth of the world that he's created! His family trees alone are borderline insane if you look at the amount of detail he's put in. It must have taken him a VERY long time to construct his backstory, and he must have amazing outlines to be able to remember all of his charactors.

Which brings me to your next point that he's winging it. In my opinion, the last two books were just as strong as any in the series. He maintained the proper amount of tension and kept me guessing the whole time. Not to mention that fact that he keeps shocking my by killing off all of his MCs!!! I believe that he knows EXACTLY where he's going with this story, and it's gonna be AMAZING. From a reader's perspective, he's starting to give us a taste of his 'big picture'. The intrigue about the families warring with each other is just a subplot, I think, to the main storyline that is them having join forces to combat the ultimate evil (the Others).

IMO, these books are some of the finest fantasy ever written, and the OP should DEFINITELY pick up Game of Thrones and never look back....
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:45 PM   #63
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One more thing I forgot to mention about these books is what Martin does to the reader's preconcieved notions of "right and wrong".

This book is all about the "grey area". For instance, (without spoiling) you start out thinking one way about a character because he does a horrible deed, but then Martin gradually challenges that notion by offering the action from the "bad guy's" viewpoint. You get the sense that these people in the book are all flawed and make mistakes and error's of judgements based on the given circumstances they are in.

Eventually, by book five you begin to question even the "good guy's" actions and their moralities. For instance, "would you kill a child if it saved the lives of your two children?" It's questions like this that are asked in Game of Thrones, and I find it interesting how Martin addresses them.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:59 PM   #64
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Yep, I love that about A Game of Thrones, the shades of grey. It's the same thing I love about the Ender's Game series and the newer Battlestar Galactica show. They get into questions of morality where the answer is not always black and white.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:26 PM   #65
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Look at the depth of the world that he's created!
See. Some people dig that sort of thing. To me... that just means lots and lots of filler.

I'm not big on "World-building." I like the author to "World-suggest" or "World-hint" and allow my (the reader's) imagination to do the heavy world-building. Too much brick-by-brick world-building comes across as kind of condescending to me. It's like the author doesn't trust my imagination to come up with a worthy visualization of their creation... so they include everything under the sun (including the kitchen sink) in the hopes of keeping my imagination from "mucking it up" somehow.

So I don't mind if an author builds a complete world from the ground up. But there's just no reason to wedge every. single. minute. detail about it into the books themselves. Save something for the appendices, and the companion volumes. I'm sure the Complete History of Westeros will need something left to go in it when it's posthumously published.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:57 PM   #66
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See. Some people dig that sort of thing. To me... that just means lots and lots of filler.
................ I'm sure the Complete History of Westeros will need something left to go in it when it's posthumously published.

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Old 12-23-2011, 06:38 PM   #67
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Well, to each his own then DiapDealer...

I don't see it as condescending if the author has a strong vision of the world he/she's created. It is, after all, their story to tell and I think that as long as the world doesn't take away from the story line then the more the merrier! I'm sort of a nerd when it comes to high fantasy so the more "epic" it is, the better.

I look at it this way, if you're painting a picture of a house, you can make it very detailed (ie. lines in the wood, texture of the shingles, aging from weather)-from this image the viewer gets a definite emotion or response, the one you're intending them to get. Or you can make it a plain old house and let people infer what they want from it. Neither is wrong. It's still a house. Sort of the same thing applies to writing style, IMO.

It all really boils down to personal preference I guess...
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:40 PM   #68
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Yep, I love that about A Game of Thrones, the shades of grey. It's the same thing I love about the Ender's Game series and the newer Battlestar Galactica show. They get into questions of morality where the answer is not always black and white.
Never read the Ender's Game... but I'll pick it up based off of this reccomendation. Thanks!
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:52 PM   #69
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It all really boils down to personal preference I guess...
It almost always does.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:08 PM   #70
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Never read the Ender's Game... but I'll pick it up based off of this reccomendation. Thanks!
Yeah, it's real good, although the morality stuff comes into play in books 2-4 ("Speaker for the Dead," "Xenocide," and "Children of the Mind"). There's a spin-off series (The "Ender's Shadow" series) that expands on the universe but isn't quite as good, and there's a newish midquel book ("Ender in Exile") that I haven't read yet.

BUT definitely read the first book and "Speaker for the Dead." Book two is by far the best.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:26 PM   #71
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I'm not big on "World-building." I like the author to "World-suggest" or "World-hint" and allow my (the reader's) imagination to do the heavy world-building. Too much brick-by-brick world-building comes across as kind of condescending to me. It's like the author doesn't trust my imagination to come up with a worthy visualization of their creation... so they include everything under the sun (including the kitchen sink) in the hopes of keeping my imagination from "mucking it up" somehow.
I'm in this camp too. I like a story to have a lot of name-dropping to suggest all the gods and heroes and places. I want to feel a sense of the world being big and old and strange. But I don't want the story to stop every five minutes to give me a history lesson.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:36 PM   #72
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I don't recall the Song of Ice & Fire series as being one of detailed world building in the sense that DiapDealer describes. There aren't detailed magical systems or lengthy history lessons, IIRC. (It's been a half-year since I read the books, so I may be mis-remembering.)

It's a huge world, however. He gives us two continents and a cast of characters larger than any other in my personal reading experience. It might put some people off to have to refer to the appendices to remember who is whom.

Am I wrong?
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:52 PM   #73
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I don't recall the Song of Ice & Fire series as being one of detailed world building in the sense that DiapDealer describes. There aren't detailed magical systems or lengthy history lessons, IIRC. (It's been a half-year since I read the books, so I may be mis-remembering.)
No, Martin doesn't do it to the extent that some do; I was just referring to the "Look at the depth of the world that he's created!" comment in general, for the most part. But for me, geography, heraldry and architectural descriptions of each "landed" families' stronghold still qualifies as world-building though (and turtles). As does the ins and outs of the party circuit for the Kings Landing socialite crowd. And side-trips to Dorne.

I personally have no problem keeping the huge cast of characters straight... I just don't want to anymore. He lost me... and that makes me sad, because I had such high hopes.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:11 AM   #74
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I kinda like that George R.R. Martin put so much of the history into the appendices, because it gives me the option of skipping over it. Which I did.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:49 PM   #75
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