I'm still working my way through the A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. I just finished Game of Thrones and started A Clash of Kings. These books are chunksters -- it doesn't hurt that I got snowed in for a few days last week. :-)
I read Game of Thrones after seeing the first two seasons of the HBO series with the family (after the 9-year-old goes to bed, of course). This didn't diminish my enjoyment of the novel much. True I knew what was coming, and it spoiled the mystery of the sordid secret Ned Stark with uncover at Robert Baratheon's court (which I'd figured out quickly while watching the show). But having seen the program also helped me keep up with the labyrinthine cast of characters in the novel.
These novels aren't literary fiction, but Martin is a master of his craft. He has a knack for elegant, artful word choices, carefully chosen, vibrant descriptive details, and rich character development. Best of all, he knows how to spin a good yarn, with so many tangled threads I'm motivated not to let my attention wander. These books are long. The first in the series alone is 800 pages. But I can honestly say nothing is wasted. There is no extraneous description or dialogue, and no storylines are wasted. This novel is so long because the story is just that rich.
The television series follows the novel quite closely. It's essentially the same story, but because of the exposition and internal dialogue a novel provides, I got to know the characters in a bit more depth. The series enriches the dialogue among the characters, delivered through outstanding performances, and provides additional naughtiness -- you get to see scenes in the brothel.
In addition to some excellent performances, the series offers an opportunity for attractive, talented young actresses to showcase their breasts. Seriously, the overuse of tits on this show has become a household joke around here.
Sarah and I don't particularly mind, and I'm fairly confident The Hubby has no objections. But it makes James uncomfortable. He's right on the cusp of puberty and hasn't had this much breast exposure since he was weaned. He keeps saying, "Seriously! Is all this really necessary?"
|Damn right it's necessary. HBO viewers expect this shit!|
About the female warriors -- I've heard it argued that this is a "psyche out" technique used against their male opponents. According to The Hubby, when most men get a good look at breasts, it's kind of like casting a Confundus charm. The guy gets all dopey and can't think straight, let alone artfully wield a sword.
Huh. I'm just not gonna comment on that. :-)
Some Blog Posts I've Enjoyed:
- Ryan at Roofbeam Reader wrote a terrific post on Jane Austen.
- m.brown, one of my favorite reviewers on the interwebs, wrote a hilarious review of Taken 2. It sounds like one of those "so bad it's good" movies. Solid gold cinematic shit. ;-)
- Margaret wrote a brilliant installment in the Visual Parallels series comparing imagery in Skyfall and The Dark Knight.
- Brittani wrote a great, concise review that inspired me to add Hello, I Must Be Going to my watchlist.
- Alex wrote an In Character post about Peter Stormare. Two words: Gaear Grimsrud. Possibly my favorite cinematic psychopath of all time.
- Ruth wrote a fabulous post on visiting London through films. Pure pleasure!
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey