Sunday, April 14, 2013

Monday Round Up: A Storm of Swords & Other Updates



I finally finished A Storm of Swords, all 1100+ pages. And I thought Tolstoy gave me a run for my money. I have to say it will win my award -- hands down -- for the most un-put-downable novel of the year. Believe me. My whole family will attest to how insanely obsessed I have been with this book.

That said, I'm going to be experiencing some post-traumatic stress. I don't know which is worse. Scenes that I find so awesome that I actually revel in the gratuitously violent aspects, which causes me to question both my character and my sanity ...


I stole this gif from here.


or the bits that are heartbreakingly sad and disturbing. George R.R. Martin ought to win an award for the most gratuitous brutality to some of his characters. There is a certain image from the Red Wedding that has gotten embedded in my brain in a particularly tenacious and nasty way. All I could say at that point was ...


I stole the Silver Linings Playbook gifs from here.

That was the point at which I was afraid my Kindle was going to explode. Seriously. I have it on good authority that televisions have been known to off themselves due to an overload of gratuitous fucked-upness ... And then there was the outcome of a certain duel. *Sigh*

In other matters, in our homeschool, the teens and I are continuing to discuss books and movies set in modern Africa.


A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah -- This is such a beautiful book. This account of a child's experiences with civil war -- and being drugged, brainwashed, and forced to serve as a soldier -- is certainly heart-wrenching. But it isn't entirely dark. There are innocent and human moments, and it offers interesting glimpses of tribal culture in Sierra Leone. And as part of our ongoing discussion of the cycle of human evil and violence, this book speaks volumes about how people not only become desensitized to violence and human suffering but become addicted to it. Better yet, it offers hope for rehabilitation and healing.

We also watched this:


Machine Gun Preacher is a biopic about a former drug dealer who became a humanitarian worker in the Sudan during the civil war. It was  recommended by Ruth.

Next Up:


 

Sometimes in April is a 2005 historical drama television film about the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, written and directed by the Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck. The ensemble cast includes Idris Elba, Oris Erhuero, Carole Karemera, and Debra Winger.

Linking To:



Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey 

32 comments:

  1. I have never heard of "A Storm of Swords" but it sounds like something Jason might like.

    "a long way gone" sounds very interesting.

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    1. A Long Way Gone is a difficult book in many ways, but it's wonderful.

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  2. Oh yeah the Oberyn/Mountain duel and Tyrion puking. This is going to be nasty, but that will b season 4.

    Jaime just lost his **** tonight and people are freaking out. They are really not prepared for what is coming.

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    1. Yes, that scene was brutal -- poor Jaime. I understand Noah Taylor has been cast as Vargo Hoat, but they changed his name.

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    2. Yeah, they scratched Brave Companions thing and they were captured by Bolton's men instead - Taylor plays Locke, who was the one who cut his hand off :(

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    3. By whatever name, Vargo Hoat is one sick piece of work. I wonder whether they retained his slobbering & speech impediment?

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    4. No, he speaks normally, which is disappointing since I wanted Jaime to say "I really wanted to hear him say Sapphires" :)

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  3. Memoirs of a Boy Soldier..whew. That's a powerful read!

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    1. I couldn't agree more. :-)

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  4. Glad you finished Storm of Swords! Last night's episode of GoT was so intense for Jaime. I can't wait to see it all played out before my eyes. Even though I'm going to be a total wreck after episode 9.

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    1. I don't know what Episode 9 is ... the Red Wedding? I heard that Jaime fell victim to Hoat's/Locke's sick hobby this week. :-(

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    2. Episode 9 is entitled Rains of Castamere and it's indeed Red Wedding episode :(

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  5. I love that you share good books and good movies, 2 of my fave hobbies! My hubby is watching Game of Thrones series so he's saving me from reading the books, I agree with you on the gratuitous violence and post-traumatic stress from watching/reading. Some events happened in the second episode of season 1 and I couldn't watch it anymore. whew! Granted, i get glimpses and my curiousity still gets me when he's watching it, then I see something I don't want to see and it's back to my book :) Here's my Monday What are You Reading list and Blogaversary Amazon Gift Card Giveaway if you'd like to stop by. Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I can see why you had to quit -- the show is pretty dang intense! :)

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  6. Oh no. I never even considered the notion that my Kindle could take it's own life, too. Guess I'll watch what I read...though so far only one thing I've read has been that f--ked up. So far.

    Thanks for the link! I'm in dire need for a new book (been slogging through The Hangman's Daughter for some time...93% though) . Thoughts?

    (And remember, this might be my last one for awhile...with the little one on the way)(No pressure!)

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    1. When is the little girl due? :-) Not sure what to recommend -- what are some of your favorite books?

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    2. She's due 7/28. Crazy!

      Anyway, I will literally read anything. As a kid I read everything Stephen King had written. Since then? Biographies and whatever is on sale for my Kindle.

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  7. I haven't seen Machine Gun Preacher yet, but it's on my watchlist. Sometimes in April looks interesting, so I might check it out as well.

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    1. Machine Gun Preacher is pretty good, though we didn't like it as much as Hotel Rwanda. And it's definitely emotionally affecting. Just saw Sometimes in April today -- it's quite good but devastating. I definitely need a break from films about genocide for a while.

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    2. I had a feeling it wasn't as good as Hotel Rwanda, but I'll give it a look. Ha, I don't blame you for needing a break from those films. :)

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    3. I was wondering what you thought of MGP. Oh yeah, Hotel Rwanda is definitely much better, it's just better written overall. Glad you think it's emotionally affecting, I think it's still way better than what the critics made of it. Thanks for the link btw, glad you gave it a shot, Steph!

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  8. Those two words, Red Wedding, just put a lump in my throat and a sense of utter dread. One of the best parts of the book. Out of the entire series, I think Storm of Swords is probably my favourite. After the first. Sadly, 4 and 5 didn't quite match up for me. They were sort of un-put-downable for me, but for other reasons!

    Waiting for the 6th book is killing me!

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    1. Everybody says Storm of Swords is the best. But I'm liking #4 so far, especially since interesting new characters are being introduced.

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    2. There is definitely no lack of interesting new characters, some times takes me a while to get my head around the news ones George throws in!

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  9. I know I'm going to read the books sometime but I'm getting off on all the gratuitous violence and mindless cruelty in GOT series ;) Cool gif choice, I loved Silver Linings Playbook. Have a great week :)

    I had a pretty f--ked up read last week but as screwy as it was, it was also addictive ... Snow White on crack aka Nameless by Lili St Crow lol

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    1. Ha ha! The gratuitous cruelty and violence in GoT is strangely addictive, isn't it? Snow White on crack ... THAT sounds intriguing.

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  10. I'm very tempted to start reading these GoT novels after recently starting watching the series!

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    1. That was what hooked me into reading them. :-)

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  11. The good news is that you've got 3,000 pages down. The bad news is that you've got 2,000 more to go, then a multi-year wait for more books.

    I have to agree with the other commenter who said that books 4 and 5 were a come down. Martin had started writing in so much detail by then that you could almost feel the books collapsing under their own weight. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait 10 years for them like fans who had read the first three books early on had to.

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    1. I'm feeling the same way about the series, Chip. The first few books were lengthy, but I felt nothing was wasted -- they were truly that rich. Now I'm seeing an increasing amount of unnecessary detail, as if Martin got tired of thoroughly editing his work.

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    2. My personal take is that Martin has lost some of his interest in the story that he started and that in order to give himself some creative drive he has spent more and more time exploring regions on the map that he has not gone to yet. In order to explore those regions, and also to give himself something new to write about, he continues to create new characters.

      He still has all the old characters, though. He knows what he wants to do with them next, but since those things have to wait while all these new things happen he ends up just having those characters wander around, killing time, until he can start them on their next big event (i.e. Arya in book 3, Brienne in book 4, Dany in books 2 and 5, Tyrion in book 5).

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  12. I read A Long Way Gone...maybe last year? It's decidedly a powerful read and I love hearing about the ways that you use great books in your homeschooling.

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