This is not a book review. I couldn’t possibly rate The Game of Thrones on any scale. My feelings are too jumbled.
The content of the story bothered me. There was much too much graphic violence and sexuality for my taste. My stomach tied itself in knots every time George R.R. Martin killed off another child and it happened a lot. I’m a mother, I’m a “tender-hearted woman” (that’s a quote straight from the book), and thinking about dead babies messes me up.
However, I can not deny the absolute genius it took to craft this novel. The characters, the plot, the setting, and the layers of intrigue are phenomenal. I haven’t come across another story that had as much depth and breadth (of course it was 800 pages long, so it had plenty of time to develop all of those things!)
Did I like the Game of Thrones? Yes. No. I don’t honestly know. Do I think it could be used as a writer’s text book? Without question.
Have you ever read a book that was enviable for its artistry but made you uncomfortable? How would you rate it?
I can’t think of any at the moment, but I was interested in reading Game of Thrones…until I found out about the graphic nature of the storytelling. I’m the same when it comes to violence against children, it really does a number on me. That was when I decided more than enough people already love it, so I’m good.
Night by Elie Wiesel really unsettled me for lots of reasons, but I would easily rate as one of if not the best book I’ve read.
@Prerna: Have you read Ender’s Game? That isn’t nearly as graphic, but it left me with the same please-stop-hurting-kids kind of feeling. More poor tender heart!
@EJ: I haven’t read Night, but given the subject matter I can imagine that it could leave you pretty twisted up! The summary was SAD.
I loved Ender’s Game. It never struck me as very violent; it’s a ‘game’ after all. I adore SF and not epic fantasy (never read LOTR) so Game of Thrones is safe from me, but I love the idea of intrigue and twisty plots, like Vamp Diaries and Secret Circle. That’s my main goal in my next WIP — more characters, shorter scenes, more twists. Since I’ll apparently be revising my current one forever (and ever) any new WIP is on the back burner…
@Lexa: I didn’t think Ender’s Game was violent, as much as sad. I always feel sorry for kids who don’t get to be kids, and Ender never did.
And what’s wrong with your current MS? You know I loved it!
Lindsay N. Currie
My husband LOVEd this whole series. Loved it. And I watch the HBO version — George RR Martin is a genius. No one can deny that:)
@Lindsay: My dad loved it too. But he’s a guy and he hunts deer. In my head, the ability to gut something equates to being unaffected by reading graphic violence?
LOL. I’m a dork.
Aww, man! I’m going to have to add that to my TBR pile now. I’m too curious for my own good.
I have so much to say on this topic, so I’ll try to keep it brief. First, I just finished the series this week and I enjoyed books 2 and 3 a great deal more than 1 or 4. 5 was harder to judge. So I would say, at least read a Clash of Kings before you reach any conclusions. Second point, I’m intrigued by your feelings about Ender and the Stark kids because it goes to a much bigger question about artistic integrity. I never felt that Ender’s Game was exploitative for depicting nudity, violence, and the like because it rang so true with the locker room experiences of real kids. Same with Arya and her mixed feelings towards Joffrey. Have you ever met a girl who DIDN’T date a guy that turned out to be a monstrous asshole but only she couldn’t see it? So is it better that we tone down such things for the sake of the feelings of our readers? Or that we retain verisimillitude (if not veracity) and risk alienating our readers? A very big question, and I’m already running longer than I meant to.
In my humble opinion George RR Martin is a literary genius. His world-building skills are absolutely astounding . . . and tad bit graphic LOL!
I haven’t tackled G.O.T. yet. I’m too intimidated right now, and your tales of dead babies gives me another excuse to put it off 🙂 I’d like to watch the HBO version, but we don’t have that channel. We have the golf channel, but no HBO. Golf, as you may guess, isn’t nearly as riveting.
I haven’t read it as of yet, though I’ve heard quite a bit about it. It’s not usually my genre to read in.
@Jess: to quote Twain, golf is a good walk wasted.