Sunday, 21 July 2013
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE REVIEW
Yeah yeah, I haven't done any reviews for fucking years but because the 6,000 or so pages of George RR Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' (commonly known as Game of Thrones) took over my life for a few weeks I felt compelled to address it in this (now empty) forum. To get through 6000 pages I must've liked it. The start of that sentence infers the end of it. It's not like I was paid to read it. I lost sleep, obsessively checked things on Wiki so I was sure I had things right, had strong opinions on what happened and what should happen, and I became attached to characters that I loved, and loved to hate. So why do I feel so annoyed? Here's why.
* "Truth be told". If one more character said 'truth be told' just one more time I was going to hurt something. There's options. "To be honest..." is one such example. Even if he halved his usage of "truth be told" by giving equal weight to the just as banal "to be honest" it would have been a more enjoyable read. And you can't suggest it was just Westerosi idiom, because Free Cities and Wildling characters also said it. And yes, I argue I used the right word then when I called it idiom, because neither 'truth' (necessarily) nor 'telling' was at play. Also, saying 'idiom' makes me sound smarter than if I said 'figure of speech'. Fuck you. It's been a while since I've expressed myself with words. I have a baby, and I watch 'Giggle & Hoot' every day of my life.
* Did not give one flying fuck of a shit about anything that happened to Daenerys or anyone Daenerys met or where she went after Book One. Didn't care. I vagued out. By Book Five she was in some place called Meereen, and I forgot how she got there, and everyone's name had a 'Zh' in it, and there were sell-sword companies that were politically manoeuvring in and around her and I kept forgetting which was which and couldn't work out who I was supposed to be supporting. I wanted her and her dragons to just fuck off, and leave Westeros alone to have a good old fashioned war betwixt Lannisters, Starks, Greyjoys, Baratheons and young Griff (no spoilers here people), and some Others just for the lark of it. Daenerys and her fucking stupid dragons smell of deux ex machina. And she's a brat. "I want my kingdom!" And running around the desert begging strangers for armies like a junkie begs for heroin on Smith Street. She's as bad as her brother, despite the characters insisting she's not. But at least I hated her brother - that gave him dimension. Daenerys is a zero. Every time I ended a chapter I became excited about the next chapter... would it be Tyrion? Davos? Theon? Arya? Will Ramsay Bolton make an appearance? Like a kid on Christmas Day I would be overwhelmed with hope and happiness, then I'd see the name 'Daenerys' and my heart would sink. They'd start like this: "Seven Ejaculating Cows stormed into the palace wearing golden tassals above their shining armour. Each were branded with the mark of the Zhodshxschena. Zhodrea no Fzho was breaking his fast. Truth be told, he was expecting them earlier..." and I'd think, "Who are the ejaculating cows again? Are they good guys or bad guys? Which one was Zhodrea no Fzho again? Oh fuck it, I'm going to bed..."
* I love books about power, sex, death, love and religion. Every book should be about those things. But no, writers insist on peddling introspective crap about ageing, or family, or longing, or duty, or 'passivity' (yes, you, David Foster Wallace - lucky I wasn't writing reviews when I read Infinte Jest because you would have been fucked. Up. (I'm sorry you're dead though - 'A Supposedly Fun Thing...' was brilliant)) or worse: 'feelings'. So finally I get a popular 6000 page epic on the very themes I demand in a book, but it's written by a guy who says 'truth be told' all the time, and he's making us wait an eternity for the next book (hurry the fuck up!) and his (arguably) main character is so boring I wish she came to life so I could have her killed. Some people were trying to kill her. Quarthians. Or Yunka'ianese. Or Ejaculating Cows. I can't remember, it was confusing, but I do remember thinking, "Oh please do it."
* I wish someone else wrote it.
But what the fuck. I loved it. I hated to love it, but I loved it. A-minus.