Mom poses with the first squash off the plant. Weird looking, isn’t it? (The squash, not my mom.)
Finally finished Storm of Swords today. Ugh. There are so many ways I could rant more about the whole thing, but to save myself wasting more brain power right now I’ll just paraphrase from various conversations I had with friends about the whole thing.
Put short, George Martin is to literature what Michael Bay is to film. The whole Song of Ice and Fire series makes a lot more sense that way. It’s flashy at points, with lots of fanfare and grittiness, but in the end it’s just too long and windy, and if you have any sensibility and taste you’re left hollow and feeling like you were cheated out of something better. Plus the man is a sadist. There’s no other explanation for torturing all his characters (and readers) so horribly. Seriously, what insanity would have to grip you to horrifically murder, disfigure, emotionally torture, or just plain ruin ALL of your characters? Nobody is ever happy for long in Martin’s world, it seems. I’m convinced it’s all an elaborate way to drive his readers into a depressive fit. The series should really just be renamed Everything Goes Wrong For Everyone.
I liked what my friend Andrew had to say about it:
“Literature and film should challenge the emotions, but not leave you feeling like you need medication afterward. That’s why I hate soap operas – miserable people in miserable situations.”
He basically hits it on the head. The story is one long, awful, medieval soap opera.
I won’t even bother ranting about Martin’s writing style again. I already did that enough. I kept reading though, like I said I would. Why? Well at first, I wanted to know what happened. Normal enough. Then that turned into “I hope the writing gets better soon”, and finally “WHEN DOES THIS TORTURE END?” I practically threw the book at my mom when I finished. I don’t know why part of me wants to keep moving on to book 4, but maybe there’s a masochistic streak there or something. It’s like staring at a horrific train wreck that also sucks out your soul. To be perfectly honest though, I’m in no hurry to be in a rotten mood for another week and a half, or more. Another friend tells me that book 4 launches right into book 5, so all things considered I think I’ll take a nice long break before I even consider continuing the story – if I do at all. If I don’t take some kind of hiatus though, I’ll likely want to jump off a cliff by the end, because I understand the story and writing style doesn’t get much better. I think my Christmas wish this year will be that someone beats George Martin with a club and shows him what a content editor looks like.
I need to distract myself with something uplifting. A happy/fun book, some feel-good movies, something NICE for a change. Otherwise I’ll drown in the brain bile from all of Martin’s grit. The book ruined my week emotionally, and I gotta kick it back into normal functioning. Someone suggested rereading Good Omens, so I may start with that, but I’ll probably need more than one book to get my mind off it all. I’m welcoming suggestions from people.
Oh, and if you’re new to the whole Song of Ice and Fire series and want to know whether you should read the Game of Thrones book or watch the HBO show first, do yourself a favor and PLEASE go for the show. I rarely recommend adaptations over originals, but this is one case where I remain adamant. It’s more concise, the acting is terrific, and you get a good sense of the world without having to suffer through Martin’s writing. Just ignore the stupid HBO sexposition crap, and you’re good to go.