George R. R. Martin

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steve
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George R. R. Martin

Post by steve » January 21st, 2011, 2:57 pm

I'm reading A GAME OF THRONES and liking it way more than I thought I would.

The structure is annoying at first but starts to make sense all of a sudden. I like him much better than the Tolkien I remember reading long ago.

Are the other books in the series good? What about his non-series books?

Tell me what you know, nerds.
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Margo » January 21st, 2011, 3:07 pm

I enjoyed the first two and a half books very much. It's no small task to keep a story going with that many points of view and
Spoiler:
such an unrelenting onslaught of tragedy
. I paused in my reading when I reached a certain scene and felt he had exhausted my trust
Spoiler:
with what I felt was a senseless killing of a character
. I thought the matter over, still undecided on whether to continue, when I learned of his intended end to the series. I'm not someone who needs a HEA ending, but he goes too far for me. It was a very good lesson to me, however, in what I value in books and what I do and do not want to do in them.
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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Claudie » January 21st, 2011, 3:14 pm

GRR Martin is one of my favourites. Yes, all the books are as good, except perhaps the fourth, which I liked somewhat less. I'm biased, though, because he had to cut half the POV for the fourth (they'll be in the fifth) and most of my favourites were delayed to the not-yet-released fifth book.

Martin is gritty and brutal, but if you set out knowing the characters will have a hard time, you're in for a great time. At some point of the series, he had me rooting for four different sides at once. You're not in any kind of hurry, though. Martin takes years between each novel.

I haven't read any of the non-series books, so I can't help with that.
Margo wrote:I thought the matter over, still undecided on whether to continue, when I learned of his intended end to the series. I'm not someone who needs a HEA ending, but he goes too far for me. It was a very good lesson to me, however, in what I value in books and what I do and do not want to do in them.
Now you have me scared. I'm still going to read them, because I'm an eternal optimist, but the way you say it, this is going to be bad!
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Beethovenfan » January 23rd, 2011, 3:12 am

I've read them up to the FEAST OF CROWS. It took him so long to come out with this one that I pretty much lost interest by the time it came out. But I enjoyed them up to that point.
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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Falen » January 24th, 2011, 5:42 pm

I've only read the first one, but i enjoyed it very much. Though there's something that happens towards the end that just upset me so much i almost put it down. Of course, props to him for making me so upset.
I haven't read the others yet since i'm trying to hit up more YA. But they're on my list of books to buy once i have some spare money.

I'm super excited to watch the series in April on HBO. Of course, i could probably watch Sean Bean butter toast and be entertained
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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Down the well » January 24th, 2011, 6:00 pm

Falen wrote:Of course, i could probably watch Sean Bean butter toast and be entertained
Heh, I'm with you on that one, so here you go. Makes me wish I still had cable.



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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by knight_tour » February 4th, 2011, 4:34 am

Margo wrote:I enjoyed the first two and a half books very much. It's no small task to keep a story going with that many points of view and
Spoiler:
such an unrelenting onslaught of tragedy
. I paused in my reading when I reached a certain scene and felt he had exhausted my trust
Spoiler:
with what I felt was a senseless killing of a character
. I thought the matter over, still undecided on whether to continue, when I learned of his intended end to the series. I'm not someone who needs a HEA ending, but he goes too far for me. It was a very good lesson to me, however, in what I value in books and what I do and do not want to do in them.
See, this is what I loved about his stories. I can't stand it when each and every death in a book must be for a reason. Life is not like that. Death generally comes unexpectedly and for no reason. I liked it that we finally had an author who would address this fact.

To the OP, I have read some of Martin's other books, such as Fevre Dream and Tuff Voyaging. I enjoyed them, though not nearly as much as this series. I liked his graphic novel and short story versions of The Sworn Sword and it's follow up. I love all of the novels in this Ice and Fire series, even if the number of POV's got to be a bit much. Tolkien made me love fantasy, but Martin made me start to write.

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Margo » February 4th, 2011, 11:11 am

knight_tour wrote: Life is not like that. Death generally comes unexpectedly and for no reason. I liked it that we finally had an author who would address this fact.
A great deal of real life makes no sense. Writing stuff that makes no sense usually doesn't work for many a reader. A great deal of real life doesn't work in fiction. Idle chit chat. Coincidence. Blind luck. Stuff that has no point. Guns over the mantle that never get fired.

I have read comments from other readers who have stopped reading Martin for the same reason I did, and they don't know the end of the series. I've seen comments from others who doesn't necessarily like the amount of tragedy and senseless death but are still reading because of the amazing characters and the strength those characters display. We'll see how they react to the series ending. I'm sure some of them will be so blown away by the overall strength of the writing and characterization that the ending won't be a turn off for them. Some people might even like it. It was such a turn off to me and two of my friends that we have all stopped reading the series, and I have told myself I will never do in a book what he does at the end of this series.

Then again, I have heard rumors that he might have changed his mind about the end of the series. If that's the case, I might go back and pick it up, after I know the ending has changed.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by knight_tour » February 4th, 2011, 11:55 am

Margo wrote:
knight_tour wrote: Life is not like that. Death generally comes unexpectedly and for no reason. I liked it that we finally had an author who would address this fact.
A great deal of real life makes no sense. Writing stuff that makes no sense usually doesn't work for many a reader. A great deal of real life doesn't work in fiction. Idle chit chat. Coincidence. Blind luck. Stuff that has no point. Guns over the mantle that never get fired.

I have read comments from other readers who have stopped reading Martin for the same reason I did, and they don't know the end of the series. I've seen comments from others who doesn't necessarily like the amount of tragedy and senseless death but are still reading because of the amazing characters and the strength those characters display. We'll see how they react to the series ending. I'm sure some of them will be so blown away by the overall strength of the writing and characterization that the ending won't be a turn off for them. Some people might even like it. It was such a turn off to me and two of my friends that we have all stopped reading the series, and I have told myself I will never do in a book what he does at the end of this series.

Then again, I have heard rumors that he might have changed his mind about the end of the series. If that's the case, I might go back and pick it up, after I know the ending has changed.
If no death ever happens in books for any reason other than for plot purposes, then to me that makes the stories very hollow and unrealistic. When there is chaos and war then there will be untold senseless deaths, so Martin is right to choose authenticity over cookie-cutter storytelling. For me these are hands down the best fantasy books of our day, so I will never be able to understand those who would choose to dislike them.

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Claudie » February 4th, 2011, 12:28 pm

knight_tour wrote:For me these are hands down the best fantasy books of our day, so I will never be able to understand those who would choose to dislike them.
I can. I can because I understand how frustrating it is when your favourite character dies (story of my life, that) and there's no easy explanation around. I can because I've thrown each of Martin's books against a wall at least once.

And I love him for this. Martin drags my emotion across an incredble range of emotions with an intensity only Kay equalled.

But not everyone's the same, and not everyone can deal with the harsh reality of Martin's world. There's not a lot of room for hope in A Song of Ice and Fire, and I understand someone who decides to seek another, lighter story.

I sure am not stopping, though, and Margo, resisting that spoiler is the hardest thing I've done in a long time. XD I don't want to know the end before it's out!
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Margo » February 4th, 2011, 1:17 pm

Claudie wrote:...and Margo, resisting that spoiler is the hardest thing I've done in a long time. XD I don't want to know the end before it's out!
You mean the spoilers in my original post? I did not include the series ending in any of my spoilers. I wouldn't do that to another writer no matter how much I disagree with his choice.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Margo » February 4th, 2011, 1:20 pm

knight_tour wrote:When there is chaos and war then there will be untold senseless deaths, so Martin is right to choose authenticity over cookie-cutter storytelling. For me these are hands down the best fantasy books of our day, so I will never be able to understand those who would choose to dislike them.
I'm not sure why you must equate plot events making sense to cookie cutter storytelling, but, no, I don't think you understand.

Over the whole scope of the series, his choices may well make sense, but for me he pushed the boundaries too far and lost me at least temporarily. The information about the series ending did not bode well, so that lost me for the rest of the series (unless he changes his mind about the ending). Reader boundaries are there. It's just a fact. They are different for different readers, based on different reader values. It was a choice on Martin's part, and probably a calculated one that recognized his idea would lose some readers and seriously impress others. It was, as I said, extremely useful to me as it (the ending most of all) showed me something I'm not willing to do to readers, even if it works out well for him. Good for him. Good for me.
Last edited by Margo on February 4th, 2011, 6:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Claudie » February 4th, 2011, 1:23 pm

Margo wrote:
Claudie wrote:...and Margo, resisting that spoiler is the hardest thing I've done in a long time. XD I don't want to know the end before it's out!
You mean the spoilers in my original post? I did not include the series ending in any of my spoilers. I wouldn't do that to another writer no matter how much I disagree with his choice.

Well, I wasn't going to take the chance, was I? ;)
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Margo » February 4th, 2011, 1:50 pm

Claudie wrote:And I love him for this. Martin drags my emotion across an incredble range of emotions with an intensity only Kay equalled.

But not everyone's the same, and not everyone can deal with the harsh reality of Martin's world. There's not a lot of room for hope in A Song of Ice and Fire, and I understand someone who decides to seek another, lighter story.
Nope, it's not about needing a lighter story. The gritty nature and the emotional range were not problems for me. I very much believe in tormenting characters, and my own writing can be rather dark. It was the ultimate payoff that I can't hang with.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: George R. R. Martin

Post by Marla Warren » February 7th, 2011, 11:55 pm

Claudie wrote:GRR Martin is one of my favourites. Yes, all the books are as good, except perhaps the fourth, which I liked somewhat less. I'm biased, though, because he had to cut half the POV for the fourth (they'll be in the fifth) and most of my favourites were delayed to the not-yet-released fifth book.

Martin is gritty and brutal, but if you set out knowing the characters will have a hard time, you're in for a great time. At some point of the series, he had me rooting for four different sides at once. You're not in any kind of hurry, though. Martin takes years between each novel.
On the topic of how long Martin takes between novels, here's a blog post from Neil Gaiman:
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/e ... ssues.html

I love it because as a bookseller, I have to listen to customers complain that their favorite authors aren't writing fast enough for them. My job description does not allow me to say, "He's a writer, not a restaurant."
“Good writing should be smooth, clear and short, and the art of saying little in much must be avoided at all costs.”
--Benjamin Franklin

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