Book Review: Game of Thrones

I’m gonna start off this review, by saying honestly I hated this book, and I didn’t even finish it. So, if you don’t want to read about my experience, skip to the bottom of the page where I link to a review of someone who really liked the book. I tried to find something to like, I couldn’t find it, so I set the book aside. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. That said, here is my review:

I really hated the first book. I hated all of the characters. I found them to be spiteful people with no redeemable characteristics. I plodded through page after page after page, looking for something to be better or good or decent or even interesting. I found none of those things. About the only thing I liked about the books where the Direwolves, and mythical creatures that have no real voice in a series about which I hate everything else did not make me want to finish the book. So after discussing the series with a friend and my mother, I’ve decided that I will not finish the book. So, I returned it to the library.

Since I was sitting there reading something I hated, hating myself for continuing to read it, frustrated with the twisted mindset of every single person, annoyed with the so called “honor” of certain egotistical, arrogant fools, returning the book to the librarians safe keeping (serious thought about ruining the book because it was ruining my life) resulted in a feeling of utter peace, a weight lifted off my shoulders. This series is not for me. Hundreds of pages of back stabbing, evil minded, horrible people, the likes of which I could watch roll across my t.v. screen on the news every night (and I decidedly do not watch the news), was making me unhappy. And if something is making me unhappy, I set it aside. This is not to say that at some point I wont try the series again. I used to dislike tofu, and now I eat it on a regular basis. At one point I had to give up on BSG during the fourth season when everything went horribly wrong and dark and dreary, but came back to later and loved it. I imagine at some point I will pick up the series again, and give it another try. It’s also quite possible I’ll like at that point. . . . anything is possible.

I don’t mind dark series, or evil, twisted people. What I minded was the irredeemable characters on every page. Everyone manipulated everyone else, and everyone let themselves me kowtowed out a sense of Duty? ::rollseyes:: Always the duty to the person they really owed no allegiance to because of the prior manipulation. It was pure torture to continue reading, ever hoping, but never realized, that someone had to have a heart, or a brain, or one goddamn soul in the book. Nope. And from my discussions with people who loved the series, they just shook their heads, smiled, and said it never really gets better. Well, I really don’t have time for something that doesn’t get better. I go into my books to find relief from this world. I especially choose to read fantasy and science fiction to further distance the story lines from reality. I read to be taken to a place that is different, unique, and hopefully, at least in some respects, better than the life I live here and now. That just did not happen for me in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Now, I may give the series on HBO a chance when it comes out on DVD. I am able to distance myself from television in a way I cannot with books. Books draw me in and make me forget where I am. Television, not so much. I love t.v. and I love going to the movies, but I never forget what is reality. So, I definitely want to give the series a chance in some form, it just will not be book form (well, at least not now).

However, just because I hated the series, doesn’t mean it was a bad series. I know many people who absolutely loved it. So, I went searching and found this review by a lover of the series. Read her review here.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Game of Thrones

  1. 😦 I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, but this is a perfect example of not every book being for every person. Which is why I am so thankful that there are so many authors out there writing so many different types of books.

    if you’re reading something and you’re not enjoying it, stop torturing yourself! There are so many enjoyable books out there, don’t waste your time on stuff that doesn’t work for you.

    But a word of warning, if you didn’t care for the book, you should skip the HBO series. as you know, I’m a HUGE fan of this series. .. but the HBO script really jumps on the shock value stuff – the sex, the backstabbing, everyone being awful terrible people, and downplays what little positiveness there might be.

    • Thanks for the warning. I think I may try to watch three episodes (the number of episodes I try to give to every new series). I can handle television people being horrible. I find it easier to be removed from the drama of television than how I immerse myself in a book where the characters are more real to me. But I don’t have high hopes, because as you say television tends to downplay positive bits.

  2. I like the Game of Thrones series, but you are absolutely right; the characters CANNOT be redeemed from their actions, and the takeaway from the book is that crap happens and only the ruthless survive. I enjoy the TV series more than the books, but they are pretty much the same; it’s just easier to keep the characters apart in your head since you have faces to names.
    Good on you for putting it down; I had to do that with quite a few books at one point (thank God I got outta that funk) but I was like you- I couldn’t punish myself anymore.
    On to another beautiful piece!
    Lindsey P

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