Joel's Reviews > A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
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Sep 02, 11

bookshelves: kindle, sci-fi-fantasy, series, asoiaf, 2011, signed-copy
Read from July 12 to August 27, 2011

Did any of you guys watch Lost? Remember how you'd be watching a totally banal episode, and you're like "Oh, interesting, everyone is mad at Hurley for eating ranch dressing right out of the tub, that's, gee, that's compelling, hey now do more scenes of Jack and Kate re-establishing readily apparent character conflicts and interrelationships, zzz." But then at the end of the episode, something totally crazy would happen, and you'd be all "OMG IS VINCENT THE SMOKE MONSTER?" and the music would go bbbbaaaaarrrRRRRRRRAAAANNNN DUMMMMM [cut to black]?

Then you would have the following conversation:

- Wow, did you see Lost last night? It was crazy!
- Yeah? I missed it, what happened?
- Well, most of it wasn't that exciting unless you are really into the characters over the mysteries... but the ending was cool! I can't wait to see what happens next.
- Eh, I'll wait for the DVDs.

I am not saying there was no joy to be had in following the show from week to week, mind you. I loved the intricate, gradual development of the characters and their histories (even if Kate was really lame, bouncing between the boys, there was always twisted anti-hero Ben Linus). I went nuts for the ever-more-elaborate mythology. And who doesn't like a climactic monster attack or a shocking character death? It almost didn't even matter how good a particular episode was, because it just gave you another chance to hang out in a story you loved, that fired your imagination. Even waiting for the next season was fun, to a point -- it gave you time to speculate about the plot in a way that you'd never bother to do if you could just pop in the next DVD.

Too bad it had the lamest climax and denouement ever. Hope that doesn't happen to any other long-running shows I like.
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Reading Progress

07/12/2011
2.0% "yes, i started this right away. shut up." 2 comments
07/13/2011
9.0% "holy crap, this is going to take forever."
07/14/2011
20.0% "so basically, judging by the kindle location numbers, i think i've read a normal-length (if short) book's worth of text already. it's not that i'm not enjoying it, but the pacing is, how can i say it, relaxed." 1 comment
07/15/2011
25.0% "oh shit something happened kind of!" 14 comments
07/24/2011
47.0% "sheesh i am going to be married before i finish this thing."
07/28/2011
50.0% "3 percent more! sigh."
08/05/2011
55.0% "what did i tell you? married. still not done." 5 comments
08/20/2011
66.0% 7 comments
08/23/2011
84.0% "moving ever closer."
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Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 new)

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message 1: by Danica (new) - added it

Danica Dude, how are you liking this so far? My expectations supersede measurement. I mean, the effing NYT gave this book a positive review. The sky, it is falling in.


Joel i like it but i am hardly an obsessive fan. i think i am enjoying it the way i did all the potter books -- i can't wait to see what happens next, i tend to enjoy them without dwelling too much on what i thought/wanted/hoped would happen.


mark monday i am really looking forward to reading your review of this...after i actually read the book, of course. in just a couple weeks, i'm promising myself.


Nelly LOL. Loved this review. I felt EXACTLY the same way during and after finishing the books. Sigh. Ah Lost. Haven't found anything on TV that compares since the series ended. You hit the nail on the head with this review :-)


Joel thanks! i do kind of miss lost but the last season was such a letdown (for me & my wife at least) that parting wasn't as difficult as i thought it would be.


Nelly I know what you mean, but I kept watching anyway. Because I just had to.


message 7: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M I'm re-watching Lost right now and about to finish up the first season. I'm quite indignant with their treatment of Locke in the last two seasons. They took arguably one of the best characters on TV and did terrible things with him. I'm still sad and upset about it.


Nelly I think I agree. I feel I do, but the truth is that I can't remember it all that well anymore! I just know I was obsessed with the show and was teased mercilessly by my family for it.


Glee um. so what did you think of A Dance with Dragons?

I agree with you about Lost. In fact, I almost quit on it - the part where Sawyer and Kate were locked up etc etc... never could see why Kate was "torn" between the Bad Guy and the Boring/Bossy guy. But the mysteries got twistier and more interesting. But I wasn't just irritated by the ending. I was pissed off. THAT was the payoff for seven (or however many) years of trying to make sense out of something? Sheesh.

I'm on #3 of Song of Ice and Fire series and loving them. Any idea how much longer this goes on? (Or is #5 it?)


Nelly Supposedly there are going to be two more books but one of those might wind up being split in two if it's too long. Don't hold your breath.

Now I am remembering that Lost pissed me off when Sayid (sp?) turned into a zombie and started killing everyone. (At least I think it was Sayid. Maybe I have to watch the series again to refresh my memory. Of course, I own all the DVDs.) What I liked best about Lost were the back stories of all the characters. When it started devolving into cheap tricks to move the plot along, it got annoying. Actually, the thing that annoyed me the most was Sayid ending up with what's her name in the afterlife instead of Nadia who was supposedly the love of his life.


message 11: by Glee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Glee Nelly wrote: "Supposedly there are going to be two more books but one of those might wind up being split in two if it's too long. Don't hold your breath.

Now I am remembering that Lost pissed me off when Sayid ..."


Thanks for Ice/Fire info.

Yeah, the backstories were what held me. But Kate really lost me (no pun intended) when she abandoned Nathan Fillion (come on, he's Captain Mal!!!) to go back for Mr. Sadistic and Mr. Boring/Bossy. Yeah, I realize she was running from the law, and she HAD to go back...why again?


message 12: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel Glee wrote: "um. so what did you think of A Dance with Dragons?"

didn't you read my review? ;)


message 13: by Glee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Glee Joel wrote: "Glee wrote: "um. so what did you think of A Dance with Dragons?"

didn't you read my review? ;)"


So, it was full of pointless narrative but had good cliff-hangers? And you're afraid we're headed to an ending where all the characters are saved by Billy Graham?

I'm enjoying the pointless narrative. Love me my details - all that salt pork and eating worms, and the gore....gore, glorious gore!


message 14: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel pretty much. it's not necessarily pointless but there is a lot of wheel-spinning and creating narrative cul de sacs. they are still enjoyable but it's not, like, thrilling plot progression.


message 15: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely You've gone this far already? Congratulations!


Nelly K.D. wrote: "You've gone this far already? Congratulations!"

Love your profile picture. I keep meaning to look up who that actor is. He is awesome.


message 17: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel It's jason moma. He was also on stargate and is the new conan.


Nelly Thanks. Just looked him up. Can't say I would ever see Conan (even for him) but good to know.


message 19: by Glee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Glee Momoa - Ronan Dax on Stargate Atlantis. Sometimes I scare myself. And I must have a different profile picture because mine is of a redhead reading a book dressed in a statement pullover.


message 20: by Glee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Glee The redhead is dressed, not the book.


message 21: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel She was talking about k.d.'s picture... But does my hair really look red? I slays thought I was blond...


Nelly LOL. Joel, of course you look awesome too, but I did mean K.D.'s picture :)


message 23: by Glee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Glee Joel wrote: "She was talking about k.d.'s picture... But does my hair really look red? I slays thought I was blond..."

Looks pretty classic ginger. And I'm familiar with the variations - blond, strawberry blond, etc runs in my family...


message 24: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel Hmmmm. I blame the camera.


message 25: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely Khal Drogo - the warrior in the HBO series "Game of Thrones"

K. D. - Khal Drogo.


message 26: by Tara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tara Richardson I only watched Lost once it was all on Netflix insta-queue. I wasn't the least bit upset by the ending. I just started this series this summer and now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have waited until it was complete.

I'm surprised this review wasn't "Where do whores go? Where ever whores go. Where do whores go?"


message 27: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel well, unlike martin, i don't like to repeat myself! ;)


message 28: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Great review. I just started AFFC and I hope that's not Lost's Glowhole of Doom I see on the horizon. ASoS was awesome.


message 29: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel hard to say until it is actually over... i did enjoy 4 and 5.


message 30: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason I loooooooooved Lost Season 6. I totally drank that kool-aid.


Kyappu Wonderful review! I really love you for feeding so spectacularly the Lost/ASoIaF parallel I've been nursing inside my head for a while. My thoughts are usually in the form of random keysmash and little more than brainfarts, but your review was perfect and on point. Thanks :3


Maxime Totally agree with you review. You have to ADORE the characters in order to read the book. Great compassion with Lost. Nicely done!


Naomi Great analogy, Joel. I felt the same way -- the end was awesome and it kind of vacillated between "meh" and OK until then. Then when the Khalasar showed up, I was like, "OMG, things just got amazing!'" You might be speaking of Varys though, in the epilogue. That was something.


message 34: by Kathy (new) - added it

Kathy You are brilliant. I am going to go get "Vincent is the Smoke Monster!" tattooed on my arm!


message 35: by Akina (new) - added it

Akina Umm...but what does any of this have to do with A Dance With Dragons?


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