Jesse's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jun 15, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, jesse-s-all-time-favorite-authors
Recommended to Jesse by: William
Recommended for: anyone who likes anything epic and historical
Read in March, 2009 , read count: 2

I know no one reading this knows me much (well some of you may) but I DON'T reread books. I usually read a book once and its quite well locked into my brain. As much as I've enjoyed many books I've read, they just don't require a second read for me. I read them, now its time to move on. "A Game of Thrones" is different. I loved this book and its characters so much, and crave the world and narrative so much that I couldn't wait for Martin to get the newest installment out. So I started rereading the first book I've ever reread.

Let me just say that I didn't find ANY of the characters boring. Even the characters that I would find an anoying personality type, are deeply engrosing in this tale. And those types of characters number just 2 for me in this book. There are so many characters, with such a broad range of personalities that there is someone to match everyones likes. Yet even the characters I initially found myself repulsed by, grow and change and are just as fascinating as those that I admire and empathize with.

Normally I dislike when an author has too many characters and jumps from character to character from one chapter to the next, not so in this book. Martin's ability to tell a story and hook you on it, is so great that I started to look forward to these jumps to different characters. With this many characters you really are provided with a great narrow and broad picture of the currents of this world and narrative. Its like watching individual storms all over the globe, all adding up to the global weather system.

Which leads me to my next point, his pacing. I've read my share of epic fantasy series. In particular Martin's two major contemporaries/rivals for the top spot of the epic fantasy genre: Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan. Both these authors have good parts, and bad parts to their books. There are momments in their books where I stop and think, "That was the coolest thing (event) I've ever read". Yet there are way more parts in both author's works where I was thinking "when are we going to get to the next awsome and exciting event? Why are we still walking/riding/working/...etc(you get my drift)". I came to expect this in any book, particularly epic fantasy. I just thought that when a book/series gets as long as these tomes, you end up having to spread some borring filler in there because one imagination can only do so much exciting work. Martin broke that mold for me. I kept waiting for a momment where part of my mind would start, metaphorically, tapping its foot in bordom thinking, "are we there yet?". It never happened. Each chapter would grab me, and by the time the chapter ended I was groaning at having to leave behind this story thread because I was wrapped up in its narrative path. Then I'm instantly swept up by the events of the next chapters story thread.

Finally there is the commitment by the author to this narrative. Many stories have jeopardy but you kind of know that in the end, the main character can't die, there are more books to come. Don't ever count on that in "A Game of Thrones". Everyone of the characters is fair game, and people/characters will die in horrible and tragic ways. In this book and in subsequent ones in the series, I literally threw down the book and got up in shock. Sometimes even shouting out to no one at all, "Oh my GODS!, he killed !". It gives me confidence in Martin and his own level of commitment to telling me the best and most real story possible, complete with unfair and tragic events happening to good AND bad people (though in the case of the bad people I suppose it would be "fair and happy" when negative things happen to Ok, thats it, I can't believe how much I wrote here. Hope this gets some folks to read this book. Cause once you read the first, you'll be hooked.

03/22/2009: I just finished re-reading this book, and have to say it was even better the second time around. I caught subtleties to the plot that I never caught before, particularly about Jon Snow, Lyanna Stark, and Eddard Stark. I also found it interesting how much more the tension in the book was increased for me because I knew certain great momments were coming in the book, and the tension that created for me was most enjoyable. This is quite possibly THE best first book in a fantasy series I've ever read. I can't wait to re-read book #2 now, if only I had more time to read!
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Quotes Jesse Liked

George R.R. Martin
“Winter is coming.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin
“Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?'
'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Reading Progress

02/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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message 1: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Cheers. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far I completely agree with your experience. Further, I agree with your statements in regards to Goodkind and Jordan. I have a similar opinion in respect to their writing, but I still enjoy their works. I feel Goodkind and Jordan fall under his shadow.

message 2: by Andy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy I appreciate you posting such a large review. Your grade of 5/5 along with such an in-depth review of the book has inspired me to go out and buy it, well... as soon as I get a couple bucks to buy it. Thanks!

Substance totally agree with this review

the way this book grabs you chapter by chapter is amazing
ive never experienced it before.

and in regards to goodkind and jordan
jordan would come closests, i am very dissapointed with goodkinds work, i doubt i will ever read his books again.

by george martins...i cant wait for the whole series to be over. only up to book 2, but damn!


they should make a movie out of this.

Anca Haha, I had the same experience you describe. I read the first four books last year, and immediately turned around and re-read the first one. Martin does not disappoint.

Ujjwal I am 16 so would it be a good read for me or not? Or should i wait few years..? P.S: I like fantasy and thriller type stories like Narnia,Harry Potter,Hunger Games(i know its sci/fiction) and LOTR..?

Dave I'd give it a few years Uj, these books are a bit more adult than the series you listed.

Ibraaab does the tv show of (game of thrones) cover the whole book ! ?

Dionna 'Uj' Ujjwal wrote: "I am 16 so would it be a good read for me or not? Or should i wait few years..? P.S: I like fantasy and thriller type stories like Narnia,Harry Potter,Hunger Games(i know its sci/fiction) and LOTR..?"

Read it now.

Dionna Ibraaab wrote: "does the tv show of (game of thrones) cover the whole book ! ?"

Yes. Season 1 is book 1.

Jenny Bates I read the first 3 books 10 years ago. I am revisiting them because I loved them so much the first time! I am not a re-reader either, but I am already thrilled to be back in this world!

Josiah Ujwal, I'm ten and am reading this, you shoukd be fine of you can handle murder, rape, incest and nudity.

Josiah But this is MY pick for the best book ever written

Kirby Jesse wrote: "Oh my GODS!, he killed !"."
you BASTARD! :D (sorry, south park reference...but, yes- I felt exactly the same!)

message 14: by Usman (new)

Usman I'm completely agree with your experience. its realy nice book..
i realy lik it...
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message 15: by Jogos (new)

Jogos De its really a very nice and informational artical.also its easy way to learn about this topis.keep it up.jeux de cuisine
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message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa I wonder if your thoughts around Ned, Lianna & Jon are the same as mine...

Justice Absolute splendid review, Jesse. When I started Game of Thrones, i had just got done reading a very special book to me, the last book of The Hunger Games Trilogy. I cant explain it, it wasnt a bad sadness, just a sadness at the realization that the Hunger Games which i loved so much was all over. But this book not only gave me life again as an obsessed reader, it gave me something else to fall in love with.

message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Landes I completely understand, I can't reread books either. I can reread moments and have been working towards entire books by switching back and fourth between them (so I wouldn't bore my self to death in the less important moments) but I hope to be as successful as you in this book. I hope that A Game of Thrones it will be enjoyable both times I read it. It's good to know I'm not the only one who suffers from what I've come to think of as permanent comprehension, it gives me renewed hope to find the perfect book. I hope this is it.

Les and Susan Jones very good read .

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