Anila's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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EDIT: 14 Dec. 2012. I no longer get notifications for the comments. Feel free to duke it out with each other; just don't expect me to respond.

WARNING: If you enjoyed this book, even a little bit, you may not want to read this review. It will probably make you angry. Heaven knows that the book made me furious, and I intend to turn every bit of that wrath back on it.
Instead, I suggest you read karen's review, Brigid's review, Joyzi's review, or any other of the gushing four and five-star reviews here. If video reviews are more your style, I suggest Melina Pendulum's vlog about this book.
Realistically, I know a lot of you are not going to listen, which is why the edit is here. At least it will slow you down a little.



EDIT: adding one more thing because, despite the warning and the redirect links I kindly provided, I have indeed gotten the kind of sexist bullshit comments I anticipated. Before you launch into the usual defense, therefore, I give you this:

"Alternatively, some fans may find it tempting to argue “Well this media is a realistic portrayal of societies like X, Y, Z”. But when you say that sexism and racism and heterosexism and cissexism have to be in the narrative or the story won’t be realistic, what you are saying is that we humans literally cannot recognise ourselves without systemic prejudice, nor can we connect to characters who are not unrepentant bigots. Um, yikes. YIKES, you guys.
And even if you think that’s true (which scares the hell out of me), I don’t see you arguing for an accurate portrayal of everything in your fiction all the time. For example, most people seem fine without accurate portrayal of what personal hygiene was really like in 1300 CE in their medieval fantasy media. (Newsflash: realistically, Robb Stark and Jon Snow rarely bathed or brushed their teeth or hair). In real life, people have to go to the bathroom. In movies and books, they don’t show that very much, because it’s boring and gross. Well, guess what: bigotry is also boring and gross. But everyone is just dying to keep that in the script."

Source.

Here's the scoop on this review. For a book that I hate, I usually write a lot. After suffering for several hundred pages, I have pleeeenty of things to say. I've never hated a book that was quite as long as this one quite as much as I do, so I've had to alter my review so that I can say everything I want to without going over the character limit.
The first part is an unorganized rant. I marked pages with particularly annoying quotes on them; for these rants, I broke the book into segments of 100 pages and wrote up quotes and responses for each segment into separate blog posts. These are all linked below.
The second part will be a more organized rant masquerading as a review. MAKE NO MISTAKE: THIS IS A 'HATER' REVIEW. IF ANYTHING WAS GOING TO CAUSE ME TO SPONTANEOUSLY DEVELOP THE ABILITY TO BREATHE FIRE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THIS BOOK.




Part 1:
Pages 1-100
Pages 101-200
Pages 201-300
Pages 301-400
Pages 401-500
Pages 501-600
Pages 601-700
Pages 701-807



Part 2:
There are books I don't like.
There are books I loathe.

And then...
there's this book, which did its level best to drive me to drinking.

and I don't even like alcohol.



I wanted to like this. I wanted it to be as excellent as so many people insist it is. There are some books that I went into expecting them to be horrible, but this isn't one of them. Oh, my hopes were high here - it was recommended by a plethora of great authors, including the guys of Writing Excuses, who I absolutely love. Reviewers who I greatly respect rated it four and five stars and wrote at length about how awesome it was. Other people praised the book as "the greatest achievement of the fantasy genre so far" and Martin as "the greatest fantasy writer of all time".

It's those last two that are most important, I think, because I love the fantasy genre - always have, and hopefully always will. Fantasy is what got me into reading (well, Harry Potter, specifically) and it's been one of my mainstays for as long as I can remember. I bought this book in large part because it was so often touted as, if not always the greatest achievement of the genre, one of the major works of fantasy published in our time. Having recently read several works by Brandon Sanderson, all of which were innovative, highly readable, and deeply philosophical, I was excited to see what Martin (by all reports an even better writer than Sanderson) could do. I expected my mind to be blown, repeatedly, and to be faced with the challenge of writing a review for a book so staggeringly brilliant that I could hardly think straight after finishing it.

That is far, far, far from what I got.

First of all, this book is definitely not what I think of when I hear the word 'fantasy'. It's certainly far from my definition of 'high fantasy'. Now, I realize that my definition of 'high fantasy', which includes pervasive magic, unusual creatures, and a setting that is vividly far from the real world, is not the definition you'll find if you look the term up online. I also don't care. Seeing as the critical definition appears to characterize high fantasy solely by the fact that it doesn't take place on our Earth, and as this definition is written as if high fantasy and sword-and-sorcery are mutually exclusive, I'm inclined to conclude that whoever wrote said definition is pretty damn stupid and carry on with my own outlines of what makes fantasy high, low, urban, epic, or any other subcategory or combination thereof.
That said - this book? High fantasy? Not as far as I'm concerned. It is, to say the least, distinctly lacking in the requisite elements of the fantastic.

Is it possible that Martin is going for a 'the magic comes back' subplot over the course of the series? Definitely. Do I give two shits about the rest of the series? NOPE.
This book comes off as a pathetic attempt at fantasy by someone who doesn't really care about the genre, or doesn't know much about it. It mostly struck me more as an alternate universe War of the Roses fanfiction, with some hints of magic thrown in in a halfassed attempt to give it a place on the genre fiction shelves of bookstores. You can explain to me over and over how Martin intended to make his world 'gritty' and 'realistic' and I will tell you over and over that that shouldn't matter: that it is possible to have a fantasy which is gritty, realistic, and also utterly fantastical. It's even possible to do it without losing the particular areas where Martin seemed to be trying for gritty realism: since he chose to make all of his characters of the nobility anyhow, he wouldn't have had to worry about overglorifying the lives of the peasantry, as one might with a more economically diverse cast.
Now, I'm willing to give Martin the benefit of the doubt a little bit on the possibility of the 'magic comes back' thing, because there did seem to be elements here that could become fantastical if fully explained later. The problem, of course, is that they're tossed out without background, let alone proper explanation, and so feel jarring and out of place - not a coherent part of the world, but bits tossed in to be linked together later. Right now... all they managed to do was trip me up, throw me ass-over-teakettle out of the story, and leave me blinking at the page in confusion and not a little bit of frustration.
(And yeah, maybe part of why I'm so sore about this is that, like I said, I started this book not long after reading some Sanderson, and Sanderson is basically the king of seamless, fantastical, elegant worldbuilding, so pretty much anyone looks bad in comparison, but still.)
If I had to assign this book to a genre, I'd call it 'low fantasy', because as far as I'm concerned it was running too low on the qualities that make fantasy what it is. It's about as much fantasy as fanfiction that translates characters to the modern day is - namely, basically mundane with a miniscule twist.

The characters of this book also stand out... and not in a good way.

There are a lot of them - eight POVs and plenty more on the side - and not a single one of them is likeable. They all had the potential to be, which makes it worse. Bran, the Stark boy who learns too much and is crippled as a result, could have an interesting arc if it weren't so slow and drawn-out. The hints of genuine pathos-inducing story are definitely there. They're also present in the chapters focused on Catelyn, who is the closest Martin gets to a truly nuanced character. Ned Stark, Catelyn's husband, is supposed to be the noble one - too bad his 'nobility' comes off as stupidity instead. Jon Snow, Ned's bastard child, is a truly stereotypical fantasy character: the super special 'outcast' who is nonetheless generally loved except by those the narration makes a point to show as bigoted and cruel, who never really has to work either for physical skills or personal growth, and who gets gifted by the narrative with an absurd number of SUPER UNIQUE TRAPPINGS, including an albino wolf (really, Martin, REALLY? Are you secretly a fourteen year-old girl writing horrendous anime fanfic or something? Answer: no, and the comparison is insulting to fourteen year-old girls.) and a bastard sword that was a family heirloom of a noble house not his own. Arya is by far the most entertaining of the Starks, but only because she fulfills all sorts of rebellious-noble-girl-learns-to-fight tropes that I'm quite fond of. Sansa's chapters made me set the book down for days on end; she is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most insipid, annoying, airheaded character I have ever read and she has not a single whisper of a redeeming quality. Tyrion Lannister is what Jon Snow could have become without the heapings of Gary Stu in his youth: a bitter middle-aged man with father issues who turns to sex and crudity as his only defense; somewhat akin to Catelyn, he had the potential to be interesting and nuanced if his behavior hadn't been played dead straight.

And there's one more: Daenerys Targaryen. Oh, Dany, Dany, Dany. I could write a dissertation on Dany and everything that went wrong with her story - but I don't have that kind of time.
For those of you not familiar with this most epic of George R.R. Martin's characterization and plot failures, here is a summary:
(oh and spoilers, but I honestly can't be bothered to tag it.)
When we first meet her, Dany is thirteen years ond and about to be sold (effectively) into marriage with Khal Drogo, a warlord of the Dothraki people, by her abusive and not-a-little-bit-crazy brother, Viserys. Viserys has convinced himself that Drogo will help him take back 'his' kingdom - this being the Seven Kingdoms where the rest of the book takes place - hence the whole 'selling his sister to be raped by married to someone he obviously sees as a barbarian' thing. The marriage occurs, and then the wedding night in truly squicky half-detail. There then follows a long journey across the plains to a Dothraki city, during which Dany is raped (and no, I will not call it anything else) by Drogo. By her fourteenth birthday she is pregnant. When they arrive in the Dothraki city, Viserys makes such an ass of himself that Drogo kills him by pouring molten gold over his head in the middle of a feasting hall. Robert, the current king of the Seven Kingdoms who the Targaryens see as a usurper, sends assassins to kill Dany - naturally, they fail - and Drogo gets so angry at this that he decides to commit all his people to attacking the Seven Kingdoms in retribution. They leave the Dothraki city (at this point Dany is heavily pregnant) and go out to wreak havoc across the countryside on their way to conquest. In one such battle Drogo is wounded; because he refuses to care for the wound properly, it gets infected. When it is clear that he is going to die, Dany appeals to an old woman to perform forbidden magic to save him; the rest of Drogo's people do not approve and try to cast Dany out. End result: Dany loses her child to create a Drogo-zombie, which she then smothers. When his body is placed on the traditional pyre, she adds in three supposedly dead dragon eggs (given to her as wedding gifts and which any fool could see hundreds of pages off were bound to hatch) and, surprise surprise, they hatch.

To which my primary objections are:
1. The blinding obviousness of the ending
2. The fact that this single plotline - this single POV among eight - is so far distant from and so barely related to the others
3. The fact that Dany being raped is never treated as what it is, and that the relationship between her and Drogo is portrayed as love.


The first two are self-explanatory; the third, of course, is the big thorny problem. Now, I can sort of understand the perspective which argues that Dany is taking control of her sexuality - she comes to enjoy sex and even to initiate and control it at times. However, SHE IS AT NO POINT OLDER THAN FOURTEEN. There's a reason that such a concept as an 'age of consent' exists - there is an age at which teenagers are genuinely immature and probably shouldn't be making life-changing decisions like, say, things that could get them pregnant. Now, I understand that in the medieval times like those that this book is based on, girls were getting married and having children a lot earlier, and that people in general were more mature at an early age. However, Dany shows none of that maturity until after she's been with Drogo for weeks - if not months. When she's married to him, she is if anything unusually innocent for her age. It's a little hard for me to accept the idea that she's taking control of her sexuality when she's so young and clueless that her first sexual experience is a choice only inasmuch as she chooses not to fight back. Not fighting back, by the way, doesn't mean it's not rape, particularly in the situation that Dany is in (vastly younger than Drogo, vastly weaker, browbeaten by her abusive brother and told over and over that her obligation is to do whatever her husband wants). Nor are her later sexual experiences ones of choice; in fact, it is explicitly stated that even when she had horrible saddle sores and could barely walk, she was expected to be available for sex and treated as such. If anything, her eventual enjoyment of it seems more like a psychological block put up as a survival tactic than genuine pleasure in the act or love for Drogo.
Yet, despite the fact that this situation is obviously, beyond a shadow of a doubt, rape, it's never addressed in-text. If anything, it's portrayed as a positive experience for Dany, one that makes her stronger and enables her to stand up for herself.

Stupid me; I thought that the cancerous expansion of rape-as-love was limited to abusive jackass love interests in YA paranormal romances; clearly, I was wrong. It's everywhere, people. We are all completely fucking doomed.

Which brings me to one of the other major frustrations I had with this book: the sex.
Ummm... what to say? I thought reading some of the V'lane bits of Darkfever while sitting next to my mother on the plane was uncomfortable; to my utter shock, that was nothing compared to reading the sex scenes of this book alone. No worry about someone looking over my shoulder and reading about MacKayla Lane getting hot and bothered - and yet even more awkward. Why? Well, as one reviewer put it (and I wish I could remember who to give them credit), they're written kind of as if they're these tremendous mythic events. I cringe at the very thought of quoting them, but to give you a little idea of what they're like... (worst romance sex scenes you've ever read) - (bizarre flowerly euphemisms) + (gratuitous use of the word 'manhood')*(general strange reverence for penises above and beyond the norm) + (incidences of incest) = Game of Thrones sex scene.
In general: AWKWARD.

(Just to be sure you feel my pain.)


This book felt male-oriented in a way that is so painfully forced that it made me distinctly uncomfortable. I don't mean that women can't enjoy it - obviously, as all the reviews I linked back at the top demonstrate, they can and they do. I mean that the book itself felt as if it were written for the most stereotypical male audience imaginable. As Tatiana described it, it reads like a soap opera for men. Because MEN want lots of violence, sex, swearing by female genitalia, and paper-thin motivations, right? Which is exactly what Martin dishes up.

and so is the book he's produced.


I thought at around the halfway point that I'd finish the book and be able to watch the HBO show to get the rest of the series without suffering through more awkwardly described sex scenes (not to mention the rest of it). By the time I finished, though, I had developed such a virulent hatred for this book, its author, and everything related to either of the above that I start grinding my teeth just reading praise for it. Watching the show would be vastly to my detriment - mostly because neither my hand nor my bank account would do well after I put my fist through the screen of my laptop.

In conclusion/summary:






Oh, and to the diehard defenders of this series, like those who were plaguing Keely's review, who like to tell people who disagree with them that GRRM is the greatest writer of ALL TIME and that the female characters presented herein are feminist (or, to use an exact quote, that "GRRM has written some of the most independent, self-reliant heroines ever to grace the fantasy genre. It's more than half the reason he's so beloved. His female characters disdain male attention, are always smarter, faster, deadlier, and braver than any of their male counterparts. Kinda like feminists with swords" which is complete and utter bullshit), I have only one thing to say:




THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.
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Quotes Anila Liked

George R.R. Martin
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


Reading Progress

09/21/2011 page 1
0.0% "I am not sure if I want this to suck or to rule. What I don't want is something mediocre, especially since it's going to be such a long haul." 16 comments
09/22/2011 page 2
0.0% "...so it's page two and I'm already thinking 'oh just drop your pants and get it over with' at these characters. LESS POSTURING MORE STORY." 4 comments
09/22/2011 page 13
2.0% "Creepy..."
09/23/2011 page 15
2.0% ""Jon was slender where Robb was muscular, dark where Robb was fair, graceful and quick where his half brother was strong and fast." 1. I smell author's darling. 2. Someone please explain the difference between 'quick' and 'fast' because I think they're synonyms and Martin clearly doesn't agree." 6 comments
09/23/2011 page 28
3.0% "Okay, I think there needs to be a rule. Authors are only allowed to refer to women's breasts as 'tits' or 'teats' a certain number of times in a given book. Say... two. Which means Martin has used his up." 36 comments
09/23/2011 page 29
3.0% "squick squick squick brother twisting nipple of thirteen year-old = BIG NO."
09/23/2011 page 48
6.0% "Spoil for me: does Dany's brother die? If so, how soon? If not, WHY THE FUCK NOT?" 6 comments
09/24/2011 page 50
6.0% ""She was a wisp of a girl, not quite eight, her hair a cascade of golden hairs under a jeweled net. Jon noticed the shy looks she gave Robb as they passed between the tables and the timid way she smiled at him. He decided she was insipid." And I'm supposed to like Jon for what reason, exactly?" 23 comments
09/24/2011 page 76
9.0% "So some of these scenes remind me of things I wrote in bad Amelia Atwater-Rhodes fanfic when I was fourteen." 2 comments
09/25/2011 page 108
13.0% "Dear Mr. Martin: Please learn how to end a chapter. Sincerely, a reader used to much more skilled authors than you."
09/25/2011 page 118
14.0% "This is going to take too long. I can only stand it for about 20 pages a night."
09/26/2011 page 136
16.0% "1. I don't trust Greyjoy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he causes Ned's death. 2. Dany's dragon eggs are going to hatch at some point in the series, aren't they?" 4 comments
09/26/2011 page 156
19.0% "Okay, Lord Renly has potential. Anyone on Arya's side in this has potential."
09/26/2011 page 160
19.0% "Lord Renly, Eddard Stark, Arya, and maaaaybe Dany if we ever get back to her: these are the characters that are not on my shit list. Actually, Eddard is borderline, because he's letting Robert stomp all over their friendship and still giving too much. Idiot." 6 comments
09/26/2011 page 162
19.0% "I do believe I'm reading a recap episode. *eyeroll* It's not even necessary. Memo to Martin: Anime can get away with spending time like this because it usually waits until it has a lot of things to recap before trying. Also, some things just work better in a visual medium."
09/26/2011 page 165
20.0% "Dream sequences were cool the first four or five time. At this point, they're waaaay over played. Original? This book? LOL people are so funny." 15 comments
09/26/2011 page 185
22.0% "The northern king's last name is Rayder. OF FUCKING COURSE. That's not really obvious or anything."
09/26/2011 page 190
23.0% "1. Crows and ravens do not make human-like noises. You're confusing them with parrots. 2. And of course the Magical Good News of Magicalness is going to cure Jon of being an ass and let him make FWENDS. Because we couldn't have him actually working through his issues the slow way, now could we?" 55 comments
09/30/2011 page 236
28.0% "I was actually liking this, until Dany's fourteenth birthday included her initiating sex with her much, much, much older husband. SHE'S FOURTEEN. This is just - I can't - I remember who I was at age fourteen and I would never have trusted myself with something that... important."
10/01/2011 page 298
36.0% "Let me first say that I am underage and rule-abiding, that I generally dislike the taste of alcohol, and that the idea of being drunk repulses me. Now, given all that, the following remains true: reading Sansa's chapters makes me want to get well and truly sloshed." 3 comments
10/03/2011 page 310
37.0% ""Jon despaired of me often enough, yet I grew into a good king." NO YOU DIDN'T. YOU GREW INTO AN IRRESPONSIBLE HORNY GLUTTON WITH NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY." 8 comments
10/03/2011 page 324
39.0% "So Varys was waiting to talk to Ned until he knew that Ned was loyal to the Crown... and then is still not willing to really give him information. Cory, I fear your quest to learn the motivations of these characters is doomed: they have none except plot convenience." 3 comments
10/04/2011 page 355
43.0% "Dear book: please decide either to be good or to be a piece of shit. All this flip-flopping is driving me crazy. You would never win an election with this strategy." 9 comments
10/04/2011 page 410
49.0% "Dany is having intermittent Breaking Dawn-era Bella Swan moments. IT IS CREEPING ME OUT. Also, can we please deal with the fact that this is a rape baby, not a child she chose to have of her own will? Or are we just going to kick that under the bed with the rest of the things excused by 'realism'?"
10/08/2011 page 444
53.0% "Robert. You. Are. A. Pathetic. Wimp. Does he die in the later books?" 2 comments
10/19/2011 page 474
57.0% "If you hadn't already guessed, I've set this one aside for the time being. However, I have to add this: http://mintchocolatecandle.tumblr.com... because it is funny."
11/05/2011 page 489
59.0% "Wow, um... make Cersei more two-dimensional, why don't you? If that's even possible. By which I mean that it is not."
11/05/2011 page 501
60.0% "GOD FUCKING DAMMIT. Mr. Martin, when I have HATED a character as much as I hated Viserys, I should enjoy his death. Instead, it makes me distinctly uncomfortable - not because you did something good, in making him three-dimensional and thus someone whose death I would regret, but because you wrote it so FUCKING BADLY. ALSO CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW SICK THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DANY AND DROGO IS? I LOATHE THIS BOOK."
11/05/2011 page 514
62.0% "Call 911; George R. R. Martin is axe-murdering the fantasy genre!" 2 comments
11/06/2011 page 517
62.0% "We get it, seriously: the blood of the First Men flows in the veins of the Starks. WE GOT IT THE FIRST SIX TIMES YOU SAID IT. WITH THAT EXACT PHRASING."
11/06/2011 page 594
71.0% "Dear Mr. Martin: we get it. Men have penises. Now, would you please stop talking about 'manhoods'? First of all, it's a stupid euphemism; second, it has no place in the context of your story whatsoever." 4 comments
11/06/2011 page 618
74.0% "Well, the good news is that this book got me through my homework for Monday pretty well. I'm going to reward myself by reading something good during the week. Something like, oh, Red Glove." 2 comments
11/08/2011 page 618
74.0% "Just realized that reading praise for this book makes me actively angry. Dayum. This review is going to be a doozy. I almost want to finish the book sooner so I can vent my rage."
11/09/2011 page 667
80.0% "It's like an accident on the highway - I don't want to slow down and stare, but I do. How does this book stay so consistently terrible?" 5 comments
11/10/2011 page 702
84.0% "BTW, the most common cause for dwarfism is a dominant allele. Sooooo in all likelihood, Tyrion is not his father's son."
11/10/2011 page 763
91.0% "finishing this POS this weekend. Writing up all my quote-rants will take a while after that, and the actual review will come after all those... it's going to be a while. but at least I'll be done soon."
11/10/2011 page 783
94.0% "Even Jon, author's darling extraordinaire, has zero agency. He's just pushed around by secondary (two-dimensional) characters for plot purposes."

Comments (showing 451-500 of 539) (539 new)


message 451: by Reyna (new) - added it

Reyna Walker I feel like I maybe found you on Goodreads because of a google search that led me to your Twilight review. Or something. And then I loved you. I like your taste in books and your reviews do not disappoint. I marked this as to-read cause I (secretly and guiltily) enjoy the show. But maybe I won't bother now :)


message 452: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila I've heard that the show is considerably better than the book - you certainly don't have to feel guilty about enjoying it! However, if you're worried that the book might dampen that enjoyment, I'd say you're better off skipping it.


message 453: by Lisa (last edited Jul 05, 2012 08:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Wow, there are over 500 comments! Great review. I still ended up really enjoying the book even though I agree with many of your points.

Dany's storyline was problematic for me too in terms of her relationship with Drogo and I thought her personality was one of the less interesting ones (a little too sweet for me). I will say that while most of it her story was pretty predictable (who didn't see the dragons coming?), I was taken off guard when she lost the baby since there was a prophecy and everything.


message 454: by stephanie (new)

stephanie this review made me happy. <3


message 455: by Marly (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marly If you hate a book fine but the amount of time it took you to make this comment is a little much. No? The time you took to make this comment you could've been reading a book you actually loved. There's no point getting so worked up about a book you hate. Move on. Side note Sansa's character was purposely developed to e exactly as you described. If you read the rest of the series you'd realize most of the things you rant about are valid and have a purpose in the story.


message 456: by Kaia (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kaia Did I miss something? Is it Save the Comma Day and no one told me?


message 457: by John (last edited Jul 13, 2012 04:56AM) (new) - added it

John Egbert Marly wrote: "If you hate a book fine but the amount of time it took you to make this comment is a little much. No? The time you took to make this comment you could've been reading a book you actually loved. T..."

description

If you read the rest of the series you'd realize most of the things you rant about are valid and have a purpose in the story.

NO. Man, this is literally the laziest excuse for poor storytelling in history. Nobody should have to read an entire series just to get the first book. That doesn't make any sense.

Side note Sansa's character was purposely developed to e exactly as you described.

And so...?

The time you took to make this comment you could've been reading a book you actually loved.

The time YOU took to make THIS comment could have been used to write your own review of the book. Not everyone is going to love your favorite series. Here's some advice on that for ya: get over it.


message 458: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Alright so John basically knocked it out of the park but I'm going to go back and take that comment apart piece by piece just to be extra thorough.


message 459: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Marly wrote: "If you hate a book fine"

Great! If it's fine, why are you lecturing me about it? It's fine, right? (wrong. you are simply trying to sugarcoat the ensuing stupidity of your comment. nice try.)

"but the amount of time it took you to make this comment is a little much."

Hmmm I haven't seen you on the Committee of How I Spend My Time before; you must be new... OH WAIT THERE IS NO SUCH THING because how I spend my time? is none of your goddamn business.

"No?"

No.

"The time you took to make this comment you could've been reading a book you actually loved."

Actually it... really couldn't. A) I make an effort to review everything I read and B) when I read something that I find frustrating/anger-inducing, I need to work through those emotions by talking about it, both in real life and via the internet. So actually I wouldn't have been able to move on from this book if I hadn't vented about it.

"There's no point getting so worked up about a book you hate."

See above; there is.

"Move on."

GODDAMMIT I AM TRYING BUT EVERY MONTH OR SO I GET ANOTHER ASSHOLE LIKE YOU IN HERE TELLING ME THAT I'M NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE AN OPINION. IT'S LIKE THIS REVIEW HAS A FUCKING MENSTRUAL CYCLE OF JERKS.
(also before you lecture me to 'move on' you should... you know... maybe consider the hypocrisy of saying that as you take valuable time out of your day to stop in and inform me that my opinions are wrong. take your own advice kthx.)

"Side note "

Oooooh here it comes. Here is the "not only did you waste your time ranting but you are also wrong because" bit.

"Sansa's character was purposely developed to e exactly as you described."

...you mean completely and totally unlikeable and unsympathetic? Riiiiight, got it. Consider it duly noted: Martin does not understand the need for readers to find characters sympathetic. I appreciate the info.

"If you read the rest of the series you'd realize most of the things you rant about are valid and have a purpose in the story. "

OKAY FUCKHEADS
HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY THIS
I GAVE GRRM 800 PAGES TO CONVINCE ME THAT HE COULD TELL A GOOD STORY
EIGHT
HUNDRED
PAGES
AND HOURS OF MY TIME
IF IN THAT LENGTH AND TIME HE WAS UNABLE TO DEMONSTRATE ANYTHING I CONSIDER TO BE REMOTELY RESEMBLING PROWESS
WHY
THE
FUCK
WOULD I SUBJECT MYSELF TO SEVERAL THOUSAND MORE PAGES?



Look, asshat ASOIAF fans. (because the rest of your fandom is fine. this is for you EXTRA SPECIAL PEOPLE.) I have eleven pages of comments on this review. ELEVEN. PAGES. You know why it's so long? Because every now and then another one of you shows up to tell me that I'm wrong/not entitled to my opinion/stupid/wasting my time with the review/an idiot feminist getting mad about nothing/whatever. And here's the thing.
At this point?
I've heard it all.
I've heard it all.
Your compatriots have already informed me that if I just read another few thousand pages everything would look good. I have already heard about how I should have spent my time reading something I would like. I have already heard 'but historical accuracy!' wank.
EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY IN THAT COMMENT YOU ARE COMPOSING?
I have already heard. And responded to, for that matter! And if you'll kindly do your fucking homework and read the rest of the conversation, you'll find those responses and they may elucidate you as to my opinions on the things you are about to say and why your post is irrelevant.
And then?
kindly fuck right off


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) God DAMMIT why can't I like comments? *like* *like* *like*

Such stupid comments deserve this kind of response.


message 461: by Kaia (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kaia You know, Anila, I'm not sure why people who've actually read the books seem so convinced that you'll "get it" if you just read the rest of them. They should know better than anyone that the steaming pile of misogynist rape-filled shit just gets bigger and bigger.

(Although it is kinda of fun imagining you foaming at the mouth and stabbing Martin to death with his own books in an uncontrollable bout of rage. Which is about how such an endeavor would end.)


message 462: by Lina (last edited Jul 14, 2012 01:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lina Deez fans sometimes



I don't see the problem. You didn't like the book, you don't want to read the series. Issue done. Why do people have to push you into reading the other books? I love this problematic as hell series and yes I even disagree with some your points, but I that is your beautiful, well written opinion and you shouldn't have to change it for fanboys.

P.S: Seriously? People are calling you an idiot feminist for your comments? Are they unaware of how many feminist fans exist in ASOIF?

7 Pray for their souls:




message 463: by John (new) - added it

John Egbert The hilarious part is how they say not to waste time reading things you don't like...

...and then want you to read the rest of the series.

You just can't win, can you?


message 464: by Lina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lina John wrote: "The hilarious part is how they say not to waste time reading things you don't like...

...and then want you to read the rest of the series.

You just can't win, can you?"


Exactly! I mean if you are trying to convince someone to read an entire series of long ass books, then do it in a way that get's them invested. Saying "oh you will get it when you read them all", while I would say is somewhat true, is not exactly a strong selling point.

If you aren't invested after Book One, why read over 2 thousand more pages? XD


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) John wrote: "The hilarious part is how they say not to waste time reading things you don't like...

...and then want you to read the rest of the series.

You just can't win, can you?"


I came back here because something had been bugging me and I couldn't figure out what it was until I realized it was this exact point!

...you could've been reading a book you actually loved.

Move on.


And yet,

If you read the rest of the series you'd realize...

Could not be more ridiculous if she tried.


message 466: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Lina wrote: "Deez fans sometimes





I don't see the problem. You didn't like the book, you don't want to read the series. Issue done. Why do people have to push you into reading the other books? I love this..."


Lina, I love you and this is why.


message 467: by Lina (last edited Jul 14, 2012 12:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lina Anila wrote: "Lina, I love you and this is why.
"




message 468: by Charlotte (new) - added it

Charlotte I generally stay away from reviews until I read the book (I had a book spoiled that way once - no "spoiler alert!" or NOTHIN'!) Anyway, I truly wish I had read your review instead of reading the book. When I (finally!) finished, my hubby asked how the book was. My reply: "Well, it ended with the character that was most removed from the entire story-line breastfeeding two baby dragons." He snorted laughing. I think that just about sums up the book. Thanks for your review! It was made of awesome!


message 469: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Charlotte wrote: "I generally stay away from reviews until I read the book (I had a book spoiled that way once - no "spoiler alert!" or NOTHIN'!) Anyway, I truly wish I had read your review instead of reading the bo..."

I agree; that really is the book in a nutshell. And you are welcome! Thanks for the lovely comment.


message 470: by Mary (new)

Mary Beautiful enlightening review. Thanks it really is a great read really, really, funny. Better than the book I am currently reading right now. (Your review, not the book you are reviewing).


message 471: by Edward (last edited Jul 24, 2012 11:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Edward Kaia wrote: "You know, Anila, I'm not sure why people who've actually read the books seem so convinced that you'll "get it" if you just read the rest of them. They should know better than anyone that the steami..."

Indeed, yes, indeed. I *have* read them all, and believe me, it just goes downhill from here. Now, I enjoyed the first two, mainly in anticipation of what could have been, and three still had me futilely holding out for the increasingly elusive payoff. But no, if someone is not "grabbed", by "A Game of Thrones", they will not "get" anything by reading the others but bored or aggravated. Even if you *are* grabbed, you might get bored or aggravated. Although, I must admit, I would enjoy seeing what Anila would do to, say, "A Storm of Swords" or "A Feast of Crows".

As far as the mantra that people have been throwing out about "no point in getting worked up over a book you hate", well, what's the difference between someone writing a political commentary on a candidate you don't like, which happens all the time, and writing a book review about a book you don't like? It's done in academic circles all the time, witness Alison Weir and Bertram Fields' differing views on Richard III. But in short, anyone can write anything they wish. If someone want's to disagree, that's fine, but to say they have no right to say it is unacceptable. It is the last refuge of the lazy.


message 472: by Fiona (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fiona Byrne I have to say I loved all the books. I think the characters were engaging and the fact that you want to see some of them die is all part of it. I am not going to get animated or go in to all of what you said but I think as a review a lot of it is unwarranted. I mean talking about certain relationships that bother you etc... Things change throughout the series, a character you hate in a game of thrones you love in a later book and so on. Yes you hated the book, fair enough, but to write that much hate on one book when you don't know the characters or lore is a bit much and needlessly harsh.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) What is it with people who think their first order of business on Goodreads should be to read reviews they know they won't agree with and then post comments whining about them?


message 474: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Fiona wrote: "I have to say I loved all the books. I think the characters were engaging and the fact that you want to see some of them die is all part of it. I am not going to get animated or go in to all of wha..."

I read eight hundred goddamn pages. I know the characters and the lore exactly as much as I need to to review the book.

Also, I'd like to direct you to the last few paragraphs of this comment, wherein I explain why you should just fuck off already.


message 475: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Alicia wrote: "What is it with people who think their first order of business on Goodreads should be to read reviews they know they won't agree with and then post comments whining about them?"

We just don't know, Alicia. We just don't know. I suspect total lack of manners.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Anila wrote: "We just don't know, Alicia. We just don't know. I suspect total lack of manners."

Absolutely, to say the least.


message 477: by Fiona (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fiona Byrne I wasn't trying to get on your case about your review. I thought it was interesting that you wrote so much about it and read it. I voiced what I thought about it being a bit harsh. I thought that was fair to say. It wasn't trying to make you mad. I think it was a little unfair and voiced that. I thought I might get some intelligent input back. I joined good reads because I thought that people could have a proper discussion about books, and from reviews get recommendations. I didn't think it was like youtube where people freak out if you disagree with them. I wasn't saying you didn't get the characters or the book or anything of the sort.
... I explain why you should just fuck off already.
Why would you write a review if you didn't want input from everyone.
Alicia wrote: "What is it with people who think their first order of business on Goodreads should be to read reviews they know they won't agree with and then post comments whining about them?"

We just don't know, Alicia. We just don't know. I suspect total lack of manners.
I definitely was not whining. It's not that I didn't like your review, I actually thought it was funny. I just thought it harsh for a review, not just an opinion. And a lack of manners? You replied to my comment telling me to fuck off. Also needlessly harsh. I'm sorry my first experience on this site was this. I'm also sorry you saw my comment as something it wasn't and that someone else felt the need to jump in as well. I'm kind of shocked at the response.



message 478: by Kaia (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kaia Fiona, you want to understand the response, read the entire goddamn thread of comments and Anila's warning and edit on the review.

If you still can't get it...well, I guess maybe you're a lost cause.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Fiona wrote: "I voiced what I thought about it being a bit harsh. I thought that was fair to say. It wasn't trying to make you mad. I think it was a little unfair and voiced that. I thought I might get some intelligent input back. I joined good reads because I thought that people could have a proper discussion about books..."

Okay, but you weren't trying to open discussion, you called her opinions "unwarranted" and and her expression "a bit much and needlessly harsh." That is getting on her case. I don't understand why you thought that would be seen as opening a discussion and not lecturing her on her feelings about the book. GRRM had his chance with her, and she didn't like it. Why in the devil would she subject herself to thousands of more pages because you think things get better? Since the one star rating doesn't seem to be enough of a deterrent, she even provided two warnings about the review at the beginning. Why did you keep reading? Just to tell her the way she expresses herself is wrong?

Why would you write a review if you didn't want input from everyone.

She obviously needed to work out her feelings on the book. Hence her warning about the unorganized rant. Some people, including myself, need to do that. Also to inform people they may or may not like the book based on her feelings. It actually isn't an invitation for everyone to come in and tell her she's wrong for whatever reason. I like reading books and writing up my opinion. I don't like having some stranger tell me what I think is wrong and what I write is wrong. User reviews aren't there to be reviewed. You have your own review space to talk about your feelings on the book. There are also discussion forums for most books, especially ones as epic as GoT.

I'm sorry my first experience on this site was this.

Me too. There were a lot more positive ways to get involved in Goodreads than being negative in someone else's review.

I'm also sorry you saw my comment as something it wasn't and that someone else felt the need to jump in as well.

That's why it would behoove you to read through some of the comments on a review. It would not have been appropriate anyway, but there are over 500 comments on this review, even if you had read the very last comment before yours you would have seen that Anila has taken a lot of abuse for daring to dislike something other people loved and write about it. That's why you got the response you got. It gets very old and tiring having people tell you that your personal feelings are wrong because they don't coincide with theirs. And I don't think you see the irony of the second part of that sentence.


message 480: by Fiona (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fiona Byrne Alicia wrote: "Fiona wrote: "I voiced what I thought about it being a bit harsh. I thought that was fair to say. It wasn't trying to make you mad. I think it was a little unfair and voiced that. I thought I might..." Ok I never was giving abuse to anyone. I would never do that. I only meant that the way it was written was unwarranted. I enjoy the fact that someone may be put off by hating some characters whereas I liked that. It made me want to read more. If everyone thought the same thing the world would be a very boring place. I read that review and immediately wanted to read a positive review she did so telling people not to read the review if they like the books is pointless. Unless they're aggressive people I suppose. I guess I worded my first comment wrong. But I was 100% not trying to abuse anyone or be negative. I don't mind that she hated the book one bit. I never once said anyone should think the same as me. It just felt like the review was written after a really bad day. Which is why I wanted to read some of her other reviews as I agree with a lot of other ratings. There is no need to get so defensive or angry at me when there was no malice intended whatsoever.


message 481: by Auntie J (last edited Jul 27, 2012 04:00AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Auntie J Anila, thank you so much for this review!! I also am a huge fan of fantasy, it's the genre I am most drawn to and my entry into it was considerable years prior to the Harry Potter years :)

I had two family members recommend this one to me. So I really tried. I thought if I read far enough it'd suddenly turn to (for me) the wonderful story they felt it was. I stopped and started this book twice finally giving up in disgust for good. Every step of my journey through the portion I read was tedious to disgusting.

With all the glowing reviews out there and tons of appreciative fans, it's so nice to see I'm not alone in my feelings about this book, and your review helps me to know my lack of enjoyment wouldn't have changed had I struggled on to continue the book.


message 482: by Fiona (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fiona Byrne And I'll end on this note before anyone gives me any more grief. I enjoyed reading the review, even though I don't agree with some of it. I wasn't trying to hurl abuse, be negative, say you should think the same as me, tell anyone else to think the same as me. When I used the language "the characters grab you" I was using "you" in the generic sense of the word. I didn't get most of the lore until a bit in to the series so that's why I said that. I get like that about books, I have read all the background of Tolkien's work as well. I was going to ask on another feed about your recommendation about Inheritance because you rated the other Paolini books but not that one, the only one I haven't read yet, purely because of this review. Even though I felt it unbalanced, I can see that you are a proper reader and clearly EXTREMELY passionate and that I respect. I thought it was ok to think the review very angry or written on a bad day so to speak. So I'm sorry if that upset you.


message 483: by Mary (new)

Mary I haven't finished the book. Should I finish it? Just so that if someone tries to pull shit on me for not liking it I will be able to say I finished it?


Shambrecia All I can say is damn, that is a long ass review. Very entertaining.


message 485: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Shambrecia: Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mary: It's hard to say that one's better than the other. On the one hand, if you're not enjoying it and would feel better setting it aside, that's the best option; on the other hand, a lot of rude fans will use that against you if you talk about not liking it. If you anticipate controversy, I'd recommend finishing it. It makes your points more defensible.


message 486: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Fiona wrote: "I wasn't trying to get on your case about your review. I thought it was interesting that you wrote so much about it and read it. I voiced what I thought about it being a bit harsh. I thought that w..."

Alright. I think you're gone, but there are a few things you said that I'd like to address for posterity, so to speak.

"I thought I might get some intelligent input back. I joined good reads because I thought that people could have a proper discussion about books, and from reviews get recommendations. I didn't think it was like youtube where people freak out if you disagree with them. I wasn't saying you didn't get the characters or the book or anything of the sort."

The thing is that you did get intelligent input back. It happened to be short-tempered intelligent input. Go figure! That's what happens when you come onto someone's review to tell them that it is 'unwarranted' and 'needlessly harsh' and that they 'don't know the characters or lore', and especially after that reviewer has put up with enough of your fellow fans doing the same that the comment thread is eleven pages long.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt re: not trying to piss me off, because you are new. But while you weren't making an effort to offend, you also weren't thinking very hard about how not to. I mean, for crying out loud, there's several hundred words at the beginning of my review addressed at people who have come here with the intent to piss me off and start a fight. That really should have been a red flag for you: danger! danger! reviewer has perhaps been prodded one too many times!

Since you're new, it would probably be unreasonable for me to have expected you to check the most recent posts on the thread. If you had, you'd have seen some of the shit I've been dealing with for my opinion. Then again, I gave you a link back to it when I responded to you and you still don't seem to understand. So maybe you wouldn't have reconsidered your comment in light of that. We'll never know.


"Why would you write a review if you didn't want input from everyone."

Honey, if I wanted input from everyone, I'd have hopped on a forum website and started a thread. I wrote a review to contribute my opinion, and also to work out my thoughts on the book. Bonus points: practicing critical thinking skills and analytical writing, of a sort.

" I just thought it harsh for a review, not just an opinion."

...are you under the impression that reviews and opinions are two different things
because if so
you should maybe re-evaluate that because it's dead wrong.

"I'm sorry my first experience on this site was this."

To be quite honest? I am too. This is a shitty first experience on a website and you really could have made better choices. I'm not inclined to take responsibility for said shittiness because a) there are disclaimers and warnings all over this thread, b) I'm not obligated to be nice to you just because you didn't know the rules and c) even if I were, I had no way of knowing this was your first comment.
If you want a little advice - and I mean this genuinely - spend a little time lurking, writing reviews, and rating books before you talk to people. This should really be standard protocol for everyone joining a new website: you gotta learn the ropes first, and lurking is the best way to do that without offending someone in the process.


Regarding your last comment: I'm glad you enjoyed reading the review. I'm sorry you worded your comment poorly; in the future you may wish to avoid telling people their opinions or chosen ways of expressing them are 'unwarranted' or 'needlessly harsh'. If you want intelligent discussion, that's not the way to go about it. You'll get the hang of it eventually, though, I'm sure.
(Regarding Inheritance, I haven't rated it because I have yet to read it.)


message 487: by Mary (last edited Aug 02, 2012 02:09PM) (new)

Mary Anila wrote: "Shambrecia: Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mary: It's hard to say that one's better than the other. On the one hand, if you're not enjoying it and would feel better setting it aside, that'..."



Ok I will endure it:P thanks :)


message 488: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic Just want to say that I love, love, love your point at the beginning in italics, about how disturbing it is that the same people who call rampant sexism and rape culture "gritty" and protest that taking it out would make the work "unrealistic" typically have no problem with leaving out many other details, e.g. those of hygiene. I applaud your point.


message 489: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Nic wrote: "Just want to say that I love, love, love your point at the beginning in italics, about how disturbing it is that the same people who call rampant sexism and rape culture "gritty" and protest that t..."

Thank you! As mentioned above, I didn't write that - I wish I had! - but it is a brilliant point. Sometimes I want to staple it to people's faces so they remember it.


message 490: by Marie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Marie Anila wrote: "I FEEL LIKE AT THIS POINT I SHOULD ALSO MENTION THAT NOT ONCE DID I USE THE WORD 'SEXIST' IN THIS REVIEW???"

Oh dear. (view spoiler) I so sympathize with your frustration, I'd just forgotten that yeah, that wasn't even a point of your review!

I remember the only reason I'd read GOT was because the characters were so strongly recommended. Frankly I thought there were some of the most cardboard I'd come across recently.

Sorry this review is causing you so much trouble, Anila. :(


message 491: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Marie wrote: "Anila wrote: "I FEEL LIKE AT THIS POINT I SHOULD ALSO MENTION THAT NOT ONCE DID I USE THE WORD 'SEXIST' IN THIS REVIEW???"

Oh dear. [spoilers removed] I so sympathize with your frustration, I'd ju..."

I really wish GR had an option to close comments on posts, the way some journal websites do. I'd have shut this one down ages ago. I just keep getting the same crap over and over again.

Deleting Rose's posts + direct responses to them now, by the way.


message 492: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila And done! Phew. I really should just do that for every trollish comment.


message 493: by Marie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Marie I can see why they don't want to, but I think at the point of 12 pages an actual conversation is unlikely to be happening.


message 494: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Marie wrote: "I can see why they don't want to, but I think at the point of 12 pages an actual conversation is unlikely to be happening."

Pretty much. It's just so exhausting, too.


message 495: by Kendra (new)

Kendra I'm sure you've gotten tons of crap for this review--so I just had to say that you are awesome, and this is awesome. : )


message 496: by Deb (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deb Wilson First off, even though I ended up really enjoying the book, I do agree with you on several points, and I LOVED reading your thoughts on it. My biggest complaint with the book is it felt like absolutely nothing happened for the first 500 pages, and then when things started happening, it was predictable. Still, I managed to get sucked in. I'll read the next one, but not right away.


message 497: by Nicole (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicole Epic review. Absolutely amazing ( this coming from a fan of the book). Your way of writing and formatting it made me very happy. :)


message 498: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila Nicole wrote: "Epic review. Absolutely amazing ( this coming from a fan of the book). Your way of writing and formatting it made me very happy. :)"

Thank you! I'm always glad to hear that fans of the book enjoyed my review.


Hungrie Zombie Your review is more captivating and better written than the book.


message 500: by Anila (new) - rated it 1 star

Anila FYI, it's now been eight months since I've read the books and I spent an inordinate amount of that time arguing minutiae about my goddamn opinion, I'm no longer going to discuss/argue with people. Since the assumption people hold when they post here is that they'll get me responding, that means I'm deleting comments. Sorry to the person who just typed out a long essay thingy, but after 575 comments and eight months of having these same discussions I am not going to go through your argument and deconstruct it point-by-point. You could probably call that bitchy, but at this point I don't give a fuck.


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