Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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May 25, 08

bookshelves: fantasy, 2008, not-worth-it
Read in May, 2008

I really feel the necessity of a bit of personal backstory here, before I start the review. Back in 1996 when this book first came out, and I was about 14 or 16 years old, I saw the hardcover on a sale table for about $5 and couldn't resist a bargain (still can't, though I'm more cautious these days). So I started reading this book with the vague idea that it was a flop, and that may not have helped, but I got through 100 pages of it before feeling so crapped off with it that I shoved it in my cupboard and tried not to think about it. Page 108 to be exact. More on why later.

If you've heard of this book, or read it, you're probably aware that far from being the flop I assumed it was at the time (and I didn't know anyone who was reading it), the series has gone on to be one of the big Cash Cows of the fantasy genre. Computer games, role-playing games - there's even a board game that looks like Risk. Sooner or later there'll be a movie or something, no doubt (I'm moderately surprised one isn't in the works already). People love this book and this series. So I'm well aware I'll probably be lynched for this review, because even the people on Goodreads who didn't like it still had great things to say about it.

But reviews are subjective, and here's mine.

In the vein of Tolkein, Jordan, Elliott, Goodkind, Hobb, Eddings, Feist et al, A Game of Thrones is set in the classicly boring-and-overdone medieval-England-esque setting, and is essentially about a bunch of nobles fighting over a throne. Great. Very original. Praised for its focus on political intrigue, its lack of magic and similar fantasy tropes, and its cast of believable and interesting characters, I found the book tedious. The first "epic fantasy" series I read (after Narnia) was Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, and it's true that I struggled with the first book, Eye of the World. But there were elements to it that I liked, characters who I felt attached to, enough to read the second book and become hooked, and so on. I love 1000-page long, fat fantasy books. I love huge casts of characters and have no problem keeping up with them. I've read Jennifer Fallon's Wolfblade trilogy and Second Sons Trilogy, both of which are heavy on political intrigue and very low on magic, and they're supurb. A Game of Thrones is not. It offers nothing new to the genre, and does nothing original with what it has.

Narrated in turns by Eddard (Ned) Stark, Lord of Winterfell; his wife Lady Catelyn; his bastard son Jon Snow; his very young daughters Sansa and Arya; his middle son Bran; Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf and brother to the Queen; and young Daenerys Targaryen, last of the line of dragon kings and exiled to the land beyond the narrow sea, the book is divided into neat chapters headed by the name of one or the other, so you know exactly whose point-of-view you're going to get and where you are in the plot. Thanks for holding my hand Martin, but I don't like this technique. The chapter headings, I'm referring to. It encourages me to start wondering about the character before I've even started reading. "CATELYN" the chapter title reads: is she young or old, a peasant, a farmer, a daughter, a mother, nice, mean... I start imagining things and then have to correct it all as the character is revealed during the chapter. There's power in names, and withholding them or putting elements of a character's personality first is often more compelling, and better writing. It also made it harder to get through the book, because at the end of one chapter I'd see the name of the next, think "oh great, him/her again, their story's boring" and put the book down.

Let me be perfectly straight: I did not find any of the characters to be particularly interesting; though Jaime Lannister had something about him, you hardly ever saw him. They all pretty much felt like the same character, just in different situations. The differences between them, for example the good-girl Sansa and her tomboy sister Arya, felt forced, superficial and clichéd. Ned is all about honour and duty, but especially honour, with love a more minor consideration, but honestly, could the man be more stupid? Eddard's a moron, and dull, and his only saving grace is that he's nice to his daughters. Let's be clear about something else right here: this world and its people are so sexist and misogynist it's ludicrous. There are many derogatory references to women's tits, metaphors about screwing whores, descriptions of Daenerys getting her nipples pinched by her horrible brother Viserys - not to mention her marriage, at twelve, to a horselord whose men rape women like there's no tomorrow; incest and so on. The first time I tried to read this book, I was offended and disgusted (it didn't help that I'd read Pillars of the Earth not long before; though I did not grow up sexually repressed or prudish or anything like that, I have never found reading descriptions of rape to be all that easy, especially when they're treated so dismissively) - yet oddly my impressions of the characters were much more favourable. I read it now and I just felt contempt.

No one character stands out, though Arya has potential. Catelyn is as boring as her husband, and her sister Lysa is, let's face it, mad as a hatter and a sure sign of why women are unfit to rule (a clear message in this medieval-esque patriarchal world). Queen Cercei too. Tyrion, the dwarf, seems on the verge of having charisma but fails, and Daenerys... I want to like someone, but Martin doesn't give his characters any depth. Sure, they're all flawed and a flawed character is a great literary device - the anti-hero, etc. But Martin's characters are walking clichés, even the dwarf.

The plot is also pretty weak. I don't need elves and magic and dragons - in fact, I tend to avoid them, especially elves *yawn* - but you've gotta give me something else. A bildungsroman does wonders - yes, let me see the characters on a journey of life rather than a quest, quests are tired. There's no quest in A Game of Thrones, and that's fine with me. But what is there? Jon goes to the Wall that separates the wilderness from the Seven Kingdoms (why is it called the Seven Kingdoms when there's only one kingdom?) and is attacked by an Other, a kind of zombie creature; Ned goes to the capital to take up the role of King's Hand because the King, Robert, likes to spend his time boozing, whoring and hunting; Catelyn follows to tell him someone tried to kill Bran; Ned tries to discover why the previous Hand died... And swords with names, seriously, what's with that? I'm so sick of such blatant phallic symbols and their representations, and the whole creed of honour and duty and gallant knights...

What frustrates me most is that this could have been a really interesting story, if only the author had better talent at writing characters - or letting them write themselves. The plot is not the problem, though it's largely uneventful, with no climactic moments because even those are written at the same pace as the rest, with no drammatic flourishes (come on, we all like those, let's be honest). But the characters, *sigh*, their motivations are simplistic, their actions extremely predictable, and while they don't blur one into another neither do any of them stand out. Also, the type of setting seems mostly convenient: with the focus on the nobles and their squabbling, you don't learn much about the lower classes, or what kind of food is grown here, or what kind of industry supports the economy, or anything about the cultures - using the clichéd medieval England setting allows Martin to ignore one of the more fascinating aspects of society and leaves his world shallow, like surface water, without support (using this old and worn Fantasy setting allows an author to get lazy about world-building). The history of the land is also riddled with clichés, and sort of thrown in here and there as if to remind the reader "it is a real place, look, here's what the First Men did!"

As for the writing, it's easy to read and calm, though very slow and rather lacking in tone or any interesting stylistic quirks: flat and bland, in other words. There's no atmosphere in this book. There're a few bad lines, like "A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death" (p.425) - his one concession to drama, it seems, though if you read it again you'll notice it doesn't actually make sense; and a few awkward sentences that leave you scrambling, such as "Catelyn watched her son [Robb Stark] mount up. Olyvar Frey held his horse for him, Lord Walder's son, two years older than Robb, and ten years younger and more anxious." (p.696) I noticed a similar sentence later, and I guess I know what he means but really, it's terrible writing.

On the plus side, there were a few things I liked. The direwolves - large ferocious animals as constant companions and protectors: always a winner with me; the intriguing climate, where summer and winter lasts years, decades even, before changing (how does that work? Seriously, what do they eat?); Daenerys' dragon eggs, and the Dothraki, the horse lords - though they were pretty superficial and confined to a rigid list of adjectives - I would have liked to understand their culture better. In many fantasy books my problem is the whole good vs. evil cliché, which generally involves the plot. Here, my problem is that the characters are so black-and-white. They are described, good, that's settled, now what? There's no grey. No character development. They never once surprised me.

I honestly don't know if I'll read the next book. The Wheel of Time taught me (at the same age as I first tried reading this book, 16) that the first book in a series can be the weakest, because of the amount of extrapolation and background etc. that goes on. I didn't find that problem here, it was very grounded in the now, which makes me think the next book will be more of the same. I keep coming back to the reasons why I struggled to finish this book: boredom, clichéd and empty characters, not enough balance (as in, there's no love in this book, and if the characters are so realistic why don't they love?), and predictable events. You know what it reminds me of? Marion Zimmer Bradley's equally famous The Mists of Avalon - another book I couldn't finish. If you like Arthurian fantasy, and that kind of style, then this would be a good book for you: the excessively patriarchal culture, the battles, the hint of magic and something glorious lurking around the edges but never coming to the fore, it's all here, neatly packaged. Obviously it works for a lot of people.

But to all those people who say that Martin has opened up the genre in new ways, that he is the best writer of the epic fantasy crowd and so on, I have to wonder, have they read anything else? And then I wonder whether it's a matter of which author you read first and grow attached to, and so compare all the others. I don't think I fell into that trap as such, because Jordan's lost the plot, literally, Goodkind's personal politics and propaganda have taken over his story, and the one epic fantasy series that I love above all others - to date - is Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series, which I didn't start reading till I was in uni. But I really wonder, how this story grabbed other people. If it grabbed you, I'd love to hear how and why, because sometimes I feel like I'm too jaded or something, too snobby maybe ....
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Comments (showing 51-100 of 249) (249 new)


message 51: by David (new)

David The chapter headings, I'm referring to. It encourages me to start wondering about the character before I've even started reading. "CATELYN" the chapter title reads: is she young or old, a peasant, a farmer, a daughter, a mother, nice, mean... I start imagining things and then have to correct it all as the character is revealed during the chapter. There's power in names, and withholding them or putting elements of a character's personality first is often more compelling, and better writing.

I had to stop reading this review after this point because quite honestly it was one of the strangest criticisms of a novel I have ever heard or read. I immediately flashed to all of the novels where the author even deigns to put the name of the main character on the very cover of the book (oh, Heavens!), less a mere chapter heading: "Oliver Twist," "David Copperfield," "Jane Eyre," "Emma," "Huckleberry Finn," "Tom Sawyer," etc., etc., etc. Does this theory of yours hold true for these novels as well? Are the authors of these books giving away too much by telling the reader the name of the main character in the title of the book?

What about writers who put the name of the narrator in the first line of the first chapter? Is that somehow different? "Call me Ishmael." I believe that one has some fans.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Don't be ridiculous.

My reasons for being annoyed in this particular book are clearly enough stated. It's not a theory, David. It's me being extremely irritated with many niggly things in this book. I don't think the chapter headings worked at all in this book.


message 53: by Nan (new)

Nan I like your review quite a bit. I read the novel some years ago when it was new in paperback. It was vaguely disturbing to me, and I kinda liked that. However, I was also reading Robert Jordan at that time, and I had been reading his books for years. When the next book in this series didn't come out all that quickly, I rapidly lost interest in it. Part of me would like to know how it all turns out. However, when book two did come out in paperback, I realized that I would need to reread book one because I'd forgotten so much . . . and I realized that I had no desire to slog through this book a second time. Once I came to that realization, I took the book to a used bookstore.

Reading your review helps me to remember so much of what I didn't like about the book. As I said, I was intrigued enough to wonder what would happen next. That said, I wasn't into reading about incest, breast feeding at the age of ten (rough estimate, it's been a few years since I read this dreck), and breast feeding dragons. Seriously. Breast feeding dragons? They're not mammals, Mr. Martin. You have them hatched in eggs, and that's not a mammalian behavior, hence no breast feeding . . .

UG.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) However, when book two did come out in paperback, I realized that I would need to reread book one because I'd forgotten so much . .

That happens to me all the time Nan, even with shorter books. I enjoyed Jordan's series up until I had caught up and had to wait years, because it went smoothly for the first seven books and then the waiting created big gaps that spoiled it for me. It's probably better to wait till they're all out - but what a marathon!

You have them hatched in eggs, and that's not a mammalian behavior, hence no breast feeding . . .

Oh my, I completely missed that! I think because I was wincing at the time ;) god what stupidity. You're right, reptiles do not drink milk from a breast or anywhere else! I think by that point I was rushing over the scenes, eager to reach the end where I could close it once and for all!


Jeffrey I typically enjoy your reviews Shannon even when I disagree with the conclusions. I think that Martin's book, in contrast to Goodkind's and Eddings was liked because of its real politick aspects. Many people liked that it was not about, as you say, elves, dragons, etc, but was a more behind the legend tale of power in all its aspects. The way that he treats women, as some people have observed is typical of how women were really treated in Medieval times, but I digress from my main point. It is worth noting that Although you didnt like it - it was nominated as best novel for a Nebula and a Hugo that year. Obviously you are entitled to your opinion of the novel and your review is a good read.

I did like it but is almost impossible to tell or describe why I liked it given that I read it 13 years ago frankly, who can remember the details years later and hundreds of novels later to adequately respond to your point by point attack on the novel. I certainly cannot.

However, I do want to again express here my mostly annoying comment about Martin -- his huge delay in publishing the rest of the story. Game of Thrones was published in 1996 -- 13 years ago. Originally, the author planned to write a trilogy -- but somehow (maybe because the book was so successful) Martin now claims that he intends to write a seven book series (but unlike JK Rowlings the books do not come out in the normal time frame).

The second novel -- A Clash of Kings was published in 1998, but was several months later than originally intended. The third novel was again published two years later in 2000. Then came the great divide -- the next novel was published in 2005. The author prior to publication claimed that this 4th book was really part one of a two part novel that was just too big to be published as one novel. It has now been 4 years later and the "second half" of the "4th book" has still not been published. However, Martin has written some graphic novels about some aspects of this world.

As you mentioned, you typically need to re-read novels over and over again in order to follow the characters from book to book. As these novels get more complex adn the autho rintroduces more and more characters, the longer and long time frame between novels becomes ever more problematic. That is the case especially here and in that other series that you cited -- The World of Time by Robert Jordan.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Jeffrey, if you like fantasy with more political leanings than magical ones - as I do too - I'd recommend Jennifer Fallon's books, especially the Wolfblade trilogy (or, as it has been published in North America, the second half of the Hythrun Chronicles, starting with Wolfblade - gets very confusing when they do that!). What's even better is, they're all out and available!

I'd say that there are plenty of books that get Nebula or Hugo awards that people thought weren't all that great. Just because it gets an award, or a nomination, doesn't say to me that they know best. I found this book to be unoriginal and dull, but yes, that is my opinion. It's always disappointing when people don't like our favourite books.

I'll just add, that if this book were an historical fiction novel set in Medieval England or France, then sure, bring on the patriarchy, I'd expect nothing less. But it's fantasy: sticking to what's safe and the well-trod path is less than enthralling. There are way too many fantasy novels just like this one out there, some of them better written, and far less condescending. I'd recommend Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series, for one.


message 57: by Dominic (last edited Jul 26, 2009 11:43AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dominic I am not sure how anyone can have such a lengthy review after reading only 10% of a book, more so about 2% of the series so far... seems very premature to write such a negitive review..

I have a fealing that there is some other reason that is more personal to shannon on why she does not like this book... If someone can not see ANY humor in this book (there is tons, just very dark, not your typical spoon-fed humor) then granted, this series is not for them. Also, if one can not relate to ANY character at all I would think they are lacking some experience in the world...

Martin has "balls", he kills off characters you love, his characters are very dark as people are in real life, particularly in the time period of mid evil England, which is where martin took a bit of his book from, and really, who cares if the long winter is not explained, it does not have to be so someone with any knowledge of the planets and solar system, its obviously on a different world that spins on a different sort of axis hence longer winters and summers...

criticizeing a book based on the chapter headers?? not sure if you read enough to understand, but the chapters are put that way because they are from that charters POV..

ahhh whatever, I could go on, I have read quite a bit of fantasy and while this is not the best, it is damn good, as I stated before I tend to think Shannon has some other issue that lies beyond the hate for this book, I can not comprehend how someone can write such a review with only reading a fraction of a story, maybe its just me though...

also, this is FAR from martins first book, he has won hugo's and nebula's before this for a number of great short stories that span all geners.. geesh sounds like I am trying to sell martins book here , but alas at the end of the day he is still a great author that will not spoon feed you the same fantasy crap over and over again .. (I tend to use spoon-fed a bit, I think most people like to be spoon-fed the same garbage over and over because it makes them comfy, I like to be thrown around and taken out of my comfort zone, maybe its just me..)



message 58: by Shannon (Giraffe Days) (last edited Jul 26, 2009 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Shannon (Giraffe Days) I am not sure how anyone can have such a lengthy review after reading only 10% of a book, more so about 2% of the series so far... seems very premature to write such a negitive review..

It seems very premature to write such a statement after reading less than 10% of my review. If you had actually read it, even from the first line, you would know that I read the entire book. I do not write reviews for books I haven't read.

at the end of the day he is still a great author that will not spoon feed you the same fantasy crap over and over again

That's probably the biggest thing we disagree on.

Likewise, if you had read the review, you would understand better what I said in it and stop patronising me.

So yeah, I guess it is just you...




Dominic yeah.... I guess it is just me :)


Kimmay Personally... I really liked this book, but i have to remark on a few things in this thread.

Firstly, I have read quite a few books that were 'award winners' and upom reading them i thought who in their right mind would pick that particular book as an award winner ? Ranging from the book was mediocre to having the book totally suck.

So having an award is NOT always a sure way to pick a good book. Just my humble opinion, but some award winners are not 'winners', pun intended. LOL

Secondly, yeah i really liked this book but i thought the breast feeding dragons was incredibly STUPID. I mean come on... She could have bonded with the dragons without breast-feeding a dragon. They are reptiles of a sort...they hatched from eggs so i guess that qualifies. i mean even if it is fantasy it has to be believable. This part of the story just didn't work for me. So even people who LIKED the book and this series, have things that irritate them. If fact i couldn't stand reading the chapters with that particular character. But that is just me. I had other characters that i liked so much better.

I guess my point is... when someone write a review, you don't have to agree, but neither do i think you should verbally attack them either... We won't mention names here but you know who you are and you could be kinder...

So, Shannon didn't like this book, big deal. She writes awesome reviews even if i don't always agree, her reviews are well thought out and express her OPINION, that is her opinion. No need to be unkind to Shannon.

Oh and Shannon, Thanks for the Wolfblade recommendation, I will be sure to try and track that one down. It sounds interesting.






Shannon (Giraffe Days) Thanks Kimmay - and I completely agree about the awards thing. Hope you enjoy Jennifer Fallon :D


message 62: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn A specter is haunting America. The specter of Ayn Rand. "Objectivism" pul-leeze. Less call it what it is: "Selfish-ism" Okay, you want to keep all you can squeeze and screw "altrusim".


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Nice Marx mis-quote (it's "stalking" not "haunting"), but your comment makes absolutely no sense and just makes you sound pretentious. Sorry Thom but I'm getting pretty fed up with all the ridiculous comments this review is garnering, and this just seems to take the cake.


message 64: by Liam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liam You complain about sexism in a medieval fantasy setting. That's like reading a book about Soviet Russia and complaining about communism. And even supposing all your nitpicky criticism is true, does that really merit 1/5?


message 65: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn On this breast-feeding thing: does a female platypus breast-feed ? Could it, if it really wanted to ? What do the kids want ? What does her husband think, etc. Actually, we mammals (and monotremes) are descended from the Therapsid-reptiles, so one could perhaps to blur the lines a little. Well I HAVEN'T read Thrones, but here on Pern we saddle-up dragons and ride off into the sunset. Shannon, check out "A Specter is Haunting Texas" by Fritz Leiber, I think. And Ayn Rand was a damn good script writer and novelist, but she was no more an economist than Emma Goldman. I did like her story, "From Each According to His Ability, To Each According to His Needs". You ?


Shannon (Giraffe Days) That's one of the things I like about fantasy, actually, Thom.


Piotr Azub Shannon, your review is wholly understandable.I believe I know what you mean by criticizing this book and I would agree with you. The problem is I have just finished the third installment and I am waiting till Monday to buy the fourth. Martin caught me with the SoIaF and I am wondering why. Am I a brute thirsty for blood? I don't think so. His descriptions of teenage girls in various situations also seem for me sometimes to be tawdry or even sick. He must have learned his tricks while working on TV series and I feel in fact like a person caught by such a neverending series, though I have never been caught by any (doesn't make sense?). And the plot did not have the taste of something new. I had the feeling that he just picks up some elements from other authors and pastes them together.Here a bit of Sapkowski,a bit of J.V.Jones and perhaps something from Dune or even LOTR. That might give a feeling of reading simultaneously a few different books. Martin must have thought, OK I know what you like and I will feed it to you. It is understandable that some chunks are better than other, especially in such a complex book, and for some even indigestible. But I like almost all of them, especially after reading the 3. installment. Sometimes I think that he is too brutal, but after considering I have to admit that's how it functions or at least used to function. People die, are maimed for life, murder, rape and we need to keep the course in all that. But if you can't brook his writing it's your problem. However, I suspect you are fuming with impatience to read A Dance with Dragons.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) *laughs*
Piotr, you've described it well. All we need is a bit of understanding, so thanks for that.

There are some books books/series that I find myself reading, compelled to read even, despite all their faults. You can see it, but you just don't care or it has something else that drives you on and even though it's hard to explain, hard to justify, it doesn't matter. It's all very ... ambivalent? Ambiguous? See, there's no word for it.

Plenty of people hate books I absolutely adore, but it'd be pretty low to put bitchy superior comments on their reviews, trying to make them feel small and stupid for "not getting it". I feel I did get this book, and found it sadly lacking. Being bullied by some people on GR isn't going to make me like the book any better.


message 69: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky I so agree with your review. I find it strange that where each chapter is titled with a character's name, there is little real depth to the characters. Strange. I feel cheated when I read a book and finish not really knowing the characters or at least being enchanted by them. I too found his ease of describing rape so easily and that nobody seems at all offended in the story by the idea. A little grossed out seems to be the strongest emotion on that subject. Anyway, negative stars for that book.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Becky wrote: "I so agree with your review. I find it strange that where each chapter is titled with a character's name, there is little real depth to the characters. Strange. I feel cheated when I read a book ..."

It was a cheat, wasn't it. Too many of his characters - well, no, I'll say all - were dull and cliched and not well fleshed out. The chapter headings were like a crutch, in that way.


message 71: by Tim (new)

Tim After reading/skimming all these comments *cough*arguments*cough* I decided I'm going to keep mine simple and to the point:

I'd read some information about this series and thought I might as well try it out.

After reading your review I've decided not to waste my time or money on these books.

I think it's a good decision.

Thank you. :]


message 72: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn I'm still captivated by the image of a breast-feeding dragon. .... .....

.... How about "A Thread is Haunting Goodreads" ?

All you young folk be well --Thom


message 73: by Maribel (new)

Maribel WOW! lol I love your reviews. Lol. You get so "into" it. I just looked up this book because a co-worker recommended it and I saw your review way at the top. I haven't had a chance to post a review of my latest read "Possession: A Romance" and I havent had a chance to catch up with ALL your most recent posts (how? how? how do you read more than 1 book at a time??? lol). Anyway, I trust your evaluations so now I have to decide if to take a chance w/this book or not. I'll keep you posted. Pun intended. : )


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Thanks Maribel - and I'm looking forward to your review of Possession (like I mentioned before, I read it years ago and I might like it better now that I'm "older", and several people have recommmended it to me on GR! That must be a sign?).

Ugh, lots and lots of people love this book/series. I try to understand why but I'm still not convinced. I can understand why people love other books I didn't like, just not this one! I'd actually be really curious what you think of this one, but I can't recommend it!


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Tim - wise decision. I'd like to say "don't let me influence you", but honestly, with this book, I'm happy to save you the sheer boredom!

Thom, when you sum it up like that, it's just plain cheesy ;)


message 76: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn Shannon wrote: "Tim - wise decision. I'd like to say "don't let me influence you", but honestly, with this book, I'm happy to save you the sheer boredom!

Thom, when you sum it up like that, it's just plain chee..."


What did I sum ? Am I the cheese ? -- Confused in Cincinnati.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Thom, you said: "I'm still captivated by the image of a breast-feeding dragon...."

it's a delightfully cheesy image!



Allison (The Allure of Books) don't feel bad Shannon, I didn't care for the book either. Guess that makes me worthless too.

I'm real hurt by that. Being insulted by the close-minded really craps on my day.


Chris Hey, it's one of my favorite books of all time. And if you want my opinion, it's close minded idiots like this Tenement dude that give this "recognized classic" a bad name, not the negative reviews.

Shannon's perfectly within her right to like/dislike whatever she sees fit. You don't have to agree. It would be a boring world if we all did agree.

And I still adore Allison even if she didn't like one of my favorite books! hehe....

oh, and one more thing. If you're planning a battle of wits with Becky, you might as well fade out now. You're grossly unarmed.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Thanks Becky, but I wouldn't bother. Water-duck-back, y'know? I'd like to think he's joking because otherwise I can't fathom it!

I'm getting kinda used to it Allison! I have two reviews that seem to attract the most idiotic comments. What is this, YouTube? I love that we can have calm, intelligent discussions here, so it's disappointing when it degenerates.

Exactly Chris, thank you! I have lots of friends here and we disagree about a great many books. There's nothing wrong with that. And there are plenty of "recognised classics" that people strongly dislike. Although I would argue that this one is a classic at all - it really hasn't been around long enough, for a start. If it survives the "test of time" (literally), maybe then. It'll be deserved, I'm sure. Gotta give it a few decades more yet!


Becky Yeah, I know Shannon. It just aggravates me when you're being attacked something so silly. Gets my back up, you know?

I love reading your reviews, and respect your opinion because even when we don't agree, you've at least given it thought and explained why you feel a certain way. That's valid, and what the site is here for, and shouldn't be attacked.
:)


Becky But hey, it's not all bad, right? I see you've gained two more votes for this review just today! ;)


Chris Becky wrote: "But hey, it's not all bad, right? I see you've gained two more votes for this review just today! ;)"

One was mine.....

and Tennant, your input has nothing to do with why I liked her review. I saw some of my friends commenting on it, so I thought I'd check it out. And while I disagree with Shannon's opinion of the book, I liked her well written, nicely thought out review.


Allison (The Allure of Books) aww Chris, I adore you too :)

haha Shannon...."what is this, YouTube?" Comments on YT really crack me up....SO dumb.

As for Tennant...I'll just leave him to Becky. Like Chris said, she can decimate the idiotic.


Becky Tennant wrote: "People are only voting this up due to my input. "

Maybe you're right. Although, considering that you've caused them to vote the other way should tell you something.


Allison (The Allure of Books) worthless AND condescending....I must be having a really bad day.


Becky I think this thing thrives on attention. Maybe if we all ignore it, it will go away.


Chris Okay. Maybe I've overestimated my own intelligence because I thought he was calling Shannon stupid. It appears that was for Allison.....I got confused.

I gave the book 5-stars. By this scale, I should be a genius.

In which case, I should not have made said stupid error above. Err....

You're right Becky. Let's just ignore it. If we do for awhile he'll filter over to GRRM's webblog and blast the man for writing too slowly. He looks like one of those.


Allison (The Allure of Books) once several of us stupid folk get involved, it gets confusing ;) you can still claim your genius status if you like.

Patrick Rothfuss wrote a really hilarious blog once about those people that are always bagging on fantasy authors for writing so slow. I should go try to find it...good stuff.


Chris I think I've seen it. Neil Gaiman had one too. His was called "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch".


Allison (The Allure of Books) Chris wrote: "I think I've seen it. Neil Gaiman had one too. His was called "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch"."

hmm....that might even be the one I'm thinking of. Probably so :)


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Wow I think I've missed a lot going on here! Looks like Tennant disappeared and I missed the rest of the discussion argument! You scared him off! Nice ;)


Maria M. Elmvang Wow! Lots of comments have been deleted, and not just Tennant's. I wonder if Goodreads abuse team got on it?


Becky Kiwiria wrote: "Wow! Lots of comments have been deleted, and not just Tennant's. I wonder if Goodreads abuse team got on it?"

I'm pretty sure it was GR. That's cool. Hopefully he will STAY away. :)


Tracey Shannon wrote: "Wow I think I've missed a lot going on here! Looks like Tennant disappeared and I missed the rest of the discussion argument! You scared him off! Nice ;)"

You did, but count yourself lucky



message 97: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn Shannon wrote: "Ha Ha."

Tennant wrote: "Thanks Shannon for your long and informative review. I won't read the book now."

Will you guys kiss and make up. Or if you won't, just get married and formalize your relationship.


Maria M. Elmvang I don't understand why an individual's opinion of one book influences the validity of their opinion of another book.

If Shannon is anything like me, she rates books according to her expectations of that book.

Twilight is fluff, and never attempts to be anything other than fluff. It manages this very well, and therefore isn't rated lower for trying to be something it's not.

AGoT reads like a book that wants to be taken seriously and which hopes to earn the title of "a classic". In this I (and Shannon, obviously) think it fails miserably, and accordingly it's rated lower.

I rate each book according to its own genre/type/pretensions - not according to how it would compare to "The Great American Novel"(TM).


message 99: by Maria M. (last edited Feb 19, 2010 02:52AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maria M. Elmvang By that logic, a book like Oh, Were They Ever Happy! by Peter Spier should also automatically receive 1 star, because it has no real plot, no character development and is overly simplistic?

Yet who would dream of using such criteria to rate it against? Most people would take into consideration that it's a picture book, and what the target audience is, and rate it accordingly.

I can at most agree with you that each book should be rated in comparison to each other book within the same genre which has the same target audience. Anything else would be comparing apples to oranges. You can say that you personally prefer apples to oranges, but saying that an apple makes a better apple than an orange does is pointless.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) Dieter wrote: "i find it hilarious that the OP rated Twilight 5/5. Oh well, to each his own i suppose."

Oh dear lord. We've been over this. Logical fallacy and all. Give it a rest.


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