The Sword and Laser discussion

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George R.R. Martin Threads > What's so great about George R. R. Martin?

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Tamahome | 4244 comments (Sorry, Veronica.) Ok, I've read the 1st two books. They seemed like 99% historical fiction, which I don't have a big interest in. I loved the ending of the 1st book, but it seemed a long way to go for that. I even have the 2nd tv season on dvr, but except for the last episode, I haven't watched it yet. Do I have to read the 3rd ASOIAF book to really appreciate him?


message 2: by Micah (last edited Jun 24, 2012 08:33AM) (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1041 comments I would say that if you haven't really picked up the love in the first 2 books than you could probably set them down. While A Storm of Swords is IMO the best in the series; it pretty much continues on much as the first 2 did. I just started the series in December and finished A Dance With Dragons last week. I loved them but got a little tired out when I read books 3-5 back to back. I would say that if books 1 & 2 don't do it for you then you could safely drop the series as something that just didn't grab you.

-edit: although if you really want to see Cersi Lannister go off the deep end (like way off the deep end) then you should really read book 4. Talk about your crazy pot...


Nick (Whyzen) | 1206 comments You mean you don't like "The English Patient"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5qalN...


Tamahome | 4244 comments So winter is coming, then yadda yadda yadda?


Nick (Whyzen) | 1206 comments Tamahome wrote: "So winter is coming, then yadda yadda yadda?"
Veronica is the boss and she says you're fired if you don't love the "Song of Ice and Fire" books!


Kamil | 372 comments what's so great about G.R.R. Martin? the R.R. in his full name.... remember any other author whith those 2 letters in his shortform of the full name?


message 7: by Tassie Dave (last edited Jun 24, 2012 02:06PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 488 comments I'd say if your not hooked after 2 books give up. It's just not for you.

I was hooked early on in Book 1 and I'm impatiently waiting for Book 6.


Colin | 277 comments Well, i think "Winter is Coming" is the only truth in the book so far. it just took 5 books for it to actually arrive...but it has at least come.

Oh, spoiler i guess?


Heather (Bruyere) | 20 comments I agree that if you aren't grabbed by the first three books it's probably not for you. He begins to waffle a lot with minor characters with the books after that. It took some real dedication to not drop the recent book. (Good thing Cersi was in that one!) I have hope for future books though! And his prose is very nice if you just zone out during the clothing and food descriptions.


Paul 'Pezski' Perry (Pezter) | 364 comments A query; several people say "if you aren't grabbed by the first two/three books.."

If you start a series and aren't grabbed by the first book, why the hell would you read the second?

(I was enthralled from the start of A Game of Thrones, personally)


message 11: by Nick (last edited Jun 25, 2012 08:33AM) (new)

Nick (Whyzen) | 1206 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "A query; several people say "if you aren't grabbed by the first two/three books.."

If you start a series and aren't grabbed by the first book, why the hell would you read the second?"


Peer pressure. Everyone else is liking it and you are wondering if you've just missed the part that hooked everyone else.

I'm with you though Paul. I've enjoyed Game of Thrones since the first book.


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1620 comments It's a decent fantasy series, but it's not the modern classic people hold it up to be. The setting is as generic as they come, the cultures your standard cliche fest, and the characters just slightly more complex versions of the archetypes you find throughout the genre. The only thing the series really has going for it is an intricate plot -- which is never going to be completed, so what's the point in reading.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1041 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "A query; several people say "if you aren't grabbed by the first two/three books.."

If you start a series and aren't grabbed by the first book, why the hell would you read the second?

(I was enthr..."


I said the first 2 books because Tamahome had already read them. Personally I would have stopped after GOT if the books had not grabbed me.


Tamahome | 4244 comments David Barr Kirtley said the third book really locked it in for him, so that's why I asked.


Patrick | 93 comments He is an engaging writer but after the first couple of books I found the ongoing operatic train wreck of the various characters lives depressing.


Michael Humphrey (AllLiving) | 2 comments I started the series over 10 years ago and started getting bogged down around book 3. (I was just too young and immature to stick with it.) When I heard that a new book was due to be released (finally) it had been so long that I had to start the series over. I muscled my way through the 3 and 4 book (actually wasn't all that hard this time around...older and wiser I guess.) Read Dance and can't wait for more. Definitely one of the most thorough historical fantasies out there, with a cast of engagiing characters. Martin examines the plot with a microscope, then throws it up on IMAX. In other words, the details are HUGE!


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 642 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "If you start a series and aren't grabbed by the first book, why the hell would you read the second?"

Because sometimes you read The Eye of the World and hate it, but already have a copy of The Great Hunt lying around and you want to know why everyone else seems to like this series so much. So you read the second book and regret it, until about the 2/3 mark when it starts getting good enough to propel you through to Book 6 of the series, after which you put it down and never pick it up again.

Or so I've heard.

Also, I found The Sword of Shannara derivative, uninspired and dumb, so Terry Brooks should be glad I started with Elfstones Of Shannara, because that, Wishsong and the Scions series are much, much better than Sword.


Heather (Bruyere) | 20 comments I hated The Eye of the World and so never read anymore. I didn't like King's Gunslinger that much either but because everyone told me the series was amazing I have gone further and am enjoying it. I think it's worth sticking through a few books if it's popular with people you have similar taste to.


Noel Baker | 364 comments Sean wrote: "It's a decent fantasy series, but it's not the modern classic people hold it up to be. The setting is as generic as they come, the cultures your standard cliche fest, and the characters just slight..."

None of that matters in the slightest. It is an enthralling story and a rattling good read. Generic? Good. Culture cliche? No problem.


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1620 comments I can live a long, long time before I read about another nomadic warrior race based upon an encyclopedia entry about the Mongols, Huns, Sioux or Bedouin.


Noel Baker | 364 comments Are you suffering from Yurt envy?


message 22: by Victoria (vikz writes) (last edited Jun 27, 2012 12:41PM) (new)

Victoria (vikz writes) (VixtoriaVikzwrites) | 166 comments GRRM- when he is good he is very, very good and when he is bad he is boring. The series started very well in book one but then went downhill from there.


message 23: by Ed (new)

Ed | 9 comments I find him to be the Tolkein of our generation. I'm only just starting book 2 of Fire and Ice


Candy (HeartlessOne) | 10 comments I like the books, I have read the series up to ADWD, and am reading that one now, but it drives me NUTS when people call him the Tolkien of our time. Just because he has letters in lieu of names? I have read Tolkien and find their writing styles to be completely and totally different, unless you count "wordy" as a similarity. I love them both, but why can't he just be called the George RR Martin of our time, cause that's who he is, and leave Tolkien out of the equation? Okay, I'm done, I'll step off the soapbox. Sorry.


Leesa (leesalogic) | 239 comments I don't really like high fantasy, but I started reading ASOIAF just before the HBO series started and I was instantly engaged.

I liked the first four books a whole bunch, but am having a hard time with the fifth one--Roy Detrice, awesome as he is, changed the accents for several of the characters and I am having a really hard time not resenting it. Ha!

So many lines that stick with me, similar to Dark Tower. "Winter is coming," "Dark wings, dark words," "You know nothing, Jon Snow," etc.


Michal (MichaltheAssistantPigkeeper) | 227 comments Candy wrote: "I like the books, I have read the series up to ADWD, and am reading that one now, but it drives me NUTS when people call him the Tolkien of our time. Just because he has letters in lieu of names? I..."

Totally agree. He's more like the Dorothy Dunnett of our time, if we're to make any comparisons at all.


Heather (Bruyere) | 20 comments I wouldn't mind Martin's verbose style if it only covered main characters. In the newest book I felt he was doing tons of filler by entering a lot of storyline for characters I barely remember and don't care about.


Ben Green | 3 comments My favorite Martin story was Sand Kings and I think it still is. I found the HBO series great, the books rather boring, kinda tedious and predictable. Couldn't even listen to the audio books from the library without falling asleep in about two minutes.


Tamahome | 4244 comments They adapted Sand Kings on the Outer Limits reboot.


Mark Sehestedt | 17 comments Fevre Dream is the second best vampire novel ever written. And Dracula is #3.

"The next Tolkien" and "the Tolkien of our time" has been so over-used by reviewers that it no longer has any meaning. Any time a new Fantasy series becomes popular, the author is hailed as "the Tolkien of our time."


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 915 comments Tamahome wrote: "They adapted Sand Kings on the Outer Limits reboot."

I really like it. I saw it back in 2006 passing by on the Science Fiction channel randomly when I came back from school.


message 32: by Rasnac (last edited Jul 13, 2012 09:34AM) (new)

Rasnac | 318 comments İn addition to his obvious great qualities as an author and as a person, he has a magnificent beard. :)


Aaron Robinson (haldered) | 5 comments I take "Tolkien of our time" to mean that his work is as popular as Tolkien's was. While their writing is polar opposite from each other, they are both superb writers.


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 642 comments Mark wrote: "The next Tolkien" and "the Tolkien of our time" has been so over-used by reviewers that it no longer has any meaning. Any time a new Fantasy series becomes popular, the author is hailed as "the Tolkien of our time."

Whatever you think of GRRM, I credit him as the author who finally crawled out from under Tolkien's overwhelming shadow over the epic fantasy genre. There were darker and grittier fantasy stories out there before ASoIaF, there was military fantasy, political fantasy, and low-magic settings with some grounding in real-world history. But they rarely reached the levels of popularity of Tolkien-esque series, always featuring a band of diverse companions--including one Chosen One(tm)--questing across a continent vaguely based on Northern Europe/Britain trying to stop some Dark Lord's evil reign/plan. After ASoIaF's success, epic fantasy didn't have to be about stopping Dark Lords anymore.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 915 comments Joe wrote: "Mark wrote: "The next Tolkien" and "the Tolkien of our time" has been so over-used by reviewers that it no longer has any meaning. Any time a new Fantasy series becomes popular, the author is haile..."

The only reason he is big as Tolkien is because both of their work has been adapted, and became mainstream.


message 36: by Robert (last edited Sep 10, 2012 05:35AM) (new)

Robert Nasuti (rlnasuti) | 30 comments I'm with OP on this one. I'm about 25% through the fourth book and I just lemmed it. It's just too real. I read for escapism and the Game of Thrones series just doesn't provide that. Personally, I think "Wild Cards" is a better example of GRRM's work, and that The Wheel of Time series is a better example of epic fantasy (even though Veronica and Tom BOTH lemmed the series)


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1041 comments Robert- I wouldn't go so far as to say WOT Is a better example of epic fantasy than ASOIAF. In my mind WOT is more classic fantasy (one young kid from middle of no where goes on a journey and saves the world) and ASOIAF is a new type of gritty epic fantasy that didn't exist until more recently.

Source: I have read every book in both series and love them both for very different reasons.


Zayne | 57 comments What's so great about Martin? He's an amazing writer! If you don't think his stories are great, you still have to admit his writing style is incredible. It barely has any of those awkard phrases and the dialogue in his books aren't corny and boring. That's why people like him so much, not just because he wrote A Song of Ice and Fire (one of the most incredible series of our time in my opinion).


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 642 comments Kevin wrote: "The only reason he is big as Tolkien is because both of their work has been adapted, and became mainstream."

They were only adapted because they were huge sellers in the first place. And yet, Terry Goodkind had multiple bestsllers and his work's been adapted, but he didn't foment a major sea-change in his genre the way Tolkien and Martin did. The only radical shake-up in the genre Goodkind and Jordan precipitated--for better or for worse--was demonstrating to other writers "hey, your fantasy epic doesn't have to be wrapped up in 3 to 5 books anymore! You can keep churning them out!" (In retrospect, that might have been a nail in the coffin of Tolkienesque epic fantasy--increasingly padded stories with no end in sight. Genre-readers are more savvy these days, and they're clearly not going to let GRRM get away with that.)

Meanwhile, Conan's had multiple adaptations. Many people are fans of at least one of the films. Some enjoyed one of the TV adaptations. The comic adaptations have been perennially popular since the 70s. How many of these people have ever actually read a Robert E. Howard story?


message 40: by Tamahome (last edited Sep 10, 2012 07:52AM) (new)

Tamahome | 4244 comments We need someone like editor Lester del Rey to combat genre bloat.


AnnaBanana Pascone (snapdragnful) | 40 comments Joe wrote: "Also, I found The Sword of Shannara derivative, uninspired and dumb, so Terry Brooks should be glad I started with Elfstones Of Shannara, because that, Wishsong and the Scions series are much, much better than Sword. "

This hurts my heart.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1041 comments AnnaBanana wrote: "This hurts my heart."

don't let 'em get you down. :)


Tamahome | 4244 comments Terry Brooks's fantasy series Shannara gets its own tv show -- take that Game of Thrones!

http://io9.com/5942345/terry-brooks-f...


Zayne | 57 comments Well congrats. Just hope that they don't screw that show up like they did the Terry Goodkind's Sword Of Truth. I mean if you didn't read the books (like me), you would've thought the show was great, but if you did read the books, you'd have thrown something at the tv and walked away.


Todd Carrozzi | 27 comments I'm glad someone else brought up this topic, because I was afraid it was just me who felt the emperor was naked. :) I agree that he is a great writer, but I don't feel that he is much of a story teller. LoTR was pretty much one big epic story written down and then split up into pieces. ASoIaF is more like TV writing, which makes sense given Martin's background. After book one(and no I haven't made it through them all, but I did after giving up dig to find out the resolution of what I would consider minor plot points only to learn that not a single one is ever resolved other than by the character dying), each book is like a season of a medieval soap opera, as opposed to a standalone story that builds into the big picture arc. Once again that's fine if it was really all one book to begin with that happened to be too long for one volume, but that's not the case. It just feels too much like he's determined not to resolve ANYTHING until the last book, and when it finally happens, it'll be like the last season of many shows that try to do the same thing.


Katie (Calenmir) | 210 comments Zayne wrote: "Well congrats. Just hope that they don't screw that show up like they did the Terry Goodkind's Sword Of Truth. I mean if you didn't read the books (like me), you would've thought the show was grea..."

Yes! Thankfully my tv survived, but ugh...I was so bothered that Kahlan was taller and tougher looking than Richard and the first episode at least painted him as a naive idiot compared to her...what I love about the books was Richard and Kahlan being equally intelligent, though having some different areas of knowledge, and able to be balanced partners.


Charlie | 46 comments I may be a loner here but I think the Night Angel Trilogy is deserving of its own movie or mini series. While I enjoy Martins books I do think they should have ended the series before TV production began. I worry Hollywood will influence this series negatively.


Mach | 46 comments Robert Jordan was called the Tolkien of our time too.


Dara (geekdara) | 930 comments Victoria (vikz writes) wrote: "GRRM- when he is good he is very, very good and when he is bad he is boring. The series started very well in book one but then went downhill from there."

I agree with this. The first three books were very engaging but I slogged through books 4 and 5 because I'm anal and had to finish it. A Dance with Dragons was particularly difficult for me to finish. it was exceedingly boring until the last 75 pages or so.


AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 1191 comments Mach wrote: "Robert Jordan was called the Tolkien of our time too."

That was probably after the first 4 or 5 books, before he lost his way. Some people seem to think GRRM is heading down the same path.


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Books mentioned in this topic

A Storm of Swords (other topics)
A Dance with Dragons (other topics)
The Eye of the World (other topics)
The Great Hunt (other topics)
The Sword of Shannara (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Dorothy Dunnett (other topics)