Sunday, February 12, 2012

And so I begin, again

Back in 2003, I bought an innocuous little work of fantasy titled A Game of Thrones. Little did I know that I would be hooked and would be constantly pushing this book to my friends' faces.

Nine years later, my book club chose this book for the February discussion. No problem, I thought; I will just Google to refresh my memory, or I could always watch the TV series, which seems to be faithful to the book, as my friends would say.

I know, this book and those pretty flowers are an unusual combination in a photo.

But I recently swapped my yellowing mass market paperback with a hardback from Iya, a fellow member of the book club. Somehow, this book keeps calling my name, beckoning me to the world of Westeros with all its treachery, gore, and brutality.

And so I find myself unable to sleep at 3 am on a Sunday (I normally wake up at 4-ish, every day even on weekends), turning on the lights and flipping to page 1 of Martin's AGoT. Next thing I know, I finished the book and found out that I read for 8 straight hours.

I don't normally reread, but I'm happy I reacquainted myself with A Game of Thrones. For one, Martin's work is so rich in detail, making me feel that I'm in Westeros for the first time. Also, the number of characters Martin introduced in this book felt less daunting during my reread.

Of course I already know the characters who'd end up dead and those who'll figure more prominently in next books. But somehow, this knowing didn't seem to matter that much. It's the journey not the result that made it more satisfying the second time around.

I forgot how blunt Martin's pen is. Characters, major and minor, get killed instantly, some characters copulate in public, and children are never made to believe that their world is all sugar and spice. Uttering just one offensive word is enough to get yourself beheaded.

Will I be rereading the second book, A Clash of Kings? Probably not anytime soon. Martin writes beautifully, but I think I need to take a break from reading all that betrayal, bloody murder, rape, and mutilation. Winter can wait.

Did GRRM originally conceive the series as a trilogy?
Author bio above says that the 2nd book is
A Dance with Dragons.

Thanks, Iya, for the first edition hardback. I owe you lots.


ram said...

happy valentines

Peter S. said...

Hello, ram! Happy Valentine's Day to you too! Spread the love!

Monique said...

I am currently reading A Storm of Swords, but find that I HAVE to put it aside in order to read other books. I loved A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings all right, but with this third installment, there always comes a point between chapters when I feel like I NEED to take a break, and so I read something else.

Didn't realize that reading about gore, violence and betrayal can be saturating at times, too. :D

Peter S. said...

Hello, Monique! I'm on the 3rd book as well when I decided to reread the 1st. I guess I'll reread the 3rd book in its entirety when I finally get the motivation to return to Westeros.

Stepford Mum said...

Peter, my comment disappeared! Or did it never appear in the first place? You're most welcome for that hardcover edition - it couldn't have ended up in better hands. You should thank the person who airmailed it to me from Bookmooch!