Monday, 16 February 2015

A Game of Thrones

I inhaled this book through my eyes.

I've been wanting to read it for a really long time. My mad mate Paul introduced me to it yonks ago. I went to stay with him for a few months, went walking in the Scottish hills and catching up on old times.

In between hangovers, he kept disappearing off to his room to watch something, and all I'd hear were gasps and growls and the occasional swear word.

"What you watchin'?" I asked, popping my head round the door, relieved to see he had clothes on.

"Game of Thrones," he replied.

"What of what, now?"

From that moment on I was hooked. Back to back from the beginning to the end of series two or three. Loved every minute of it, amazed out of my conk that something that good was on telly.

I've been watching along like most people, yet my fingers have been itching to turn the cover of the books - or press the kindle forward button. Partly because one of my great pleasures in life is reading a book after I've seen the movie. Some think that's a strange way round, but I like to get the abridged version first, then see what really happened. It feels like being let in on a secret that others haven't been told. You can't be disappointed when you do it that way round. Dexter, Chronicles of Riddick, even Pride & Prejudice - I read them all after watching the films.

Secondly, it's professional curiosity. I'd been writing a fantasy trilogy when this came out. Took one look at it, realised R. R. Martin had nailed every subgenre in that category, and wondered what was left to write. Relegated my MS to the bottom drawer.

Naturally, I wanted to see how he'd written it. How it was constructed.

I was not in the least bit disappointed. Anything that gets recommended by Janny Wurts can't go amiss.

Books like this and Dexter fascinate me. They are just so perfectly written for film. You know this, because, when they do get adapted, barely anything changes. The dialogue's the same, the opening scene - in fact, with GoT, almost every scene. It's so good, it doesn't need alterations. 

I read some really odd reviews a while back, when I was asking how the book measured up to the TV series. Some people who loved the series completely dissed the book, mostly saying there were too many characters and perspectives - it was confusing. 

Amber style - Whatever.

Absolutely romping read. Loved every minute of it. Though I have to hold my hands up and admit, watching the TV series did make me imaginatively lazy. I transposed the cast wholesale and I probably would have puzzled over a few things had I not had such a clear image already.

Haven't read a book that length that fast in quite some time.

Looking forward to the next instalment. My goal is to catch up with the series at least before the last one comes out, if it ever does. I'd be happy if it just went on forever.

Anyway. For variety I do have to intersperse it with other reads. I have the whole of Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series to get through, plus a couple of books on how to write. Having written a few novels now, I sort of feel like maybe it's time to learn...? Currently On Writing with Stephen King. It takes a lot to be that entertaining when discussing the pitfalls of passive voice.

Anyway - yes, Game of Thrones. Love it in all its forms. Really very little difference between film and book, so if you're just going to sit and watch a re-run, you may as well read it this time round. 

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