A Game of Thrones is by far the boldest book that I’ve chanced to read. It is also the best book I’ve read when it comes to the usage of detail.
The motivation to read the book (or the knowledge of its existence) came from the noise the viewers of the TV series made. I was severely warned that it was brutal, bloody, and disgusting at places. Fortunately, I wanted to take a break from the casual novels I read.
The problem any new reader would face reading this book is its familiarity among people, thanks to its blockbuster TV adaptation.
People let out spoilers as easy as death in Game of Thrones.
‘Eddard, Hand of the King *******(random number of stars to confuse reader),’ was the first spoiler I heard. That pretty much kills the reading, I thought. People also started suggesting that I watch it on TV and not ‘waste’ time reading it.
It’s best to read the book in the dark, I’d say!
On what is so good about the book, I’d say it’s the boldness. I don’t mean the incest, the gore, or the killing. It’s the boldness GRRM shows when he kills important characters.
How many writers have the guts, or the strength, to part with their characters?
LOTR, for example, made heroism seem like a walk in the part, at least comparatively.
Just fight, fight, and you win at last! You won’t die, I guarantee! ?
That’s where GRRM has outrun a plenty of other writers. He is brave enough to lose some characters for the sake of his story.
I absolutely loved how GRRM skipped through scenes as fast as he could. To think this little detailing, and the fast pace the book moves at, had made the book 800 odd pages long, I wonder what would have come of the book had Tolkien got the same seed (gardening seed of GRRM). He’d probably have written twenty mighty volumes of Game of Thrones, rich with family details, reaching the hundredth father of every lineage, describing every handful of sand on the planet, not to mention the pedantic detail on the position of the sun, stars, and the moon every two paragraphs. I haven’t even mentioned the songs. Thank the Gods it’s only GRRM!
However, the GRRM universe isn’t a feminist’s paradise, nor a place for the weak hearted. Child marriage, marriages of convenience, and inhumane treatment of women (people, in general) are everywhere to be found.
Summing it up, I’d say ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was Tolkien trying to portray the land of his imagination amidst a turmoil, whereas ‘A Game of Thrones’ is George RR Martin trying to portray the turmoil amidst his land’.