Apr 2, 2011

A Shameful Secret (#NotAprilFools)

[Author's Note: I was going to post this on Friday but I figured no one would believe me.]

It's time for everyone's favorite/least-favorite/only abominable reviewer to come clean about one of the skeletons in his closet. I don't know any good way to sugarcoat it so here goes nothing....

I have never read George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones.

I'll give you a couple of line breaks to let that sink in.

Done yet?

I don't know what this is
but it looks awesome

I know, I know. Everyone's so excited for April 17th. Game of Thrones. Sean Bean. Peter Dinklage. The Iron Throne. Wooooooo!!!!!!!!!...........? 

Or if you're not geared up for April 17th, then you've got July 12th circled on your calendar. It's the closest thing the fantasy genre has to Christmas. A Dance With Dragons! For reals. Finally. We swear, even more so than the last time we set a final date.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see HBO take on what is undoubtedly the most significant epic fantasy series of the Oughties. They really look like they're doing it justice. And I've always had every intention of catching up on GRRM's modern masterpiece once the end was in sight, assuming of course that he hadn't gone Goodkind by that point.

But with the pilot debut mere weeks away, I had to ask "Can I sample HBO's version of A Song of Ice and Fire without first experiencing it as originally intended?"

A quick twitter survey revealed the answer wasn't just "no", but rather a much longer and harsher no preceeded by several explicitives unfit for even an abominable soul like myself to publish. Just for context, Brad Beaulieu (author of April's The Winds of Khalakovo) suggested that I should read Game of Thrones before reviewing his own debut novel. If that's not a killer recommendation, I don't know what is.

So while I do have a lot of promising books I need to finish in the near future (including The Winds of Khalakovo, The Dragon's Path, Up Against It, and The Quantum Thief among others), I've decided to take a break from the never ending new release pile and finally fill the gaping hole in my fantasy reviewer resume. Otherwise, I risk depriving myself of the first-read experience that is Game of Thrones - something I've been assured I'll regret.

Feel free to let your disgust show in the comments. The more contemptuous the better, I can take it. That is, if you're still will to talk to me at all. I won't blame you if you don't.
And if you're like me - a fantasy fan with this shameful secret - don't be afraid to admit it. There's still time for us to redeem ourselves.

But not long...


  1. Good idea to read before you watch. I got into fantasy after watching LOTR and still can't bring myself to read the books for fear it will ruin a set of movies that I re-watch about five times every year.

    Marty Spinner.

  2. I own a copy, but I haven't read it yet either. I've been trying really, really hard to resist, since I'd like to wait until the series is complete and in paperback and I can read the whole thing back-to-back with absolutely no lengthy wait times, but I don't know how much longer I can hold out. I don't want to watch the show until I've read the book, and pretty well everyone is raving about it these days, soooo.... yeah. I can see myself caving pretty soon.

  3. I disagree, terrible idea to read it before you watch. Books are always better than movies or TV adaptations, that's a fact. You should watch the TV show first then enjoy the novels. I spoiled the last LOTR movie by reading the books after The Two Towers came out.

    Also, everyone in the online fantasy community has read ASOIAF. You would bring a fresh, different perspective by blogging about it having not read the books.

    I urge you to save the novels until afterwards.

  4. I've not read it, either. Maybe it's because we just got into fantasy at a different time/age, so 'missed' it? I've bought it for my Kindle, and I do intend to read it at some point. Without a TV, I'm not so fussed about reading it before the HBO show airs, as I'll be waiting for it on DVD anyway. Gives me a little more time and wiggle-room.
    Brad also told me to read it before watching it (I did the same thing on twitter - sending out the question, and was amazed how many people replied talking about the first-read experience on Game of Thrones).

  5. If it makes you feel any better, I haven't read it either. There are actually many classic fantasy and sci-fi novels that I have never once picked up and even tried to read, which is a little sad, when I think about it. I want to watch the show, but I'm also the kind of person who prefers to read the book if I can before I watch any visual remakes.

    In some ways, it's good that I don't have TV where I live. Less temptation when this does start airing!

  6. I've never read Tolkien and don't plan to, so I can't really say anything about you not having read this popular author or that.

  7. I haven't read it yet either. (gulp) My (young adult) daughter has all the books and is encouraging me to start reading them before the new one is released. We'll see. I won't be watching the HBO series so I'm safe to procrastinate a little longer.

  8. That said, as a guy who has a burning hatred for many adaptations, I would have to agree with Anon number two. Not reading the book allows you to come into the series without expectations. Sure, you will know what is going on and can enjoy those fanboy moments where you point and squee at some favorite scene played out, but if the series fails to live up to our expectations (which are quite high, as far as I can tell), then I'd say the people who have never read the book are the ones who will enjoy it the most.

  9. Amazing how the responses here differ from the responses on Twitter.

    I'm still leaning toward reading it, although tempted to get the movie before the book experience for once in my life.

    I'm typically of the "book was better" crowd

  10. I would not advise watching the series first. There are many classics I haven't read, but The Song of Ice and Fire is not just a classic. It is in my opinion the greatest achievement in Fantasy literature, and a great achievement in literature altogether. I suppose there will be many spoilers in the TV series that will ruin the first book for you, and that is something a fantasy fan cannot afford :)

  11. I've actually not read past the first 100 or so pages of the first novel. It wasn't really my cup of tea. It was the first indication that, I just really don't care for the "Gritty" style of a lot of modern Fantasy novels.. So I put it down.

    However, I later made up my mind I wouldn't read any of the books in an unfinished series until the series was finished... I made that decision about 20 minutes after reading that Robert Jordan had died.

    So I'll no doubt be seeing the show LONG before I'll be reading the books, and if they finish the show off without adapting the whole series.. I'm sure I'll live since I can always read the books.. Of course.. that line of thinking led me to read the Sword of Truth.. so it can be a dangerous road to follow.

    I'm okay with that..

    I don't always manage to stick with that setup.. sometimes I wind up reading new books that just look too good to ignore.. like Pat Rothfuss..


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...