Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones
By George R. R. Martin

I have been wanting to read this book/series for a long time but wasn't willing to fork over the money. Alas, the waiting lists for the library and the swap sight were long. I tried to listen to this on CD (easier to get that from the library) but there were too many characters and I could not pay attention while driving. Finally, I was able to get a copy from the library.

I really don't know what to say about Game of Thrones. Did I like it? No. Did I enjoy reading it? No. But, somehow, I just kept on. Now, I have to decide if I want to read the next one. I am going to try, mainly because I want to watch the first season of the HBO series (my favorite actor is in it) and the television script combines elements from the first two books.

A Game of Thrones is in the fantasy genre. I would describe it as extremely serious and terribly violent (death, rape, battle scenes, zombies, abuse). I found it hard to really like any of the characters, probably because Martin skips from character to character in each chapter, allowing only a few pages for each. In addition, long periods of time lapse before you get back to the characters. You can tell Marin writes for television. I am thinking the show might actually be better than the book.

What did this book have to do with my faith? Well, even though some of the characters "worshipped" the trees (I never did understand this part), I think the society as a whole lacked spiritual depth and purpose. There was something inherently unhappy about everyone and their lives. Certainly, the poor did not have much to be glad about as they were frequent pawns in the game of thrones. The upper class -- the ones playing the games -- had very little in which to anchor themselves. They were proud about their houses/clans. But there was no spiritual depth. This book made me think about our society today. Will we eventually become so unrooted in God/scripture/faith that we will be playing games of politics and power? Perhaps we are already there.

I would not recommend A Game of Thrones unless you are just a fantasy junkie.

Happy reading!


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