Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Book Talk
Reload this Page >

George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Old 01-28-02, 10:07 PM
  #26  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've only read the first two books by Martin, but frankly he's not nearly as great as most of the folks here make him out to be IMO. Modesitt's Recluce saga is a far more compelling series than Martin's, despite the changes in characters and time periods across books. Goodkind's series is pretty good as well, aside from the extremely graphic descriptions he uses from time to time (they've improved from the first coupla books though). Raymond Feist too, is miles ahead of Martin in terms of overall plots and character dev. Or Guy Gavriel Kay, etc.

I just found it pretty funny that as soon as the book forum started up, everyone started up these threads on this series -- Martin ain't all that and a bag of chips, I can tell you that. Just not very compelling IMO.

Tuan Jim
Old 01-29-02, 11:31 AM
  #27  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Too close to Jules
Posts: 5,148
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I won't retype again why I like this author, but it doesn't surprise me at all that there are a lot of people out there that DON'T like Martin's work. Everyone has different tastes of course, and I know he's not going to appeal to everyone, and everyone has their own opinion. Everyone can list their favorite authors, and have other people from this forum tell you why that author is terrible or not to their taste.

Sessa17
I don't know if you'll like the series as it goes along. I CAN tell you that there are many characters, and it gets complex, so if you're sick and not thinking straight, it could be very difficult to keep things straight. It's hard enough as it is! I can also say, that for many people, including myself, they consider the books to get better as they go along (1st-good, 2nd-better, 3rd-best), but I can't say if you specifically will like the books; as you can see, there are plenty of people that don't like the series.


Blade:
Spoiler:
I can kind of see the "soap opera" part of it, in that Martin jumps from character to character, and most of the characters are plotting against eachother. Also, the lack of magic is actually part of the plot, that doesn't really develop until the 3rd book (or perhaps late in the 2nd?). If you want a lot of magic in your stories, the series obviously probably won't appeal as much to you. In the 3rd book, magic is becoming more and more prevalent, and Martin hints that the growing presence and strength of magic is somehow linked to the birth of the 3 dragons. One character (don't remember his name) that could hardly do anything magically before is suddenly able to resurrect the dead. I'd assume that in the forthcoming books, magic will become more and more pervasive.


Tuan Jim
Modesitt's Recluce series is also one of my favorites, but there's a fair amount of criticism out there for it, and a lot of people don't like it. I don't know if it's more compelling than Martin's, because one of the criticisms that I think is correct about Modesitt's series is that the plots start to become repetitive, with just different characters, places and times. To me, that kind of makes it 'less' compelling, because over the past few books, I've pretty much known how the story was generally going to go, IMO. Maybe that's going to happen in a series that's probably something like 12-15(?) books or so.

I don't know if Feist is "miles ahead" of Martin...perhaps his earlier works, but I've heard a lot of people trashing his recent stuff, on this forum and others. Like Modesitt, maybe he's running out of ideas. I'd agree that his earlier work is the best, but I still enjoy his more recent work, although I haven't read the most recent "Assassins" one yet. Again, I think it comes down to personal taste.
Old 01-29-02, 02:07 PM
  #28  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Sessa17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NJ, the place where smiles go to die
Posts: 7,393
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by p1forest
Sessa17
I don't know if you'll like the series as it goes along. I CAN tell you that there are many characters, and it gets complex, so if you're sick and not thinking straight, it could be very difficult to , because over the past few books, I've pretty much known how the story was generally going to go, IMO. Maybe that's going to happen in a series that's probably something like 12-15(?) books or so.
Thanks p1, for the help. I'm about 200 pages into the book now, I've already commited so I'm going to finish reading it, but I'm into it enough to see the format of the book is not going to change & I don't like his writing style. I do like the complexity of the book but I feel Martin does not handle it well & his writing for lack of a better word almost just poor. He introduces so many character without fleshing any of them out & just jumps every 5-6 pages to another character. He is not very descriptive & despite the book being over 800 pages long, does not spend, at least so far, a great deal on setting the scene or the history of characters. The book is very dialogue heavy heavy which I don't like, & extremely light, again, so far, on the fantasy elements. I believe it was Blade that said the book reads more like a soap opera than a fantasy novel. In my opionion this just is not a very good fantasy book.
Old 01-31-02, 10:26 AM
  #29  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 43,205
Received 36 Likes on 20 Posts
Originally posted by Tuan Jim
I've only read the first two books by Martin, but frankly he's not nearly as great as most of the folks here make him out to be IMO. Modesitt's Recluce saga is a far more compelling series than Martin's, despite the changes in characters and time periods across books. Goodkind's series is pretty good as well, aside from the extremely graphic descriptions he uses from time to time (they've improved from the first coupla books though). Raymond Feist too, is miles ahead of Martin in terms of overall plots and character dev. Or Guy Gavriel Kay, etc.
Like the philosophers say, de gustibus non disputandum est, but I find Modesitt, Kay, and especially Goodkind to be unreadable. Feist is marginally better, but I read those books of his that I have simply because I had nothing better to read, not because I had to know what happens next. With Martin, I have to know what happens next. I think Martin's built a very real world full of very real characters, where actions have consequences and you can't always count on the hero to win the day simply because he's bright and pure. For that matter, you can't really count on the hero to be bright and pure.

Then again, I like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, so what do I know?
Old 02-01-02, 02:03 AM
  #30  
Uber Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Overlooking Pearl Harbor
Posts: 16,232
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by p1forest
Blade:
Spoiler:
I can kind of see the "soap opera" part of it, in that Martin jumps from character to character, and most of the characters are plotting against eachother. Also, the lack of magic is actually part of the plot, that doesn't really develop until the 3rd book (or perhaps late in the 2nd?). If you want a lot of magic in your stories, the series obviously probably won't appeal as much to you. In the 3rd book, magic is becoming more and more prevalent, and Martin hints that the growing presence and strength of magic is somehow linked to the birth of the 3 dragons. One character (don't remember his name) that could hardly do anything magically before is suddenly able to resurrect the dead. I'd assume that in the forthcoming books, magic will become more and more pervasive.
Ah, well then. I do have to tackle the second still (perhaps after Ms Austen) so I'll reserve judgement until the end of that one, or the end of the youngest daughter. Which ever comes first!

Thanks for the response.

-David
Old 02-02-02, 11:38 AM
  #31  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Too close to Jules
Posts: 5,148
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Blade


Ah, well then. I do have to tackle the second still (perhaps after Ms Austen) so I'll reserve judgement until the end of that one, or the end of the youngest daughter. Which ever comes first!

Thanks for the response.

-David
Spoiler:
Well, just to warn you, I'm pretty sure it's not much more prevalent until the THIRD book. I mentioned the second book, because I believe it just hints at the heightening of magic near the end of the book, but not much. You'd probably have to read through the end of the third to get the full effect. At about 900 pages for each book, you may not be willing to do wade through that.
Old 03-30-03, 07:23 PM
  #32  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,003
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thought I would drudge up this old thread, in anticipation of his new book being released.

I've only read the series once, over a year ago and have had to stop myself many a time from rereading it until the next book is released. After I finish the Bourne Ultimatum I'm going to rereading them again. Unless there has been another delay on the 4th book. God help me if there is.
Old 03-31-03, 11:32 AM
  #33  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Too close to Jules
Posts: 5,148
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
WOW. I come back after, what, over a year, and this is one of the first posts I see...

...and yes, I'm waiting for A Feast of Crows...

For those that like Martin's work, you might want to try Steven Erikson's 'A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen' series, excellent. Although, if you live in the US, you'll probably have it import it from the UK or something.

**EDIT: Just noticed that Amazon.com just started selling his work, though at an inflated price to cover the shipping & handling. This series really ought to be published here in the US...I've heard it's 'too sophisticated' for the US public

Last edited by p1forest; 04-01-03 at 05:33 PM.
Old 03-31-03, 12:09 PM
  #34  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,992
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Damn, reading this thread has compelled me to add his books to my "to-read" list. Luckily enough, my sister left her hardbound copies of Thrones and Kings here in the states when she visited so I don't have to buy 'em.
Old 04-01-03, 01:17 AM
  #35  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: US
Posts: 1,147
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by p1forest


For those that like Martin's work, you might want to try Steven Erikson's 'A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen' series, excellent. Although, if you live in the US, you'll probably have it import it from the UK or something.

Oh, I'll definitely second that! Awesome series.
Old 04-01-03, 05:30 PM
  #36  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Too close to Jules
Posts: 5,148
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by smokedragon
Oh, I'll definitely second that! Awesome series.
Ah, I see you're from Ohio, & read Erikson. How have you been getting your books? I've ordered from Amazon.uk, but I noticed Amazon.com recently started offering his stuff.

Have you read his novella Blood Follows (very good, but short) and the latest, House of Chains? I've got it on order from Amazon.com and am dying to get it. It's supposed to be excellent, like the rest of the series.

He's supposed to have 2 or 3 more novellas coming out, dealing with the same characters that are in Blood Follows; I can't recall their names at the moment.

Last edited by p1forest; 04-01-03 at 05:43 PM.
Old 04-02-03, 04:40 AM
  #37  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: US
Posts: 1,147
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I get my Erikson books from Amazon U.K. I preorder as soon as the book is posted on the site.

House Of Chains was a difficult book to read because Erikson concentrated on one character, Karsa, for around the first 180 pages. I was so used to his style of writing before House Of Chains that quite frankly I was put off when he just wrote about one person.

I put it down after the first 50 pages and went on to read something else.

I did finally pick it back up and read from the beginning again. I must have been in a better frame of mind because I got into the book quickly.

Not his best, but still a great read.

Deadhouse Gates is still my favorite of the series. Chain Of Dogs.., Coltaine..., awesome, absolutely awesome.

Loved Blood Follows. Got that directly from PS Publishing.

heh, think Midnight Tides, fifth book in the series, will come out before A Feast For Crows?
Old 04-04-03, 07:28 PM
  #38  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just got my copies of Erikson's Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice from Amazon Canada..can't wait to read them! The regular paperbacks (isbn? numbers begin with 055xxxxxxxxxx) were much cheaper than the trade versions. Gardens of the Moon drops you in the middle of a campaign...little hard to understand at first but pretty soon it all clicks. Thank god for the map, dramatis personae, and the glossary! I would imagine Martin lovers who wish for a little more magic would like Erikson.
Old 04-09-03, 09:17 AM
  #39  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: union grove, wi
Posts: 1,536
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cool thread though I abit nervous now. I bought those 3 martin novels after all praise I heard too, we see I guess. Every few years I buy a bunch of fantasy novels hoping for sliver of enjoyment I gotten out of Terry Brooks Shannara series always to be dissappointed. Its always that boring multiple god crap or world I have no interest in hearing about let alone live in because its ultra depressing.
Old 04-11-03, 02:22 PM
  #40  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Hannibal
Just got my copies of Erikson's Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice from Amazon Canada..can't wait to read them! The regular paperbacks (isbn? numbers begin with 055xxxxxxxxxx) were much cheaper than the trade versions. Gardens of the Moon drops you in the middle of a campaign...little hard to understand at first but pretty soon it all clicks. Thank god for the map, dramatis personae, and the glossary! I would imagine Martin lovers who wish for a little more magic would like Erikson.
Thanks for posting this! I just bought all four of these books from amazon.ca
Old 04-14-03, 03:20 PM
  #41  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 43,205
Received 36 Likes on 20 Posts
Originally posted by JasonFliegel
Like the philosophers say, de gustibus non disputandum est, but I find Modesitt, Kay, and especially Goodkind to be unreadable. Feist is marginally better, but I read those books of his that I have simply because I had nothing better to read, not because I had to know what happens next. With Martin, I have to know what happens next. I think Martin's built a very real world full of very real characters, where actions have consequences and you can't always count on the hero to win the day simply because he's bright and pure. For that matter, you can't really count on the hero to be bright and pure.

Then again, I like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, so what do I know?
What a difference a year makes -- I still can't read Modesitt or Goodkind, but I love Kay. When I originally posted that, all I had tried was the Fionovar Tapestry, which I could only get about 100 pages into before quitting in boredom and disgust. But after hearing recommendation after recommendation for Tigana, I tried that and loved it. I've also enjoyed A Song for Arbonne and Lions of Al-Rassad, and have the Sarantium books sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to find the time. So I would definitely recommend post-Fionovar Kay.

As for Martin, I've been reading his Wild Cards series for the first time. iBooks put out oversized trade paperbacks of the first five books with gorgeous Brian Bolland covers and interior illustrations by various comic pros. Recently, though, I saw a copy of volume 6 in standard paperback size, without the gorgeous Bolland cover. Does anyone know if iBooks lost th elicense? Changed format? I hate to be anal, but I'd love to have them all in the iBooks trade dress.
Old 04-21-03, 09:17 PM
  #42  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have just finished book 3 recently, and it is the best fantasy/series of books I have ever read (including Lord of the Rings, the Foundation, etc). Okay, granted, I don't have half the book reading experience as many of the posters here, but still, I am totally enthralled and mesmerized by the universe created...

I actually cared about alot of the characters, even the ones that seems to be evil (Cersei, Tyrion, Jaime), and I can't wait to see how it all pans out. I know we all have to be patient but goddamn it, can't he write just a tad faster??

You know, another thing is that as I am reading it through.... I can't HELP but feel it would make an INCREDIBLE mini-series (if done with a large budget by Peter Jackson, hehe). I think the human drama can be captured beautifully on screen, but maybe not... Just a thought tho.
Old 04-22-03, 06:18 PM
  #43  
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Somewhere in the boonies, MA
Posts: 10,147
Received 376 Likes on 295 Posts
Crows now listed for Sept release... D'oh!
Old 01-13-07, 09:26 PM
  #44  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Cusm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 7,734
Received 49 Likes on 35 Posts
I just finished the first 2 of this series - and I can not wait till I get the 3rd. I have the 4th and it is killing me not to be able to get back to this story. Although I am getting so pissed (in a good way, not the stop reading the series way) off at the way certain families keep getting hosed while another continues to bask in glory; this is a rare thing for a book to get me so into a story like this.

I may check out Farland's Runeworld series as everyone here seems to like it as much.
Old 01-14-07, 01:35 AM
  #45  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
GreenMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,578
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Wow, old thread bumped!

I put off reading the first Martin book for AGES. It was on my shelf, but I figured it was another boring, over-wordy so-so series like IMO the Wheel of Time books (which I've since concluded I don't like and started getting rid of 'em). Then I actually got around to reading A Game of Thrones. Wow.

Martin is in line for my #2 favorite author spot depending on how the series works itself out. I can't rank him until he finishes the damn thing.

My favorite author, for the record, is Robin Hobb, followed by Isaac Asimov and then Raymond Feist.

WRT Feist: I know a good hunk of the Midkemia books are mediocre, but the Empire trilogy with Janny Wurts is one of my favorite series ever, hands down, and I loved the SerpentWar books (especially Rise of a Merchant Prince).

The rest of my fav authors are R.A. Salvatore, Mercedes Lackey and Weis & Hickman due to the Legends books (I love Raistlin & Caramon, what can I say).

So I'm no fantasy elitist reader. I like strong characterization and good story. That's what I'm there for. Not big on allegory, fancy symbolism, etc. I share Tolkien's opinion of allegory

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 01-14-07 at 01:37 AM.
Old 01-14-07, 02:13 PM
  #46  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 896
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 11 Posts
I love Martin's books, but they are taking forever to come out. I don't know how old he is, but in pictures I have seen he looked pretty old. I would hate for anything to happen to him before the series was finished. I lost 2 of my favorite authors this past year--David Gemmell and Angus Wells.
Old 01-14-07, 11:19 PM
  #47  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 4,293
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ditto that. My main criticism of Martin is that I'm tired of waiting for #5.
Old 01-14-07, 11:52 PM
  #48  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,914
Received 188 Likes on 130 Posts
Holy thread bump Batman!

I have to agree with you guys about the waiting being tough. I generally try to avoid series (at least those that seem to be one big story) until the whole thing is finished. Unless the author has a strong record for not taking long between installments (such as a Robin Hobb or Tad Williams). Thank Stephen King for sending me down that road, with his 6 year layoff from the cliffhanger that ended Dark Tower III. I broke down and read the first 3 books in Martin's series after hearing such acclaim for them a couple of years ago. I thought they were fantastic (though I can understand people like Sessa17 and Blade not liking them, with its overwhelmingly grim tone, unpleasant characters, sprawling story, and minimal fantasy elements). Martin seemed to be putting out the first 3 books at 2 year intervals, but that pace has slowed to a crawl. I haven't purchased "Feast for Crows" yet. I guess I'm waiting for at least 1 more book in the series (and if that takes another 5 years, I may have to shelve my following of the series like I did for "Dark Tower").
Old 01-15-07, 02:17 PM
  #49  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Talk about a long thread necromancy, heh heh.

Martin is my 2nd favorite author but I rank him #1 for quality of writing. With Martin I do not really mind how long it takes him to come out with a new book because I *know* that writing as densely as he does must take incredible time and effort.

My favorite author, incidentally, is David Gemmell. I like just about everything he wrote and often find myself re-reading them.
Old 01-31-07, 09:09 PM
  #50  
Suspended pending providing a working email address
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 461
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My biggest complaint with Martin's novels is that there isn't a recap of what's previously happened at the beginning of each book. Sorry, but I've got a lot going on in my life, and I read these books like 3+ years apart, I can't remember much of what happened previously. I had a heck of a time with the last one because of that.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.