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

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

Old 02-20-07, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
Sure, anyone can do that - and I did - but I wanted opinions
Then you should have asked for opinions. You did not. You asked for the order of the books.
Originally Posted by Seeker
But thank you for playing...
Great. Smarmyness out of a guy who apparently didn't even read his own post. Fantastic.
Old 02-20-07, 02:55 PM
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Wow. I can't believe this thread is still alive, lol.

My enthusiasm for his work has died a bit since I enjoy Steven Erikson's Malazan series more. But I still put Martin in my top 5 favorite authors. I wish he could write as quickly as Erikson, about one a year.
Old 02-20-07, 03:25 PM
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I tried to read Malazan. Quit halfway through the first book. IMHO, Erikson does a horrible job of easing his reader into his world. There's virtually no explanation or overview of things, it's just straight in, and to hell with you if you don't figure out all of the places and politics on your own. That and I'd yet to care about even one of the characters - they all seemed like cliches to me.

To me, Erikson seemed like just another fantasy writer rehashing old standards, no where even close to Martin. I don't quit many books halfway through. Maybe 5% of what I read. But I just had zero desire to continue with Gardens. Maybe things improved, but he lost his chance with me when, after 250 or so pages, he still hadn't pulled me in.
Old 02-22-07, 03:40 PM
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Yes, he does throw a LOT at you, especially in the first book. IIRC, it took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I was glad I stuck it out. I feel things get much better in consecutive books. But whether that's due to becoming more familiar with his world and what's going or that his writing changes to clue you in more, I'm not sure. I've read that is actually a main reason why it's taken years for the books to be published in the US. They thought that it wasn't accessible enough for Americans (which I have read interpreted as, Americans aren't smart enough to 'get it'). I think we are, it's just a matter of taste. Some like it, some don't.

I think there are a variety of reasons for it.
- It was Erikson's first book, perhaps he wasn't that used to filling in the background. If so, his editor should have caught that, I would think
- He and a friend had created their world and scenarios decades before, and been gaming in it for years. When you're that familiar with something, you sometimes forget other people need to be filled in better. Again, something I'm thinking an editor would tell him to correct.
- His world is huge. HUUUGE. There is a huge amount of information to give to the reader. I can't think of any books I've read that are so fully realized except may Tolkien's work, but I could never quite get into his writing style.
- Much of the lack of information is actually intentional. I can't go into details, but in the next 4-5 books, the reasons for things that are left unexplained in that book are explained.
- I wonder if there was more 'easing in' as you put it that was edited out. His books tend to be 600-800 pages long.

Not trying to give excuses, it's a valid point and although it's my favorite series right now, I'd appreciate some background info at points.

I'm actually surprised you felt all the characters were cliches. Most people consider almost all the characters 'grey' and go against most stereotypes. But maybe that's a realization that comes with time over multiple books, after 8 or 9 books specific events kind of get lost in my mind.
Old 02-22-07, 11:26 PM
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I'm sure that's the case with the characters. 250 pages in, I just wasn't seeing it. I knew it was time to bail when I picked up the book and was dreading reading. That's always the time to move on.

That and the fact that I'm really not a big fan of fantasy. It's so rarely well-done. I actually put off Martin for the longest time, despite recommendations, because my opinion of the genre is so low. He renewed my faith in it, though ... which was actually a big part of the reason I gave Erikson a shot.
Old 06-27-07, 01:51 PM
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A Feast for Crows has to be the most confusing book Ive ever endured..is it me or are there just way too many characters and their relationships to each other to keep track of?The first in the series was good but im finding each subsequent book after to be a bit more of a chore to read..
Old 06-27-07, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Deke Rivers
A Feast for Crows has to be the most confusing book Ive ever endured..is it me or are there just way too many characters and their relationships to each other to keep track of?The first in the series was good but im finding each subsequent book after to be a bit more of a chore to read..

It is quite a bit to keep up with. Reading all 4 of the books back to back helped me because I could keep track of everything.

I have a friend how reads the book with a pad of paper and makes character notes to himself to keep up with the characters.
Old 06-28-07, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Dashed
It is quite a bit to keep up with. Reading all 4 of the books back to back helped me because I could keep track of everything.

I have a friend how reads the book with a pad of paper and makes character notes to himself to keep up with the characters.
i did read them back to back..id hate to think how confusing it would have been to have space in between ..i guess ill find out with the forthcoming 2 or 3

taking notes ???!!! wow that sure takes the enjoyment out of a novel
Old 06-28-07, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Deke Rivers
i did read them back to back..id hate to think how confusing it would have been to have space in between ..i guess ill find out with the forthcoming 2 or 3
the bad part is using the appendix for reference
I would rather just have the characters in alpha order instead of trying to look up House they belong too

taking notes ???!!! wow that sure takes the enjoyment out of a novel
Old 06-28-07, 11:21 AM
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Whenever a new book comes out, I re-read the sequels prior to reading it. That is ESPECIALLY true with GRR Martin's books.
Old 06-28-07, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
Whenever a new book comes out, I re-read the sequels prior to reading it. That is ESPECIALLY true with GRR Martin's books.
You must be a fast reader. I can barely find the time to read books through once.
Old 06-28-07, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by starman9000
You must be a fast reader. I can barely find the time to read books through once.
i was going to say the same thing..i would not relish the thought of re-reading any of these novels..
Old 06-28-07, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Deke Rivers
The first in the series was good but im finding each subsequent book after to be a bit more of a chore to read..
Really? I thought Storm of Swords was the best of the four so far.

It is tough to keep up with all of the relationships, that's true. But then, this isn't Harry Potter.
Old 06-28-07, 01:58 PM
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I dont think these books were too bad. I think I did each in 2-3 weeks.
Old 06-28-07, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Deke Rivers
i was going to say the same thing..i would not relish the thought of re-reading any of these novels..
Wow I have re-read his books each at least 3 or 4 times. Every time I go through again I find more that I missed the first time, they are just that well written and that dense. Most series I cannot read more than two times but Martin's I can just about finish the 4th and am ready to re-start book 1.
Old 06-29-07, 07:27 AM
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thats why i miss riding the train to work..i could get a ton of reading done then..a book every week or two
Old 03-05-09, 07:13 PM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by starman9000
You must be a fast reader. I can barely find the time to read books through once.
Speaking of slow readers....I finally finished the Clash of Kings (started it last year, and put it away, but started back up this month and powered through the last 700 pages). I'm having a hard time not picking up the next one, but I feel like I should take a break.

My only complaint with the Clash of Kings was that once i neared the ending, I started getting that feeling that nothing was really going to get wrapped up, which is pretty much true...It's great to get you excited for the next book, but man I would have been relieved with a little resolution.
Old 03-07-09, 09:39 PM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by starman9000
You must be a fast reader. I can barely find the time to read books through once.
Given the amount of time it takes him to write a book, you should have more than enough time to read them all a few times each.
Old 03-08-09, 08:25 AM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by Duran
Given the amount of time it takes him to write a book, you should have more than enough time to read them all a few times each.
Yeah, I saw his next one is up for pre-order at amazon for September of this year. If I time it right, I should be able to read the next two by then. Then I can be as annoyed as everyone else waiting for him to get to work.
Old 03-09-09, 09:44 AM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by starman9000
Yeah, I saw his next one is up for pre-order at amazon for September of this year. If I time it right, I should be able to read the next two by then. Then I can be as annoyed as everyone else waiting for him to get to work.
Amazon is notorious for putting books up for pre-order before the publisher announces a release date. A Feast for Crows was up for three years, with Amazon changing the release date every couple months.

Martin hasn't announced that he's finished the next book yet -- in fact, he just had an angry blog post about people who complain that he's taking too long -- and the way publishing works, there's typically a six month lead time between the author turning in the manuscript and the book hits the shelves.
Old 03-09-09, 03:35 PM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
Amazon is notorious for putting books up for pre-order before the publisher announces a release date. A Feast for Crows was up for three years, with Amazon changing the release date every couple months.

Martin hasn't announced that he's finished the next book yet -- in fact, he just had an angry blog post about people who complain that he's taking too long -- and the way publishing works, there's typically a six month lead time between the author turning in the manuscript and the book hits the shelves.
Thanks for that. I had no idea. I did see he is coming to a conference here in October so maybe I can ask him and tick him off
Old 03-09-09, 03:46 PM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
Amazon is notorious for putting books up for pre-order before the publisher announces a release date. A Feast for Crows was up for three years, with Amazon changing the release date every couple months.

Martin hasn't announced that he's finished the next book yet -- in fact, he just had an angry blog post about people who complain that he's taking too long -- and the way publishing works, there's typically a six month lead time between the author turning in the manuscript and the book hits the shelves.
Hilarious

People can really be asses. The next blog post sounds like he's calmed down a bit.
Old 03-09-09, 07:05 PM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

In fairness to the impatient fans, Martin has been stringing everyone along for several years now. He comes off a lot like a guy who borrows money from you and continually promises to pay it back, but always finds a reason not to.

Quite frankly, I think he's come to a point where he doesn't know where to take things. My guess is that we'll see one more book, and that will be it. Longtime fans might never even see a proper conclusion after all the time they've invested into reading.
Old 03-11-09, 09:47 AM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Originally Posted by mgbfan
Longtime fans might never even see a proper conclusion after all the time they've invested into reading.
This is what scares me. I read Book 1 in August and am 1/5 the way through Book 2 and I stopped a few weeks ago. I know its bad form to mention the man's age and health, but dangit...I don't know if I want to get that invested in a story that might not be completed.
Old 03-11-09, 11:06 AM
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Re: George R.R. Martin again -- what are the criticisms of these novels?

Yeah, really, it's terrible that he's created a series that people love, and that they're eager for the next book. It's not like he told us his next was due shortly, oh, I don't know, 3 years ago.

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