Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I've been reading A Game of Thrones and am now on it's sequel (can't remember the name). The HBO series does actually cover the entire first book, and does it pretty well. I didn't notice anything really missing except some some minor battles towards the end. So you can probably skip that book if you've watched the whole tv season.

The books have much less sex than HBO, though there's still a little of it and it is occasionally more graphic than most fantasy books. Also there's less of a rivalry between Littlefinger and Varleys the eunuch. The book makes it clear that Varys the eunuch is the sneaky spy master while Littlefinger is just a nobleman who for some reason sits on the king's counsel, while in the tv series the two both seem to have extensive and comparative networks of spies. Finally I think the king's brother is gay in the HBO series but none of the characters are mentioned as being gay in the books. Maybe that'll be made more plain later in the books though.

I like most of the characters and it's an engaging, though slow-paced story. I have two complaints. First, the female villains are all two dimensional pseudo-characters and the female protagonists are only slightly better. I also don't care at all about the woman across the sea or that silly mish-mash barbarian culture. I should have just skipped her chapters. The other thing I don't like is the chapter structure. It seems like the author purposefully ends one chapter just when it's starting to get interesting and then jumps storylines to the least interesting storyline possible. Or maybe he only does this sometimes, but it just seems like every time because it's so incredibly annoying.

Penny: Has Leonard ever dated any regular girls?
Sheldon: Well, I assume that you're not talking about digestive regularity, because I've come to learn that such inquiries are inappropriate.
Penny: No, I mean has he ever dated someone who wasn't a brainiac?
Sheldon: Oh, well there was this one girl who had a PhD in French Literature.
Penny: How is that not a brainiac?
Sheldon: Well, for one thing, she was French. For another, it was literature.

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