Guilty pleasures – “A Song of Ice and Fire” aka “Game of Thrones” #2

As I indicated when I wrote about the first two books in this series (July 14, 2013), I had to pace myself or be overwhelmed by the vivid world created by George RR Martin. So here I am, eight months later, at the end of the fifth (and for now final) book. 

SPOILER ALERT: If you are watching this on TV, better not read further.

There are so many plots and characters in this series that I wonder what the author is thinking. Does he want the TV version to turn into a soap opera, like “All My Children” or “As the World Turns” and run on for twenty seasons? He could do it.

Stephen King, whose memoir I reviewed in December, said that he once got so tangled in multiple characters and subplots that he couldn’t write his way out. Finally, he “staged” a terrorist bombing and eliminated many characters, then was able to finish the book. I believe it was The Stand.

I keep waiting for Martin to arrange a “terrorist bombing” or other plot simplification device, but it doesn’t happen. Instead, people come back from the dead… The level of complication continues to rise.

Sometimes I feel like I’m reading junk, but then Martin presents something so compelling I decide to keep reading. An example is when Jon Snow brings the Wildlings through the Wall. What kind of wall are we talking about, anyway? When was the Great Wall of China built, and for how long did it serve its purpose?

For now, its back to my usual diet of two thirds non-fiction and one third fiction. It’s fun to look ahead to more Game of Thrones.

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