Monday, November 20, 2006
Book Recomendation
I need some more time, maybe a few more games before I attempt to continue my theoretical discussions on chess tactics. I'm trying to try things out. No use posting about things I know nothing about: In the meanwhile, Ive been suckered into reading this book, which I am now recommending to you:

A Song of Ice and Fire

I do not know what genre most of the knights are fond of. I however like reading about fantasy/medieval stuff. You know things like lord of the rings, wheel of time. Stuff like that. However, there was something common about the lot of them that caused me to drop reading the genre all together. I call it the disneyland effect. That is - we have essentially a main character, the good guy trying to save a princess/town/castle/world against an evil emperor/dragon/king/orc/evil eye whose resources far outnumber that of the hero's. Along the way, they battle and whole towns are destroyed, thousands die, dragons are slain, armies are vanquished. Then in the very end, the big bad villain falls after a gigantic cataclysmic battle.
However after all that, our erstwhile hero will not, and I cannot highlight this enough, out hero will NOT be in any danger being killed/ maimed/ destroyed/ lose. Our hero can fall on cliff, have the hangman's noose around his neck, face a thousand soldiers, take an arrow through the heart, and he will not only not die, we will find that cliff was shallow, the noose will snap, the thousand soldiers are converted to his cause, and the arrow magically turns aside. (I think I just about described the basic shtick of the whole genre here).

How silly is this. Its just like watching disney characters. I'm already nearing my 30's. I've left these kind of stories long ago along with my toy boat and toy cars - And if already know whats gonna happen, why bother reading? If you were watching an NBA game and I told you the final score, would you still be interested? Even were it be the finals, you would have lost interest.

And so I did. I lost interest in the whole lot of them. Excepting for the DUNE series, I have despaired of ever finding something to read again.

Until this book. Suffice to say that were you to find a character hanging in a tree. He will not come back talking again. And yes, even major characters sometimes gets the red smile.. Its refreshing, because you don't know whats gonna happen. Nobody's safe. And to top it off, you actually understand why the characters do the things they do. Its not all good vs. evil stuff. Its just normal persons doing things because of their principles and for their families. It just so happens that they affect other (powerful) persons, and so conflict arises. The effect of this is that after a while, you don't know who to like anymore. You grow to like even the "enemy".

You know - just like life..

If you are into this type of stories, I highly recommend this to you.. (No, I'm not gonna write about the plot here. But it has something to do with powerful families trying to kill each other)

Anyway, enough of my babbling..

Back to work...

"Do you want to see?"
"Half the things I've seen, i never wanted to see. Half the things I wanted to see, I've never seen. So 'want' has nothing to do with it"
posted by Nezha at 9:50 PM | Permalink |


  • At 2:15 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    And to top it off, you actually understand why the characters do the things they do. Its not all good vs. evil stuff. Its just normal persons doing things because of their principles and for their families.

    Sounds like a soap to me?

  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger Loomis

    Based on your post, you would probably enjoy the book "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follet. There are plenty of great characters in that book, some of them despicable, some of them likable, they all have their flaws and selfish moments. The descriptions of life in the 11th and 12th centuries are also great.

    For anyone who likes medieval adventure, I'd put this one on your list.

  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight

    The George Martin series is amazing. Exactly as you say, he breaks free of the stereotype (basically the glorified travelogue that we find in all those books that emulate LOTR, the first glorified travelogue).

    I actually have stopped reading any of them until he has finished writing the series. That way I'll be able to read them once through, not have to go back and refresh myself every two years.