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Why I’ll probably never read 'A Song of Ice and Fire'

Holly Viers • Aug 19, 2018 at 9:30 PM

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a number of people tell me I should read “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin.

In case you aren’t familiar with this series, it’s the basis for HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones.” The show has become a pop culture phenomenon, raking in millions of dollars.

Normally, I would be more than happy to take someone’s reading suggestions, but I’m a little hesitant about this series for a number of reasons. Before I get into that, let me provide a little background.

My husband took an interest in “Game of Thrones” a year or so ago, so we decided to jump on the bandwagon and start watching it. We started with season one and watched all the way through to the most recent season, which we just finished a few days ago.

I won’t get too deep into my thoughts on the show, but I will say that had it not been for my husband’s interest, I probably never would have watched this series on my own. Parts of the show were a little too crude for my liking, but nevertheless, I admire its ability to weave multiple storylines together, while also making each subplot both meaningful and engaging.

That being said, I’m not particularly interested in the book series after watching the show. Now that I know what all the hype is about, I don’t think the story would appeal to me in book form for two or three reasons.

First of all, I believe the strength of the TV show would probably be the weakness of the books. Whereas the TV show is great at tying multiple stories together in an understandable way, I’ve learned from experience that multiple storylines can be a problem in books, mainly because it’s difficult for a reader to follow along.

Another deterrent is the length of each book. With only a few exceptions, I’m not usually a fan of books that are much longer than 400 pages, and based on my quick research, all of the books in the series are well over that amount. (“A Dance with Dragons,” the fifth book in the series, has a staggering 1,040 pages.)

The next issue I have is the genre. With the exception of “Harry Potter,” I normally don’t enjoy fantasy novels, and “A Song of Ice and Fire” is undeniably a fantasy series.

It’s worth pointing out that my goal isn’t to discredit the book series in any way. I’m sure many people find it interesting and well-written; otherwise, it wouldn’t have cracked the national bestseller list.

If someone were to provide me with an indisputable argument to read the series, I might consider giving it a chance. Otherwise, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be crossing it off my list.

Holly Viers is a general assignment reporter for the Kingsport Times News.

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