15 of 51 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) (Mass Market Paperback)
Having spent many years avoiding fantasy fiction, believing it started with Tolkien and ended with Stephen Donaldson, I was tempted into buying this on the strength of HBO making it into a mini-series (with Sean Bean, so it should be good, I thought). I got to page 81 and realised that as I had fewer years left to live than I started with, I wasn't going to spend any of them trying to understand the goings-on in another made-up world, with characters with made-up names doing things I didn't much care for. Sorry. It's ok for people who like this stuff but, quite honestly, it's all the same. The cover notes tell me its ambition is to 'construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction', so why not just read about the twelve Caesars? - much more interesting and at least they were real. Still love Tolkien, though.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2010 02:31:42 BDT
This review seems to be judging the book for the crime of being a fantasy book.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2010 01:43:38 BDT
I second that post.
If you don't want fantasy then buy a book from a different genre. If you want to read one of the all time greats of Fantasy Fiction then read George RR Martins 'A Song of Ice and Fire' books starting with 'A Game of Thrones'. You gave the book a 1 star rating after saying you was interested because a series is being made of the book and it stars Sean Bean as Ned Stark. Well Ned Stark is only one character within the books and Goerge RR Martin has a lot of characters who are point of view characters. It is not a tale of one heroe or one villain. That is what sets the series apart from most other fantasy authors it is an epic in scale of the characters rather than the size of its land.
Maybe you should have read more of the reviews here on amazon before diving into a novel because the TV adaption will star Sean Bean.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2010 13:45:35 BDT
No - I bought the book because of the hype that George R.R.Martin was the 'heir' to Tolkein and I wanted to give it a go and I did read many of the high-ranking reviews. I also wanted a bit of holiday reading and thought this should do the trick. I should have known better - George R.R. Martin is not the heir to Tolkein. Having read a small part of the book, I thought 'Oh no. here we go again: the Thargoids of Annaplopplop were bidding to wrest control of the Hoomagoomla from the peace-loving Dippydoodas...blah, blah, blah'. Made-up names in a made-up world, doing stuff that every civilization since the Romans have been doing ever since. My life's too short to devote any of it to this twaddle. If you're a fan, then I'm sorry if you're offended (if you're well-read, then you shouldn't be).
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Sep 2010 22:07:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Sep 2010 22:50:02 BDT
I third the above posts.
You criticise the novel for having "Made-up names in a made-up world". That's what fantasy is. It's like criticising a Western for having cowboys. That's part of the genre. Is Tolkien's Middle-Earth based on real people and events?
If you didn't like the plot, characterisation, prose, themes, continuity, editing, violence, swearing etc etc and explained this that would help people make an informed choice about purchasing this novel.
If you want to read about real people and events go to the history section which is where Twelve Caesars is listed on Amazon.
When I wish to read about tales of derring-do, dragons, knights, magic (made-up stuff) and so on surprise surprise I come to the fantasy section.
A bit of advice - if you are looking for a book about computers best not to go to the cookery section.
Posted on 19 Sep 2010 17:58:41 BDT
Richard Murray says:
This is one of the funniest reviews I have ever read! A fantasy book about "the goings-on in another made-up world, with characters with made-up names"? Whatever next? Just as well you didn't read past p.81, fella, you would have just found more of the same. Glad you like Tolkien, that didn't have any of this made-up rubbish...oh, wait, it did a bit, didn't it?
Posted on 19 Sep 2010 21:49:56 BDT
Like others have said, what a contradictory review, also I don't really think you can 1 star review something by just reading a few pages.. unless it really is truly awful and by all the 5 star reviews and HBO picking it up and investing so much in this world it clearly isn't.
I'd love to have seen this reviewers reaction if heaven forbid, there was actually some magic in this fantasy book!
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2011 20:59:16 BDT
Chief of SInners says:
Yes! A fantasy world is fine IF IT IS BELIEVABLE, but otherwise, the dippydoodads can go back to la-la land and leave me alone. Good fantasy is realistic, in that characters are in a complete, cogent, coherent world, where they act and , for me, above all, speak realistically.
Martin's writing is awful. This book is awful (and Sean Bean can't act for toffees!).
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2011 21:07:29 BDT
I think you're posting on the wrong book, believable, realistic, complete characters, coherent world are all the strengths of the Ice and Fire series.
Also Sean bean has been fantastic in the series so far, the casting has been spot on...
I'd love to know what you think is good fantasy, especially when one that is so highly regarded as this is apparently awful to you.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2011 22:40:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2012 21:22:04 BDT
Chief of SInners says:
Well it's not just me - there are plenty of discerning reviewers - we're just swamped b ythe less discerning. As for good fantasy; read anything by Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss, or Scott Lynch. All of these authors have a ear for dialogue, which is vital to me. And sorry, Sean Bean can't act. Oh, and just because a lot of people think that the earth is flat, doesn't make it so!
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2011 13:49:33 BDT
"Well it's not just me - there are plenty of discerning reviewers - we're just swamped b ythe less discerning"
Well thats pretty pedantic, i'm sure HBO were discerning when picking it up to make into a series. And you're not enjoying the TV series either?
At least you didn't mention Steven Erikson as good fantasy.