Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reading "A Dance With Dragons"

SCENE: Picture it...George R.R. Martin and I in a room. I pick up his massive 2700 page book (that's how big it is on my e-reader) and start reading it. Don't believe me on's pictures of his U.S. editor, Ann Groell, with only 95% of the manuscript earlier this year.

Me to George: "This formatting for this book is awful. Never start with a prologue that's forty pages. No one will read this, especially when it's unrelated to the book." Note: I continue to read prologue while sipping coffee. "Oh and this thing is fucking huge. No one will ever read 2700 pages." Note: I continue to read.

George: "Ah well...if you don't like my book no one is forcing you to--" He tries to take it back from me.

Me: "SHHHH." I slap George's hand. "You're interrupting me." I continue to read. A while later. "The editing in this book is bad too. Who types "'They north rode...' the editors at Random House rushed this thing out. It should say...'they rode north...'"

George: Tries to peel book out of my hand. "If you don't like it you don't have to read it."

Me: "Did I say that? I'm doing you a favor. I need to point out your flaws!!" I continue to read, clutching book protectively so George can't take it back.

George: "Gimme that thing..." He tries to grab for it. I bite him in the hand. I continue to read ravenously.

Me: "Back away from the book, George...just back away. I know I can't stab you in the belly because I need two more books out of you but I can kick you in the shins and run faster than you..."

Myyyy Precccioooousssss

Me: "OMG...I can't believe that happened!"

George: "I thought you hated it."

Me: "Shut up! Can't you see I'm busy here!" Tries to hide the wild look in my eyes.

I love this Tyrion line from the book. He's on a riverboat and eyeing a pious woman with whom he wants to have sex. They are speaking of turtles in the river.:

   "I like to watch the sun come up as well," It was like watching a maiden rising naked from her bath. Some might be prettier than others, but every one was full of promise. "The turtles have their charms, I will allow. Nothing delights me so much as the sight of a nice pair of shapely...shells."

I snickered at that one.  Here's another Tyrion line again with the pious woman who this time is bathing. Tyrion is a dwarf (a midget/small person) and disfigured to boot but his brother Jaimie is a beautiful, golden-haired man. He's had to watch his brother (and others) get attention all of his life simply because they are attractive (which is true of real life and something to which I can strongly relate). Here's the line:

   "The Mother and the Father made us in their image [Tyrion]. We should glory in our bodies, for they are the work of gods."
   The gods must have been drunk when they got to me. <== If I were religious, this is how I'd feel. :)


  1. That last line is insanely funny. Tyrion (cool name btw)seems like my kinda guy. But I don't know if I can read a book that long; I have a very low attention span and I am super lazy.

    Oh gosh, I'll make a fine husband someday, won't I? :/

    My future wife: "Get your lazy, ungrateful ass off that couch and help me with your son!"

    Me: "But he smells like shit."

  2. Great post! I love that you are *so* honest about hating the book! ;)

    I know what if feels like to be riveted to a terrible book! You have my condolences. Not that I think the book will be terrible, though.

  3. Uh, this was such a funny read...(wiping a tear of laughter from ones eye). I have yet to join the ranks of George R R Martin fans - shocker, I know - but it is now on my list of things to do just so I can picture you slowly turning into

  4. Yeah it's funny how all those things they tell you not to do some authors can do and become famous for it.

  5. Wow that is one massive manuscript!

  6. -Still- not reading them. Nope. Not me. At the rate he's going, he's going to end up just like Jordan, dead before he finishes the series. Not for me.

  7. It's even worse when you consider the material covered books 4 and 5 were supposed to be one book. 5 years ago when he hit 1500 pages (and knew he wasn't close to being finished) he called his publisher and told them he was going to have to delay because he had decided instead to put the events in the south in book 4 and the ones in the north in book 5.

    Personally I wish his editor would have taken a flamethrower to most off the fluff. No doubt there's less interesting things happening per page in his books than any other I have ever read. It's also frustrating to spend an hour reading and only see my % read go from 4% to 6%.

  8. I let my heart break once filling it with Dragonlance novels. After that I said no more unless the author has said how many books the series will be. I need to know there is an ACTUAL ending I'm reading towards.

  9. The size of that manuscript makes me think that he must have a lot of time on his hands. When J.K. Rowling's first volume of Harry Potter came out I did not realize that kids would read it non stop. They not only finished one vloume, they were waiting eagerly for the second one and so on. So here as well, I am sure if the story has not finished, fans including yourself will read the following volumes no matter how much you get mad.
    Thanks for the award. Once my mind is back in it's place I will sit down and make a list of books that I have read. I still have to tag people too:)

  10. I have to say that despite anything bad I point out about the book...I can't put it down. I'm at work right now and all I want to do is get home tonight and start reading it again.

    The fat man has got me by the jugular lol.

  11. Hilarious dialogue -- exactly how I feel sometimes about books.

    But George R.R. Martin stole that line from Jim Gaffigan, more or less. I know I risk your wrath in saying that, but I had to point it out. (Or in the prose favored by Martin's editors/Yoda, "I point it had.")

  12. Briane P: Everything is stolen from someone though I think. I didn't know that (thanks for pointing it out) but George's whole Point of view style of writing is stolen from Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom.

  13. Tyrion Lannister may be the greatest character ever written, and I've only read the first two.

  14. Thank you. I needed a laugh. Very enjoyable post.

  15. This has nothing to do with your post; I am merely dropping by to inform you that I've responded to your implied question on my blog today.

  16. I don't even think I could lift it let alone read it. :)

  17. 2700 pages? Oh my, perhaps I'll reward myself with this series if I ever finish editing and start getting my queries out... Love long books!

  18. HOLY CRAP that's a long novel. I love GRRM, but haven't read the last book, so it'll be a while till I get to this one as well. I need to do a total re-read!