Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Feast For Crows

A few weeks ago I remembered the George R. R. Martin series A Song of Ice and Fire that I started reading last year. I read the first three books and they were excellent. (Except for that horribly annoying Danaerys character. Ugh. If you want to cringe and gnash your teeth, just read those Danaerys chapters.) Well, I was waiting for the fourth book to come out but it kept getting delayed, so I forgot about it. Until a few weeks ago, when I remembered it. I found out that it had been published in November last year. That was good news. I rang the library and said hey have you got this book? They said sure we got it, but somebody borrowed it, so you gotta wait. I said no problem, I can wait. I been waiting about six months anyway, what the hell. So I had to wait until that person brought it back. A few days ago I got a note saying that the person had brought it back and now I could borrow it. So I borrowed it and now I am reading it. I thought it might be hard to get back into it, but it's not. It's all coming back as I read it. So far I'm 300 pages in, which is almost halfway through the book, and praise the Lord and the gods of Olympus, so far Danaerys hasn't popped up with her annoying talk of her stupid horse 'silver'. Yet sadly there has been hardly anything about the very likeable 'bastard son' Jon (of the Night's Watch); nothing at all of Tyrion the dwarf, who got his nose hacked off in battle, and is another very likeable character. But at least there's chapters from Jaime Lannister and Brienne, the Maid of Tarth (it would be a good time to mention that these books are constructed in the following way: each chapter is the name of a charcter and that chapter switches to the perspective of that character. I've never seen this structure used before but you soon get used to it, and it makes a lot of sense in this kind of epic tale).
Why are some of the best characters missing from this book? Well, I found out the reason - Martin's fourth book blew out to such a ridiculous page count that he was forced to split it into two books, so Book Five will really be the second part of Book Four.
I almost never check out author's websites, mainly because most of the writers I seem to read are long dead. But while I was reading Mr Martin's series of books, I felt a strong urge to find out if he had a website, and he did. That's where I got the information about him having to split his next book into two. He also has a page called 'What I'm Reading' which I found very interesting. I wasn't surprised to learn that he is a big history buff, because to write this Medieval-styled stuff requires an extensive knowledge of life in Medieval times. His FAQ page is also worth taking a peep at, especially if you have ever wanted to ask a published writer "I want to be a writer. Can you give me any advice?"
When I mentioned that his fourth book blew out to so many pages that he had to divide it into two separate books, I meant to say this: the first half (which has become A Feast For Crows) is 745 pages. The second half, which will be Book Five of the series and will be called A Dance With Dragons, will be, according to the author himself, around 1200 pages (!)

1 comment:

Aaron said...

It's probably arguable, but i'm pretty sure philip k Dick started the form of character based chapter perspective... it's very cool....gets you much more familiar with characters!