1. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    For those who've read A Song of Ice and Fire

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Mocheo Timo, May 9, 2015.

    I am guessing there are other discussions about the series out there, but I just had to start mine.
    The question that has been bothering me is:
    Why is such a disturbing book so good?
    Anyone who've read Martin's writings would say that his writing style is fenomenal.
    But he deals with pretty hectic issues, and his messages are too dark.
    When reading the books, I was horrified in multiple parts;
    I'm not talking only about the sex, there are scenes which are simply revolting to morality (if I may say that),
    for example: children being forced to use daggers to kill.
    As far as I understand books are made to give leisure to the reader, to make him experience things which make him excited, hopeful, interested; so why make him feel disturbed?
    As disturbed as I was, I was deeply engrossed as I read the books.
    And I know lots of people who loved them just as I did.
    So, how did Martin do it?
    I am really interested in any feedback.
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Where does it say reading, or any artform, is meant to create only positive feelings?
    Art is about creating a message to be experienced through a medium.

    And, how much fantasy did you ever read?
    In general, 8-15 year olds are much smarter than the kids you see today (Most likely due to being set in a time period where kids couldn't be the dumbasses they are today)
    and they often deal with family death, having to grow up quick, and take on the world both metaphorically and quite literally.
    In those times, killing and dying wasn't what it is today, and as a fantasy trope is quite normal.

    The books are far from disturbing.
    They deal in subject matter that is very human: people wanting things and having to go and get them in a world that will most likely hinder them.
    It's basically real life, but with sword fighting and drinking wine first thing in the morning.
     
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  3. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I guess he likes to bring up controversial topics and deal with them the way people like.
    The whole books seem imbued with them; open any of his books at random and you're likely to run into controversial
    issue either hinted at or addressed by one of his characters.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think Martin's work is darker than a lot of fantasy, and I definitely found them disturbing. I almost stopped reading the first book when the little boy was tossed out of the tower window. And for Martin to then quasi-redeem the character who did the kid-tossing? That's pretty dark.

    That said, I don't think dark and disturbing has to mean an unenjoyable read. Maybe people read his books for the same reason they watch horror movies or ride roller coasters - we want the intense experiences without actually living them.
     
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    How many people in that age-group do you deal with on a day-to-day basis?
     
  6. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Too many.
    Children are as smart as a bag of bricks.
    Thank god I'm seeing less and less of 'em now.

    Also, if you have better experiences with kids and know many who are actually level-headed, good for you.
    What I deal with, see, and stuff is bad. Kids just aren't the way they're written in books, for sure.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It's almost like their written by adults who don't understand children, or who write children that are as smart as the story calls for. Weird, right?
     
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  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You really need to work on your....fonetics


    (Sorry, could not resist.)
     
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  9. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Fixed.
     
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  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Well, at least its based on experience. I must admit I did think it was one of those unfounded 'Kids today, don't know they're born' statements based on nothing more than idle impressions, which really annoys me quite frankly.
     
  11. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I don't think there's any rule, written or unwritten, that states writer's are suppose to write thing's that make the reader happy. A writer sets out to tell a story, and if that story is dark or disturbing that is what will be written. The spectrum of qualities the world offers are extensive. There's joy and sorrow, disturbing and peaceful, exciting and boring. A writer's job is to evoke emotion, whether positive or negative. There is no obligation to make the reader happy. (Don't mistake this for me saying you aren't suppose to write something readers will enjoy. It just doesn't have to make them, "happy.")

    A Song of Ice and Fire is dark, but far from the darkest story written. Look at stories by Stephen King for example; he writes much more disturbing books than Martin.

    A Song of Ice and Fire is currently my favorite series. It's, in part, responsible for my starting the journey to learn the craft. Due to this, I find my writing to fall on the darker side of the spectrum. I enjoy writing about tragedy and sadness, deceit and betrayal. I'm very strongly influence by Marin's series.
     
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  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Song of Ice and Fire is essentially a soap opera with swords. Omg, Jaime did WHAT to his sister?! The Frey's sooo did not just kill Rob Stark at a wedding. Who is Jon Snow's real father????


    Soap operas can be very dark, from my understanding. Personally, I prefer the ones with the lovely Spanish women that I can't understand
     
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  13. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    You seem to have some animosity towards the series. I would say there's a lot more depth to those topics than you're giving credit for.
     
  14. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well... I wouldn't. I think that the plot and characters are more interesting than the writing. Whether one likes an author's writing is of course a matter of taste; my taste finds it rather dull. I followed my favorite characters through a couple of the books, but finally gave up.
     
  16. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I love the series, but don't particularly care for his writing style. Like you, I think the plot and characters are the strongest part of the story.

    The large expositions describing food nearly drive me crazy. His overuse of expletives such as cock, c*nt, tits, etc. are also fairly annoying.
     
  17. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    I have absolutely no doubt that your age group possesses a higher level of general competence than mine, but you still suffer from most of the same basic flaws, if to a lesser degree. We are developing into you, after all.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  18. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read the first four books. I have no animosity toward it. It IS a soap opera. That IS the appeal. I am answering the OP's question. Do you notice how none of the characters are ever happy, not even for a second? This is soap opera 101. The drama is craaaaanked up. It's all about the superficial relationships and scandals. And every time a character dies...it's the equivalent of a celebrity wedding.

    OK, there were a few good bits, (plotwise not writing style) like when Tyrion has his champion fight to save his life, but for the most part...soap opera. I mean, the guy (Martin) has a scene with the dragon queen (I can honestly tell you I no longer remember her name) being jacked off by one of her handmaidens. If that's not grade A trash soap opera, I don't know what is.
     
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  19. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Put like this, I agree. They aren't clever in the intellectually agreeable way, they're sly, wry and shrwed. Some of tgem lacking innocence at an alarmingly young age.
     
  20. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Sorry

    I....I just had to lol

    Love Butters
     
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  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You aren't exactly wrong. The characters, all 1,000,000 of them, are basically there to boil up the drama and dramatics. I'll hardly be the first, even maybe on this forum, to point out that the characters have an odd, bad habit of dying as soon as their use to the plot expires. It's basically Eastenders, with swords, porn, and somehow more wankers.

    I'm better disposed to A Song of Ice and Fire than I feel I have a right to be. My first experience of it was watching the TV show, and I remember as soon as that opening music came on I found the cello bars hauntingly beautiful - and that I must admit put me in a good frame of mind for the series. I've since read the first few bits of the series and, it's not bad. It could be much worse. I'm not sure what George R.R. knows about English history, but if he is basing it on the Wars of the Roses like he has said then some of the finer social details are just plain baffling. There are times when the setting tries to be too hard-edged, and as such comes across to me as weak and a bit lame in a Sin City sort of way.

    Mind, thankfully ASoI&F isn't a massive pile of corny, nonsensical trash like Sin City is, so that's alright.
     
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  22. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I wouldn't expect a lit major to have an understanding of comic books, so you can be excused.
     
  23. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can only take this as a wonderful complement. ^.^
     
  24. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    To be fair.

    I love comics as I'm sure my avatar gives away and disliking Sin City does not equal disliking comics. I love superhero stuff of course but don't like Sin City. I find Sin City and most of Frank Miller's work (except Batman DKR and Daredevil) kinda dumb and or well somewhat racist in one case.

    Based on what Lemex likes he wouldn't be into superheroes and certainly not Sin City. He'd need a comic that took its influence from the works of Dante or Paradise Lost and of course comics that are aimed at the more literary side of things in general.

    Like Unknown Soldier or maybe Fables or From Hell?

    I mean its an entire medium like books and movies are. Sin City was just a bad pick for Lemex and I wouldn't suggest anything superhero related either. There is a comic for everyone.

    Its all about finding one that's suited to your taste. So I'd say don't dismiss comics due to reading a couple you don't like.

    Its a big sea.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Once in a while, Tyrion enjoys himself. Maybe that's why he's my favorite character. If Mr. Martin would just kill most of the others and stick with him, I'd keep reading.
     

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