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Confessions of a Justified Slummer

April 17, 2012

In shock, I have just realized I have posted only two posts for the last howevermany weeks. Excuses immediately jump to mind:

  • Lazy.
  • Busy at work.
  • Busy working out.
  • Was in Norway eating chocolate.

But actually, I was….

Oh, it’s almost too much.

OK, here goes.

I have been reading Game of Thrones. 

Yup. Fantasy. And it’s even fantasy I’m reading because they made a TV-series about it. (My copy has the tv-series cover). How mainstream. Gods, how vulgar. Truly slummin’ it.

Gold writing AND a cover photo from the HBO production??

But also – Oh My God it is so obsessive. Addictive.  I am going through these books at a rate that is, quite frankly, alarming. And I am thoroughly enjoying it. My commute whizzes past every morning, every evening (no mean feat with 1h15mins each way). I haven’t even glanced at a Metro or Evening Standard, and not had a single nap. No drooling. No face-planting in laps in a desperate scramble to get off. No irrational fury at lack of space/pushy people/children/loud breathing/tall people/short people/people with nicer coats than me.

Turning away in shame.

So – is it shameful? Is it “lesser”?

This is an age old debate, of course. Are books that force you to turn the page with the sheer, compulsive plot-drivenness always “bad”? Are boring books always “good”? Are plot and quality diametrical opposites in the world of literature?

Hundreds (probably thousands) of academics and book bloggers and every Tom, Dick and Harry has discussed this without coming to any conclusive answer, but I am going to throw my personal opinion out there anyway (thank god this isn’t an academic essay or I would get shot to pieces):

Any kind of book is still a book. Books are good.

(Accidentally (?) wrote “Books are god” there. Disturbing. Or disturbingly true?).

And though I may perhaps become more enlightened and intelligent from reading, say, Anna Karenina (that was really good, though. Mini-review here), that doesn’t change the fact that I am enjoying Game of Thrones just as much.

So there. The truth. And to all the people who have said something along the lines of “this isn’t quite your normal thing” or “I am so glad you are finally hooked on the fantasy as well” or expressed some other sentiment of surprise – I am not sure whether, in literature world I am supposed to be flattered by being taken as someone “above” fantasy fiction or something, but rest assured – (oh god, I cannot belive I am about to put this in writing in the public space of internet)  – I have read every single volume of Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children. I am also obsessive about Harry Potter, voluntarily took a university course on Tolkien, can hold my own in a discussion on the Earthsea series and one of the books I have read the most times in my life (apart from the above) is about ponies.

I do wish they didn’t have such ugly covers though:


4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 5:12 am

    Read the first one and want to see the series, I like that it is set in the medieval era but being fantasy, it is richy imagined. My Aunt is the Production Designer for the series so I was interested to read the book to see what she had to work with and can’t wait to see how it looks on screen. They are starting to make the third series now. The bookcover is dark, but the throne is impressive!

    Read Jean Auel as a teenager, the first three anyway and have bought the final one to recap and like that its set not far from where I now live, was inspired also after seeing the documentary ‘Cave of forgotten dreams’ – incredible.

    • April 18, 2012 7:06 am

      Oh really? I’ve heard it looks (and is) really good, described as “the sopranos in the middle ages” apparently! Let me know when you do watch it, what your thoughts are on how it has been put to screen!
      But I have to be honest about Auel, after the first 3 I was just a bit shocked at how bad I though they were…


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