Confessions of a Justified Slummer
In shock, I have just realized I have posted only two posts for the last howevermany weeks. Excuses immediately jump to mind:
- 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.
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.
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: