Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Should I Sell...

My George R.R. Martin books?

Preceding the announcement of the Television show, and not wanting to repeat the whole Wheel of Time never ending story fiasco.. I have thus far not read any of the Song of Fire and Ice. I did this because I don't like to wait on new chapters of a story to come out. I'd have been terrible with the old Saturday serials. I have infinite patience to wait a series out to completion, provided I've not already started it.

However, due to the Television show. My attempts at avoiding spoilers are completely shot now. It is effectively impossible to avoid them. And what I've seen/read/heard does not enthuse me in the slightest. What interest and enthusiasm I had towards the prospect of reading the series has evaporated entirely. All I'm left with now is a stack of Hardcovers that are likely to never get read.

Hardcovers that are selling for 14-25$ on Amazon right now. Not as much as I paid for them, but would recoup at least the first 2 if I sold all 4 of them.

This is an odd choice since if he pulls the series up by its bootstraps and gets out of the nihilist slump its already in before the first one is out.. thats great. But I still don't think I'd actually bother reading them at this point. It's like he's based an entire series around the concept espoused by Dark Helmet "Evil will always triumph because Good is dumb!". Others of course have taken that and run with it and gotten away from even the pretense of having moral characters in their books.

I'm not saying that Martin himself feels this way, Lord of the Rings and Conan have their moments of doubt, but after them they gain something. The Ring is destroyed, Conan liberates an oppressed people from their mad king. After all the pain and suffering and doubt, a melancholy but positive outcome is achieved. One in which magic is eroded from the world, and Conan has to hold onto his new kingship with his fingernails against all comers.. but positive. Martin's world so far just dosen't seem like that sort of place. It feels to much like a world in which any positive outcome would be completely incongruous.

So it's a toss up. Do I keep the books in the hope of finding out that the ending redeems all the pain and suffering, and then read them knowing the ending before I go in. Or do I sell them, cash in on the Martin mania sweeping the internet right now and wash my hands of the whole thing? It seems like a series as well touted as this is one that I should like. I just am having a difficult time getting any enthusiasm back. It was easier before I knew anything about them other than that they were "Fantasy" which to me means something very specific. Something that I feel these books fail to be.


M. D. Jackson said...

Sell your hardcovers. Get top dollar for them now while they're hot.

If you want to read them later on buy a dog-eared paperback from a garage sale or get e-versions of them all if you have a device or can read on your computer screen. (I recommend reading at least the first two books before the second season of GOT begins. The series will be spoiled for you but you will be much better informed and likely will enjoy it more).

But sell the hardcovers. Get as much cash for'em as you can.

Lagomorph Rex said...

It's good to have some positive reinforcement on that. I figured it would be the right choice, but it never hurts to have a second opinion.

Brian Murphy said...

Hmm... this is a tough one.

I like A Song of Ice and Fire. I think it's a well-written, interesting fantasy series. There is a strong element of "nihilism" in it, though there are some characters remaining who could potentially emerge as traditional heroes. I own the first four books (three paperback, one hardcover) and wouldn't sell my copies.

That said, it's been so long since A Feast For Crows that I've forgotten whole plotlines. And the series is so bloody long that I don't have the time or patience to re-read it all again in order to properly set the stage for A Dance With Dragons. I also detected some series fatigue from Martin in A Feast For Crows, which was by far the weakest of the four books.

At this point, I'd say either sell 'em, or hold off until the series is completed, read it, and then decide.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Exactly Brian, thats whats so frustrating about the whole thing.

I'm glad that I quit reading when I did, because had I read the whole of the first book when I first started it (back when I was in highschool) and had gotten to the bit where.. a certain main character.. was killed.. I absolutely would have thrown a tantrum. I don't like having "Main characters" killed in books. And I think thats probably whats keeping me from getting into it. I'm so afraid of characters being killed off, that I simply don't allow myself to get invested in any of them.

I was morally outraged by Bran being kicked out of a 5 story window because he was a child, Not because he was Bran.

The Other thing to reason is, I can sell these now, and then in 10 years when the series is finished pick up hardcover copies for .01 on amazon or whatever retailer is selling obsolete media then (Provided there is a post office to deliver them to me)..