July 17, 2011

A Feast of Crow

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 17, 2011 11:17 AM

Previously, on Arcane Gazebo... Almost two years ago, I took a strong position against buying George R. R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons until the entire series is complete. Then, I inadvertently made my commitment even stronger by leaving the post at the top of this blog since then.

Last week, the book finally came out. The reviews are reporting that it's terrific, and (importantly) gets the story going again after the narrative sprawl of A Feast for Crows. And so I find myself wanting to read it after all! But how can I repudiate my earlier position without looking like a Romney-esque unprincipled flip-flopper?

The answer will be revealed... below the fold:

The fact is, even though I've been avoiding unfinished book series, I've been enjoying serialized fiction in another form, namely television. I've been looking forward to tonight's premiere of Breaking Bad, even though its format has many of the same characteristics I previously objected to with A Dance with Dragons: a cliffhanger ending, a delay in the next installment, an open-ended publication schedule (it could keep running past its prime with no resolution in sight, or, less likely, get cancelled before wrapping up). But with Breaking Bad I don't seem to mind. Is that just because it's an awesome show? Maybe the real issue with A Dance with Dragons is that I was disappointed by A Feast for Crows, in which case I would be totally justified in changing my mind based on positive reviews.

And it's telling that George R. R. Martin's series has been adapted by HBO for this very same format. I haven't been watching past the pilot (since I don't have HBO) but I'm certainly going to watch once it gets a DVD release. So now I'm in an even worse position (intelllectually speaking) if I refuse to continue reading since I'm willing to follow the very same material on TV!

So maybe I should be heading to the Kindle store now. However, there's one other obstacle left, which is that it's been six years since A Feast for Crows and I don't remember what the hell was going on. The typical gap between TV seasons is a lot shorter than the multiple years between books in this particular series. It seems to me that I have a few options:

  1. Jump right into A Dance with Dragons and hope that I won't be too confused.
  2. Read some plot summaries to remind myself what happened in the previous books.
  3. Re-read the whole damn thing up to this point.
  4. Continue waiting until all the books are out and then read the whole thing in one go.

Option #3 is the most tempting at this point, but I hate to re-read when there are so many books I could be reading for the first time instead...

Tags: Books, Television

It's even better - remember, A Dance with Dragons runs mostly concurrently with A Feast for Crows, so you actually need to know what happened through book 3 in order to understand what the hell is going on. I was tempted to go with option #3, but eventually just said "Screw it" and went #1. Now I'm thinking of #2. In fact, I think I'll go look up those summaries now. Toodles!

Posted by: Chris Langland | July 17, 2011 7:57 PM

Hey, Travis has blogged for the first time in almost 2 years!

A few weeks ago, I was actually pondering what the updating threshold should be before I decide that I should just remove a blog from the blogroll. I guess 1.75 years is now a lower bound, but is that the right threshold?

Welcome back to the blogosphere! Hopefully, you won't wait 1.75 years for the next post...

Posted by: Mason Porter | July 18, 2011 7:57 PM

Yep, the urge to post returned this week after a long absence. We'll see if it becomes a habit again...

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | July 19, 2011 9:11 PM

I certainly wouldn't mind if you got back into the swing of it. It's a nice way to feel like I'm keeping in touch, without actually having to expend any effort.

Oh, and I guess I like reading it, too.

Posted by: Tim Elling | July 19, 2011 11:21 PM
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