Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Next to Greatness

As a librarian I have daily access to hundreds of thousands of Books, DVDs, Audiobooks, CD's, Playaways, and Ebooks. So what book series could be compelling enough to make me drive on 128 at rush hour to stand in a line of 1500 people and purchase a book? George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire did.

The latest book in the series is "A Dance with Dragons", and has been greeted with rave reviews. Lev Grossman ("the Magicians") in his review for Time magazine calls George R. R. Martin the American Tolkien. However, Martin does not just rehash Tolkien. Published in 1954, many ideas and values in "Lord of the Rings" have been over done or changed.
According to Grossman: Martin has produced — is producing, since the series isn't over — the great fantasy epic of our era. It's an epic for a more profane, more jaded, more ambivalent age than the one Tolkien lived in. For those who have difficulty suspending belief let me say that magic is kept to a minimum. This series is built on characterization and Machiavellian intrigue. Start with A Game of Thrones.

Photo by Mike Wick


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