The Sunday Salon: On reading A Game of Thrones
Sunday, November 30, 2014
I started reading A Game of Thrones a couple of days ago. This is after watching and loving four seasons of this crazy TV show, and attempting to listen to this audiobook in the car, months ago. I gave up on the audiobook after four hours of painful realization that the book was very slow, compared to the TV show. 4 hours of audiobook just about covered one episode in the show.
When you like a series a lot, whether it is a TV show or a book series, you will remember many details from that series for a long time. This makes it impossibly hard to read or reread it later. That feeling is especially strong with A Game of Thrones because as I read the book this week, I started to wonder whether the pictures in my head were from the TV show or from listening to the audiobook six months back. But once I am past the point where I stopped the audiobook, it should be smoother riding.
Honestly, I am not sure if I want to be on top of the books before the next season starts next year. (So far, the TV show has covered the first three books of the series.) I did that with The Walking Dead - read all the books but two to-date, and now when I watch the show, I'm not sitting as much on the edge of the seat as I did during the last few seasons. That's relieving in one way, because the kind of twists the show creators throw at us can make you scream in agony for days. But the TV show doesn't follow the books strictly - there are some core characters who aren't in the books and there are some big plots that aren't sketched either. *** MILD BOOK SPOILER START*** For instance, tonight's episode is being promoted as heartbreaking and thrilling, and since what's happening currently in the TV show doesn't feature in the books AND the three hospital characters (Daryl, Beth, and Carol) are either not featured or are long gone at this point in the books, I have no freaking clue what's going to happen tonight. *** SPOILER END *** So I will be totally on edge tonight.
Roxane Gay, I'm going to say that I'm a bad feminist because I really like this show even though women are portrayed often as sex playthings and rapes don't have consequences. There are some really strong women too - it's almost like watching two conflicting tenets in this fictional world.) So one part of me would be okay reading the books ahead, because there are differences between the show version and the books, but the other part would rather read the books after, because I always enjoy the book even if I know most of the story, but I never enjoy the screen format if I had already read the books because I will keep comparing the two. And then, there is something to be said about that edge of the seat feeling - that adrenaline rush when you know something dreadful could happen now, and then that feeling of no going back, because you now wish it didn't happen but it just did and you just have to deal with it.
When do you prefer to do your reading if you wanted to watch the screen version - after watching it or before?