I didn’t think twice before buying this book, because obviously, Tom Hanks. Unfortunately, it is boring. Very boring. The stories are dull, lacking an edge to them and the narrative is too monotonous, almost robot-like.
But here’s a magical trick: try reading it in Tom Hanks’ voice. The effect is dramatic, I even bought the audiobook narrated by non other than Hanks himself. It actually put a smile on my face. 🙂
I did not hate the book, however, I did also not love it. When I started formatting this review inside my head, I realized that I was trying too hard to like the novel.
I haven’t read any Medieval fantasies before this one, but I do know what they’re all about, and George R. R. Martin hasn’t gotten out of the cliché zone of high fantasies. Dragons and zombies? Really?!
It could’ve been written way better. “A Game of Thrones” obviously portrays many “high lords” in dispute, that’s fine. But the historical background of the characters and settings were crammed in a dull, monotonous narrative. The author ignored the “common people”; I believe the story would’ve been much deeper and richer if he paid as much attention their cultures and how they lived.
There were points though, where I honestly loved the way he demonstrated and vividly painted the scenes. Sadly, he kept repeating himself, and at some point, I started noticing the abuse of adverbs and some adjectives. I have to admit that I felt attached at some parts to characters and engaged to the story, yet these were transient moments. Martin failed to keep me immersed.
Despite all the flaws, I would’ve been looking forward to the second book, if it wasn’t for misogyny and graphic scenes.
How often have words like “whores”, “wenches”, “sluts” been addressed to women? How many vulgar referrals to women’s body parts? And the undue descriptions, those I refrain from mentioning! This ugly reduction of women into mere tools of pleasure is sick. I did feel offended, and angry.
Now to the graphic content. Well, I’m totally against demonstrating intimate sexual details, I see no point of it whatsoever, and Martin writes like dirty-minded teenager, really. I always skip such paragraphs, but still, you don’t need to read to know they were very graphic, disgustingly graphic. I felt distressed (and threatened) so often throughout this book.
As an aspiring writer, I love to study popular works of fiction, and I did hope to learn anything there, but to my disappointment, there was nothing to learn.
I’m happy that my first encounter with this book was years after high school, for most of the teens I know seem to have tossed the book away, unaware of the literary treasures lying in underneath its words.
Although its narrative, by shallow inspection, isn’t the most engaging, the plot structure is probably one of the richest and the deepest I have ever explored. I can never say the story was boring, because I often was driven to consider different possibilities. And though some twists were solemnly based on mere coincidences, Dickens succeeded in keeping me guessing until the very end.
The themes are timeless; you don’t need to live in the Victorian era to conclude that everybody has a little Pip lingering inside them in varying degrees, longing for a more fortunate life and seeking affection, and a better social class. When it comes to symbols, I find using the “misty marshes” and the “Satis House” very brilliant. You can easily find that each character, symbolized something crucial as well.
Worthy to mention, I felt at many points how pathetic Pip’s fondness of Estella was, for instance when he says:
“Whatever her tone with me happened to be, I could put no trust in it, and build no hope on it; and yet I went on against trust and against hope.”
“Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation, I associate you only with the good; and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!”***
Earlier this year, I created a book club group on Facebook. However, only my friends joined and we all were too busy to commit. Now using my cousin’s help, we have revived and expanded our deserted book club into a full, running blog.
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