Monday, September 15, 2014

Twitterature September 2014: It's More Fantastical!

     I've been consuming fantasy lately. I'm still on my marathon of Game of Thrones, and on a lark one day I started reading my Kindle version of Tarzan. Also, I'm on the verge of starting a re-read of Lord of the Rings (kicked off by a nice breakfast of bacon and mushrooms this morning). So without further ado...

1.) A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

     This man is an evil overlord. I swear he is. He keeps throwing on more and more feels. Furthermore, he has managed to throw in several more viewpoint characters, and gets a perfect voice for each of them. Unlike another book I recently tried to read, you can tell who is who without reading the name at the beginning of the chapter. While it takes some time away from the more major characters, it also gives a wider view of the events in the book, and expands his vivid world.
     Thus far, we have Cersei, who has taken up Joffrey's mantle of Being Crazy. Her younger son, Tommen is king only in name, too young to rule yet old enough for a political marriage. His new wife seems sweet-natured enough, but it's hard to tell with people here. Samwell has discovered Jon tricked him (with good intentions, but still, it throws an extra shade on his character, and Martin is very good at doing that). Brienne is still questing to find Sansa, and she is probably the the most moral character in the book, meaning she's probably doomed. Because Martin does that. Murders characters. BECAUSE HE'S AN EVIL OVERLORD.

2.) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

     For someone whose only exposure to Tarzan was through the cheesy old movies with the ridiculously not-tan actor and George of the Jungle parodies, starting this book was a pleasant surprise. Burroughs is good with vivid descriptions as well as setting up dramatic tension. I list this under "fantasy" because the apes have their own drum rituals and language-of course, for all I know that could have been considered good science back then. (It certainly cropped up in Arthur Jermyn, but then again that was Lovecraft, who had...things to say about miscegenation.)
     The narrative of Tarzan slowly growing discontented with the apes as his intelligence grows is quite interesting. I feel like Burroughs was commenting on the nature vs. nurture debate, coming firmly down on the side of nature. (Tarzan being the son of a white aristocrat, he was naturally superior to the apes and the natives!) While Burroughs does have some of those "quaint" Victorian values, he does get a little critical of the Empire's treatment of native peoples. Tarzan's father was, after all, sailing to Africa to investigate claims of abuse, and the introduction of the natives later on shows them in a pretty sympathetic light as they flee said abuse.
     Thus far it's been pretty difficult to put down.

3.) The Lord of the Rings

     It seems like, when fall comes around, I get a hankering to re-read Lord of the Rings. I think it's partly because the quest begins in the fall, and Tolkien's descriptions are so vivid that I can't help but recall them when the seasons change. (On an amusing note, my short friend Kelli's birthday is also September 22nd. Hobbit references abound on that day.)
     Lord of the Rings cannot be read fast. It's less a roller-coaster and more like a journey in and of itself. There are times when things go quickly, and you can get through several chapters with a racing heart. Then, like the characters, you slow down, drinking in the surroundings, hearing the elven songs and listening to the wind in the trees. It will probably take me all winter, but that's okay. It's a good book to read when you're stuck inside.

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy has her list of September books, and plenty of people have added their own. Go check them out, and remember, if you're a George R.R. Martin character, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die. You die a lot.


  1. Oh, my - now I MUST read A Feast For Crows because one of my pet peeves is when authors use multiple POVS and don't label them, so I spend the first paragraph of each change thinking, "What?!"

    1. All of Martin's books have the POV character name as the chapter title. That said, after a while you start recognizing them even without a label! I tried reading another book where the author skipped POVs nearly every *paragraph*, and they all sounded the same. So frustrating!

  2. Concerning Tarzan, I think you'll love his method of English language acquisition. Totally plausible in every way! :)

    1. Reading or speaking? He's already reading via children's books. (Maybe this was all really an advertisement for children's books? "They'll go from savage to savant in thirty days, or your money back!")