I have always enjoyed reading. As a child, I was extremely non-athletic – when others would go out and play, I was happy to escape into dream worlds painted by the words in books. I could be a detective, a mysterious woman in the Ural mountains, a dwarf or even a fairy. There was no limit to what I could be and as I did not have much of a social life, I was free to read and let my imagination run away with whomever/whatever it wanted.
I was not a discerning reader though. I read everything from classics to epics to adventures and fantasy. I read scientific journals and quack theories. I read editorials and the comics section, I read popular fiction and the obscure. I even read the back of cereal boxes and milk cartons, if I have nothing to read lying around.
I usually read only one book at a time though but I do go through them really fast. Yes, I am ashamed to admit, I sometimes skip-read. But there are authors whose writing makes me read them again and again and I fall in love rather deeply with such author’s characters. Some of them are very addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms when I am done with the book(s). I will have to find a quick fix after that or else I could get rather cranky and irritable.
When I met my husband whose first stop when faced with any problem is a book store (the next stop would be a well-stocked tech hardware store but that I found out much later) – it was a match made in heaven!
He introduced me to such giants as Iain M. Banks, Robert Zelazny and Terry Pratchett (now-a-days my book recommendations usually come from Amazon). We also discovered authors together. One such author is George.R.R.Martin – in my eyes, the Zeus of Mount Fantasy!
So before all of you turn your noses up because you think ‘Game of Thrones’ is violent adult material, I would beg you all to read the books!
These books form the benchmark for all fantasy. Sounds like blasphemy, yes? What about all the other greats in that field starting from Tolkien or others that I might not have read yet? Perhaps, perhaps. But for me, I judge every one of the fantasy books I read against Mr. Martin’s works. His saga is so ambitious, it is breathtaking.
The books are full of characters that are so well-defined that you are certain that you know them, then, just like in real-life, you find out that you do not know them at all! They are heroes and villains at the same time – they are monstrously human! The intrigue is not contrived but present and evolves in a very organic way. It’s almost like Martin is narrating the history of a different planet because it just cannot be a mere story with a plot.