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Sexy, Sexy Lichen [Jun. 4th, 2013|04:12 pm]
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From my Facebook:

I don't mean to belabour a joke or anything, but it's really quite rare that I'm on the pulse of a trending pop culture phenomenon purely by accident, and I'm rather unexpectedly, schaudenfreudianly enjoying it.

For those not in the know, this pretty much encapsulates people's reactions to the latest development in the Game of Thrones tv series this week.

So a friend/coworker's status thread got me to thinking about books and movies and whatnot, and I mentioned there that weighing outright superiority between the two is a waste of time-- the two mediums offer very different things.

That said, any time I want to prove my "hay, guize, I'm not a 'book was better' elitist" bona fides, I always bring up the fact that I vastly prefer Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy to the books because, quite frankly, the books could be crushingly boring if you're not into moss and lichen and whatnot.

All the same, it makes me sad to hear it when someone just outright says that books don't have a place in their lives. Books have been some of my very best friends growing up, and while I am a greatly visually-oriented person myself, nothing compares to the kind of mental images that a few beautifully crafted words can conjure.

Please be kind to us book readers. Most people only exposed to the movie or TV adaptation of things don't realize how long a lot of us waited, wondering whether any studio would ever see money in the books and then invest production in it. You don't know how hard it can be to swallow pettiness over how things don't turn out as we imagined, and then just try to be happy that more people are getting to see a story that we love.

In exchange, I think we can be entitled to a bit of smug satisfaction when we see the apocalypse coming ahead of everyone, then sitting back and watching the world burn.

Disclaimer: I don't actually love Game of Thrones (technically A Song of Ice and Fire). I learned long ago not to love anything in a world written by George RR Martin. That, and I've embraced a very different set of values now than when I had when I began reading the series, and now the novels just strike me... differently. I'll still be reading it all though, for closure.


[User Picture]From: shachihoko
2013-06-04 10:07 pm (UTC)
I don't know if I'd call myself an "elitist" about it, but I tend to prefer the books to the movies when something has been adapted from the printed page to the big screen.

That said, yes, each medium has its strong points, and a well-made adaptation will take full advantage of that. The Lord of the Rings, for instance - the movies are incredible and I'm glad to own the extended DVD editions of all three. (I just need to cycle around to watching them again at some point ... ^^;;)

As for A Song of Ice and Fire ... I dove into the novels pretty eagerly at one point, but after plowing through all ... four? ... of the books that were out at the time, and then seeing A Feast for Crows on the shelves, I realized to my dismay that I was going to have to re-read all four books (or however many it was at the time) just to remember who was who and where they were and what they were doing so I could read the new book, and honestly? I didn't have that kind of patience at the time.
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[User Picture]From: mads
2013-06-04 10:28 pm (UTC)
This may not really seem like a point in my favour, but... I have a confession to make.

I don't keep track of names.

This has been a practice I've had since I don't know when, where I'll watch, read, or listen to a new thing, and I don't bother learning much past the most prominent names in the story. What usually happens is that I wait for impressions to form in my mind, and I can follow the story happily enough just by surrounding context.

There WAS a time I might have followed more closely, looking for inconsistencies and whatnot, but at some point I told myself, you know what, I am NOT this guy's proofreader, I'll trust the storyteller to know what they're doing, and just sit back and enjoy. So yeah, when Dance of Dragons came out, I didn't even read anything in preparation, I just dove in. If I needed to know anything, I have an entire internet of obsessive fans for that.
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[User Picture]From: lirazel
2013-06-04 10:13 pm (UTC)
I might have gotten into Martin, but I opened the first book at random and hit a forced marriage/rape. Similar randomness had similar results. (Had a similar experience with that Marco Polo book you offered me once, as I recall.)

As you say, different values. I'm not saying that altverses need to be tidy, tame places, mind you.

Speaking of books, you should really check out what Twoflower's up to these days... google City of Angles or Anachronauts. Reasonably clean fun.
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[User Picture]From: mads
2013-06-04 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh, speaking of changing values! I still think back to my giving you The Journeyer and I still blush with shame. Both Gary Jennings and Mr. Martin are cut from the same cloth, honestly-- there's nothing there you deprive yourself of by going without.

And, yeah, I know what Twoflower's been up to. I don't read, but I know. I'm still subscribed to his LJ for whatever reason.
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[User Picture]From: lirazel
2013-06-04 10:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, for the record? HUGE lichen and moss fan here. ;-) I started out really liking LoTR: The Movie, but what happened to Gimli made me give up in disgust.
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[User Picture]From: mads
2013-06-04 10:34 pm (UTC)
Some oblation must be made to the Hollywood gods! So either Gimli was a small price to pay for the rest, or my standards have just gotten really low!
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[User Picture]From: lirazel
2013-06-04 11:53 pm (UTC)
OTOH, and not to hijack the thread, I thought the Arwen/Elrond/ Aragorn parallel story was done really well. But nothing makes up for the dwarftossing.
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[User Picture]From: mads
2013-06-05 12:12 am (UTC)
This may just be a matter of taste, but them omitting Tom Bombadil just about made me ready to forgive them anything, really. XD
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[User Picture]From: lirazel
2013-06-05 01:37 am (UTC)
It's Goldberry that's unnecessary. Tom would be all right if he sang less.
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