Last summer ~ meaning 2010, which is crazy, because it feels like yesterday ~ the man and I ventured to try listening to ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ on audio book. It was part of my birthday present to him, because I was stubbornly insisting that he read the final chapter of HP before the film came out. (He subsequently claimed, mostly in jest, that I “ruined” the last two movies for him … but I think what I really did was introduce him to how utterly wonderful the books are).
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an advertisement in Entertainment Weekly magazine (my favorite periodical that I read cover to cover in one sitting … because I can’t put it down once I’ve opened it!) for something called audible.com.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, Stieg Larssen’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was proving to be utterly elusive to me and said advertisement said that one could get an unabridged audio version of the book with a trial membership. I figured maybe if I couldn’t get into it by reading it, I could get into it by listening to it.
Obviously, I checked it out.
Only, I couldn’t find a free version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Instead, I found a free audio version of “The Game of Thrones.” Which I thought was utterly marvelous. I imagined the man and I listening intently while driving to work in the bitter, endless cold of January.
And then I got impatient. And began listening on my iPhone instead.
What a great book! I mean, seriously, it’s so much easier to follow than “Lord of the Rings.” And I made several valiant efforts to read the trilogy cover to cover. Several. I got through “The Fellowship of the Ring,” (over a 12+ month period) and began “The Two Towers,” but when I realized that the stories were not intertwined with each other, but rather told as two separate adventures, my attention waned. I have yet to finish “The Two Towers” or even crack the binding of “The Return of the King.” And I began reading them in the snowy January of 2002. I know, I know. So many people think they are amazing books. I feel as though I let the story down by not plugging on through. But “Harry Potter” they are not. I did not find, not at any time, that the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was eminently readable. I just think that certain people were able to get past the pretentious prose and pages of exposition to enjoy the heart of the story, while I could not.
I have enjoyed the audio version of “The Game of Thrones” so much, that I’m going to start at the beginning with the man, so he can listen, too. Just as all great authors do, George R.R. Martin has created his own world, with his own language, geography, animals and titles (just to name a few things). There is a mythology that expands with each chapter, and Martin tells the story from multiple points of view. I’m sure that watching the HBO series has helped me keep characters organized in my head, but reading it is just really fun.
Today is one of the coldest days we’ve had so far this year, and I’m feeling a little under the weather (which is such a drag), so I’m looking forward to a night cuddled under blankets reading. Happy Reading to everyone out there, as well!