So, I just finished A Game of Thrones, and find myself in the uncomfortable position of wanting to run out and tell everyone they absolutely must read this book I just read, but knowing they'll look at me and ask "where were you 10 years, five books and a miniseries ago?"
Late to the party. Which I don't generally mind, but when you find a book that you absolutely love and want to become evangelical about, but everyone has already read it...it's a little disappointing.
But on the other hand, I have to say that A Game of Thrones transcended the hype that has surrounded it for the last year. Having watched the first five episodes of the series, knowing some of what was going to happen (thanks a bunch, internet spoilers!), this book still wrapped me up in its story and took me along for the ride.
(And given my lack of a visual imagination, having actors' faces to attach to characters actually helped me keep track of this sprawling cast a great deal.)
This was a book that I looked up from and blinked, dazed, every once in a while, expecting the world around me to have changed, just a little bit, in response to the vast changes that were happening within it.
So what can I say that hasn't already been said? It has a sprawling but complex and appealing cast of characters? That the shifts in narrative voice were interesting and always kept me reading (but I was always hoping another Tyrion, Arya or Dany chapter would come along soon)? That the geopolitical machinations of a realm are expertly navigated, and I never felt entirely lost?
At any rate, there is just this: if you're where I was two weeks ago, and you've never read A Game of Thrones. Do. For the rest of you: yeah, yeah, you were right. I should have read this years ago.