Wordcount of A Song of Ice and Fire

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A Dance with Dragons

I finished zipping through the first five books of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels in record time (started the first novel, April 4th, finished the last May 9th.) Heavy, dense histories and political dissertations are my more usual fare, but I never consume those kind of books quite so fast as I sprinted through the faux history of Westeros and Essos and the dynastic civil wars engulfing these continents. Almost 2 million words in a month. Yikes…

Was it great literature? No, but it was fun to read, and iBooks/ebooks are easy enough to read while running on my treadmill, or whenever I have a moment before a meeting somewhere.

Wordcount of A Song of Ice And Fire – George R. R. Martin

  • A Game of Thrones: 298k words
  • A Clash of kings: 326k words
  • A Storm of Swords: 424k words
  • A Feast for Crows: 300k words
  • A Dance with Dragons: 422k words

Total: 1M 770k words

(click here to continue reading Wordcount of popular (and hefty) epics | The Cesspit..)

I enjoyed puzzling over the various maps of the kingdoms as well. The maps changed, grew more detailed as the series continued. According to the author, this was intentional.

My main complaint is that the sixth volume of the series, to be called The Winds of Winter, is not published, and only the Seven know when it will be, besides the author. So there are plenty of cliff-hangers waiting to be resolved.

The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended, omitting at least one planned large battle sequence and leaving several character threads ending in cliff-hangers. Martin intended to resolve these cliffhangers “very early” in The Winds of Winter, saying “I’m going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver’s Bay. And then take it from there.”

Martin confirmed in March 2012 that the final two novels will take readers farther north than any of the previous books: “What lies really north [The Land of Always Winter], we haven’t explored that yet, but we will in the last two books.” The sample chapter on Martin’s website is written from Theon Greyjoy’s viewpoint and shows his interactions with Stannis Baratheon as they are camped in the snow on his march to Winterfell. Martin has also said that “you’re definitely going to see more of the Others in The Winds of Winter”.

At 2011 WorldCon, Martin read an Arianne chapter, during which she heads for Griffin’s Roost to see the young boy who is calling himself Aegon. Victarion’s chapter will take off five minutes after A Dance with Dragons, taking place on the eve of the Iron Islanders’ surprise attack on the cities in Slaver’s Bay

The HBO series is fun, too, btw, if a bit like a Reader’s Digest version of the plot, and with more sexposition.

Blill Clinton Reviews The Passage of Power

Robert Caro's LBJ: The Passage of Power
Robert Caro’s LBJ: The Passage of Power

I have a copy, but haven’t started reading it, yet. The previous volumes have all been ripping yarns, and have high expectations for this one too.

“The Passage of Power,” the fourth installment of Robert Caro’s brilliant series on Lyndon Johnson, spans roughly five years, beginning shortly before the 1960 presidential contest, including the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis and other seminal events of the Kennedy years, and ending a few months after the awful afternoon in Dallas that elevated L.B.J. to the presidency.

…You don’t have to be a policy wonk to marvel at the political skill L.B.J. wielded to resuscitate a bill that seemed doomed to never get a vote on the floor of either chamber. Southern Democrats were masters at bottling up legislation they hated, particularly bills expanding civil rights for black Americans. Their skills at obstruction were so admired that the newly sworn-in Johnson was firmly counseled by an ally against using the political capital he’d inherited as a result of the assassination on such a hopeless cause.

According to Caro, Johnson responded, “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?”

This is the question every president must ask and answer. For Lyndon Johnson in the final weeks of 1963, the presidency was for two things: passing a civil rights bill with teeth, to replace the much weaker 1957 law he’d helped to pass as Senate majority leader, and launching the War on Poverty. That neither of these causes was in fact hopeless was clear possibly only to him, as few Americans in our history have matched Johnson’s knowledge of how to move legislation, and legislators.

(click here to continue reading ‘The Passage of Power,’ Robert Caro’s New L.B.J. Book – by Bill Clinton.)