I never read the first book, beyond an amount at the beginning and at the end and skipping around a bit, basically to establish that the TV show pretty much lifts story, dialogue etc directly from the book. I must have seen the first season of GoT 6 times before I read it so it seemed a bit pointless. I read the rest of the books though. 2 and 3 were gripping but had a "where's he going with this?" feeling as the characters increasingly lack goals - or don't bother to directly attack their own goals. the fourth book was a fucking chore and the fifth book was only better because it was a chore about the more interesting characters. |
In book 4, the whole arc about Brienne looking for Sansa Stark was just ridiculous. We the reader knew where she was and that Brienne wouldn't find her, so the whole arc adds nothing to further the plot, it's just a massive pointless diversion.
It just seem Martin likes to go on and on to his now captive audience about this world he's created, and not so much about the plot or characters. The world is the character and the plot to him it seems. The characters and plot are increasingly wonky and directionless as the wheels fall off his brain.
That said, his shittest work is a thousand times better than the last four books of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I gave up on that one partway through the fifth book, bored out of my mind by King's blah-blah-someday-something-will-happen.
Success is the worst thing that happens to writers. It means their editors get less and less say.