Sunday, February 28, 2016

How to Avoid Losing Interest in Reading Game of Thrones

Reading George R.R. Martin’s book ‘A Game of Thrones’ can be a real challenge, at least for me. I’ve finished reading book #1 and I’m currently reading ‘A Clash of Kings’. And if I have to read all 5 books, plus the upcoming 6th book, I would require something to inspire me and something to fan the flames of literary passion for it. Otherwise, it will get to the point of ‘umay’.

Tuscany is the perfect place to visit for all readers of GoT. The world of Martin’s novel has the medieval ambiance that you can find in the remote villages in the provinces of Florence and Siena.

I went to visit the Castello di Monteriggioni, a small idyllic Tuscan town in the province of Siena. It gives you the exact idea of what lords’ holdfasts look like.




The walls of the borgo and its defensive structure was meant to be the frontline town during the wars between Siena and Florence. Monteriggioni is now considered an important pilgrimage point as it was included in the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage path from France to Rome.



Its history of its battles and wars, its architecture and art, and the incredible and unbelievable experience of seeing remnants centuries old in the new millennium is an experience so dear for anybody reading the Game of Thrones saga. 


   

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Book Inquisition ep. 02: A Game of Thrones

The Book Inquisition ep. 02: A Game of Thrones

I tried hard to not watch the TV series Game of Thrones for two reasons:

  1. I know it will be an addiction for me and I can’t afford to have my time, schedule and priorities get fucked up by GoT.
  1. I think that books have more to offer than the series, although the TV version can help you to visualize in your mind the hotness of the male characters. Pervy! Hahaha!
I summon George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” to the stand.

  1. How was the cover?
I really didn’t care that much about the cover because I’ve read the reviews on the TV series before I knew of the book’s existence. However, since the cover is in blue, I’m giving it one point, because blue is my favourite colour, and the colour of my house’s banner. 1 point. 



  1. Can the book cause a lot of controversy? Or if the book is controversial or has an outrageous claim to something or really popular, did it live up to your expectations?

I think there’s nothing controversial in it but it certainly lived up to my expectations. The reviews and reactions of people about the series were like mass hysteria so I was really expecting a story that will swipe me off my feet. I was expecting something interesting, a compelling plot, and incredible characters. All the ingredients were there. 2 points!

  1. Did it compel you to do something you’ve never done before?

Did it compel me to do something I’ve never done before? I created a banner and sigil for my household, created a name and styles for the members of the family. I went to a medieval holdfast/castle for inspiration. I beheaded traitors (in my imagination, not yet in reality). I conspired with others to remove from office a local politician. It really brings out the beast in me. 1 point. 

  1. Was the plot development refreshing and more than the usual shit you read or has it became your reality?
It is the reality. The setting may be different but the game of thrones is just as real as the upcoming Philippine General Elections 2016, and all the intrigues and conspiracies of political dynasties.



The story begins with the involvement in politics of the House Stark, the ruling family in the northern part of the realm, when the head of the household, Ned Stark, was named Hand of the King (something like prime minister in our time) by the King Robert Baratheon, his bestie, during the latter’s visit to Winterfell. 

Ned refused but he was persuaded by Robert because he badly need someone trustworthy in his Small Council as he was surrounded by ‘fools and flatterers’.

In the meantime, Ned’s wife, Lady Catelyn received an ominous hidden letter from her sister, the Lady Lysa of the Eyrie, accusing the queen of having plotted to assassinate her husband Jon Arryn, the former Hand of the King.

The royal visit to the House Stark would prove to be fatal and crucial, not only for the household of Ned Stark, but it was also a turning point in the fate of the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms.

I’m not going any further. I am already tired writing a summary of the plot. Anyway, it’s a full 2 points.

  1. Were the characters of the story similar to your favourite imaginary friends, or did they get along well with the creature under your bed, or have they become the friends/lovers/sex-slaves you’ve always wanted in your delusional world?

There’s a lot of characters in this novel that I really loved and hated so much.

The Most Hated. Let us start with the Lannisters. Queen Cersei is a bitch. Jaime Lannister is that typical hottie asshole that you really want to blow but you can’t because he’s the ultimate incarnation of a douchebag in the story. But Tyrion is simply the best. Witty, smart, but he’s ugly.


Then there’s Viserys, who claims to be the King of the Andals, but it would be more appropriate to call him King of the Ampalayas for being such a bitter cunt and tyrannical towards his sister Daenerys.



Then there’s the Dothraki and their customs and their Horselord Khal Drogo, a big guy and horsehung as well. Lol!



In this first book, my heart goes to Lady Catelyn for being such a courageous and virtuous woman, and also the Ned Stark for being valiant and noble. But in the game of thrones, the good ones are always destined to die early. And it really is painful to read how the good ones are killed or suffer so much.



  1. Has it changed your way of thinking? Have you become a better person or remained the same asshole in the neighbourhood?

It really isn’t a book that preaches morality or denounces the evils of society. However, it offers good examples chivalry and nobility of the soul, courage in the face of danger and evil, and the struggle of living honourably in a life filled with deceit and betrayal. Furthermore, Game of Thrones is the ultimate material that would help anybody understand the dynamics of politics- how it works, why it works, and all shits around it.

1 point.


  1.  Tonight. Sex or this book? (2 points)

Reading Game of Thrones is like being intimate with a guy like Khal Drogo. Once you are captivated, it’s gonna be one wild union under the stars, because all things important to men must be done in the open, so you open up wide to this dothraki lord. The experience is the same with this book. 2 points!



I recommend this book to all those nerds, geeks, and random people who would like to understand politics in a more entertaining way.

A perfect 10!



Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Book Inquisition Ep. 01: Inferno

The Book Inquisition Ep. 01: Inferno

The Biblio-beki Queen commands Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ to be put to the stand and face the Queenly Queer Queries.

  1. How was the cover?

I liked the paperback version of Corgi Books. The cover features the Duomo and an eerie mask above, done under the art direction by Claire Ward. 1 point.

  1. Did the book cause a lot of controversy?


Well, after referring to Manila as “the gates of hell”, obviously, a lot of Filipinos were deeply offended, mobilizing internet trolls and onion-skinned critics to denounce Brown’s novel that portrayed the lie about our capital city which we will always and forever deny. And I love it when certain books offend my own people. And also because I am an internet troll. Add to that the fact that it deals with issues about population growth and population control, issues which are very close to the heart of the Catholic Church and far more relevant in the hearts of the faithful, more than issues about justice and the fight against poverty and corruption. 2 points with a 0.5 bonus point!

  1. Did it compel me to do something I’ve never done before?

Kind of. I had this urge to do some research about population control, and check the accuracy of the theories about the doom of mankind. But the scientific theories brought me to boredom. BUT… it made me go out again and revisit some of our museums and historical landmarks that were mentioned in the book, making me fall in love again with Florence.  A full 1 point.



  1. Was the plot development refreshing and more than the usual shit you read or has it became your reality? 
Inferno is the first book I read this year. And compared to the last book I read in 2015, The Master of Petersburg (really bored me to death), Inferno is a lot better. And has it become my reality, my world? Well it actually deals with what is happening in our world to day. It is very relevant today. 2 points.

  1. Were the characters of the story similar to your favourite imaginary friends, or did they get along well with the creature under your bed, or have they become the friends/lovers/sex-slaves you’ve always wanted in your delusional world?


I have began to like Robert Langdon in the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. A bit less in this novel. Even his new “partner in crime” Dr. Sienna Brooks didn’t quite get my sympathy. I don’t know. We do not have chemistry this time. But they’re not that bad. Half point! 0.5!

  1. Has it changed your way of thinking? Have you become a better person or remained the same asshole in the neighbourhood?

I think, it made me more aware of the seriousness of the population explosion and the options to consider in dealing with it. At the same time it kind of made me scrutinize what international authorities and institutions are doing. 1 point.

7. Tonight. Sex or this book?

You’re reading Inferno. Perplexed with Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and the status of the world’s population. Then here comes this guy, Raoul Bova, Italian sex icon and actor, and he says “Come to bed with me, now.”



The book is causing you a lot of perplexities, so you would say, ok, because part of you wants to deny the stressful truth of the novel and part of you just want to eat that Italian meat. You’ll put the book down for a while and have some really hot sex, but you will still save up some energy so you can get back again to reading after a while.

1.5!


Total- 9.5 points!

A MUST-READ!