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Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons Paperback – June 19, 2012
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"Beyond the Wall offers bracing takes on the ingrained sexism, brutal violence, and expectations for female characters in Westeros, while reminding readers that critical thinking is key . . . If you feel like some more insight into this crew of flawed, feral, fascinating characters will inform your [Game of Thrones] Season Three viewing, read onand good luck putting it down."
"A stunning array of talented creators and critics have been gathered into this scintillating essay collection of analysis/reactions to the world created by George R. R. Martin in A Song of Ice and Fire, and Game of Thrones."
The Midwest Book Review
"The essays are fascinating and insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and as a whole the collection presents the complexity, depth and richness of Martin’s creation . . . Highly recommended."
"A must-have for any A Song of Ice and Fire diehard . . . Whether you be Stark or Lannister, Dornish or Dothraki, Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is one book you can trust to feed your Thrones addiction until winter finally arrives."
"If anything, this book itself proves that the series has turned academicians on their heads. Geeks, we are finally being legitimized . . . Anyone who is a fan of [A Song of Ice and Fire] should absolutely own this book."
"A great read for anyone who loves the books."
"Beyond the Wall leav[es] you with plenty of food for thought but also leav[es] you thirsting for more. It's a great temporary antidote to the long wait Game of Thrones fans are undergoing, both for the third season and for the sixth book in the series."
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Top Customer Reviews
Robert A. Salvatore's "Foreword" to Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons sets a near-perfect tone for this entire book of criticism on George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. He says all of those things we'd like to say to those who demean the fantasy genre in specific (and fiction, in general) and he says it all with his particular flair. I must take slight issue with his description of Martin's work as the "tapestry of Westeros, filled with resonating characters who see the world through a different and sometimes magical prism." (p. xi) Rather, I would suggest that Martin's work is a mural of Westeros, carved brutally out of stone and violently defaced as the story progresses by the artist's own and deliberate hand in accordance with the tragic ebb and flow of various factions. I don't dispute the foreword's observation about resonating characters and the truth of the human condition, I merely have trouble with a metaphor about needlework when Martin is so much more effective when wielding an axe (or, at least, a chisel). But even my contention about this one elegant line in a foreword should communicate something of the strong, visceral reaction to be experienced when reading, contemplating, or dissecting Martin's magnum opus.Read more ›
The essays are all well written and I eagerly devoured each one for their eye-opening scrutiny of Martin's complex tale, only to find myself wanting more when I reached the end (and hopefully Beyond the Wall 2 is currently in the works). Among the most enlightening were:
"Men and Monsters" - which looks at rape and violence in the story and how these are more than just gratuitous elements thrown in, but an essential part of the harsh world Martin has created.
"The Brutal Cost of Redemption in Westeros" - which looks at the rampant moral ambiguity we see in many of the characters in the tale.
"Of Direwolves and Gods" - and interesting exploration of the gods and mythology and their place in Westeros.
"A Sword Without a Hilt" - which looks at the sparse magic present in the tale that still plays an integral part of the overall story.Read more ›
Given that there is so much available for free that will almost certainly address any question you may have, why would you pay $10 for a book of essays that contain very little of interest. These essays do not contain anything enlightening. I'm fairly sure you will not change your mind about anything after you've read these. You can read the sample for free here at Amazon and I can assure you: they do not get any better after the sample.
In conclusion, buying and reading (or at least attempting to read) these essays was a waste of both time and money. There's no reason to buy this book because everything you could possibly want to know if available, for FREE, online and, trust me, you will have much more fun poking around the various sites than you would if you buy this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For anyone really into Game Of Thrones, this is definitely a must! It's a fairly short book that gives you deep insight to the whys about everything that went on during the series,... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Abby W.
If you enjoy The Game of Thrones and read the books this is truly a nice little book to read which complements the books.Published 1 month ago by Joanne
Lot's of great insight into the Song of Ice and Fire plot. Gave me a clearer understanding and appreciation of this series of novels.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was boring reading nearly all the time. One or two of those essays are interesting, but the whole book is pretty shallow.Published 3 months ago by Artem Voshchennikov
This is not a book to read for the pleasure of reading. It is delving deep into the culture of Westorus, and other places. Love the RR Martin books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by SPluck
Major disappointment the material covered had absolutely NOTHING to do with what is Beyond the Wall. I consider this book FALSE ADVERTISING!Published 6 months ago by Donna Malone
wish I would have read this before other books, I would have understood more about the characters and story lines. I read it every day.Published 7 months ago by Jeffrey L. Shroyer