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The Armageddon Rag: A Novel Paperback – January 30, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The wilder aspects of the 60s--the frenzied idealism, the cultism, the orgiastic rock music--roar back to life in this hallucinatory story by a master of chilling suspense."

About the Author

George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. He is also the creator of The Lands of Ice and Fire, a collection of maps from A Song of Ice and Fire featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, and The World of Ice & Fire (with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson). As a writer-producer, Martin has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (January 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553383078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553383072
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid '90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he's allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It seems quite appropriate that praise from Stephen King can be found on the back of this book. Like many of King's better novels, the "Rag", doesn't seem like a horror novel at the start. Instead, we are given an engaging mystery set in a real-life setting. But as you continue to turn the pages, you begin to get the sense that something is definitely not right, and eventually, we encounter the supernatural.
I highly recommend this book, but as I write this review, the question I ask myself is, "Exactly *whom* would I recommend it to?" When I first picked up the Rag, I was dubious. Of course I loved Song of Ice and Fire, and I found myself quite impressed with most of Martin's horror and sci-fi works as well... But I didn't have much confidence in an out-of-print horror book with a hippie/seventies/classic rock setting.
Fortunately, I read it anyway, or I would have missed out on one fabulous book.
But will YOU like it?
-If you occasionally find yourself enjoying episodes of VH1's Behind The Music, or the movie Almost Famous, you will appreciate Martin's meticulous attention to the music industry.
-If you are a fan of Stephen King, The Rag will make you feel right at home.
-And, if you've enjoyed any of Martin's other writings, you're sure to approve of his style here as well.
The bottom-line is, this is one book that truly doesn't deserve to be out-of-print, and thanks to Martin's rocketing popularity- it soon won't be. As soon as you can, give it a try!
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Format: Paperback
I love Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series as much as the next person who loves morally complicated and narratively complex fantasy, but I will admit that the only reason I have this book is because someone at the publisher's booth gave it to me for free at the first New York Comic Convention, which was more than a few years ago. It's been sitting in the queue ever since. My copy is actually signed too, which I had forgotten about. Extra bonus!

So in a cost-for-entertainment analysis the book wins hands down. But what about a time-for-entertainment analysis? How does it make out there?

Not bad, actually. In what wasn't a departure for him at the time, the novel is basically a very subtle horror piece, but the kind that doesn't involve wolves or vampires or mummies. Instead, it brings forth kind of an existential problem: "Did I do all of that for nothing?"

The story is basically the aftermath of a 1960s counterculture that we always knew about but is slightly skewed. Sandy Blair is a fellow who was active in the sixties protesting and trying to mess with the system, only to now be much older and finding that the system kind of won, writing hack novels and wishing that he felt more fulfilled. Leaping on a chance to do a story for a magazine he once started about the murder of a promoter for perhaps the most famous rock band you've never heard of, he embarks on a long journey across the United States, and by doing so, travels deep into the tattered soul of the country.

Sort of. The main portion of the novel consists of Sandy visiting old friends in turn, many of which he hasn't spoken to in years, and thus discovering what they've been up to since those idealistic hippie days.
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By bob on March 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
By now, this has to be a classic in the fantasy/horror field. I remember picking it up in as price-reduced overstock, simply for the astonishing artwork (the german edition) and that title. I have to say, that I'm still very thankful for that occasion. Not only has Mr. Martin delivered the best Werewolf-Novellla of all time (Skintrade) but the Song of Fire and Ice Series, that had reignited my interest in Fantasy after 15 years.
Thank you Mr. Martin.
I want a hardcover-reprint of this book. Now.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved loved loved Fevre Dream, which Martin wrote at about the same time. Brilliant, unique idea and very well crafted story. This is also a very interesting and unusual idea but the only reason I stuck with the book was to see it through to its (staggeringly obvious) conclusion. Didn't enjoy reading it as much, the storytelling isn't as strong, the characters not as interesting. Not sure I really understand these characters and maybe because I'm not a product of their time and movement, or maybe Martin doesn't succeed at making them appeal to a larger audience.
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Format: Paperback
Writers usually have a few stories that bounce around in their heads for years. Some of them eventually make it to the page, while others just circulate and create occasional moodiness or anxiety behind the scenes. As a bonafide, ex-commune hippie... politically, a real "man the barricades" kind of guy, vague feelings of guilt over how I, and my generation, seem to have lost the ideals that seemed so important back then have been circulating for years. I want to sincerely thank George Martin for this book. He has saved me the trouble of trying to confront these issues myself on paper and deal with the fallout.

The Armageddon Rag is a fast-paced mystery, but also a well-tuned personal introspection as the main character sorts through his feelings of "where did it all go?". I identified seamlessly with Sandy, his writer/movement reporter, as he comes to terms with how he fits into the swirling emotions and lost friendships that twenty years can bring as well as a horrific murder. The author uses the device of music lyrics and the music scene of the time to create a plausible connection with occult power and ghostly hordes, driven towards a final battle. He has to make peace with his own demons in order to be able to confront the actions of the demons that may be forcing mankind into perpetual violence and anguish. As a musician, also, I've found myself ascribing earth-changing power to the songs I grew up with, just as Sandy does.

The release date for this book, in 1982, was also important for me in understanding the character's anger and confusion as well as cultural perspectives that only the perspective of time can reveal.
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