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Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2 Hardcover – September 26, 2012
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"For anyone yet to read Martin's novels, the book is a godsend. For all its epic brilliance, Game Of Thrones' multiple complex story threads can leave you befuddled, but thanks to profiles of the major characters, family trees and more, you soon know how to tell a Greyjoy from a Tyrell.
The book's also a solid 'Making Of'. Author Bryan Cogman (a story editor on the series) has interviewed the show's key creative forces, and between them they reveal the attention to detail that's gone into realising the Seven Kingdoms. Particular focus is given to pivotal scenes like the storming of King's Landing, and it's here - when things get properly geeky - that the book's at its best."
"For the most part, people who watch and adore HBO's adaptation of author George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones saga (released in book form via the A Song of Fire and Ice series) do so largely, though still pleasantly, in the dark. Give any random viewer a pop quiz with questions about which character belongs to which family, and how to spell characters' names, and the grades would be sub-par at best. Thankfully, the dense story lines are much easier to sift through and grasp thanks to Inside HBO's Game of Thrones. Combining in-depth cast and crew interviews with Martin's own insight, it's 192 pages of Westeros overload, perfect for a few months of catching up and/or refreshing before the show returns for its third season"
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Top customer reviews
First of all, let me start by saying that this is actually more than a two star book, but I am rating it two stars to draw attention to a VERY major flaw in this version of the book, one that every other reviewer, both here on Amazon, and everywhere else, seems to completely overlook, to my complete astonishment.
If you are unaware, there are multiple versions of this book. This book was originally released as “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones”. That book was later replaced by the version being reviewed here, “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2”. There is also a “Collector's Edition” version of this book. A companion volume, “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 3 & 4” has also been published.
I became interested in finding out what was the difference between “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones” and “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2”. If you had the first book, was it worth purchasing the 'revised' version? Which of the two versions came in the “Collector's Edition”?
I am completely serious when I say that coming to the conclusions I will present in this review took a major amount of research, which often led in circles. For those of you who wish to avoid the messy details (which will follow), I will jump straight to the punchline: THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones” and “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2”! “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2” DOES NOT COVER SEASON 2 except for 4 PAGES! “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2” has episodes guides for season 1 but NO EPISODE GUIDES FOR SEASON 2! THE BOOK WAS SIMPLY RENAMED (and actually, NOWHERE IN THE BOOK is it CALLED “: Seasons 1 & 2”) to fool people into THINKING it covered season two and apparently IT WORKED!
“Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2” has episode guides for season 1. “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 3 & 4” has episode guides for seasons 3 and 4. EPISODE GUIDES FOR SEASON 2 DO NOT EXIST IN THESE BOOKS! HOW CAN THIS BE?
Now, for anyone interested in more detail...
I should state that I own the Amazon Collector's Edition version of the book, the “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2” version (which I should be shown as a “Verified Purchase”) and the version is confirmed by the ISBN (and by the way, Amazon has the same number listed for the ISBN-10 and the ISBN-13, but when I notified them of this, they told me they couldn't help me because I didn't have a seller account?) and I also have the Kindle/mobi version of the book. The book that comes in the Collector's Edition is exactly the same as the Season 1 & 2 version, except that it has gilt page edges. The Kindle/mobi version of the book contains the same content as the print versions of the books.
“Inside HBO's Game of Thrones” is 192 pages. It is a FACT (and has been confirmed by a VERY helpful Amazon Support person) that “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2” is ALSO 192 pages. This is despite the fact that the HBO Shop lists it as BOTH 192 pages AND 243 pages! I questioned the HBO shop about this some months ago and they confirmed for me that the book is 192 pages, but as of this date, they continue to list both page counts for the book (which is just another reason you buy from Amazon!). The HBO Shop ALSO lists the book as having an “8-page full-color gatefold”... I have NEVER seen a version of the book with this gatefold and don't believe it exists... but more on this later.
If you look at the 4 main images Amazon has displayed for this book, one of them is a page featuring Jon Snow and is shown to be PAGE 30. This is actually on PAGE 28 of every version of the book that I have seen and the page itself LOOKS different. I am still mystified where Amazon got THAT page from! I contacted Amazon Support about this on 3/9/15. They responded that they reviewed the information and made the decision to remove the inaccurate image and that the change would appear within the next business day. Well... 4/10/15... the inaccurate image is still there? (I will add comparison pics of these pages to my review).
Another way we can confirm that there is no difference between the books is by looking at the Kindle version, but I discovered today that even that opens another odd can of worms. If you click “Look Inside” for “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2”, you will be told, “This view is of the Kindle book. A preview of the print book (Hardcover edition) is currently not available.” However, if you go to the page for the Kindle version of the book, which is listed as, “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2 [Kindle Edition]” and click “Look Inside”, you will be told, “This view is of the Kindle edition (2014) from Gollancz. The Kindle Edition edition (2012) from Chronicle Books LLC that you originally viewed is the one you'll receive if you click 'Buy With 1-Click' on the left.” The link for the “Kindle edition (2014) from Gollancz” leads to a page for a Kindle edition titled “Inside HBO's Game of Thrones [Kindle Edition]” and pricing information is unavailable. NOW... if you can follow that, you are better than at this than me! But ultimately, the point is, if you look at the Kindle version, you will see that it has NO season 2 episode guides, just 2 chapters (4 pages) that deal with season 2 (“Qarth & The Red Waste” and “Costuming Qarth”)... exactly the same as BOTH versions of the print book.
Towards the end of my research I finally reached the point where I contacted the author, Bryan Cogman, through Facebook and provided him a detailed explanation of my confusion about the difference between the two versions of the book and asked if he could provide any information in order to clear these questions up. He never responded. Of course, I don't suppose this should surprise me... If I had just renamed a book that I had already written to fool people into thinking it had been 'revised' or 'updated', I wouldn't go around bragging about that fact either...
So, am I making too much of this? Based on the fact that it apparently bothers NOBODY else, it would certainly seem so, but hey, if this review proves useful for ONE other person, then it will have been worthwhile!
(Note: Because I am adding a photo to this review, I will be unable to edit this review, due to the fact that Amazon's review system currently deletes your photos when you edit your review and Amazon currently shows no signs of fixing this. Therefore, should any 'edits' or 'additions' be necessary, I will most likely make them in the comments...)
One small warning though - this does cover some events in the first two seasons and there will be some spoilers if you are just starting out like I was.
This book is not, by any means, the only book I'm reading regarding Game of Thrones. This book appears to be the only "picture" book devoted to the HBO show. I think it is the same book that is part of the insanely-expensive Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: The Collector's Edition.
I have an issue with the cover: it is made of vinyl-over-padding/batting. I hate it. The cover shows every little ding. If you actually drop the book, expect a MAJOR crumple, or MAJOR gash, or both -- which you cannot repair. If you want to keep this book in pristine condition, either don't use it at all, or put a high-school book-cover over it (which still won't prevent damage in dropping the book). Or get the book USED with dings already there. Or duct-tape the cover. The publisher made a terrible choice for cover.
Two of my favorites are:
Game of Thrones Season One Essays
Game of Thrones Season Two Essays Illustrated Edition
by Pearson Moore, in paper or Kindle.
The information is, as you would expect by the publication date, current with Season 1 information.
Recently I was in a brick and mortar chain bookstore and they had this book on display selling at $40. How sad, I love
visiting bookstores but how can they compete with Amazon where I purchased this book for $21 shipped free.
This handsome, large book - 9 by 11 inches - is a visual treat, eye candy, if you will.
Five stars for the beauty of the book itself and the photos.