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Posts posted by Thyroid

  1. I picked-up on that second one, but it's tenuous.

    I think the hooded man is just a guard, although I'm googling a bit to see if I find any convincing theories.

    Also, I just remembered a nice piece of trivia:

    Euron paid the Faceless Men to kill Balon; they threw him off a bridge.

  2. I've left that one and Going Postal for later, as they are my friend's favourites. I think I'm tacking Sourcery next, since it's the first of the Rincewind novels that I have, and his cameo in Mort was memorably funny.

  3. I received a head of these as a gift and I've been working my way through them, reading one after every few serious, brooding novels. The best cure for that Anthony Trollope (who is awesome) novel is a bit of Terry Pratchett.

    They're very good, as most of you may know. They're funny, yes, but it's not just that:

    1. Terry Pratchett writes three-dimensional, fully-realized characters, even if they are exaggerated in a lovely Dickensian way. He doesn't have to, but he does, and that's terrific;

    2. the books are funny, but also have genuine profound insights into things, like your average work of "serious literature". For example, this line from Guards! Guards! got to me:

    If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

    3. They parody stories, and especially "stories of imagination"/'speculative fiction" (a ridiculous phrase if there ever was one), but in a fond, loving way, and are, as of the three I've read, good, engrossing stories in their own right.

    As of right now I've made my way through Mort, Guards! Guards! and Monstrous Regiment. I have another ten or so to read, as well. It's nice to parcel them out and sandwich them between Marcel Proust or George Saunders or whoever.

  4. I don't buy it, to be honest. He got a great send-off and I'm happy with what we had. It'd cheapen that final scene of his if he was actually alive.

    Points for Martin, though,

    to give a character two scenes in the entire series and make him so memorable.

  5. The White Walkers in the book are quite different to their TV counterparts.

    I hope, and think, Syrio doesn't return, although GRRM declined to answer that question when he managed to write the episode in which he dies - once again choosing to set the death off-screen.

    Also, I read an interview with him once where he said that the actor who plays Syrio once asked him to resurrect the character, but that he didn't know how to do it. I hope he doesn't. The beauty of this series is that it is merciless.

  6. Oh...ADWD spoilers ahead.

    The singer with the women who kill off Boltons and Freys is Mance Rayder. You know, the one at Winterfell. He goes in disguised as "Abel", an anagram of "Bael" the bard; he's never named as "Mance" because Theon has no way of recognizing him.

    Septa Lemore is with Tyrion, on the ship. She swims naked in the river and is covered in stretch marks, as if she's given birth. She's supposedly mother of one of the Sand Snakes, although I'm hazy on the evidence.

    Alleras the Sphinx is the guy who shoots apples with his bow at the beginning of A Feast for Crows. He's also the guy who brings Samwell up to where "Pate" (Jaqen) is and shows him the glass candles. He's also not a guy at all, but Sarella Sand, one of Oberyn Martell's bastard daughters, as several hints, including his mannerisms and description, indicate.

  7. There's a lot, and I do mean a lot, like that. For what it's worth, I did post some stuff before that I think you missed, like

    Abel being Mance, Septa Lemore being a Sand Snake and Alleras being Sarella Sand.

    I need to re-read the books before The Winds of Winter hits. Yallah, George.

  8. "I'm not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare—or, if not, it's some equally brainy lad—who says that it's always just when a chappie is feeling particularly top-hole, and more than usually braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with a bit of lead piping." - PG Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves

    So PG Wodehouse is pretty terrific. I've been going through a rough patch and I'm super stressed all the time, and it got to the point where any book I read immediately got under my skin. I'd be reading anything and if someone got so much as a cut I'd get upset. It was stupid of me.

    Then I read some PG Wodehouse and, by jove, that's what I needed! Stories where the worst thing that happens is that someone picks a tie that doesn't go well with their shirt.

    I've tried a bit of Pepper and a bit of Jeeves and Wooster. They're sort-of similar, but Jeeves and Wooster are funnier. It's nice to have a book where that above quote is, by far, the darkest thing that could happen. Seriously, there are some stories where people are upset because of ugly mustaches. That's as far as it goes.

    I recommend going through some. Top-notch stuff, and lots of it copyright-free, so you should be able to read it off of Gutenberg or your favourite eBook site.

  9. There are some pretty crackpot theories, but the level of detail the books go into can be astonishing. For example, from A Feast for Crows:

    The thing with whatever Ser Shadrich (aka "The Mad Mouse") is doing.

    Ser Shadrich laughed. “Oh, I doubt that, but it may be that you and I share a quest. A little lost sister, is it? With blue eyes and auburn hair?” He laughed again. “You are not the only hunter in the woods. I seek for Sansa Stark as well.”

    Brienne kept her face a mask, to hide her dismay. “Who is this Sansa Stark, and why do you seek her?”

    “For love, why else?”

    She furrowed her brow. “Love?”

    “Aye, love of gold. Unlike your good Ser Creighton, I did fight upon the Blackwater, but on the losing side. My ransom ruined me. You know who Varys is, I trust? The eunuch has offered a plump bag of gold for this girl you’ve never heard of. I am not a greedy man. If some oversized wench would help me find this naughty child, I would split the Spider’s coin with her.”

    “I thought you were in this merchant’s hire.”

    “Only so far as Duskendale. Hibald is as niggardly as he is fearful. And he is very fearful. What say you, wench?”

    “I know no Sansa Stark,” she insisted. “I am searching for my sister, a highborn girl . . .”

    “. . . with blue eyes and auburn hair, aye. Pray, who is this knight who travels with your sister? Or did you name him fool?” Ser Shadrich did not wait for her answer, which was good, since she had none. “A certain fool vanished from King’s Landing the night King Joffrey died, a stout fellow with a nose full of broken veins, one Ser Dontos the Red, formerly of Duskendale. I pray your sister and her drunken fool are not mistaken for the Stark girl and Ser Dontos. That could be most unfortunate.” He put his heels into his courser and trotted on ahead.



    The hour was closer to dawn than to dusk, and most of the castle was asleep, but not Petyr Baelish. Alayne found him seated by a crackling fire, drinking hot mulled wine with three men she did not know. They all rose when she entered, and Petyr smiled warmly. “Alayne. Come, give your father a kiss.”

    She hugged him dutifully and kissed him on the cheek. “I am sorry to intrude, Father. No one told me you had company.”

    “You are never an intrusion, sweetling. I was just now telling these good knights what a dutiful daughter I had.”

    “Dutiful and beautiful,” said an elegant young knight whose thick blond mane cascaded down well past his shoulders.

    “Aye,” said the second knight, a burly fellow with a thick salt-and-pepper beard, a red nose bulbous with broken veins, and gnarled hands as large as hams. “You left out that part, m’lord.”

    “I would do the same if she were my daughter,” said the last knight, a short, wiry man with a wry smile, pointed nose, and bristly orange hair. “Particularly around louts like us.”

    Alayne laughed. “Are you louts?” she said, teasing. “Why, I took the three of you for gallant knights.”

    “Knights they are,” said Petyr. “Their gallantry has yet to be demonstrated, but we may hope. Allow me to present Ser Byron, Ser Morgarth, and Ser Shadrich. Sers, the Lady Alayne, my natural and very clever daughter . . . with whom I must needs confer, if you will be so good as to excuse us.”

    The three knights bowed and withdrew, though the tall one with the blond hair kissed her hand before taking his leave.


    What's he up to? Does he realize it's her? Is he going to get her to the Iron Throne? And if not, is GRRM just playing games here to add suspense?

    I love this level of detail. Most people wouldn't even notice.

  10. Isn't Alex lying at the end of A Clockwork Orange, though? I remember picking that up. Also, a self-questioning character isn't one lack depth, even if they end-up on the morally "good" side of things.

    Anyway, you can't go wrong with noir for that stuff, so try: Jim Thompson (The Grifters,The Killer Inside Me), Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep), Charles Willeford (Miami Blues, New Hope for the Dead), which I can vouch for. However, there's some authors I haven't tried yet: Chester Himes, David Goodis, Patricia Highsmith, Charles Williams, Dashiell Hammett. Start here and look around. The "Books other customers bought" are all good.

    Since you mentioned Dark Tower, try A Song of Ice and Fire, which has its share, especially as it goes on. Lots of gray morality.

    Jack Ketchum's novels often have amoral characters in the spotlight. The Lost and Old Flames - a great novella which comes paired with an even better one titled Right to Life - are tight, haunting reads.