Serena J. Cavanaugh :: Blog

May 27, 2009

Literary Flings and Affairs, Episode 1

Filed under: Cultural Rants, Literature — Tags: , , , , , — serena @ 12:36 pm

       Dark Seduction        


            I don’t usually read Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I have a little brother (and no matter how much taller he is than me, he’s still little) who devours the stuff.


             Several years ago, he got me involved with a fellow named George R.R. Martin. Utterly helpless within the forceful grip of his story, I succumbed completely and with abandon, to the seduction of his characters and the foreign world they inhabited. By the third novel, I was enthralled. In hindsight, I can see that I degraded myself: characters appeared in my dreams; I researched illustrations of them online and critiqued those depictions; I took notes on the various symbols and all the possible interpretations; I read and reread the three novels, awaiting – with little patience, but a sweet anticipation all the same – the fourth and final book of the series.




              Year after the year, Mr. Martin delayed the release without pity. I am ashamed to admit that I enjoyed this torture, reveled in it. Finally, it came – swift and dry, and left me utterly dissatisfied and disillusioned. The fourth book did not conclude the series as promised. I felt scorned. Righteous anger welled inside me. I didn’t throw the book against the wall, but that was only because it wasn’t mine. I had borrowed it from my brother.


             And even then, I wallowed in the misery with a perverse pleasure. I devoted hours to complain, commiserate, protest and mourn about the disappointment. Now, years later, I can look back and see that Mr. Martin was not entirely to blame, that I wasn’t his victim, but a consenting adult. I admit that and, in so doing, have taken the first step to recovery. I have not reread any of the novels in quite some time… however, when the fifth book hits the shelves, I cannot promise, just yet, that I will be strong enough to withstand the allure…


Happy Reading.


What I am Reading:


Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe


Sword and Citadel by Gene Wolfe




  1. ha ha. I was just thinking about that book! so funny. Can you reccomend any classic novels that are good to read. And please check out my blog! Let me know what you think. Also I just launched myself on as madeinstone you need to search me and pass on the news!!! Can’t wait to be in CA. Just saw that last ben schiller movie based in SF. It was so beautiful. it really is the most beautiful city in the world. how is your book coming. It would be nice to hear your progress on that.

    Comment by samantha dollar — June 1, 2009 @ 12:30 am

  2. Ah. The classics. If I listed all the classics that are good reads, it would fill pages. But some of my very favorites are, of course, Wuthering Heights (for love failed), Tale of Two Cities (for finding the good in all), The Illiad (for the glory of war), Madame Bovary (marriage hatred), Crime and Punishment (for not judging), Shirley (for a long, easy read) Anne of Green Gables (to recall your youth), Little Women (for nostalgia), Pride and Predjudice (for romance), Tess of D’Urbervilles (for man hating), Jude the Obscure (for a really good cry), Portrait of a Lady (for irony), Gone with the Wind (to get “swept away”. These are just a few of the classics, and like their category suggests , they never get old.

    Comment by serena — June 1, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  3. Good old George …. how I love him and hate him. I started reading your blog and of course clicked on the link to his website, instantly getting caught up in all the things you discussed. I couldn’t help but read the sample chapter and his apology. They just leave you wanting more and more. Since getting hooked on his Song of Ice and Fire, I have vowed to NEVER start reading a series unless it has already been completed. The waiting is more than I can handle.

    Comment by S.Herbst — June 2, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

  4. S. Herbst: it’s a good idea to wait until the series is done. Take Harry Potter, for example. I waited until all the books were done, read them one after the other, and loved it. It’s like dating a man when he’s in thirties. He’s all done growing up and you see the end results. A series can so easily go wrong. A good example of that is The Clan of the Cave Bear. The only book truly worth reading was the first, and maybe the second. Like a twenty something year old that is a whole lot fun… but isn’t a keeper. I haven’t read the Highlander series, but folks tell me that the first few books were wonderful, then it just petered out. The lesson is… it pays to wait!

    Comment by serena — June 5, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

  5. I agree - starting a series only to loiter impatiently until the next book is published is agony. (Unless each book stands alone, that is.) I’m waiting on book 7 of Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series. It’s been postponed. Again. If only I’d known when I started reading!
    Nails on a chalkboard, some days…

    Comment by Rachel — June 16, 2009 @ 8:05 am

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