Few things reflexively irk me as much as a Tolkien comparison.
Okay, that’s a bit of hyperbole. But there is an underlying truth — they are irritating.
Why? Because anyone saying “X is the new Tolkien” or “Y is a masterpiece worthy of Tolkien” is, frankly, almost certainly full of it.
The problem is that — just like me at the start of this piece — they are indulging in hyperbole. And yes, I’m looking at you Time Magazine and Lee “George RR Martin is the American Tolkien” Grossman.
That’s not to say I believe that George RR Martin writes drivel. Far from it, I devoured all five A Song of Ice and Fire books in three weeks and found each book thoroughly engrossing. I really enjoyed the knife-edge politics, the interplay of competing agendas, and the unremitting, Hobbesian brutality of Westeros. Continue reading “In search of a better George R.R. Martin comparison”