Ever wonder why people all over the world want to spend not only money but also (a lot of) time reading a 700-page book?
“Please help. I feel as if I’m being stitched, nerve by nerve, into a possibly infinite tapestry. I want to put the book down, but if I do I’ll instantly forget who killed whom and why, who is related to whom and how,” wrote Verlyn Klinkenborg about A Song of Ice And Fire, the origin of the HBO series “Game of Thrones”. (The New York Times)
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by George RR Martin, an American novelist and screenwriter. The series has been translated into more than 20 languages with its fourth and fifth volumes reaching the top of The New York Times best-seller lists in 2005 and 2011, confirmed The New York Times.
“Why do I keep reading? Because beneath Mr Martin’s descriptions, these are novels about characters bending under the force of worldly and unworldly circumstances, and Mr Martin’s characters bend in interesting ways. I read to find out what happened to the heroine left behind a 100 pages ago. I read because if I don’t read, I’ll never get to the end, where real life resumes,” added Klinkenborg about what compels him to read further.
The series — so far consisting of A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons — has done well not only in the West but also in Pakistan where it is gaining rapid popularity. Overall, the series has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, reported m.theglobeandmail.com.
“The entire box heads — consisting of all five books of the series — are being sold like hotcakes. Our stocks finish after two to three days of their arrival. They’re doing really well all over Pakistan,” said a sales assistant at Liberty Books. He further added that many secure their copy of the book by placing the order online.
However, the growing popularity of the series of fantasy novels isn’t restricted to just books, as in April this year HBO took to the task of producing the television adaptation, “Game of Thrones”, based on the first novel. The first season premiered on April 17, 2011 to great acclaim and ratings, and two days later the network picked the show up for a second season.
“The television show is doing extremely well here as well. There is a huge demand for ‘Game of Thrones’,” said a sales assistant of a local video shop in Karachi’s Khadda Market, highlighting the growing demand of the television series. Unlike in the West, where the television series gained popularity because of the book, in Pakistan, it maybe the other way round, with the books doing well because of the popularity of the television series.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2011.