Archive for September 17th, 2011
When reading an epic fantasy series like George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” where each book has over 700 pages or more, it gets tough sometimes to know what to say and what not to as a reviewer. It’s impossible to give a full plot summary, of course; even in 1500 or so words like I used tonight at Shiny Book Review (SBR), it’s flat-out impossible.
But I gave it my best shot; here’s the link to tonight’s review for George R.R. Martin’s A STORM OF SWORDS, the third book in his “Song of Ice and Fire” cycle. (The fifth book, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, was released earlier this year and along with the fourth book, A FEAST FOR CROWS, will be reviewed in the next few weeks at SBR.)
Folks, this past week has been more difficult than many. I’m approaching the seventh anniversary of my beloved husband Michael’s way-too-early death, I’m trying to get an editorial project out the door (it’s due next week), and I’ve been watching the Milwaukee Brewers. The first two are what’s keeping me from blogging much, while the third just makes me want to pull my hair out.
The Brewers are now in need of seven wins — or a combination of their wins and St. Louis Cardinals’ losses — in order to win their division for the first time since 1982, which is quite ironic if you think about it, as the 1982 version of the St. Louis Cardinals was the team that beat the Brewers in seven games in the World Series. The 1982 Brewers were an outstanding team that is still feted to this day; they remain the only team since the Brewers’ inception in 1970 to get to the World Series, winning first the American League East division (then a seven-team division), then the American League pennant, and then going to the World Series.
Brewers fans love their team, win or lose, as exemplified by the parade in 1982 after the Brewers came back from St. Louis on the losing end of the World Series. Thousands of fans lined the streets to say “thank you,” then old Milwaukee County Stadium (which held over 56,000 people) filled to its capacity while then-Brewers owner Bud Selig (now the Commissioner of Baseball) thanked the fans, thanked the ’82 team, and watched as ’82 MVP Robin Yount rode around the warning track on his motorcycle.
I don’t know if this version of the Brewers is as good as the ’82 team. I do know that the current team doesn’t have as many colorful characters, though it does have OF Nyjer Morgan; the current team doesn’t have too many blue-collar players, though it does have relief pitcher John Axford; it does have two genuine MVP candidates in Ryan Braun (now a “30/30” man as he has 30 HR and 31 SBs) and Prince Fielder.
What I do know is that the Brewers have had an excellent year, and are a very good team. It is more likely than not that the current Brewers will win the NL Central division and advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 (when the Brewers won the wild card seed, the “fourth place” team that is very good but doesn’t win its division). And that is a good thing, even if the Brewers’ players are “making things interesting” in their run toward post-season play.