A few years ago (they all blur now, somewhere between 3 and 6, I'd guess), I purchased the book Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I had asked a Borders clerk for a recommendation, having read all of the Guy Gavriel Kay books, and the Robert Jordan books that I cared to read until the Wheel Of Time has actually completed its rotation, and the C.S. Friedman books that were published. I needed a new author to run through, and as long as the author had more than two books I was willing to give him a try.
Well, I read the book up until Eddard died. Eddard was one of my favorite characters and what the hell, why is the author killing off one of the good guys. In the first book. In the first half of the first book?
At one point, Matthew was visiting and noticed I had the first three books of the series on audio CD. I hadn't quite forgotten the book, and had purchased the first three books at a fantastic discount on Audio CD when Books on Tape decided to end their consumer rental business. He commented that, wow, good books, and yes, I should try to read them again.
But Eddard died! The author killed off Eddard. Who does that crap?
Read them anyway, he said.
So, last November, Kris took a job that made his 35 minute one-way commute into a 45 minute one-way commute, and started burning through the audio cds we have that much faster. I offered him the Game of Thrones on CD, and he loved them, reading Game of Thrones and the following two books in the series. He enjoyed them so much so that I had to buy him the fourth book, Feast of Crows, for Christmas (along with another set of four or five titles because his commute was so long and boring). He tried to buy them for himself and I had to shut him down. So sad.
Because Kris liked them so much, I started listening to them again. Recently, however, I've found myself listening a little less each time I turn on the CDs, turning off the story a little earlier than the end of my commute. Each time I listen to it, I come a little bit closer to Eddard's death.
I'm at the point in the story when he dies. He'll die within the next ten minutes of my reading/listening. I'll turn on the CD when I get into the car, realize where I am in the story after about 30 seconds of listening, then turn it off again.
If I keep this pace up, Eddard will live another 3 weeks.