It's a little embarrassing to say for somebody who's an aspiring writer but I had kind of fallen out of the reading habit for a while when I first came across Game of Thrones. I think the largest thing I had read around that time had been Count Zero which I actually took a really long time to get through. (After coming from Neuromancer it felt like broken glass in my ice-cream)
It was actually watching the HBO show that got me into it, right at the start of the build up of the final act. The show had me actually excited about what was going to happen and if the tv adaptation could have that effect I had to find out what the books would do.
I wasn't disappointed, those things blew me away. I was shying away from books half the side of a single volume before but with a combination of blasting through books in a week, long plane trips and finally of my current routine which is to take a chapter a day I am already at the latest set of books, Dance of Dragons.
So, what is it about these books that's reignited writing for me and the rest of the world. The answer of course is that it does everything right, slow burns with completely satisfying resolutions. Compelling characters that inspire hate and love. A consistent writing style which occasionally takes the piss out of itself.
It has much personality at every level, I find. I always through these big epics always became kind of robotic by the end but in this series the opposite somehow happened, as time went on the author seemed to enjoy it more and the ideas just keep coming.
Anyway, I'm inspired. I know, like everybody else in the english speaking world and probably beyond, but this is just the thing to remind me what writing can be. Something to aspire to and be inspired by.