This is Part Two of Book 1 of the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE Series.
This first volume in the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is unabridged and split into two parts. Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men... all will play the Game of Thrones. Winter is coming...
©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"Colossal, staggering... Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world... one of the greats of fantasy literature." (SFX)
"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)
The story is brilliant - what stops these audiobooks being five star recs from me is the narration.
I wonder whether this is another of those US/UK taste things - perhaps different elements of narration strike us, whilst other elements pass us by? In the case of this audiobook, characters change accents, characters get mis-named (Joffrey frequently becomes Geoffrey), and the narrator's tone often seems to be at odds with the text.
There are two killers for me, though, which cause me to hit 'pause' before I throw the iPod at the wall. The first is Mr Dotrice's tendency to interject pauses mid-sentence (and yet, at other times, he'll run on immediately to a new scene with nary a breath), which just breaks the story's flow and makes it harder to follow than it need be.
The second is more personal, I admit, but his habit of assigning an *awful* cod-Irish accent to any arguably 'ethnic' character, the bizarre decision to have Tyrion's voice in Welsh (for the most part!) vs the rest of his family, and voicing characters like Theon as though they're middle-aged... All these are, to me, jarring, but I appreciate that you've got a cast of thousands, and so it's going to be difficult to make them all distinct.
I listen to audiobooks whilst walking the dog - normally in hour plus chunks. I almost never managed to get a solid hour's listen in with these books; I'd always reach a point where the narration was so painful that I had to switch the iPod off. The fact that I've completed the book is testament to the compelling story, despite the pains of narration.
Half an hour into this book I was regretting buying it, and I was wondering when the story was ever going to get going, and I knew this really wasn't for me. That written, I decided to keep listening, have it playing in the background as I did other things, and see how the story panned out. I'm not sure when it happened but, somewhere during the tale, I was completely hooked! Roy Dotrice's narration is masterful and his calm and dulcet tones are very easy to listen to and he brings character after character, and the story, to life.
I've just finished both parts of "A Game of Thrones" and next month will be getting both parts of the 2nd book ... be careful your bank balance though ... starting with this one, you could get more than you bargined for ... I've also now bought the first 4 books as paperbacks and the 5th in hardback. This was my first forray into fantasy fiction ... and I was very pleasantly surprised.
Be warned though ... I read another review recently, which suggested there's plenty of violence, without the customary humour found in other books of the genre and, though I don't know what is customary, I understand what the reviewer was getting at. When the action starts, the blood and gore flow freely, and this story is set in "harder" times
My recommendation? Enjoy this audiobook ... I definitely did ...
I started this series having watched the Game of Throne series on TV and it has not disappointed. It does take time to get into the stories as there are so many characters, plot lines and background history. What really helped me to follow what is happening was a website called Tower of the Hand, which has summaries of each chapter and links to biographies of all the characters.
A great ranges of interesting characters with most showing shades of good and bad in their actions. Tyrion the dwarf is a great literary creation. The author is a natural story teller, packing the narrative with sparkling dialogue, inventive action, and most chapters end on cliffhangers. Unusually for a fantasy series many of the early battles are only described to us in the third person, although later books start to describe the battles as first person encounters.
Has anybody else downloaded this and found that in the second part (the second of the two parts you download), the recording cuts out in the middle of a chapter, about between 2 and 3 hours in? I've downloaded it twice, and still have this problem.
This series has certainly gripped me. The characters are developing to be interesting. Narration excellent.
Dl'd both parts this week. Both show up as 8 hour downloads in the library, 16/17 in the descriptions? Similarly the end... Is it an ending? (also ends with the 'you have reached the end of a part but not the book' message).
So, um, have I listened to the whole book or not? I'm more that a little confused.
I liked Dotrice as a narrator though, to balance out the other review.
Fan of urban fantasy, especially set in London, & Victorian gothic. A bit of steampunk & cyperpunk too. Oh, and Georgette Heyer (sorry).
Well, it's Game of Thrones so if you going to listen to it, you know all about it by now. It's grim and gripping and wildly, hugely ambitious in scope. I
So, yes, I am definitely committed to listening to the rest of the series which will keep me going for the next year. It's always a bit irritating when you know you can't get the end of a series as it's not written yet. However, I am also aware that GRRM is NOT MY BITCH! (if that doesn't mean anything to you, I urge you to do an internet search)
I like Roy Dotrice as a narrator who does a pretty good job of keeping a grip on the hundreds of different characters (although his Theon Greyjoy is pitched too old). He has a gravitas a reader which works well with the text.
What is happening with this book?? described as being in 2 parts but in fact there must be a further 2 parts missing ! I notice that others have complained about this and yet Audible haven't rectified the situation. It really is most disatisfactory to purchase a product to find that you have only received half of it! Now I have to go to the bother of making a complaint. This audiobook is available as a whole item (33 hours long) on itunes for £22 btw.
This book is brilliant, a great listen, totally captivating!!!
Before people post reviews of this, you should really read and learn how audible works, This book comes in two part, each part is then split into 2 separate downloads to make the download easier!
So i recommend you buy A Game of Thrones (Part One): Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire before buying the second part and rating it poorly!
The plot, the characters, the lore... Pretty much everything here is top notch -- George R. R. Martin really knows how to pull you in and keep you interested.
Any from the series "The Malazan Book of the Fallen" series by Steven Erikson. Seriously. I can't decide which series is better, but if you like A Game of Thrones then you'll love this. Both are at the pinnacle of fantasy novel excellence.
The only other one I know I've heard was part one of this same book. Both are equally fantastic and really draw you in. Roy Dotrice did great!
Most certainly! Unfortunately, tiredness and having to get up in the mornings rendered me unable to do so.
Simply: if you've been even vaguely interested in checking out A Game of Thrones, I highly recommend just going ahead with it. You won't regret it!
"I just can't wait..."
I just finished listening to this one and I can't wait to hear the rest of the series... Roy Dotrice's Performance is superb.
What a great book. Can't wait for the next book. Love the way that George RR Martin puts his chapters into different characters names. You soon love or hate certain characters. Roy Dotrice is there any voice the man can't do. Look if you want a great book to listen to this would be a great one. Lanuage is a bit strong, so you might not want to listen to this on and Ipod dock.
"A rich and compelling story"
The voice acting is amazing, and very well read. Alongside a great story this makes it a must-listen.
How each character is rich with their own history and personality.
"Brought to life!"
Really enjoying this read.
Roy Dotrice's voice and vision add so much depth to what is one of the greatest epic fantasy series to date. Having originally enjoyed the novels and wanting to approach from a different angle, this revisit is putting new flavour to my recollections and I'm discovering nuances previously unnoticed.
My only disappointment is a small one. Roy is not consistent with the accents he uses. It may simply be a technique he uses to make a character stand out however family groupings and sovereign peoples generally speak the same-ish. Only a small point though.
If you are looking to dive head first into the worlds of George RR then wait no further. If you haven’t read the books don’t let that worry you. If you are like me and simply want to revisit an old friend, then you won’t regret it.*
(*usual disclaimers apply).
"Excellent series and story line"
Great story line. Will be reading more of this wonderful series. Keep them coming. :)
"A clock and Dagger Cunningly Executed, Fantasy"
Amongst the top of my list of Audios.
The telling of this story as it unfolds.
Raw, Gravelly,sometimes sounding monotone in his telling, and sometimes he sounds as though he is just reading the text.
No. I had to take breaks from listening
The whole series of this Authors story is fantastic to read. The film version outdoes both the read of the story and the listening of it. The whole of it ---A very creative and imaginative series. Throughly enjoyable.
"Stories epic in scale and detail"
I have not read the print version
There are so many great characters. It is too difficult to choose just one. One of the most amazing things about this author is that he treats the characters realistically. As a result, it is very difficult to predict what will happen to them.
He was good with them all.
Though prone to a bit of rambling here and there, and certainly capable of writing the odd dull character here and there, this is simply a classic book. The only thing that could improve would be if the narrator was some kind of vocal magician, able to cast a huge cast and somehow give them all a uniquely identifiable voice. Step forward Mr Dotrice who does a faultless, flawless job.
I'm not really much of a dragons and knights fantasy reader, but the TV series turned me to these books and I burned through all of them in rapid succession. If only he wrote faster...
"A great plot ruined by poor style and narration"
I seriously wanted to enjoy this, but a number of hours into the first book I had to put it down. Firstly the narrator is incapable of varying his voice beyond a monotone, provide any sense of engagement in the story line or make the characters sound different enough that you aren't left guessing who is talking at the time. When you've come from listening to Stephen Pacey you'll understand.
This really killed it for me.
Secondly, I find Martin's writing style to be verging on the childish. Character thoughts and actions don't string together well. Stupidly unnecessary sexual references and a distinct lack of real connection to some characters makes it very difficult to feel involved in the story line. There is so much chopping changing from one scene/characters to the next, I felt totally confused.
Fortunately, this excellent plot series is rescued by the screen drama, which despite losing some of the detail makes the whole series very enjoyable. This book is like a draft for a television drama. Tortuous to read or listen to, but with creative guidance it makes for top viewing.
I certainly won't be listening to anything further by Martin or anything narrated by Dotrice, but I'll gladly buy the GoT series on DVD.
My recommendation: skip the book, watch the series.
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