This is Part One 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)
"A truly brilliant fantasy novel"
A Game of Thrones is one of the most enjoyable books I've listened to in years so much so I completed it very quickly. Without giving any of the story away, it's worth pointing out that the plot can initially be a little confusing as it switches between different characters but as the book progresses you soon gain a greater understanding of the world that the author has created. Another point is that the storyline may seem slow at first but this is essential so as to establish the characters and set the scene, for not just the rest of the book but the rest of the series. And once it gets going, believe me, it really does get going.
Now for a word on the narrator. If you consider the number of different characters there are in this story, and how he has to make them all slightly different to distinguish them for the listener, I think he does an outstanding job. Of course it's natural you won't like all of his characterizations but his ability as a narrator really fits the the story and brings it to life.
This novel is well crafted full twists and intrigue. I cannot enthuse enough about how good this book is and encourage everyone to download it and enjoy this epic story.
"An unexpected surprise"
I am new to audible books, and value peoples reviews. I was nearly put off A Game of Thrones, by some poor reviews. I actually like Roy Dotrice, and find his style suits me. It has probably helped that I have seen the first series of the HBO TV production and got to know the characters. I am enjoying the extra detail and background of the characters, which the TV series skated over. I will certainly be purchasing the next instalment of this book and hope to finish it before the next TV series.
A fantastic book and well worth it, however a bit of a con from Audible to split it into two parts, (needing to pay for each). It is only one book and should be sold as such. It is on iTunes and works out as cheaper there! Wish I'd noticed that earlier.
I have listened my way through this book several times now and it just keeps getting better, Roy Dotrice's narration manages to bring each character to life and I could now pick out each by his narration alone. It's been a long time since I found a book so engaging.
"Really Good Listen and Great Characters"
The first point I want to make about this audible book is - I Have to disagree with everyone saying the narrator was poor, I found him excellent and easy to listen too and have heard far worse.
As for the story line yes there are lots of characters but that is what makes it great and the story itself is excellent. The imaginary world created and the characters are really interesting, which makes for a great yarn.
Yes you have to keep your wits about you to follow the twist and turns and the various storylines and characters, but that is what makes this book great.
All I can say is some of the other readers who have commented negatively towards this book and narrator must profer easier listening something with a handful of characters and simple quick storylines. If you want that then this is not the book for you. However if you want a great fantasy adventure with loads of interesting characters and a great storyline download this book.
"Some useful background information"
I have only just started this book, and although I am enjoying it, I did find it slightly hard to follow. As some of you may know - this is now a successful HBO drama which is shown here in the UK. If you go to the HBO website, you will get some useful background information relating to the characters and storyline.
"A perfect listen"
Another book where one is sad when it comes to an end, but, on the plus side......we have more to come!!!
Perfect candidate for the audio format, Roy Dotrice does a difficult job of breathing life into all the characters... not sure I like all of them (his characterisations) but as I only listened to this after watching the excellent HBO production maybe I had preconceptions.
Notwithstanding all of that, I can't recommend this highly enough, makes a car journey never long enough!
"Great Story, Difficult Narration"
I actually own the paperbacks to A Song of Ice and Fire. And I re-bought the entire series as eBooks for my Kindle. The I purchased the Season 1 DVDs for A Game of Thrones. And the Graphic Novel (Part I). So take it as read that I'm familiar with the books, the story, George R R Martin's writing style, and the cast of thousands that populate Westeros and the lands across the Narrow Sea.
As you might surmise, I love the story. Unfortunately, this audiobook was a struggle to listen to because I just couldn't get on with the narration. Leaving aside the characterisation, for a moment, Roy Dotrice has this bizarre habit of pausing... mid-sentence so you're not sure if the sentence is finished... or if there's another portion... to come. At some points, these pauses almost change the sense of what's being said, and you find yourself having to mentally re-wind to re-phrase the words in your head to get the proper meaning.
In a similar vein - just concerning the narration rather than the characterisation - at some points the narrator's choice of tone doesn't jibe with my own interpretation of the story's tone; the first time we hear the Stark's motto, '"Winter is Coming", we're given it in almost upbeat fashion, rather than the heavy, almost portentous phrase that I have in my head.
However, my biggest obstacle with the narration was the characters' voicings; to be fair, the book has a cast of thousands (probably literally, although I haven't counted), and it would be impossible to form a distinct voice for every single person. But characters frequently sound much older than written (Theon Greyjoy, for example), the cod-Irish accent deployed for some characters is almost unlistentable, and, most disappointingly, Tyrion's accent changes mid tale, from Lancastrian to something that oscillates between Welsh and Irish.
It's a hard job, and I wish Mr Dotrice no ill, but I would've liked to hear Steven Pacey's reading of this instead.
"I was really enjoying it up to the point when"
Tyrion Lannisters accent changes from Yorkshire to Welsh, I actually like Dotrices narration its like being told a story by an old man around a villages community fire, but a story teller needs to be more aware of his use of accents. What I think actually happened is Dotrice read the rest of the book and saw that Tyrion Lannister became a hero rather than a Rumpelstiltskin character, he couldn't become the hand of Gofrey and talk like a Clegg from last of the summer wine.
"Personally I liked Dotrice.... but..."
Unless I'm hugely mistaken only half of the book itself has been uploaded for sale. (yes, I know it's split into two parts but the second part ends with 'you have reached the end of a download but not of the book' message and, having asked friends, they've said the two parts of the audiobook only get to 2/3rds of the book itself. No answer from audible twitter on what the score is. Maybe there's another part to be uploaded later? Who knows.
Anyhow: I liked the narrator but found it similarly hard to work out who was who etc. I put it down to the naming convention in the book itself, I was enjoying what I was listening to anyhow...
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