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)
"This audiobook sneaks up on you ..."
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 ...
"Excellent story, narrator still irks"
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.
"Best fantasy around if you have the time"
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.
"Problem with Part 2 Second part?"
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.
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.
This series has certainly gripped me. The characters are developing to be interesting. Narration excellent.
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!
"Very poor from audible"
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.
"hard to get into it but soon hooked"
There are so many characters that I found it very confusing at first, it's also slow to start so I was wondering if I'd made a mistake in downloading this at all. I soon got hooked although the narration at times does puzzle me, for example, why does Tyrian develop a very strong Welsh accent half way through? Overall I loved it and have now downloaded part 2 of book one, surely the whole of book one should be a single purchase? If other books are multiple purchases it will be costly to listen to it in it's entirety.
"Another page turner..."
..or again, whatever the equivalent is for an audiobook! All the boxes are ticked here - intrigue, machinations, plotting, betrayal, murder, magic, loyalty, lust, war, romance...
...there may even be dragons...
I listened to this on several long journeys for work. Every time I was sorry to reach my destination as I had to stop listening!
This is thrilling, enthralling, epic stuff, and with every chapter told from a different viewpoint it is a constantly compelling and refreshing journey through and incredibly detailed world.
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