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  • A Game of Thrones

  • Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R.R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (21,787 ratings)

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A Game of Thrones cover art

A Game of Thrones

By: George R.R. Martin
Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
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Editor reviews

Game of Thrones Book One: A Song of Ice and Fire written by George R. R. Martin is an immensely popular fantasy series audiobook narrated by veteran British actor Roy Dotrice. Now also a leading Sky Atlantic TV series by HBO. Listeners are introduced to an addictive plot and unforgettable characters in this first installment. Time feels lost in the harshness of endless brutal seasons, impenetrable landscapes and the constant, unwavering battle for the Iron Throne. The Throne means survival. Dark forces, lust and bloodshed will be used to get to it. Available from Audible now.

Summary

One of The Times’ 25 Best Audiobooks.

HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Game of Thrones is the first volume in the series.

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

Critic reviews

"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)

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What listeners say about A Game of Thrones

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love It

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.

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25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing start to ASOIAF

A truly spellbinding story, and the start of the best fantasy series I’ve read. The story weaves this way and that, with surprises and cliff hangers galore. I’ve read the books and watched the series, I think the audio book might just be the sweet spot between stoking my imagination, without having to sit and devote the large amount of time to reading this amazing series.

A note on Roy Dotrice. I’ve read some criticism of his reading, in particular his accents and pronunciation. The accents are a bit dodgy at times, but Roy reads like he’s reading the books, not narrating. The books were different in my head than the series, and different to how Roy reads it too, but then that would be the same whoever was reading. In general, I think Roy is excellent, kind of like your wise old grandad reading you the story, rather than a professional voice actor. That’s fine by me, and I’ll have no hesitation in buying the rest of the series.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hooked - and I don't even like the genre.!

I am not a fan of the fantasy genre - in fact avoid them like the plague - but got hooked-on the HBO Series from the start because of four primary determinates: terrific acting, great costumes and sets, wonderful characters and a gripping story. Undergoing withdrawal following the end of the second HBO Series I decided that even without two of the four determinates I would give the audiobook a chance and have found that the characters and story alone are more than enough to carry it. Whilst initially I was a little disappointed with Roy Dotrice's narration I was also realistic enough to put much of my reservation down to the fact that he didn't sound just like the actors but then again neither should he have to - he's a reader, not a mimic. And, just as a great narrator can often compensate for a poor storyline in this case the story itself covers any 'shortfall' in narration whilst the accessibility audiobooks provide more than tips the balance between reading or listening. Do yourself a favour and get hooked.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lived up to the hype

Until a few months ago I'd never knowingly heard of this book, but suddenly I seemed to be surrounded by people talking about the book and TV series. Now I know why (well about the book the TV series probably won't happen).



It shouldn't work, a large cast of characters, multiple places, a complicated story, this is a recipe for confusion. Except it isn't and it works, very well!



This is a well written and read epic story set in a fictional past. You will need to concentrate at first just to sort the characters but after a while you want to concentrate just because it's so good.



Well worth a listen.



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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't put this down

The first thing to say is that listening to this saga has made me realise just how inspired the casting of the TV series is. The second is to say how much clearer the story line is in the book than on the TV. The story itself is gripping and the narrative first class. My one nitpick is with Roy Dotrice's narration. He is undoubtedly one of the UK's finest actors but I get the feeling he has come into this a little unprepared. Although he makes the whole thing very enjoyable there are a number of inconsistencies in his narration - place names tend to change pronunciation from time to time and sometimes his phrasing is a bit off putting. By that I mean taking breaths and breaks at unusual points in a sentence. I get the feeling that this is not for dramatic effect but rather it sounds as if he is reading it for the first time. Unless I am very much mistaken, one of the characters actually changes accent completely during the narrative which, again, is a bit disconcerting. From being a northerner he suddenly becomes Welsh.

All said though, I can heartily recommend this series to anyone whether they have seen the TV adaptation or not.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

never gets old

well this isn't my 1st time with g.o.t, what can I say that hasn't already been said about the book, writing its stunning of course. Martin has a strange way of not hanging around whilst still slow burning the story to a satisfying end. Roy's performance for me was great, yes he some times calls joffery Jeffrey . or hodor odor personally find it funny lol and yes acents get misplaced lol but its shouldn't take away the fact overall its brilliant.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story; shame about the narrator

It's probably my own fault for writing this review while listening to the audiobook for The Northern Lights, as I much prefer the voice performance in that audiobook than this one.
In the audiobook for the Northern Lights, they actually get different voice actors for each of the different characters, which can help me better visualise each character and their actions more easily. On the other hand, in this audiobook it's more difficult to visualise the characters actions or even appearance, because the one narrator they use does the voices of all the characters, which ends up resulting in me having to default to visualising scenes as they happened in the show, which given the general consensus on the latest season, I don't really want to do.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than I expected after seeing it.

One of the rare occasions I've seen an acted version before the written. I'm so glad the debauchery portrayed on screen is missing in the written version.

I throughly enjoyed this book, not so much Roy Dotrice's reading. His imagining of the characters accents follow a disjointed theme, for example Tyrion Lannister has a Welsh accent but Jaime and Cersei don't. I don't want to speak ill of the dead so I won't say more, just didn't enjoy his working of it.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story - disappointing voices

I'm a huge game of thrones fan, so for me the story cannot be beaten.

I found the narration a little disappointing though. The narrator does put on different voices for different characters, but seemingly limits that just to accents. For me I would like the reading to be more dramatic, involving more than one narrator if necessary.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poor narration

The story is detailed but the narration is poor - most voices sound the same regardless of background and it detracts from the book.

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