Lots of standing around and doing nothing. Needs to get on with the plot. New characters coming out of the woodwork and impossible to keep up with. I've been told that book 3 is much better so I'll stick around for one more.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I don't have a lot of experience reading series. I am aware that some series can be read as standalone books with some satisfaction. A Tale of Fire and Ice is not like that. I suppose in some loose sense of the word this book could be said to have an overall plot, but it feels much more like just an episode in a larger story, which is what it is.
Martin is nearly always readable, but the first half of the book sort of plods along. It is what I would consider standard genre fare. Martin's strength is dialog. When he pauses to give us some description, it tends to be in the terse form of stage directions or the prosaic frankness of a military history. But when his characters speak, the book comes alive. Personalities clashing, conspiring, commiserating, etc., is what really makes this series stand out. There are times when I wish Martin would speak in the author's voice and give us some detached exposition apart from his characters; some reflection on the situation; some historical background or extended description. However, he has set himself rules and he sticks to them. If you want historical background, it will have to come from a character thinking about the history of the place he or she is looking at. If you want exposition, it has to come from a character reflecting on the information he or she is trying to make a decision about. Sometimes that gets old. Thinking is not the same as dialog, and dialog as I said earlier is what drives the energy in this series. And why do certain words like 'flagon' have to be repeated so often? Would it be that awful to call it a pitcher once in a while?
The second half of the book picks up considerably. It feels like Martin has suddenly found his stride. The dialog is in sync with the pace of the action and the whole momentum of the book feels much more emotionally involving. I hope that that feeling continues on into the next book as I am really looking forward to finishing this series.
Fans of the TV show will be happy to learn that the book does in fact flesh out some of the more obscure parts. Catelyn's decision about Jaime Lannister, and the siege of Winterfell, as examples. Comparisons with the TV show also offer excellent examples of how a book should be compressed or reimagined to fit the dramatic needs of a different medium. Arya's storyline differs in significant ways, and I will not say that one version or the other is better.
The story dragged from one sad event to another.
Have something good happen.
His narration confused me with little differentiation of characters. Maybe if there were another narrator, possibly female for the children and women characters.
I thought the first book was ok, not great, but mildly entertaining, so I would go to the next book. I tried, twice, to listen to this audio book, to no avail. The second time, I gave up at the end of the first section. This book is wildly popular so, I thought I must me missing something. If I did, I didn't see what it was the second time either. I guess I can wait until it comes to regular tv in 10 years.
If you are a fan of the show - you will be a fan of the books - it really makes much more sense when you listen to the books and then go back to watch the episodes - there are more nuances we are missing out on than we realize!
Excellent story - I am enjoying the whole saga!
So far, this series has been excellent written by G.R.R. Martin and excellent read by Roy Dotrice, but the presentation has taken a hit in this second audiobook. The books are structured by chapters that each focus on the perspective of an individual character. In the audiobook for A Game of Thrones, those chapters match correctly with the written novel. As a listener who keeps on an eye on and sets listening times based on chapter length, it was great to have checkpoints to monitor.
In A Clash of Kings, the audiobook chapters are set in roughly 45 minute chunks that have no regard to the novel's structure or narrative. The first audio file (of four) actually cuts off mid-sentence before giving me the standard blurb about "you've reached the end of a file but not the end of the whole book..." and then continues to finish the sentence in the second audio file.
That kind of stuff shouldn't happen...and I hope that its fixed by the time I get to Book 3.
Beautifully written, phenomenal narration. Can't wait for the next book.
Tyrion Lannister continues to be my favorite character.
The rest of my life took a back seat while I listened to this novel. With every chapter this is a new twist, or excitement much like the first book in the series. I could not stop listening, and began immediately downloading the third book after I was done.
Every character had memorable moments. I could not possibly choose one.
I liked how he got into the voices of the characters. For example, if the characters were drunk he slurred his speech and made them sound drunk, if they were hurt he made them sound hurt, even the voice of their internal thoughts.
It did not make me cry, but sometimes it made me want to. It made me laugh a few times.
I listen to books while running and walking my dog so on average about an hour day and like books that have a good pace to them.
The first book "a song of ice and fire" was an excellent introduction to this series but it is in this book that we are introduced to more of the mythology of this realm as well as the intrigues and plots of the warring dynasties.
Following neatly on from the first book this installment introduces new characters who weave seamlessly into the storyline and add their own morals and ideals to further raise questions about the nature of man and the values that shape his world. The rich characters from the first book are also expanded with the reader having a harder time distinguishing the "good guys" from the not so good, and given the nature of the story this is the point and another reason that i have enjoyed the stories so much.
Roy Dotrice does an amazing job narrating the range of characters and emoting their actions offering a range of accents which gives further scope to the Westrus universe.
I can't wait to get further into book three of this series!
A Clash of Kings gets into more details of the who will become the major players in the serious as the battle for control over the realm rages on and the the threat from beyond becomes more evident.
This book does not follow the HBO as closely and goes into more detail as the far as the overall plot is concerned.
Roy Doltrice gives a better performance in this book than the previous book I.
A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A storm of Swords, A feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, The winds of winter.
Now that I have listened to these audible book, I have no desire to watch the movies! They could never give justice to the books!!
Read the book and skip the movie