Roy Dotrice does a great job differentiating the characters. The Song of Ice and Fire series has so many characters and interweaving plot lines, but many characters don't meet each other at all. Roy's voices do not really overlap, such that I would get confused. Oh, and the entire story is awesome.
Not really my favorite character, but I think the most interesting: Theon Greyjoy. He is a secondary character in the first book, and is portrayed as immature but harmless. Sure enough in the world of Westeros, everything is not as it appears. His internal struggle, his torn loyalties and allegiances, his decision-making all contributed to the best new point of view in the book.
I listened to the first book and it was very similar. Voices changed slightly, but not noticeably.
The "chapters" were poorly organized. I wanted to jump back to the beginning of a character's story, and I would end up in the middle of the another characters story.
I love the Game of Thrones series for so many reasons, but I want to point out that narrator Roy Dotrice is an absolute joy to listen to. He can conjure up so many distinctive voices, that Martin's work comes alive with richness and depth. After a short time listening, you can begin to pick up all the many characters just by their voice. How does Dotrice do it? I am enjoying this audio book even more than the printed version.
I stumbled on Games of Thrones by happy accident. Prior to the HBO series I found George RR Martin while looking for a great storyteller with good long books. Others have told me that they do not enjoy his books because of the large number of characters. I think that the audiobooks resolve this issue for me. It is easier to identify with the large number of characters by listening to Roy Dotrice read.
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.