former nuclear scientist
First, the story.
George R. R. Martin shows himself once again to be both a maverick in and a master of the fantasy genre. A maverick in that he has no qualms about, say, killing off a noble, major character (Ned Stark in the first book - this is not a spoiler), and a master in that he can write a scene in steep, almost excruciating detail, but then advance the plot with a few sentences about major off-page occurrences. The book is still very thick - I think 35 hours or so for the audiobook. He killed off the one point-of-view character in the first book, but here introduces two more. I began to fear that he would do the same as Robert Jordan: the world sprang to life in his head, and he didn't want to leave out a single detail - then he died after 11,000 pages, saga still unfinished. But I think Martin is cannier than that. You have to realize he isn't telling a story, he is telling a history. It's a history of a world he made up, but his willingness to move even major (plot-wise) occurrences off-page in order to advance the plot heartens me.
Second, the narrator.
For the previous book, I gave Roy Detrice 2 stars. Some of his voices really grated on me. I was especially offended by his portrayal of Tyrion, a major character who is described as a physically grotesque dwarf who is given the cruel nickname "The Imp." I think the narrator based his entire performance on this description. Detrice plays him like he is a leprechaun. He rolls his Rs and has a jaunty Irish-ish brogue. This completely ignores the humanity of Tyrion, who after all has family in this book who should share his accent. I have the same accent as my brother and sister; I'd assume Tyrion would as well.
The other major complaints I have are the voices - I should say voice - he gives to women who are not major characters. He thins his voice and syncopates his words. It worked for the old witch Mirri Maz Duur. It's not so good for the young beautiful warrior Asha. Not to mention his hilarious pronunciation of "Melisandre," or "mel-iss-aaaaaaaaand-......" (drawn out, followed by a two beat pause).
However, I have to give him props for Patchface, Stannis, Renly, and various sneering lordlings. This time, I switched between listening and occasionally reading my hb's copy while my baby was asleep. I tended to rush through the actual reading, whereas Detrice gives the scenes nuances and pauses and emotions that I just didn't make the time for. I thought about the words and scenes more carefully. He does bring the world to life.
Whoever was the technician on this book did a half-hearted job. "Chapters" in the audiobook have no correlation to the chapters in the book. It is downloaded into four parts, each download preceded and ended by interruptions. The downloads split chapters, even once breaking through a tense scene where a main character's life is in peril. I think he had just asked an urgent question. Annoying! Also, the audiobook chapters sometimes repeat, with the next "chapter" starting with a re-reading of the sentence the last "chapter" ended with. It's a little confusing. Was the character repeating himself? What is going on? There is no pause inserted between real chapters, so you could be listening to something that was intended to be chewed over, but a second later the heading (POV's name) is announced, and you're plunged back into the story.
This series is utterly engrossing. I'm going to have to buy the next three books!
Geeky, weatherman, birdwatcher, ultra-marathoner (if you've never run 50 to 100 miles for fun you wouldn't understand)
rated M, good
Series is excellent. Just wish the books weren't so expensive. Other good books of similar lenghts are cheaper.
Yes, I would and have recommended this audiobook to friends. I loved all of the books when i read them and wanted to share the great experience of these books with friends but i also know many of my friends dont have the time or wont invest the time to read all these books. I love to discuss these books and many others that i read and my solution to my friends lack of time was to recommend these audiobooks. Many of my friends travel for work (long flights or many hours behind the wheel) and i suggested these audiobooks as a way to pass the hours traveling. So far they all have showed interest and i even had one of my buddies listen to all 5 of the A Song of Ice and Fire books in the last 2 months!!! Thank you Audible, GRRM and Roy Dotrice.
How can i pick just one character????????? There are so many to love and hate but heres a few i did love:
Arya - Might be the best character i have ever read!!! Everyone should have a little sis like Arya!! Brave, intelegent, resorceful and vurnable!!!
John Snow - made me want to have a bastard brother (if that could happen with out my dad cheating on my mom) He is a man of unbreakable honor, great intellegence and foresight, compassion but will make the hard choice that needs to be made!!
Tiron - what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in wit, intellegence, boldness, foresight, and loyality.
Dani - the woman of every mans dreams. Strong but vurnable, Wise beyond here years, one of the worlds great beauties. Compasionate yet vengful. a true leader with a little growing up to do!!!
A few i hate (hate them but love that their in the books)
First and foremost
Cersi - She is the ultimate villian. Best villian i have ever read!!!
Sansa - winny little brat. she has her head in the clouds like so many young girls dreaming of being the star ( or in her case the queen). Neive beyond all reason
lysa - Bitch of all bitches. she is everything i hate in women.
Roy brings to life all the different characters. I know when i read the story i gave some of the characters a voice but nothing like Roy does. I love reading the books but hearing Roy's version brought the books to a whole new level. He is amazing!!!!!
Not only did i want to listen to this book all in one sitting but i wanted to listen to all 5 books back to back!!!. I cant wait for the final 2 books to come out (come on GRRM write faster.. J/K your work is worth the wait) so i can go on a 2 week vacation, lock the doors, turn off the cell phone/TV/email/internet and listen to all 7 books back to back!!!!
I love Audible. Worth every penny!!!!
A little lacking.
No real comparison to other books, just compared to the first and third of this series, I got a little distracted with some of the detail. I like detail but it just didn't flow as well in this one.
I have not listened to any of his performances before. As a narrator I do not like Dotrice at all, however these books are so well written, which in my opinion is Dotrice's salvation in this series.
I do not think his voice range for different characters has enough contrast. Many of the characters sound so alike it can be a bit confusing.
Roy Dotrice's performance is top-notch, but the story is one step down from the first book in the series. The story can sometimes be a little hard to follow, especially with the characters who are far from the main action (Daenerys and Jon in particular).
I have a definite love-hate relationship with George R R Martin. He likes to shock the reader, which makes for an exciting story, but sometimes, well, I'll just say, never get too attached to any character.
all of it
there were so many big moments
a change in voice for the differnt characters
too long for one sitting , but a feeling of wanting to get back to it asap
When are the next two books coming out?
The book was hard enough to get into because Roy Dotrice made all of the voices of knights sound like elderly British royalty, even the warriors. I can even begin to explain the horror of it until the 4th book when he changes all the voices of most of the lead characters. The only one to stay the same are the Imp and Varies. The rest are so different I had a hard time remembering who was talking. Strong Belwas when from a large boastful voice to that of a teenage girl. and Arya Stark changed her too, it was awful, terrible. Do not buy these books until they are rerecorded by someone else. Read them the old fashion way, the story is awesome, an epic tale and the Director and the Producer ruined it. Roy Dotrice is not to bad if his bosses would have kept him on track.
true crime fan
I was still completely engrossed in the story but I have to admit that I enjoyed the first book more as the reader is getting to know the characters and there isn't as much killing and maiming. My favorite character by far is Tyrion Lannister as he is so very smart and sly. He doesn't win battles by brute force but rather by his wits-a master manipulator. I look forward to seeing what happens in Book 3, A Storm of Swords. Any series that can keep me so enthralled for this long is truly a gem and I am very much enjoying the escape to Winterfell, King's Landing, River Run and the Wall. I think it will be a sad day when I get to the end of the story but thankfully, that won't happen for quite some time.
I would be lost without my Audio-books.
I actually read this in Kindle version before I could listen to the audio. The narration is a little hard for me to understand so I struggled to keep up with the story. After actually reading it, I was able to listen easier and enjoy the benefits of audio. Fabulous story- a little wordy, well a lot wordy, but a thoroughly enjoyable read if you have the endurance to finish such a long series. Hope Mr. Martin releases Book 6 soon.
Yes, this is the best way to enjoy the whole of the book as a performance. And I was always intimidated by the length of this series, as a busy, single Mom...the audiobooks solved that for me.
This story was creative, gripping, and well written.
Pieces are always moving in this Game of Thrones.