Several frineds of mine have been trying to get me to read this for a few years now. I actually started reading it, but only got about 100 pages or so in before I gave up. When I saw it on Audible, I decided to give it another try just to shut them up. Boy, am I glad I listened to them!! One you have all the characters straight, the story is quite engaging. some things which may seem superfluous at the time end up being critical later on. One thing that Martin does much better than the master himself, Tolkien, is write interesting female characters. Whereas the females in The Lord of the Rings seemed "tacked on," the females in this book are well-written, deep characters who are critical to the story. Also, you never really seem sure whom to root for. Characters you may dislike at first soon become your favorites. I'm not a big fan of fantasy overall, and after reading this series, I doubt I'll be able to read anything else in this genre, because nothing can top this! I'm now listening to the second book, A Clash of Kings, and I hope the third, A Storm of Swords comes to Audible in the next few weeks, because I'm seriously addicted to this series! I must also comment on the narrator, Roy Dotrice. I love the different voies he uses. They are clear enough that you know who you are listening to even if he doesn't tell you right away. The only negative is that he sometimes changes pronunciations of names (Joffrey become Jeffrey, for example) but that is hardly enough to detract from his otherwise excellent narration.
It's a shame that the rather negative review of Roy Dotrice's is still at the top. I don't think the reading could have been done any better! English is not my mother tongue and A Game Of Thrones is certainly not the easiest book to read out loud, yet Roy Dotrice manages to make it come to life without effort. He never slurs, his voice never becomes annoying even after hours of listening.
Considering the book at hand and the wealth of minor characters it introduces, it's not suprising that an inattentative listener would have a hard time following some of the more obscure plot twists of George R. R. Martin's wonderful epic. If you have not read the book before listening to this, you will have to concentrate on listening to be able to understand the many lines of plot without becoming confused. If you are looking for an easy listening (or even reading) experience, this may not be the story for you. If, on the other hand, you like complex plots and well thought out worlds, this is one of the best around.
Five stars for a superb reading of a superb book.
I don't agree with the previous reviews that Roy Dotrice's narration almost ruins the book. He may not be my all time favorite reader but I enjoy listening to books when different accents and inflections are used to differentiate between characters in the story. This does make you have to listen closer sometimes but I like having the story performed. I did have trouble with some names but many are very unusual but similar like, Mallister, Lanister, Waymar, Raydar, Viserys, Daenerys, Illyrio, or Eddard instead of Edward. I did download the book in the 3 format a larger file but there is less distortion in the sound.
One of my favorites
The narration pulls you right in
HBO already has a running series I'm an addict
Great story and an absolutely awesome narrator. He does a different voice for each of the many characters.
Lord of the Rings. similar genre and extensive character development.
This is the first Roy Dotrice narration I have listened to.
It is very hard to put down this story, but the length make it impossible to listen to in one sitting.
All of the books from this series are based on great characters.
I am a voracious reader with fairly eclectic taste. I like both fiction and non-fiction, biography, history and current events. I like well written mysteries and suspense and I love 19th and 20th century classical literature as well as modern fiction. My favorite author is Philip Roth but I also love Trollope, Hardy, Jonathan Franzen, Jane Austen and Edith Wharton. My favorite biographer is Robert Caro.
This is an amazing story that just grabs you and drags you under. Wonderfully read by the father of the actress who played Jane Banks in the movie MARY POPPINS. The characters are more like stock fantasy or science fiction characters than what I usually like but the plotting is terrific. I recommend it for the beach or a drive or a commute...or for people who like good stories. Not much to contemplate, but sometimes a good story is enough.
I greatly appreciate Roy Dotrice's regular reading voice, but in this book, I find his vocal acting to be incredibly annoying; there are a couple of places where I've skipped sections of the book just so I don't have to listen to the huffing and puffing and wet-mouthed saliva sucking.
To add to the frustration, whoever cut the audio together for this book together wasn't paying much attention; nearly every chapter, there are one or two places where two sections overlap; a sentence will be read, then there'll be a long pause, then that same sentence will be repeated, and the book will continue.
The book itself is fine, but I won't spend two credits to listen to the narrator groan and moan his way through another chapter. I'll wait for the miniseries, or get the actual books from the library.
Dear George R.R. Martin,
Your Song of Ice and Fire books have stolen just about every waking hour of mine for the last month. I started with the first book - A Game of Thrones - and didn't stop until I had listened to the entirety of A Dance With Dragons. I am equal parts thrilled to have my life back and heart-broken that it's going to be years before I know how this story ends! Also, Roy Dotrice is an awesome narrator and really brings your characters to life. XOXO!!
The book is well written. The narration is first rate. The characters were interesting.
Despite all this there wasn't enough going on in the story to hold my interest. After reading glowing reviews of this book I thought it would be a real page turner. I was mistaken. I struggled to get through this and wouldn't reccomend it.