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.
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.
Would I change anything about the book itself? No. Well, the long lists of names of Garwen, son of Grabain etc, which are a bit Lord of the Rings-like, and there is a good chance that you will never see those characters again. But I logged on in order to write a review of the performance, not the book.
Tyrion, because of his indefatigable wit
In almost every possible way. Roy Dotrice has a lovely reading voice, a proper actorrrr in the old-school British sense. But throughout the series (I am now listening to the fourth book), he cannot read a name the same way twice, sometimes even changing it from one minute to another. For example Brienne, who he decides from the beginning to pronounce "Bra-eene", became "Bri-enne" for a few sweet moments in the fourth book, alternating back and forth to his first wrongly-pronounced choice. Targaryen, a pretty important surname, is mostly Tregaryen, sometimes Tergaryen, or whatever comes to hand first. Joffrey is Jeffrey quite often, Catelyn is Kate-lyn or Kat-lyn, Gilly becomes Jilly, and so on. I mean, did anyone in the publisher ever listen to this? For $40 per book, you would expect at least a perfunctory listen by a semi-conscious editor. And as he so often changed pronounciations from one book to another, did he even know that he was reading books from a series?And that's even before I start talking about the voices or accents. Now, Mr Dotrice was not a young man when he read these books, so he always sounds reasonably mature, so there was never any need to actually put on an old person's voice, when reading the parts of 30yr olds or 40yr olds, was there, really. He makes young fresh knights sound like old retired army colonels, any non-aristrocratic woman sound like a toothless old hag, and a huge amount of the 'ordinary' people incredibly stupid. Gendry is meant to be an un-educated guy, not a clinically thick one. It's so painful listening to his dim-witted voice for Gendry, or the completely constipated interpretation of Tywin Lannister, unable to get through a sentence without huffing and puffing every 4 words, that I wanted to skip through the chapters they were in.Lastly - accents. Roy Dotrice showed an astonishing lack of knowledge of some pretty simple premises - that Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister were all children of Tywin, for example, and were brought up by him in the same place. I know this is a fictional universe and our accents do not apply, so when I say that Tyrion Lannister had a Welsh accent, Cersei spoke Received Pronounciation, and Jaime was another constipated toff, I am just trying to say that 3 siblings had very different accents, when you would think they had the same. I liked to think that maybe Dotrice had realised his mistake in book 2, as he switches Jaime's to a bit more Welsh, but it's still Tyrion and Jaime in the Welsh camp vs Cersei and Tywin in the English. And as I have just noticed that Arya has been changed to Irish in the fourth book, it seems he picks accents and voices at random as yet another character turns up, and it's luck of the draw if he will remember which combination he used if he comes across them again.There are some other howling errors of inflexion and pentameter, where he must have realised that he read it wrong, but neither he nor anyone thought to get him to press rewind and try the sentence again. I listen to a lot of Radio 4, so am spoiled by the excellent voice actors who are clearly well directed and edited, so perhaps I am a little picky. But we are paying good money (or credits), not listening to a free radio service, and we are trying to be transported to a land of make-belief through our willing suspension of disbelief, so having these glaring and irritating errors bringing us back to this world of apathy, laziness and lack of pride in a job done, is like a slap (or many, in this case) in the face.I would dearly love to have a decent voice actor do all these again; someone who might actually quickly peruse the books beforehand and make notes of who is related to whom and where they come from, and perhaps even note their own pronounciations. Dotrice is/was allegedly friends with the author which is absolutely astounding - yet another person who didn't call him up on his mistakes! I know it's not just me bemoaning this. Anyone listening to these with a modicum of attention would notice it within minutes.
Waste lots of my time researching it, rather than working or studying.
I love the Game of Thrones series on HBO so let's just get that out of the way. And it may not be fair to compare Roy Dotrice's performance to those of the amazing actors on the show, but it's really hard to listen to his vocalizations of Tyrion and Varys after seeing them so expertly portrayed by Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill.
If you are coming to the books fresh, you may find Mr. Dotrice a good narrator. He does put a lot of variety in his characterizations and inflections. It's just that for me they were almost all bad choices.
Plus, the language of the books is very unique and Mr. Dotrice's accents did not assist in understanding. There were multiple moments when I was unclear if I didn't understand what he was saying because it was literally a foreign language (e.g. Dothraki), a specifically medieval reference (e.g. portcullis), or I just couldn't make out the English word he was saying (e.g. Did he say wolf or wife???). I was constantly rewinding to re-listen to sections and wishing I had a transcript. Oh wait, I do, it's called the book!
In fact, I ended up buying a box set of the first four books in paperback, returning my purchase of the second book on Audible and I've found great joy in simply reading them.
The entire series is comprised of amazing writing and storytelling that I just could not allow to be further destroyed for me by Roy Dotrice. I would not discourage anyone from jumping into the world of Ice and Fire, in fact just the opposite, but you should be very wary of these recordings.
I have yet to listen to it because it's unbearable to listen to.
I probably would recommend the book but not the audible version. I know I'll read the book eventually.
Probably anyone with a little more enthusiasm.
I have no idea if Roy is better in other books but it's very hard to get into a book if the reader isn't in to it himself.
A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I just finished a listening marathon of the 5 volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire (volumes 1-5). Trust me, it was a long marathon! If the story of the 7 kingdoms was not good, I would not have finished it...or have I. I normally do not like a series where you have to follow each book or clarity is lost or the story confusing. This is a must for this series in order to understand who's who and why things are happening as they are or why someone who appears dead lives. From this final volume, it would appear that there are more volumes to follow. This makes me sad. I wish this had been the last and things were more or less wrapped up as opposed to so many story lines dangling. There is much repetition. There are lots of twist and turns as you follow political and plots and schemes as well as character evolvement.
While I would like to know how it ends (if ever), I don't know that I will invest the time and Audible credits to continue. Do I regret my investment? No.
I must address the narrator, Roy Dotrice. He has a good voice and reads well. Listening to the five volumes in tandem, I found myself hearing different people with similar voices. This did not really bother me much, it's really just a nit. What was not a nit were the voices of women. They are just not right. Oh, the accents are good but they don't sound really feminine. The voice of the girl queen is especially off. She sounds old and scratchy. With so many characters to voice, the narration might be better served with at least one other person (a woman) added.
With roughly 201 listening hours, each book must be quite hefty. I mention this as a warning to those who do not like really long books.
the narration by Mr. Dotrice, I could harely understand him, I understand the need for various voice changes but at least be understandable,I am sure I've missed parts as I could not get what he was saying.. it is very hard to listen to..
yes, I bought the series, but after the first part of this book I was already regreating it..
talks like a bad drunk
I heard such great things about this series, but had I just bought book 1 I would never have felt the need to listen to the others, but since I bought them all I am slowly, very slowly muddleing through them.
there are so many people in this book, that I felt the need to go buy the paper book (second hand) just to go back to see whos whos, its a very confusing story, jumping from one persons story to another and it seems to have 15-20 different peoples storyline and it always left you at a point of" OH NO, WHAT HAPPEN" then jumps to another storyline....
I just finished book 2, I feel a little more in the known now, but not by much...
this series may take me much much longer..... not a good thing, I have jump to new audiobook I have purchased, only coming back to this when there is nothing new on my itunes to listen too...
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!!
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.
The story was interesting with several plot lines. The characters were entertaining. It was on the brutal side. The author kills and mutilates characters without any thought. I did not like the end...because there is no end. It feels like the book ends in mid sentence only to continue to the next book. There is not one of the seven different plot that comes to any conclusion at all. I wanted to figuratively chuck the book through the window. It was beyond infuriating. In discussing the book with others I discovered all the books end that way. Then the author takes 5 years to write the next book. I am still angy about the ending and I dont know if I will read the next one. The reader is average at best.