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.
This is an epic story, written from the viewpoint of many of the main characters. Each one of these viewpoints could be a book by itself. When combined they create a complex web that is incredibly detailed.
But after listening to the first three novels, with well over 80 hours invested, I'm coming away disappointed for a couple of reasons.
There are so many characters, most with multiple names and nicknames, that they become very difficult to keep track of. I wouldn't mind that, as the author invests a considerable amount of time building most of these characters. The problem is that the author then will almost casually kill them off. I'm at the end of the 3rd book now, and many of the characters that early on seemed to be critical to the story are gone. After awhile you find yourself thinking 'Well, there's no point in getting to know this character, because he/she will be dead soon'.
It also seems apparent at this point that there is a great menace that at some point becomes part of the story, in fact it may be the point of the entire series. The problem is that I'm at the end of the 3rd book, well over 80 hours into it, and I still don't know what that is or when we'll get to it.
I'm throwing in the towel here. Most of the characters I cared about are dead, the minute-by-minute detail of the lives of other characters (that may soon be dead) is getting tiring, and the actual point of the series, which so far has been only hinted at, has been drowned out by minutia.
Roy Dotrice is an amazing reader, and is one of the reasons I've hung in this long. However I see from other comments that he doesn't read the 4th book in the series, and that the change is quite jarring, another good reason to stop here.
I gave the story 3 stars, and the reader 5, which overall made it 4 stars. I was interesting, and I'm not sorry I invested the time, but I'll wait to see if abridged version come out before I bother with the rest.
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.
No. Here's the thing. The story never ends. It just goes on and on and on. There's no pay off.
Doubtful. The story is okay, but he never wraps anything up.
Roy is great with male voices, but struggles with female voices. I might have suggested 2 actors, one for each gender, otherwise, he's very good.
Good grief no. It's 30 hours long.
You might spend your time more efficiently reading a 3 or 4 page summary of each book.
Don't be fooled by the quality of the writing. Mr. Martin can make words flow, it's a shame he doesn't understand honest fore shadowing, character relationships & plot development. Do not expect this book to be a page turner except to hurry ahead to find some meat that is actually developed, There is action but he sets up situations that could fill a 100 pages & then kills the character or cuts away as if to say there is a maximum length to each chapter or never develops the relationships or action promised in earlier fore shadowing. Unfortunately I bought all 5 in the series at the time of my original purchase of a Game of Thrones hoping the quality of proses meant the story was just slow to develop but these books are like a bad daytime soap with no reason for anything other than bad acting & plot. I am 1/2 way through book 4 & still waiting for peyton place to become the great adventure it easily could be but nothing yet. Only more meaningless characters showing up to waste my time and disappear or change fundamentally in character. Whoever compared this author to Tolkien couldn't get past the R. R. in the name. Tolkien he ain't!
I love a good mystery where we try to follow the clues until the end where a cute twist ties it all up but a cardinal rule is never lie to the reader or waste their time. Its ok not to use the gun on the table in the den in scene one in the final act but not ok for the author to highlight someone pick it up, sneak it into his pocket and set up his relationship with the gun only to never see it again and then have someone else kill the victim in the last scene in the kitchen with a butcher knife randomly grabbed in the sink when the struggle begins.
If I could do it over, I would not have bought these books. But on a bright note, when James Lee takes over narration in the book 4 there will be no more complaints about the narrator! He's good!
This book at first struck me as having gratuitous sex and vulgarity. And it's a lot more graphic than is necessary. And the pacing is rather slow. But, it has an intresting plot and subplots. Layers of intrigue and deception that make it rather addictive. I just wish it would hurry up a little and reduce the sex scenes. Overall, I liked it.
I would love to see this as an epic movie on the big screen. Full of pagentry , intrigue and the conflicts of great men. This is the beginning of an obsessive journey that will engulf you for over 30 hours... and this is just the beginning.
This book had a fantastic rating, and was recommended by a radio personality I like. I was excited about getting started. But...
This book goes on and on forever. It is just a soap opera, read beautifully. All characters you care about are maimed or killed off. The first scene is your clue to this! But then it's too late. You already WASTED your two credits. Annoying characters live on forever. The sex and gore are gratuitous. I found myself listening at 2x speed, then 3x speed, then skipping some. When the first book ended, I said WHAT? He's strung me along this far, do I want more of this purgatory? Who cares who ends up on the throne? The winter is coming? Not in my lifetime! I went to Wikipedia and started reading the synopsis of each of the rest of the books. That alone was more than I wanted. It really is a soap opera.
So now I have zero credits, and a book I want to completely remove from my library.
I feel bad for humanity that so many people actually liked this.
Not interesting enough to invest the significant amount of time required to listen. Trite phrasing and character development. Probably a better movie where visuals can replace some of the mundane narrative.
The first volume in George R.R. Martin's fabulous A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series is destined to become a classic. Anything you could want in a fantasy novel is here-adventure, magic, mystery, romance, intrigue, tragedy and betrayal. No one in the book is "good" or "bad;" they are just people with their own motivations. Much realism is added because Martin does something rare for a writer: He kills off likable characters. It is a shock when this happens, but in life that's just the way it is.
The usual battles with a little magic does exist. But intrigue and betrayal, along with the evil in man's heart, is the order of the day here. The plot constantly twists and turns keeping the listener in suspense. Roy Dotrice's narration is superb, his gruff voice fits with the harsh environment. I have owned A GAME OF THRONES since 2004. During that time I have listened to this grand tale 5 times. It is rare that I listen to any audiobook more than once. Each time I listen I find myself just as mesmerized as the first time. This book is a true masterpiece.