I've read the books and love them thought I would try the audio books and I just couldn't get past the 2nd chapter. Mr. Dotrice's accent was so heavy, I could hardly understand him along with mispronunciation of names, terrible voices etc... ugh. Really wanted to like this!
I read the books awhile back so was looking forward to listening to it. The books are outstanding, loved them. Number 1: HEAVILY EDITED. Much was missing which took a lot away from the story. If I were GRRM I would be livid. Number 2: the narrator is HORRIBLE. . Names, places are mispronounced and changed over and over (Sancha instead of Sansa and Pet tire instead of Petyr) throughout. His voices for the characters are downright ridiculous. Tyrion sounds like the Lucky Charms leprechaun and Varys sounds like hes drunk with a need to spit. Don't get me started on the female impersonations. And Hodor....OMG. Take my advise, READ the books. Skip this autrocity. Sad that its the same narrator for the entire series. A huge injustice has been done to these amazing books.
I am a Pharmacist by trade and listen to about 3 longer books per month, having to deal with a long commute :). Audible is quite awesome!!!
***SPOILER ALERT --- Second Paragraph**** Having only read the first installment of what I believe to be six (perhaps seven? Not sure), I would wholeheartedly recommend the story. The characterizations and back stories are deep, complex and dense with information.
***SPOILER ALERT*** The end of Book 1, where the eggs hatch. Very well written and very well prefaced. I missed the first few buildups (there were quite a few such hints), but it was done in such a way you didn't know how the eggs were going to hatch (or more accurately, when). Speaking for myself, of course. Beautifully done.
It amazes me how many voices a performer can bring forth. The British accent was perfect (and necessary). Only two other performers would have been up to the task IMO (Scott Brick or Frank Muller (when he was active)), but their styles were not exactly suited (although the raw talent is certainly there. Mr. Dotrice is perfect for the role and, although I have not checked yet, I am hoping beyond hope he continues to narrate through the entire series.
Oh Lord No. Not possible. WAY too much information that needs to be digested. Certain passages need to be listened to twice, sometimes three times to get the lineage, locations, battle strategies laid out.
I would highly recommend brining up a Game of Thrones Website to help with Lineage and Mapping. I only just started to do this and it helps immensely. All in all, a masterpiece that is equal to Stephen King's Dark Tower Series or J.R.R Tolkien's Hobbit/Ring of Power Series. Nothing beats Mr. Tolkien, however :). What I do is read up to a point where the HBO Episode is represented, then watch what I just read. It's amazing how closely they follow the storyline. A few changes here and there for continuity with screenplay adaptation, but the story itself is not altered in any way.
Then this is a must. The first season of the show matches this book perfectly. Just know that the voices don't match up perfectly to the casting, but that's to be expected as I believe this was done before the show came out. I listened through it twice, and am looking forward to the next book. Great to listen to at work while cranking away on the computer, and I started listening to it while I run.