First off, I'm not a huge reader. I'm an extremely slow reader and I don't have very good reading retention. Not to mention the fact that I don't have a ton of time to read and can't read while on the plane or in the car because of motion sickness. But I do enjoy listening to a good audiobook while on plane flights, long car rides, eating lunch at my desk, laying in bed at night or even just mowing the lawn. I enjoy a great narrator who is an excellent voice actor and I even enjoy the productions with music and sound effects. I compare audiobooks to the radio plays of the 1920's, 30's and 40's.
Prior to listening to this book I had heard from several of my friends and read numerous reviews about how good this collection of books was. I had watched the first season of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" and I enjoyed it thouroughly so figured I would go ahead and give the books a try.
I love the story and the writing style. The description of the characters, what their thinking, the plotlines, drama, conflicts and action. I enjoy an audiobook even more when the narrator does voices for each individual character. That's the love part of the review.
Hate may be too strong of a word for the rest the review. Dislike might even be too strong. I'm not a fan of Dotrice as a narrator (acting is a different story). I can tolerate him, but he in no way matches the likes of two of my favorite narrators, Mark Thompson or Jim Dale. A lot of the voices that Dotrice does are extremely similar. With other narrators, no two voices are alike. As one of the other reviewers put it, even the female characters (including the young girls) sound like 70 or 80 year old men sometimes. Some of the inflections that he uses when reading the lines make the conversations between characters seem extremely dry and emotionless. But again, I can tolerate it and he doesn't completely ruin the book for me. Afterall, I'm listening to it because I don't want to read it.
One of the other things that bugs me about this audiobook is the chapter splits seem to be way off. I downloaded the files straight to my iPod using the Audible app. When listening to the file, the chapter splits appear to be in the middle of a conversation. Then throughout the chapter, there appear to be natural breaks which would seem to be the actual chapter break. I don't know if this is just a problem with the files on my iPod and the chapter breaks got screwed up somehow when I downloaded it or if the original files on the Audible server are incorrect.
Outstanding narration really brought the story, characters to life! Roy Dotrice voice is incredible! Have passed this one on to my my entire family! Wonderful!
The book was great, it kept you on the edge of your seat. Unlike any I have ever read where you know the main characters will make it through the book or most of the way, you never know from minute to minute who will be killed off. I stayed surprised. The only disappointment if the abundance of explicit sexual details including same sex encounters. I have a good imagination and don't need every single detail spelled out. I am not a prude but felt it had too much. It took away from the story. The narrator was very good.
A Game of Thrones is a well-written story, with different characters' perspectives woven together to tell a tale of adventure, power, and honor. Great in the fantasy genre as well as in the literature genre.
I usually don't listen to books that I've not first read in written form, but A Game of Thrones is an exception. Roy Dotrice's excellent narration kept me engaged and interested. I definitely recommend this as both an audiobook and as a book to read.
educator and technologist
Great characters, great story, great read. I've read it twice and watched the HBO series. With the series I've started re-reading them all.
Several reviews were tepid about the reader Roy Dotrice, but I thought the performance was superb, and made the book for me. I had not read the book prior to listening, so had no pre-formed conclusions.
I also had a couple of long drives, so I was able to listen to large parts of the book at one "sitting".
All in all a great performance!
I am quite sure I would have enjoyed this if the narrator didn't deliver in such a monotone voice.
The story worries me like the first encounter of a Dire Wolf and satiates like the "Milk of The Puppy" (poppy, I know but the phrase sticks). It's an excellent epic story with complicated relationships, intricate politics, sex, violence, disaster, and glory. Martin seems to have no problem killing off a major character thus causing us readers anguish and anxiety at every scene.
You'd think "so and so" would last through the entire series and be the Frodo Baggins/ Ender Wiggan/ Darth Vader/ Harry Potter of the series?
Here, the mystery and intrigue is palpable because we have no idea who will still be around. I try to distance my feelings for these characters for this reason but Martin is such a great writer that he Makes me interested in them anyway.
Roy Dotrice is an excellent reader. He reminds me of Patrick Tull or George Guidall, superb salty voiced readers who render their characters with grit, fire and hard earned experience. What he lacks in young feminine voices, he more than makes up for with his multi male voices. There are hundreds of characters with varying degrees of intelligence, education and class and Dotrice does a handy job at voicing many of them.
At times the many many characters makes the story a little more confusing with an audiobook than with an actual book book where you have the luxury of quickly skimming back to, say chapter two, to check the name of some guy you read about. However this is a great start to what promises to be an excellent series.
I have read a lot of books in my forty-eight years on the planet, and this is in my top ten. I hope the rest of the series can maintain the same level of excitement. If you love fantasy, this will be right up your alley.
This could have been an interesting listen, but the narrator was not right for it. This needs someone like the narrator for the Harry Potter series, someone who uses inflection and emphasis and wit and differentiates among characters. But this voice churns along with the same tone, on and on. Too bad.