This is not the type of book I normally read; however, it has enthralled my entire family, so I finally gave in! I listen during my morning and evening commute and I almost am saddened when I arrive home at night because I am on the edge of my seat and can't wait until I can hear more! The detail of the land and its inhabitants is incredible and the story is absolutely riveting!
Danaerys Targaryen is my favourite character. I love that she has integrated into Dothraki society so completely and has assumed her power!
His voice is fabulous and the different voices he lends to each character - amazing!!
Too many to count, but I loved the golden crown - it's always nice when a villain gets their comeuppance!
Since its the only one it is on top.
The first battle between lion and wolf, that damn trumpet.
The damn trumpet, the other interments were good too but that trumpet.
Is this not already a successful show on the HBO?
DADAAADADAAADADAAA, damn that trumpet.
Martin is a decent author and his characters are complex and strong but I wouldn't put him at the top of my favorite fantasy author list.
The book jumps from person to person which is normal in a book this long. Some people like this, others do not. I don't mind it but I do enjoy some of the characters more than others.
Many people have complained that main characters get killed off. Those people must not have read much fantasy because in every good series I've ever read, main characters get killed off. This is not a romance novel or a Stephen King novel where the hero is left standing with all his favorite people. The fantasy genre is known for killing off main characters. This is why I truly believe this series is as popular as it is because of the HBO version of it. People who would normally never read a fantasy book are picking it up because of the amazing job HBO does with their series.
That said, what HBO does best is skim over the less glamorous parts and highlights the action. Martin tends to get bogged down in political minutia and I find myself tuning out. The first 1/2 of the book was slow to ramp up and the second 1/2 is where all the action happens. To me it was a very typical introductory book to a very long series but not my favorite series.
I will listen to the next and most likely the entire series simply because some of the characters are very cool. I would not put this in the same league at Tolkien or Sanderson but he has potential and a neat premise. I'd like to see where he goes with it.
Asa sci fi/fantasy reader, I'm no stranger to the way authors of these genres use sexism, misogyny, homophobia, oppressive gender norms, troubling Western/Christian ideals and other vile bias to create what they think and their readers think is an "authentic" or "believable" universe, because readers (and authors) are comfortable with it, but Martin is a Olympic champion at it. You name, he's got it, excessively. As a woman reader, the constant, endless references to women as objects, possessions, lower beings, "spoils of war" that men have the right to brutally rape, as commodities that can be sullied and thus are worth more as "virginal", young, inexperienced (i.e. more easily manipulated for a man's wishes), all pretty tedious and obnoxious. Same too with the theme of "bastards" who are deemed a lower status simply because of the "dishonor" of who their mother was (or rather, wasn't). And to top it all off, we get the nasty portrayal of the incestuous female twin who is shown as unlikeable, vindictive and conniving, while her male and equally incestuous twin is regularly referenced as being persuasive, admired and likeable by contrast. Yes, there are "strong" female characters who navigate around this world with its oppressive norms, but these are all tales already told, many times, by far better writers during a time such stories needed to be told. This is was written less that a decade before the 21th century, so Martin gets no merit badge for such hackery. What bothers me is, if Martin could imagine a world so detailed and expansive like this, why couldn't he imagine one that isn't grounded in such misogynist Western Christian patriarchy?
It doesn't stop there: men are mocked (in 3rd person narration as well as by the characters) for having female qualities or being "as weak as a girl". Rigid Western norms of gender roles and marriage are so commonplace you think the Religious Right would endorse this as a How-To manual for upholding their ideals for marriage and gender. The narration also makes passing references to the whole typical class of subhumans often lumped together whenever there was need to reference social status: "whores", "sluts", the sickly, the lame, "bastards" and of course, anyone who isn't heterosexual. Why? Why does this story needs all this? If is was Dickens, sure, but this isn't Dickens. It's a supposedly contemporary writer writing for a supposedly contemporary audience.
All that garbage aside, Martin does manage to create a few pretty good characters who stand up despite their awfully hackeyed context: Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Arya Stark namely. These character's stories make the book a OK, but not great read.
As for the audiobook, it was decent, but I found the "gimp voice'" that narrator Dotrice used for Tyrion Lannister to be rather offensive as well as grating. It drove me to listen to the whole audiobook of 3x narrator speed so I didn't have to suffer through it as much as on normal speed. I don't know why Dotrice made that narrating choice but I am glad that in the HBO series they got an actor like Peter Dinklage who knows how to say "no" to noxious ableist bullarky like that. Seriously, do people still think little people talk like that these days?
I have only listened to two audio books so far and they were both exxcellent.
Aria was my favorite in both the TV series and the audiobook.
At 30 plus hours i doubt it would be possible, I just listen when I'm driving.
I'd highly reccomend this book to anyone who enjoyed the series.
the story itself.... i actually don't enjoy the narration as much as i wish i did.
none, really. this is not, ordinarily, my genre of choice, but i enjoy the tv show & wanted to read the book (it only seems right, right?). this first book is exactly the same as the first season of the tv show, so if you've seen it, you know what's coming. what i DID like, however, was (as was told to me by a friend in a similar position), the book helps clear up and make more tangible, the back story, which the tv show has to speed past or takes for granted-- so I appreciated that.
yes. the pace in general was fine, but there are moments when the sentences seem to take him too long to get through. like he's tired or his throat hurts... it affects the flow of the moment.
overall i think dotrice's performance is a little strange. some of his character voices are very hard to listen to. i cringed anytime the crow would start cawing-- the recording seemed to get louder and his voice (the "crow's" voice) was just so grating. a few of his characters' voices sound like they have a lump of phlegm caught in their throats and i found myself hoping they'd stop talking soon too. his female voices are ok, but a little... basic. his Tyrion & Ned Stark were my favorites to listen to. i noticed a number of "weirdnesses" that i was surprised weren't edited or re-recorded. there are a number of times when he (in a single paragraph) will mis-pronounce joffrey as "jeffery" or jeff instead of joff. he also makes the mistake of reading a piece of exposition in a "voice" instead of just his own narrator voice, so it'll sound, for a sentence or a few words, like a woman is saying the stage direction in addition to the line, for example. i ended up being overly aware of those mis-steps, which was irksome.
***:::::SPOILER::::**** yes... *the* scene with ned was very well written & read.
im still going to get the other books, because this is the primary way i have time to read now. hoping the narration will get tighter as it goes along. or at least, that the crow isn't in the story too much longer.
I've listened to people on the trains talk about the HBO version of this book for over a year now. I've also seen many people reading the books. I decided to read the books because reading the book first always fills in the gaps the TV/movie version always leaves out. Here I was not disappointed. The storyline is very in depth with it all being weaved together very carefully. Here we meet some of the main characters of the story line and we see some depart as with all stories. We see where one persons actions long ago affect everyone today. For those that have seen the TV show and not read the book I recommend reading it. Here you will learn more than anyone watching the TV show and when it comes to discussion you'll have a better understanding of the whole story better than anyone watching the show. I'm now in book two and enjoying it quite a bit.
Avid reader through college now with no time to read. Audiobooks saved my life!
First off, I have read and now listen to a ton of sci-fi and fantasy books. This seemed right up my alley but for some reason, I could never work up to caring about most of the characters or story line. Yes, there were some good set-pieces in the plot and some things that "worked" for me but overall, I found this book slow and tedious. I didn't make it through the 3rd book, just not willing to invest all the time in the parts I didn't like just to get back to the ones I did. Like Tom Clancy, Martin seems to like to interweave very dull, boring plot elements/characters with more interesting ones, almost as if the dull creates artificial interest in the better parts.
When you compare this series to something like The Way of Kings or The King Killer Chronicles, well, to me there is no comparison. Game of thrones has some sex, violence and I guess enough characters to appeal to just about anyone. The problem is that if you are like me, there is bound to be parts of this book/series, large parts where you are just not interested.
Oh, and add to that the fact that after 2.5 of these books, I still have absolutely no idea what they are about or where the story is going. I get the basic plot but it has to be more about in fighting between families and the change of the weather. Seriously?
I have never read the print version. I've only seen the TV series
All of the characters are narrated in a personal way that it makes you feel like you're listening to different people speaking. The story really comes alive.
I haven't listened to any other of his stories but because of my experience here, I'm looking forward to getting more in the series.
It's already a hit TV series so I fail to see the point of adding a tag line
I was very impressed with this experience. I took the free trial and decided to use my free credit on a story that I already knew well in case I wouldn't be able to follow along or get lost between 'reading' breaks. However the story was so well narrated that I couldn't stop listening. It's one thing to have a great story but having a great reader in Roy Dotrice is what makes it worth it. Each character has their own personality beyond the text because of the different voices and cadence he uses. Listening to this book was like listening to someone actually telling me a story.
Say something about yourself!
I was pretty skeptic coming in, I didn't really like the TV series. I mean, I didn't hate it, I thought it was ok, but always found it a bit slow paced and laborious to watch. It might be just that my English isn't good enough to appreciate all the twists and turns of the conspiracies and plottings of the world. I have always disliked scheming, it might be because I'm not smart enough but there you go.
When I then was told I should read this as a book, I thought it would be even more boring. My wife insisted I should read it and involuntarily I agreed.
It was pretty much as I had thought, the story rolled on pretty much as it did on TV. Something was different though, I'm not sure why but somehow everything just worked better. It might be that I was prepared for the things I hated on the television series. I still think some characters are killed too soon. I understand why, but it just seems like a dick thing to do, to give you one nice character and then kill him right away just to make the point that you can't be nice in this world, as it's ruled by assholes. I mean I get it, but it just made me angry, guess it was supposed to...
And I think therein lies the greatness of the book, you really feel the character and sympathize with them. Every character in diverse and realistic. Even the scheming feels pretty much as I think it must have been in the politics of middle age courts.
One thing that I think is even greater than the book itself is the narrator. Holy crap. This guy was amazing! I would easily recommend anyone to listen, rather than to read this book. He has a different voice for every character, he laughs when they laugh and cries when they cry. If anyone ever deserved full points for anything, surely it's Roy Dotrice for his epic work here.
It's a great book. I stand corrected after listening through, and instantly bought the next book. Also I think this book has changed my mind about scheming a bit too, Therion Lannister is such a great character, I quite like following his plotting. Maybe in the following books I even grow to like Varys and Little finger too.