The story was OK, but Martin is no Tolkein whom he seems to want to emulate. The violence was not frightening and the descriptions of sex was more disgusting than anything else. He seems to show an interesting mixture of having powerful women and yet treating women in general in the way that some sort of misogynistic porn producer might.
There are interesting characters and he develops them very well. It's just that Martin's writing is fairly boring. I don't mean the story, I mean the writing.
I don't want to paint a terribly bleak picture. The story does hold your attention and keep you waiting for what is about to happen. I would have liked to have him develop more of some of the characters I cared more about, but then that is personal preference.
Finally, the narration is just atrocious. Dotrice seems to think that all fantasy characters speak with an accent somewhere between a brogue and a Sheffield - Cockney mix. Several characters have their voices change halfway through the stories, and in one case in the middle of a book. At first I thought he was trying to demonstrate a significant change in the character, but no, it is just a mistake.
All in all, I give it a "Meh".
I love this story but the narrator's terrible reading made it so annoying I almost quit listening. A good reading needs more than just the ability to perform multible voices. I will read the rest of the series.
I really disliked his female voices. Many of them, including Daenerys Targaryen sound like old hags.
The audio edition is good, barring a few issues.
The multiple threads are handled deftly, and are presented well
Roy Dotrice sounds like he is reading the book for the first time. Lines that clearly have specific inflections are read flatly. His accent ranges from British to Scottish.
No extreme reaction
Please edit the book to eliminate the doubling up of sentences that occurred at the end and beginning of each CD.
This book likely is a great story. As a book to listen to - it's tough. There are a lot of characters and a lot of voices. I needed a cheat sheet of characters to keep the story straight. While it's 33 hours of narration, if you want to follow the story and all the characters you'll be repeating sections of the book. It takes a lot longer to fully ingest this story.
I eventually gave up on the listen and read the paperbook. I'll go back and listen again though.
Eddard "Ned" Stark has been made Hand of the King. A job that he really doesn't want but he cannot refuse the King Robert Baratheon anything. Ned doesn't know what the future holds for House Stark but one thing is sure~he will do his best for King and land. Ned Stark's children find young Direwolf pups and they are shared among the children. Ned Stark is trying to keep peace among the houses yet there is so much in fighting amongst them. Robert Baratheon, King of the seven kingdoms, knows that war is loaming over his kingdom yet doesn't see how to avert it. Ceresi Lannister, wife and queen to Robert Baratheon, wants to see House Stark in ruin and doesn't care how it happens just that it does. Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister befriends Jon Snow, Ned Stark's bastard son, on the road to King's Landing. Jon Snow is going for training to be a Knight in the Night's Watch. Daenerys Targaryen also known as Stormborn is living in exile along with her brother Viserys. Viserys marries Daenerys to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki in the hopes of an alliance. Daenerys is frightened of her brother and does as he commands. She love Khal Drogo and understands the Dothraki people better than her brother does thanks to Ser Jorah Mormont. What will Ned Stark do? Is Robert Baratheon a fit king? Will Ceresi get her way? How does Jon Snow fair in training? Will the Targaryen reclaim their home? What part does the Dothraki play? Can they all play the game of thrones? Your answers await you in A Game of Thrones.
We spent 2 weeks and many many hours on a big road trip, and after finishing all 3 books of the Hunger Games series we launched into A Song of Ice and Fire. The miles rolled away underfoot and not once did anyone complain about the long hours of driving - in fact we returned with hours yet before finishing the book, and my teens (16 and 19 year old sons) are wondering when we will make the time to finish the book while at home.
Roy Dotrice is a splendid reader, and while the story is complex and character names take a while to grasp purely through the hearing of them, it soon settles into the rhythm of character-based chapters and plenty of suspense to keep us moving.
The only complaint I have is in the editing. There are far too many places where a sentence is repeated in my iPhone-download version, and that breaks the spell of the listening.
Highly recommended for older teens only (fairly graphic violence and enough sexual content that it was a good thing Mom was in the front seat and the boys in the back so no uncomfortable eye contact could be made). I will be keen to continue the series - as long as Mr Dotrice is the reader throughout.
This is a great story. A lot better than the HBO series. Beware you won't be able to stop after the first book.
I like middle ages stories.
I would highly recommend this book in audio format. So much of the story is descriptive in nature and if you are at all a fast reader, you will skip sections. Driving in the car or sitting around, you won't hit the fast forward, where your eyes would definitely skim ahead to the the action bits!! I tried the books three times, then settled on listening to the series. Epic improvement!!! :)
When someone I expected to be around to the end was dispatched with extreme prejudice...
Pretty much any scene with John Snow...
The book is epic in scope... it hits all the emotions at one time or another!!!
This book/series has already become part of our culture... If you read/listen - and if a bit of rough language or action do not offend you - you should definitely have this in your collection. After all... Winter is coming!!!
All the best,