I was looking for a book to read while I waited for the end of the WOT. I didn't want to really get into another Epic fantasy story as an interim read/listen, however, the sheer number of positive reviews of this series and recommendations from other books made me decide to go for it anyway. Not to mention, if it's two credits it must be something spectacular right?
Unfortunately, I feel a little jipped (sp?) by whoever chose a two credit price for this. Maybe it's a better read than listen although I didn't have any problem with the narrator and thought he did a great job. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the narrator. In fact he's better than some others by far. What completely threw me with this book was the absolutely unnecessary forays into erotica. I couldn't believe it. At no point did it move the story. If the author sought to "be real" and add in incest, wedding nights, brothels, and sadism then so be it. At no point does using these as plot devices require graphic erotica to do so. It all felt basically perverted at worst or lazy at best. Please know I don't mind "realism" or even dark plots and twists to stories. I think they can be some of the best when they do something FOR the story. However, this was not the case in this book. Each time he took the story there I would turn down the volume although the possibility of somehow missing something important to the story would nag at me. After about four times of doing this it was enough. Wasting money (not listening to what I purchased) and feeling let down by such writing does not equal entertainment for me nor something I choose to subject myself to. So, it looks like I'm down about $30 bucks (2 credits) for no good reason.
After listening now to about 15 hours of this and coming to this opinion, I've come back to see if there was something I've missed in all 6,000 reviews. Apparently I'm in the minority, however, others have echoed my own thoughts to the letter. Hearing that the plot doesn't ever get better or near a conclusion despite all of its "realism" is enough for me to cut my losses and try elsewhere.
Overall, it's not a terrible story, nor is it poorly narrated. It just falls epicly short of its current hype. I would not compare it to the great Fantasy writers most especially not Tolkien. I would hope the author himself wouldn't even suggest such a thing and can only assume he does not. I'm sure he wanted to make an "adult" fantasy and be different. Well, the descriptor of "adult" fits but not because it's all grown up or for grown ups. If anything it smacks of pubescent adolescence in sexual theme. As another reviewer stated, if I wanted the political intrigue and scandal of royalty I would read royal history rather than look for it in a Fantasy title. I don't fault the author for that and it is PURELY a matter of my personal preference in Fantasy literature. Unfortunately, his sexual tangents effectively made me unwilling to follow him through his experiment in Fantasy intrigue.
I Like scifi-fantasy,non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight Archive, GoT, Ken Follett's work. Last read: Words of Radiance
George Martin is my favorite author and Roy Dotrice is the best narrator. Very engaging story with beautiful crafted characters. Mr Martin is a genius and the narrator provided one of the best narration ever. If you havent read this series, read it. I was a little intimated from other reviews but I finally decided to go for the first book in the series before watching the HBO series. It is completely worth the 2 credits. I am hooked for the next 4 books in the series.
Starting Clash of Kings tonight.
Just because the story has a sword, a King, and a forest doesn't make it King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Nor does it make it the adventures of Robin Hood. But what a sword, a king and a forest will get you is a british accent that is so freaking dry and boring that I couldn't gut out even the first part. Roy Dotrice, I am sure you are a nice guy and your mother loves you but give up the narrator business and, give me back my money I spent on this snoozer of a audio book. My wife cussed me for wasting the money so I let her listen for a while. She said that It reminded her of Higgins in Magnum P.I. In one his poetry readings. I believe the story is there and I would love to hear it. But give me Scott Brick or George Guidall. This is by far the worst and I have purchaced a bunch from Audible. Don't waste your time.
I really want to read this book. I will READ it... it is too confusing for an audiobook. Too many names and places thrown in all at once ... I started listening to this book 3 times already, and I quit. After reading Book 1, I may try to listen to book 2. Good book and so far narration ok... just difficult to follow in audio format.
I have to be honest, if you ever want to enjoy another book series don't start this one. I find my self comparing everything else to this. Up to now this is simply the best all around story I've heard to date.
This book is the best of two of my favorite genres--fantasy and espionage. I was actually surprised at how much I loved this book. Just couldn't stop listening. I love the way the characters are interwoven as the author switches back and forth from their respective story lines. By the time he switches back to a familiar character, I can wait to find out what's happening with them. The character development is excellent. You get to know them well, but this book is not a character study. Even the children in the story are so well developed that their own plot lines are as interesting as the adults. Must say, HBO also did an excellent job with this adaptation. But, of course, the book is always better. I couldn't wait to start the second in the series. I'm so glad the first 4 were written by the time I caught on to this series so I didn't have to wait for the next release. One word of caution...unlike many fantasy books that are appropriate for older kids and tweens, this one is NOT. It includes both graphic sexuality and violence. Well worth the time.
This is the first of the series, introducing the characters and the complex world of Houses Stark and Baratheon. The story is intricate and interesting, and Roy Dotrice does a superb job of pulling the reader in. It is a brutal, political story with enough description to bring the world fully alive.
As others have said, this very long novel is only the beginning of the saga. I highly recommend it and its sequels.
Great story, 33 hours but held my rapt attention all the way from Maine to Wash DC and back!
Martin does a great job of developing characters at a timely pace and not getting bogged down in particular storylines. Great pace. Dotrice is awesome. I put off listening for several months not sure of enduring the length. But it is a no brainer purchase.