If you are:
* looking for a story with clearly good or evil characters
* looking for a story with a happy ending (good people do not die, the good guy always wins)
* easily offended (sexual descriptions, discrimination, foul language, etc.)
* looking for a world similar to Tolkien's
Then this book is NOT for you.
However, if you are looking for great fiction with realistic characters then in my opinion, you will find none better than this. Roy Dotrice does an excellent job of reading, and I thoroughly enjoyed they way he brought the story to life.
critic at large
This is storytelling at its finest, both Mr. Martin's writing and Mr. Dotrice's narration. A downloadable map and genealogy somewhere would make it a little easier to follow at the beginning, but even without those the story just sweeps you away.
I would have to completely disagree with the reviews here that take issue with the reading of this fascinating story. I would rate any audiobook according to three criteria - one, the writing (just as with any book); two, the storytelling (for, when a book is read to you, you are truly in the grips of a storyteller); and three, the reading (a strory well told is much enhanced when it is also well read).
As a book, and judged on the writing alone, this is an amazing and fascinating tale. Martin blends together a history of the realm, a study and narration of differing cultures, an intimate look at family histories and an epic tale of fantasy. In so doing, his descriptive talents are sometimes simply awesome. When you get to the part where a character first dreams of his encounter with a crow, you will truly know you are being treated to the talents of a great writer.
The storytelling itself grabs ahold of you and refuses to release you. You will probably find yourself driving in to work a wee bit slower or perhaps pausing in the parking lot of your office after your morning commute as you hang on while being pulled along by the pace and plot changes of a well told story.
And as for the reader, his abilities to give unique voice to the characters adds so much to the characterization of the author. One understands more about the complex character that is the "imp" because the reader has imbued so much more into the character just through the use of his terrifc reading talents. There are many other examples where the reader seems to have latched onto the character's nature and then passes it along so well, with meaning and depth solely through his voice talents.
If you are a fan of excellent fantasy writing, a story well told and a story well read - I highly recommend A Game of Thrones.
The series is one of best i've ever read/listened. The story is so deep. The reader does an excellent job, each of the hundreds of characters has a distinct voice that remains consistant throughout all of the books. Just awesome!
Roy Dotrice is a tremendous talent. Never have I heard a narrator bring a story more to life. The actor's dramatic interpretation of the text aided by his wide range of accents and voices breathes Fire and Ice into an epic and richly crafted tale of Magic, Kings and Dragons. Three Cheers and 5 Stars to this incomparable writing and narrating team. Here's hoping they will continue to collaborate and add to this gripping and engaging series.
Having read the three currently available books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, I was very excited to introduce them to my wife via Audible.com. After reading the negative reviews about the reader, I was leery; I did not want a bad reader to ruin one of the best fantasy sagas of all time. We gave it a shot anyway, and are extremely glad we did.
First let me say, in my opinion, this work of fiction is one of the most captivating, wide scoped and all encompassing works written. Martin's mix of fantasy and reality is what makes this series stand out. Unlike many other writers of this genre, Martin never lets you forget these are "real" people, with "real" feelings and needs. You will not find the knight in shining armor here; everyone has a past, everyone has a secret, no one is safe.
As for the reader, he, like many of the characters in the story, grows and matures as they do. His telling has added to the story, not taken away. I think perhaps a few of the negative reviews are more a reflection of the complexity of the story, rather than Roy's telling. If anything, I think the editor of the audio could have done a better job. If you remember that each chapter in this book is not numbered, but rather is titled by the name of a character who's perspective we are about to take, you'll be much better off. Sometimes, there is no pause between the end of a chapter and the beginning of another (it just sounds like the start of the next sentence). Since the chapters are not traditionally titled, this can lead to confusion.
This is not a story that one can passively enjoy. It is one that demands your attention and focus. Roy, appropriately, demands the same. Remember my little hint regarding the chapters, and you'll be fine!
Cheers to a fabulous story, and a telling to remember.
George RR Martin is a GENIUS!!! I cannot remember when was the last time I felt this excited and enchanted by a book. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!
This series is amazing. This is praise I do not often give. Although a little confusing at first due to the extreme depth and the vast number of characters, once you have 4 or 5 hours invested in the story you will be hooked. George RR Martin has created a tale unlike any of his fantasy genre predessesors. I'm now on the third book and after about 100 hours of listening to Roy Dotrice's storytelling, I can think of nothing else but Westeros. You will not be dissappointed.