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A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 | [George R. R. Martin]

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: A favorite of Audible listeners, the first book in Martin's series introduces a world of deep intrigue, dark fantasy, and varied characters. It might prove overwhelming, were it not for Roy Dotrice. With a voice so seasoned and gripping that he may have stepped from, well, a George R. R. Martin novel, Dotrice gives each character their own persona and regionality, helping to anchor the listener throughout the action and intrigue. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

©1996 George R.R. Martin, (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc., published in arrangement with Random House Audio Group,a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 1997

"Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes...He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least." (Publishers Weekly)
"The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga." (Booklist)
"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"This novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." (Chicago Sun-Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (33347 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amanda Smithville, TN, United States 08-19-12
    Amanda Smithville, TN, United States 08-19-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Surprisingly hard to stop listening to"

    I've watched part of the TV series and I thought I'd give this book a try on a road trip. I wasn't sure I would be able to listen to such a long book and keep everything straight. I was afraid it might be too long-winded to keep my attention. Boy was I surprised how fast my drive went! This is a great audio book, and I can't wait to download the next one.

    There are a few recording problems; the first two chapters of part 4 repeat the last chapter of part 3. Probably because of the way it was originally recorded, sentences are often repeated as well. Oh well, doesn't stop me from enjoying the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gary United States 08-19-12
    gary United States 08-19-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent book! A "Must Hear" for book listeners."
    What made the experience of listening to A Game of Thrones the most enjoyable?

    The incredible detail is riveting. Martin must have lived in this book as each character to be able to create such a masterpiece. He takes us on a wonderful journey to a place created by his prolific imagination. Just captivating.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author introduces us to a host of characters that we love or despise, each playing essential roles in the story. I found it difficult to find a favorite or even distinguish in order of importance as each was equally fascinating.


    What does Roy Dotrice bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Roy Dotrice was flawless in the reading of this book, lending to it the feel of his own immersion into the world of the author. His voice, a perfect compliment to the book, in itself is music to the listener. I would be nailed down by Dotrice's reading of the classified ads. He is magic.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 08-14-12
    Donna 08-14-12
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    "Loved it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I wasn't sure I would like it when I started listening but quickly got involved and enjoyed it so much I bought the rest of the series because I needed to find out what happens to all these interesting people.


    What does Roy Dotrice bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's able to change his voice so characters are easily identified.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I'm not sure but one thing I wouldn't do is focus on the sexual parts like the TV show does. There is far more more to the story than that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie 08-14-12
    Natalie 08-14-12 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    "I'm Now a Game of Thrones Fan"
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones?

    I'm frequently skeptical of books that are hyped. But a friend recommended GOT to me a few years ago and since I think she has good taste in books, I finally found the time to dig into this series. I'm glad I did.
    For me, the best part of GOT is the world building. George R.R. Martin has created a totally engrossing, believable world filled with interesting characters. I found myself thinking about the story between periods of listening, wondering what would happen to the characters.
    I'm not an expert on the medieval period, but it feels like Martin got it right. His rich detail helps to get the reader totally engrossed the world of GOT. And I love the intrigue of the royals and nobles.
    This book is also full of surprises. I loved that. So often, by the end of the first three chapters, I know exactly what will happen. Not with this book. You never know what's going to happen. I didn't see things coming.
    The only negative thing I can say about this book is that at times, the descriptions get too long and go on and on. Especially after I was through the first part (of 4), some things seemed repetitive. He could have back off on some of the descriptions of the same things over and over.
    But I was so engrossed in the story, it didn't overly bother me.
    Now I've got to get to the second one. I want to know what happens!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I was drawn into Ned Starks' story immediately. And his children are all likeable, but I'm most interested in John Snow.
    But my favorite character - the dire wolves. The are, I think, collectively an intriguing character.


    What does Roy Dotrice bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I planned to read these books, but never had the time to commit. I'm glad I chose the audio book. Roy Dotrice's voice characterizations bring the story to life. And because he created different voices for each of the main characters, it helped to keep them straight (which is helpful for a book with so many points of view and so many characters). Roy Dotrice was a perfect pick for this book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did want to, but it's impossible. It's far too long. I listened to it mainly on a long drive in my car.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Emporia, KS, United States 08-14-12
    Debra Emporia, KS, United States 08-14-12
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    "Look Out!!"

    I love Mr. Martins books, but watch out. Nothing is sacred with him. It takes courage to turn the page! He makes you fall in love with all his characters, even the ones you hate. The narrator is awful, but the book is so good that you can get past it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla United States 08-13-12
    Carla United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2011

    milhone

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book is tough to like as an audiobook"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I don't this book works very well in audio format. There are so many characters andplotlines to follow that it would be much more enjoyable on paper- where you flip ack and forth and annotate more daily. I listen mostly in the car and found myself losing track of who was who.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The time period and the author's attention to detail


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    No real negatives


    Did A Game of Thrones inspire you to do anything?

    Bought the video of the TV show, wish I had bought the book instead


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis United States 08-09-12
    Dennis United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Bitty"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not well spent. Too difficult to relate one chapter to another.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I like Bernard Cornwell and Lee Childs.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was awful, too many poor attempts at British accents, few of which were relevant. No explanation of why a Welsh accent should pop up in the middle of Northumbrian and Southern accents


    Was A Game of Thrones worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I like fantasy as much as the next but I had trouble relating this to British history, clearly one of the attempts being made.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura California 08-08-12
    Laura California 08-08-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Smells like blood..."
    What disappointed you about A Game of Thrones?

    This book was so hyped up, that I was expecting to be swept away by it. I honestly didn't make it very far, so it may not be the most accurate review. Everyone just keeps being killed off. Every scene seemed to have an icy chill, and every location seemed to smell of blood. It seemed very cliche.


    Would you ever listen to anything by George R. R. Martin again?

    Probably not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Charlestown, NH, United States 08-07-12
    Kimberly Charlestown, NH, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2015
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    "I'm hooked....!"
    Would you listen to A Game of Thrones again? Why?

    I actually played the beginning a couple of times to get the characters straight. Once I did, I didn't want to stop listening! I'm hooked....


    Have you listened to any of Roy Dotrice’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is a first. I think Roy does an awesome job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 07-26-12
    Janet 07-26-12
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    "Grateful"
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones?

    I haven't finished listening yet. I have the e-books but this is so much better. The gentleman, Roy Dotrice, is a great narrator. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to get to listen to this book. It brings it to life for me. Far more better than trying to read it all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones?

    In book 1, A song of Ice and Fire, when the men came upon the dead dire-wolf and her pups. The 5 pups were given to the 5 legitimate children, then the illegitimate son was able to find one for himself. I just love things so loving and emotional.


    What does Roy Dotrice bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As I said above, He brought life to the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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