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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 (28146 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-02-12 Member Since 2012

    audioreader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story, mediocre narration"
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    high fantasy classic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Arya Stark is the great character of transition, the one that becomes so much more, and easily the most interesting in the book.


    What didn???t you like about Roy Dotrice???s performance?

    He gives a number of the characters lisps and speech impediments. It is unnecessary, not written into the books and incredibly annoying.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great first book in a a great series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ebone Woodbridge, VA, United States 07-01-12
    Ebone Woodbridge, VA, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Soo Good!"
    Where does A Game of Thrones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is in the top five in terms of audiobooks for me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the density of the story. The different settings and perspectives was really kept me engrossed. The narrator was also fantastic.


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

    Every character sounds so different. He did a great job of injecting the emotional element into the words.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Ned's talk with Arya at King's Landing when he was telling her to make a better effort to get along with Sansa. Something about that speech really choked me up.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monika 06-18-12
    Monika 06-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Captivating and Complex"

    I got aware of this captivating series by the TV show which is brilliant. To read the book afterwards does not diminish the thrill, since the characters get so much more details and the history gets more depth because, well, they just couldn't put everything into one season. I recommend listening to the book to everyone who loved the show.
    It took me some time to get used to Roy Dotrice and his reading and it still annoys me a bit when he pauses dramatically before - nothing special at all. Overall, he's doing a good job of bringing the characters to live, even the female ones.
    Annoying is the production of this audiobook because the repitition of the last sentence on the next CD just doesn't make sense in a continuous audio stream. So if you wonder, why there are so many "misreadings", it's because they just put together the CDs without further editing...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynbee San Jose, CA, United States 06-15-12
    Cynbee San Jose, CA, United States 06-15-12 Member Since 2012

    former nuclear scientist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, not great narration"

    I got this book because I was blown away by the HBO series. My husband had the 2-inch-thick paperback, but we lost it in the move. I started it years ago, but made it to page 4 before I thought, "meh." The audiobook follows the book: you can tell by its 33-hour length that the novel is wordy. I'm a bit surprised at the level of cliches I have heard: cold "cutting like a knife," the queen "smiling coldly," etc. But I'm also surprised at how exceedingly well HBO got *almost every event* - as well as most of the important dialog, verbatim - into its miniseries. Bravo!

    Now, the fact that I've seen this pitch-perfect adaptation means that I'm probably biased against any reader. Dotrice sounds very distinguished, like a prep school English teacher from 1954. Unfortunately, he really only has four voices: narration voice, a lusty bellow like the Baratheon actor in the miniseries, a high nasal, simultaneously condescending and sniveling lordling voice like a pompous Monty Python character, and some crafty mid-Atlantic voice like Bottomtooth in Family Guy. Oh, and the sailor who sounds like a pirate - really. Many of these voices seem mismatched to the characters, and he is a bit inconsistent throughout. Ned evolves from grizzled and gravely to a more normal and elegant sound when he has to interact with Baratheon and the reader needs to distinguish them. Khal Drogo sounds like a half-wit when the reader tries to make it sound like he doesn't speak the language well, drawling out "No?" like Scooby Doo.

    So the story is great, the performance is not that great (though definitely not awful, just not up to the story, and sort of campy), and the book's narration is a bit wordy and hard to keep track of, which is why I give it four stars overall instead of five. If I hadn't been entranced by the HBO series, I mightn't be able to stick with this or follow it without multiple rewinds.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vj Newark, NJ, United States 06-13-12
    vj Newark, NJ, United States 06-13-12
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    "QA Test for Ratings and Reviews"

    QA Test for Ratings and Reviews. Test Test Test Test Test.Test Test Test Test Test

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thorz Tromso, Norway 06-13-12
    Thorz Tromso, Norway 06-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awkward: It's good, but the HBO series is better"
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    Huge & complex universe


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

    The moral dilemma that its presented to Ned at the end when things happen to Robert.


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

    No, but he is good giving life to each of the many characters in this huge universe


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

    If you are going to play the game of thrones you either win or you die


    Any additional comments?

    It is an awkward feeling. I bought the audiobook because I was going to start to watch the HBO series and usually I try to read a book before watching the movie/series. Normally I end saying "The book was MUCH better, by a mile" but this time it was not like this. I really feel that the series is a masterpiece based on a good saga. There were some parts in the audiobook where I found myself expecting more, it was sometimes a little tedious. This never happened to me while watching the series.

    The book is good, but do yourself a favor: Watch the series first. The drama is much more interesting followed on TV. If you read the book first you will not be so exited when watching the series, and that is a pity because they are THAT amazing.Then after you are finished with the TV series you can read the book so you fill into the history.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrystal Jacksonville, NC, United States 06-13-12
    Chrystal Jacksonville, NC, United States 06-13-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Trying"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    Ok, I am really trying to give this a good listen but I am having a very hard time with the narration. I may have to actually read this one instead of listening to it.


    Would you recommend A Game of Thrones to your friends? Why or why not?

    I have friends who recommended it to me. I really can't rate the story right now as I am only about 2 hours into it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?

    I don't really know.


    Any additional comments?

    My issue is with the narrator. I just have to go ahead and say something even though I have not finished the book. He shortens the words. Seven is pronounced "seb'm" and the first time he said the word gown, it sounded like "gun" and he combined the words "for you" into "foyu". I know this may be nit-picking but I listen to books on my commute to and from work. I don't mind a good book that makes you think but I don't like having to try to decipher the words while I drive. The names are hard to understand because I have not seen them in print. And even though I do appreciate some of his character voices, he continues the character voice during some transitions. The first time I heard this, I thought the character was speaking about himself in third person. He speaks the character voice and then things like "he said" or "so and so mounted his horse" is still in the character voice. I may have to read the book rather than listen, then come back later and listen after I've seen the words in print.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stimpy Mississippi, USA 06-11-12
    Stimpy Mississippi, USA 06-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Where it all started."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    I have read the print version and listened to the audio version. I would say that they are equivalent. When Roy was narrating this one it was pretty clear that he hadn't quite gotten into the characters yet. So his narration on this one was just average. But he does improve as the series progresses.

    He didn't really add much to the story, but he didn't take anything away either. In later books, he does much more value add narration.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I will not spoil it for anyone, but the last (or maybe it was the second to last) scene was my favorite. You will know it when you get to it. Trust me.


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

    Valar Morghulis! Because that line sums up the whole series.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott S Lokey Alpharetta, Ga United States 06-07-12
    Scott S Lokey Alpharetta, Ga United States 06-07-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    48
    10
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    4
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    "How to keep track of the characters?"

    Finally gave up on trying to keep track of all the characters, all the locations, all the kingdoms. Might work as a movie where you can see them and associate names and faces but .....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael D. Taylor 05-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Love it"
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    best series ever


    What other book might you compare A Game of Thrones to and why?

    The Lord of the Rings - both are long epic tales that introduce characters and places galore


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

    Amazing accents and voices for so many different characters. He switches back and forth seamlessly. He makes the books come to life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was in awe at the various ways that Roy Dotrice was able to produce so many different characters


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait for the rest of the books...especially with Roy Dotrice as the narrator!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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