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.
"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)
I bought this because I wanted more of the story after watching the HBO series. The story is good but the reader is not. He pauses and gasps in the wrong places. His timing is terrible, like he is doing the first read-through. His voice is not bad but the pacing is so bad it really ruins it. I listen to audiobooks alot but I wish I had not bought this one.
Unfortunately, I agree with those that say the reader ruins the book. The book deserves a better representation, I wish there were two ratings for the books. One for the writing and one for the reader.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
I don't usually read fantasy, but after watching the first two episodes on HBO, I had to get A Game of Thrones even though it is not on sale (1 credit) anymore. The book and storyline is well written and the Narration is superb. It's hard to say when I will read the next book in the series because it is so time consuming, but the story is so good that you can easily daydream into their world.
For some reason, you cannot play A Game of Thrones on an IPod 5g 60gb. I had problems at trying to play on my device. I contacted Audible and they are working on a solution with Apple. It's a bit annoying listening the entire book through ITunes on my computer, but even with the technical difficulty, I still wanted to finish the book because it's so well written.
I finished this book within a week.
I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks, none of which made me as annoyed with the reader as this one did. When speaking for the Stark Family, he does a good job, but whenever he is speaking for a sinister, or an unlikeable character, the tone of his voice changes. He sounds as if has missing teeth, a lisp, as if spit was coming out of his mouth with every word, or as if he had a loogie stuck in his throat and is trying to cough it out (especially when evil characters laugh). Not only is that absolutely disgusting to listen to, but also gives away the intentions of the characters. Characters that appear friendly in order to full the reader are read with a menacing voice which foreshadows their deceit and betrayal. I can tell you which character is sincere by how he/she is read by this reader.
Wow, this guy can tell a story. The bad part about a book this good is that my wife gets mad with me because I have a hard time putting it down. The story is definitely NOT predictable. If you think it's going to be a story like all the rest, you'll be surprised. The ending is like we're just getting started. Guess I'll have to move to book two -- yahoo!!! Dude, you can write.
I have to first say that I'm not a person that usually writes reviews. The fact that I'm am writing this one gives notice that this book is definitely out of the ordinary. As a casual fantasy reader, my main purpose in the past has been to seek out light, escapist urban fantasy fair. The only reason I bought this audiobook is that I happened to notice that it was being offered at only 1 credit and it was 37 hours long which fit perfectly with a planned road trip. Let me say, more often than not, I passed a tempting road stop so that I could continue listening to this book. After looking up the author I do not think that I need to rehash the superb writing and character development produced by Mr. Martin. Suffice it to say, this is a wholly satisfying tale of court intrigue, war, magic and romance. What I would like to focus upon is the extraordinary narrator that brought this story to life. Of all the audiobooks that I have listened to, Roy Dotrice's narration is as close to actual theater that I have heard. One would think that with all of the characters that are included in the book that he would run out of voices and personalities. Absolutely not. Each character is uniquely voiced and it was easy to pick up listening and almost immediately recognize which character was speaking. Between the engaging story and the great narrator, this is an audiobook you should definitely pick up.
Ok so you get the story - epic fantasy, adult full realized characters with real emotions, minimal magic etc. I like all that but...the narration. Very plumey and upper-class Brit with strange accent choices -- the Northerns lack Northern accents (which HBO added -- good move), Tyrion begins with a vaguely midlands accent and then unaccountably he becomes Welsh. Maybe non Brits wouldn't notice it but for Brits (especially if your Welsh like me) it was amazing and fairly terrible. Made it difficult to keep listening. He does a good job but the characterizations are just too wierd.
The storyline of the book is wonderful. However, it is extremely hard to listen to the book with the narrator. His portrayal of the characters made it extremely hard to get a handle on them or even listen to the book. It felt as if he was reading line by line causing the story to break instead of a seamless flow of timeless story telling. If the other books are narrated by Roy Doltrice, I will not be listening to them.
I don't know what it is about this book. It is a little hard to understand what's going on in the begining. Like all fantasy, it's a little confusing if you don't know the lay of the land or have a map handy. I thought it took through the whole first part to really get going, but once it does, you just can't stop! Sometimes the story seems to move slow, but it's really not. It's very hard to explain. At first, I thought this was going to be just a rehash of Lord of the Rings... It sort of starts out that way with the token cookie cutter characters, but they are soooo human. Everyone is not what they seem. This really is a book and a world about men and the weakness of men. The women in this book are incredibly strong people able to take care of themselves and are natural born leaders. I like that this book has sex in it. Literature is supposed to be about the human condition and sex is part of that. Something about the way men write the act that is raw yet sensual. Martin captures the mindset, the culture, the erotisism of barbarianism in a believable way. The Drogo, Dani story line is wonderful, slowly evolving. Every one is flawed, all have strengths and weaknesses, there's not good guys and no bad guys, everything seems to float somewhere in that gray murky area. All have a legitimate claim to the iron throne.
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