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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 (25520 )
5 star
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Overall
4.6 (19440 )
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Story
4.5 (19373 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    James Vancouver, BC, Canada 06-24-04
    James Vancouver, BC, Canada 06-24-04 Member Since 2002

    Satisfied Audible listener since 2002. I mostly listen to Sci-fi and anything by Stephen King.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
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    91
    23
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    7
    Overall
    "Best read book I have listened to."

    The reader of this book puts so much life into each character, each has a different way accent and cadence. Very impressive, it makes an engrossing story a pleasure to listen to.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Petal, MS, USA 04-06-04
    Rebecca Petal, MS, USA 04-06-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    15
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "surprisingly impressed"

    I was worried by the previous reviews that warned about the narrator, but found that he did a surprisingly good job in my opinion. He does a different voice for each character (which may or may not align with what the author intended, but this is audio not the written word) and I never had trouble understanding his speech (I did use the level 3 download rather than the usual 2). Enjoyed the book and finished it faster than most I have listened to. Definitely will download the sequel(s).

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert Humboldt, TN, USA 03-25-04
    Albert Humboldt, TN, USA 03-25-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    76
    3
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    "A Game of Thrones"

    This book is very intense. Although it starts a little slow, The story line is very gripping and very hard to stop listning. I have already picked up Book II and Book III. This is a must have.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh South Haven, MN, USA 03-17-04
    Josh South Haven, MN, USA 03-17-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    8
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    2
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    Overall
    "One of the all time best"

    This is one of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure to read and now listen to. It's very fun to come back to this book after reading it two years ago and to have a solid narrartor give voice to characters that even years after I love and hate. The thing about Martin that makes him so appealing is that the good guys/gals don't always and early on don't often prevail. I've never hated fictional characters like I have in this series of books, but it doesn't detract from the pure enjoyment of this compelling story. This might be a tough book to come to as an audio listener because there are dozens and dozens of main characters and hundreds of others that have small roles, it can be hard to keep them straight, as it was difficult to when actually reading the book. Still, once you start, you'll have a hard time leaving. I'm glad to see the other two books are now available as well.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott M. GRUSSING Tampa, FL 02-23-04
    Scott M. GRUSSING Tampa, FL 02-23-04 Listener Since 2004

    Scott

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
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    251
    10
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    "Incredible book with a so-so reading."

    _A Game of Thrones_ is a truly wonderful book. For that alone, it deserves the four stars that I give it. Over all, Roy Dotrice does a fair job plugging through the 33+ hours of the story, but at times his accent can be difficult to follow.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moises Mexico City, Mexico 01-24-14
    Moises Mexico City, Mexico 01-24-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    8
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    "Dissapointing Narrator"
    What disappointed you about A Game of Thrones?

    I couldn't understand the narrator. It was dissapointing since I have very good comments on the book. I guess it has to be read, instead of listened.


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Couldn't understand him.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chelle4829 Wisconsin, USA 11-16-13
    Chelle4829 Wisconsin, USA 11-16-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard time with this book"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    Maybe, but I tried listening to this book several times and couldn't get past the first three chapters.


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

    Maybe, but not in this series.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    Yes, the reader's vocalizations were good and he transitioned between characters well.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The reader had a broad range.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a hard time with this book. Maybe I am just not that interested in the subject or maybe I don't have enough back story to engage. Maybe I'll try this one again in the future.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evil Bucket United States 06-09-13
    Evil Bucket United States 06-09-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    97
    1
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    Story
    "Narrated by Roy Dotrice"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If I was able to get past the voice or really I should I the performance of the narrator. I just could not stand hearing the way this book was read. I tried very hard to push my was into this book hoping the voice would grow on me but I just could not do it.

    What little of the story I was able to hear from about an hour of this book just was not able to grab.


    Has A Game of Thrones turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


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

    I dont know if Roy Dotrice was really all that bad. This was the first book that he has narrated that I have bought.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bridget RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-10-13
    Bridget RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-10-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't get into it."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I'm not sure. I restarted it several times. I just couldn't get interested enough in it. I was disappointed but I had heard it was very good.


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

    Not sure


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I think sometimes his voices were a little confusing to tell who the characters were.


    What character would you cut from A Game of Thrones?

    Couldn't tell you, because I didn't get very far.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 01-07-13
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2009

    Me am Pop-Surrealist Tiki-Artist living and making Art on the active volcanic "Big Island" of Hawaii. Aloha.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
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    57
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    13
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    "Heroic knights lisp like sissys!"
    Where does A Game of Thrones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Good bok, weak performance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The dwarf... very clever writing.


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

    Anyone who would not read any male person in the royal family as a flaming homosexual.


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

    Yes. This interesting and exciting book was nearly reduced to a comedy by the silly foppish voices Roy Dotrice used for any male person in any royal house. They all sounded extremely prissy and gay. They were all flaming queens and you could not grasp these were tough men in armor fighting bloody battles and supernatural evil. It was almost a joke and I cringed every time a royal male spoke a line of dialogue.


    Any additional comments?

    Please have Roy Dotrice just read the male parts as regular sounding men, and not as foppish homosexuals. This would have made for much better story telling and a much more thrilling tale.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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