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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

4.6 (34761 )
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4.6 (27645 )
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4.5 (27558 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Allie 02-02-12
    Allie 02-02-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not the best narrator"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    Not better, just different; if you like audiobooks, it was reasonably well done.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator sounded like an elderly man, and, as such, he made most of the characters sound like old men, even the young male and female characters. He also made minor errors regularly, like calling Prince Joffrey


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Little Chute, WI, United States 12-29-11
    Bill Little Chute, WI, United States 12-29-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A miserable tale (incestuous intercourse scene)"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    Roy Dotrice was the only reason I listened beyond (incestuous sex scene) part 2 (of 4); he made the misery enjoyable for a time. I believe someone may have been urinating in Martins Cheerios each morning (rape scene) before he started writing.


    What was most disappointing about George R. R. Martin’s story?

    AGoT is a miserable soap opera where story lines just get strung alone ad nauseam until the betrayal is revealed (another incest scene). Each session of listening leaves me in a terrible mood. The entire book is the political fantasy equivalent of tantric sex.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    (sex spoiler alert) the rape scene where the barbarians fight over who gets to rape a girl first and the victor chooses another woman to rape instead of the one they were fighting over.


    What character would you cut from A Game of Thrones?

    GRR Martin doesn't even care about the characters, why should I care?


    Any additional comments?

    buyers remorse has never been more (rape scene) depressing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia BELLAIRE, TX, United States 12-28-11
    Virginia BELLAIRE, TX, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2011

    rapacious reader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "AWESOME!!!"
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    Story is gripping!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Eddard Stark is such a great character. He is the father and husband we all want and a true man of honor.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    He uses his voice like an instrument, changing it to match each character's personality and mood.


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

    YES!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Florida 12-27-11
    Amazon Customer Florida 12-27-11 Member Since 2011

    N.Schmidt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    28
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An analogy and a word of caution, before you begin"
    Any additional comments?

    Game of Thrones is to books what LOST is to television series. George RR Martin's day job is TV writer. He begins by writing three books that really suck you in. You will become very attached to all of the many characters. After that, be warned: the story does not resolve. You will get a dream sequence when you want plot resolution. You will get three new characters and their back story when what you want desperately to know what happens to the character you just read a thousand pages about. Just because half of one of the first books is spent on a character central to the plot does not mean you will ever find out what happens to that character. On the other hand, characters you don't care about at all because they have no bearing on the past or future plot will get 5 chapters. Some characters just disappear.
    My husband and I watched six seasons of LOST. It nearly gave me high blood pressure that the events of the first three seasons had nothing to do with the second three. I wanted to pull my hair out when the plot lines that drew me in were never revisited. I wanted to scream when a new character was introduced instead of seeing an existing characters story to it's end. My husband did not seem to care as much and was happy with the

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy arnold, MO, United States 12-27-11
    Timothy arnold, MO, United States 12-27-11
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A true Masterpiece"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Snow, because of his struggle for identity.


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

    No


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

    This is the Lord of


    Any additional comments?

    I wish there were 34 hours in a day so that I could have finished this in a day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Acworth, GA, United States 12-22-11
    David Acworth, GA, United States 12-22-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read these books before you watch the TV shows"
    Would you listen to A Game of Thrones again? Why?

    Sure, there would be more details come out when listening a second time. The story is quite complex and I plan to listen to the next book and then watch the TV series and probably listen again after that.


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

    The ending. I don't want to give it away, but the whole scene with Daenerys and the fire and dragons was riveting.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    He was an excellent narrator and his reading did not distract from the details of the book. Sometimes the reader has a voice or something that distracts me. This was not the case with Mr. Dotrice. I will listen to more books by him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lis Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-17-11
    Lis Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-17-11 Member Since 2011

    ~ Lizardbeth ~

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story makes up for inconsistent reader"

    For the most part, the reader's performance was excellent. However, there were some voices he did that were almost unbearable to listen to, specifically those that sounded, for lack of a better word, "saliva-heavy." It was like he was kicking up spit in the corners of his mouth purposefully for these voices; the "Eunuch" being the one that occurred most often. I forced myself to listen to these voices because what they had to say was often very relevant, and (b) the rest of the story was still very, VERY good, but it definitely affected my overall enjoyment of the book as I dreaded those characters having dialogue.

    The story was fantastic however, and I was absolutely riveted from start to finish. In spite of the performance, I'll definitely be purchasing the rest of the series in audiobook form (I'm a cartoonist & artist professionally, and having long audiobooks to listen to while I work is far more enjoyable for me, besides not having to squeeze in reading time elsewhere.) The reader doesn't put me off that badly; it's only small minority of characters' voices I find off-putting, and while that's enough to lower my overall rating of the audiobook it's not enough to prevent me from buying future books. It is a consideration however for those of you who are either more bothered by poor reader performances, or have the free time to read the book instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles 12-13-11
    charles 12-13-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed Emotions"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. Great story, characters, but an inordinate amount of pointless detail. A conservative estimate of 60% is useless description of people. histories, events, etc.which adds nothing to the story. I am five books into this story and the author is nowhere near pulling all the far-flung threads together. At this pace it could easily take another five books to complete this story. I'm sorry to say I won't be there when it happens.


    Would you be willing to try another book from George R. R. Martin? Why or why not?

    Maybe, if I thought it was interesting. But if after one book I saw the same style as above I would drop it.


    What aspect of Roy Dotrice’s performance would you have changed?

    Have him listen to his narration so that after his return in book five his pronunciation of some names and places was the same.


    Do you think A Game of Thrones needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    (See above)


    Any additional comments?

    Spend your credits on other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Oak Grove, KY, United States 12-13-11
    Nicholas Oak Grove, KY, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2015

    Travel a lot for work and spend a good deal of time in the car.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    148
    ratings
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    79
    33
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    FOLLOWING
    17
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    "GET THIS BOOK! you will not be sorry!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    Every book in this series is 1000 times better then the print version, with the exception of A Feast For Crows( John Lee sucks)


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything about this story great! Just get it. Even if you have already seen season 1 of GOT on HBO you should still listen to this.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    Roy Dotrice is a Wizard. He uses his magic story telling abilities to make this story come alive. If you dont believe me you will see when you listen to A Feast For Crows and want to claw your ears off when John lee croaks out the words like he is reading some edgar allan poe verse on a highschool stage. But dont claw your ears off...roy will be back for book 5.


    Any additional comments?

    this is my favorite book series outside of Dragon Riders of Pern.(Anne McCaffrey..not her son...he is garbage.)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley cedar rapids, IA, United States 12-08-11
    Wesley cedar rapids, IA, United States 12-08-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A well done story"
    Any additional comments?

    I bought into George R R Martin's series because so many of my friends played the card game. I figured I'd take a look into the book, not expecting too much out of it.

    I must say, I'm quite hooked now. I felt the story started out slow, and can be difficult to follow at first, with the variety of characters and viewpoints. It helps to have a chart or something visual to connect all the relationships.

    But, the beginning aside, the story was fabulous. I immediately purchased the second book and am looking forward to listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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