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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 (31750 )
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4.6 (24978 )
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4.5 (24893 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 03-16-12
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 03-16-12 Member Since 2005

    Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    41
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    "Winter is Coming!"

    After the HBO series everyone should know this. This is a great yarn! The characters are fully and completely developed. You care about these people. You understand their motivations. The sense of impending doom that hangs about the entire procedings lends a piquancy to their stories that is almost heartbreaking. You just feel that something... enormous, scary, inevitable... is about to happen and throw everything into chaos. The book is the first in a series, fine. It doesn't drop you on your head. The end feels right. A place to pause and reflect before continuing. Its a huge book, again, fine. It needs to be huge. There are a lot of moving pieces, many plots, much double dealing and wheels within wheels. It's daunting and embracing. The narration is first class. Roy Dotrice seems to be having the time of his life energizing this reading. Seriously, get this audio. It is superb. Just a couple of retraces, but no one is perfect.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Catasus Tampa, FL 02-21-12
    Kathleen Catasus Tampa, FL 02-21-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    I don't think I can sum this book up in just 3 words. I love the complicated storyline, the many characters and subplots, and the lessons and trial each character goes through and how they are all interconnected. This is the first of a series, so it is a good introduction and forshadowing to what may come in subsequent books. I will say I watched the HBO series and it was excellent. I would recommend watching. Usually, I'm disappointed with the book-made-into a movie, but the beautiful scenery, the actors chosen to play the characters and the visual beautity of the clothing etc really helped bring the novel to life. They didn't leave anything out!


    What about Roy Dotrice???s performance did you like?

    I thought the narrator did a good job with the book.


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

    I couldn't stop listening, but since it is about 48 hours long, it couldn't be done in one sitting. However, I carried my ipod/iphone around with me non-stop so I could listen at every opportunity. I had already watched the HBO program, so it wasn't like I didn't know what was going to happen next, but I still wanted to listen to it!


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Jones 11-02-11
    Keith Jones 11-02-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    28
    4
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    "Excellent all around"

    I think the book is great, and I think the reader is great.

    The language is fun, and playful, and interesting; it is different enough to put me in a fantasy realm, but common enough to be clearly understood. The story is beyond epic.

    The reading is great. It may take time to get used to, but that is to be expected. I think Dotrice does an admirable job, and I think he makes as much use of his vocal capabilities as could be hoped for.

    I'm a cheap person, and I like to make sure I'm getting my money's worth. While I initially resented having to pay two credits (is that just because the books are so popular now, with the HBO show?), I think this is completely worth it... I've paid double credits for each book in the series and will happily do so until the series is finished.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Enosburg Falls, VT, United States 07-30-11
    Deborah Enosburg Falls, VT, United States 07-30-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    "Game of Thrones"

    This is a good story, but I could not get past the reader. I did not even finish the audible version and went to strictly reading the story. My low rating is strictly due to the reader.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    panagiotis Athens, Greece 07-23-11
    panagiotis Athens, Greece 07-23-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    34
    9
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    1
    7
    Overall
    "George R. R. Martin is a brilliance"

    This serie is a marval. It would take a page for me to say why, so i will say only this:
    1. I would give a lot to forget the storry and listen to it again. (you will fully understand this when you've listened to all the books)
    2. You can learn some things about life from these books.
    3. For those who are yet to be convinced: LISTEN TO IT NOW!!!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MakkPrincess Budapest, Hungary 05-03-11
    MakkPrincess Budapest, Hungary 05-03-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book, very bad narrator"

    I love the books, and the story, but the narrator spoils it a lot for me.
    i dont like the way he use accents, and i especially hate the way he does old ppls voices.. when he was talking abt old nan's tales, my ears got full of his spit.. disgusting honestly..
    i also hate to hear the way he gets arroused by the sex parts in the book :/
    i wish they would record this book with someone else narrating, but i guess they don't do that

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flapjack 10-08-10
    Flapjack 10-08-10 Member Since 2012

    Flapjack Jones

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Roy Dotrice!"

    I have read Game of Thrones in print before. This is fantasy at its best. I am 3 hrs. in and I can say, unless something goes horribly wrong with the recording, this will be in my list of favorite audiobooks along side Time Traveler's Wife and The Help. Roy Dotrice's performance is amazing! It is worth the extra credit. If you like long fantasy novels, unforgettable characters, imaginative world building, and are not put off by graphic violence and sex, you will not be disappointed.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 09-09-10
    Joe 09-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Editing defects"

    Way to many edits where the script is repeated. The narrative is well done. The story compelling if a bit predictable.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will Austin, TX, United States 08-01-10
    Will Austin, TX, United States 08-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Should have listened..."

    I was discouraged from selecting this book based on the high volume of negative reviews blasting the narration. The synopsis of the book sounded so good that elected to give it a try anyways. I'm sorry I did. I've listened to a ton of audio books and I definitely consider this one impossible to follow. It's not that Dotrice's voices or pronunciations are tough to understand... He fires sentences in 4 or 5 word "matter of fact" bursts. His reading does not follow what I would consider a natural flow of thought. It's like being a passenger in a car with a driver that rides the brakes and jerks the wheel when changing lanes. 2 credits... Ouch. The publisher is doing this author a great disservice. Guess I'll have to find out what happens the old fasion way.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Br|hlGermany 09-01-09
    Tim Br|hlGermany 09-01-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
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    Overall
    "Tedious, verbose, inconsequential"

    Another man with a word processor who just can't stop typing. Someone once said that if you make a movie over three hours long you'd better be David Lean. In the same vein, if you write a book of this kind that's this long, you'd better be J.R.R. Tolkien, or at least Martha Mitchell. Unfortunately, Martin is neither, despite the cutesy "R.R." in his moniker. if you can't tell the difference between World of Warcraft and Tolkien you might actually enjoy this book. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

    7 of 18 people found this review helpful
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