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)
Listening to this book was difficult. I tried on many occasions to get in to it, but the narrator grated on me so much that I kept putting it down. I thought I must hate the story and the characters, but when someone handed me the book I read and loved the story.
His voices were awful and never felt like they fit any of the characters. The guard sounded like a pirate, and so did the old nursemaid, etc.
Several story lines are running through the book, and they are all interwoven and interesting. It's one of those books that only disappoints when it ends because it is such a good story. It is very intense, with a lot of violence and sex - not for children at all. But the story is about a fantastic place where amazing things happen. This is a fantasy that doesn't feature a lot of magic and silliness. The fantasy works because of the setting, and it is never overdone. This is a world where life is hard, and many epic characters bring it to life.
I love the Daenerys character's story. She starts out as a bullied girl and develops into a satisfying player in the book.
Although many reviewers gush over how great the narration is, I found it to be the worst part of the book. The narrator makes little girls sound like old leprechauns, and seems to think the words, "murmur" and "mutter" mean shout. Not the worst narration in the world, but it could have been better.A LOT of repetitions of sentences and paragraphs, as if the director couldn't be bothered to keep track of where the reader left off. This makes this performance very choppy in places.
No, it is way too long, and so intense that sometimes the listener needs to stop and process. But the different story lines made for natural stopping places.
Yes, given that it is a bit cleaner. Roy Dotrice is not the best or worse performer.
Yes, given the book is cleaner.
I had a hard time distinguishing characters by the voices the performer presented. This made the book a little hard to follow.
I will not finish this series simply because there was much gratuitous sex, rape, torture, etc. I want to enjoy a book, not be creeped out by details of sex with whores, mass rape, torture, etc.
It's really sad, because I liked the larger story line.
I very much enjoy the story. It kills time more than well.
Yes and No. It seems more about political intrigue than Sci-Fi Fantasy. You would have to watch the HBO series first to keep track of the characters.
Thick, rich and masculine. A voice best used for older male characters.
More than enough books it seems.
I started this book a long time ago and put it down. I picked it up again after watching the HBO series. A little too heavy on the politics. A slow burner when it comes to incorporating the fantasy aspect I love about the genre. Watching the series assures me that it is coming so I will continue reading.
I really disliked the narrator's voice. It was heavy, intense and the every time he made the characters laugh I cringed.
His voice! The way he would nasally, mucousy laugh and I would have to listen. There was nothing funny.
Overall, I really didn't enjoy this first game of thrones book. I kept thinking- what is so great about this series?! I have to be missing something, i kept thinking. The story was not intriguing at all. I have not seen the tv show maybe most people who enjoy this series have. I found that there were too many characters to keep up with (especially hard with an audiobook), so I found myself listening without really knowing what was going on. Because so many people like it, I would have considered listening to the second.... Maybe I am wrong in my estimations? Once I saw the same narrator does the rest of the series I can say I have no interest in listening to anymore. The voice just grates the nerves especially when the character laughs (the narrator has a phlegmy smokers laugh).
I would recommend listening to any other book over this one. It was a complete waste of time!
After all the hype, I wanted to read the Game of Thrones because I love stories, especially fantasy stories. I was not let down, and I believe it should reside with stories along the lines of (dare I say) the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia. It's much more graphic than the other two series I mentioned, but for those that can stomach it, it's a must read/listen. Roy Dotrice is absolutely amazing as the narrator. He embodies the characters so well it's hard to realize they're all from one man. He sounds as if he was born from the seven kingdoms himself. The only relatively minor gripe I have with the story is the sheer number of characters. I found myself looking up maps and family trees just to keep everything and everyone in order in my mind. Once you get at least the main characters organized into the noble houses, it's much easier to understand, and allows the reader/listener to realize how vast and intricate the world in George R.R. Martin's mind really is. Overall, the Game of Thrones is an absolutely stunning story and with narration that does it justice.
Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia. They are all popular epic tales of fantasy and adventure. However, the Game of Thrones is targeted towards adult audiences as the others are not as much.
I have not, but Roy Dotrice's performance is stunning for the Game of Thrones and sets the bar high for any other narrator.
Yes, I would but it is terribly long at almost 34 hours.
I could not get by the narration to truly enjoy the story.
Yes, I have enjoyed listening to many narrators, but I could not get into the book because Dotrice.
This book series far outreaches all but the most competent and talented Fantasy Fiction writers of all time.
Beware the 4th and 5th books, the plot line hits slack water and the narrator becomes inconsistent. Overall a great series so far, but I think the 4th and 5th books could have been combined or worked into the rest of the books,
This first book is beautifully written. Not only has the author created an amazing set of characters and a vibrant world for the reader to immerse themselves in, but his language is engrossing as well. By the time you are finished you will find yourself using "too smart by half" to describe a few people in your own life.
Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.
This was an excellent book to listen to. I did have a hard time at first getting used to the narrator, but once I got used to it, I couldn't stop listening to it!
It was way too long to listen to in one sitting.
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