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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 (32006 )
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4.5 (25113 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marie 05-08-13
    Marie 05-08-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why do I feel like I have to apologize"

    Okay, so I don't like this book. I loved the first chapter and thought I would go on loving the rest. Yes, George Martin is an excellent writer. If only everyone didn't die or suffer grievous injury. I am only 1/3 through the first in the series. I don't think I am actually going to be able to finish this book. Violence and death can fit in a story but do they have to overwhelm it? Nobody stays around long enough for a multi volume story to go anywhere, except some of the bad guys it appears. And then I have an issue with the author's tendency to have prepubescent or very young teen girls be sexual objects, often involving rape or violent sex. There is something disturbing about that. Most of the women, at least in this volume, are little more than sexual objects.

    There are so many things I wanted to know more about: the long winter, Winterfell, what was beyond the wall. But I am not willing to trudge through several volumes to find out.

    Not for me. And I am not going to apologize.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Levite Dover, DE 05-15-12
    Teresa Levite Dover, DE 05-15-12

    Photographer/Artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the Story!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version. As time allows, I may go back and read it. Not sure though. There are so many fantastic books available. Time may never be allowed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story and the characters evolve and develop. There's not always a happy ending. Main characters can die. The story pulls you in emotionally.


    What three words best describe Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    disappointing, distracting,


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

    I may have liked to, but considering the length, that will never happen.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance of the reader is excellent at times. The different voices for the characters are sometimes spot-on, but often miss the mark and is a distraction to following the story.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good tale, performance so-so"
    Would you listen to A Game of Thrones again? Why?


    What other book might you compare A Game of Thrones to and why?


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?


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


    Any additional comments?

    Good tale, but the performance gets a little tring after a while

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Calgary, AB, Canada 05-10-12
    Alison Calgary, AB, Canada 05-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent story, but disappointing narration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I would not JUST listen to this audiobook. It is great as background story to dinner preparations or folding laundry or doing something with your hands that doesn't consume your mind. But I would not lie back on the couch and just listen to this audiobook as my sole activity. The narration bothered me after a while, the pacing, pronunciation ("PeTIRE" for Petyr, among others really got to me), and inability to stress key words during dialogue, the way normal people speak led to some frustrating moments of wishing I could have spoken to the narrator about how he was reading the story. The same frustration does not occur when Jim Dale narrates Harry Potter, or Martin Freeman narrates The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


    What other book might you compare A Game of Thrones to and why?

    It is similar to many epic stories, like The Lord of the Rings, where battles, politics and character building all go hand-in-hand. These stories also have to juggle multiple characters and multiple viewpoints,which can be challenging as the reader/listener of a book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator made the female characters rather snivelling (a common problem with male narrators). He also chose some unique pronunciations for words in the book (e.g. PeTIRE for Petyr), and had some awkward pacing of dialogue, failing to stress words that should have been emphasized, and, resultingly, downplayed some important scenes.


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

    It already has multiple follow-up books. They are needed and fantastic.


    Any additional comments?

    I will not purchase any other audiobooks narrated by Roy Dotrice. Judging by his approach to narration, I will likely be disappointed by his stylistic decisions. There are so many other better-skilled narrators.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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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    "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
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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
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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
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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
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    "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
    2
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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
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