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)
Megan in TX
I've listened to over 50 audiobooks at this point, and this is the first time I have ever had such a negative experience with a narrator. Horrible! The voices are not even remotely aligned with the age or personality of the characters. A 15 year old sounds like a shaking voiced 80 year old. Just awful. So disappointed. So, no I wouldn't recommend the audiobook to anyone, especially people who are sensitive to bad narrators. But i've powered through and am on book 4 at this point- purely because I love the series that much.
Everything. I am praying that with the renewed interest in this series, they will redo the audiobooks. Tyrion Lannister is the absolute worst though. I almost can't listen to it, it's so grating and annoying.
I found this book unbelievably well read. I have listened to books before read with feeling, accents and no one does it like the British. From the accents of Wales, Northern England, Ireland and even London's back streets, Mr. Roy Dotrice's reading leaves nothing to be desired. Why that Wiley LIttle Finger can't be mistaken for anyone else! Thanks for making the book come alive with it's pageantry and scope. Mr. Martin's skill of characterization is not diminished by this audio presentation, it is given the breath of life.
Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.
Well, I would recommend the print version since I did not like the narrator's acting. I felt awkward and disgusted at times.
The way that George R. R. Martin makes you connect with the characters and keeps you hooked to long to know what happens to them.
At first I thought It was just annoying and picky me, but then, I should it to my students and they also thought they were listening to the narration of a drunk orc. It is the first time I say this, but I am not going to buy the next ones because of the narrator. When he was only reading and not doing the voices it was ok, but then when he started doing the voices I just couldn't continue. I felt disgusted at parts. This is the kind of book you want to read / listen to in one sitting, but maybe with a different performance.
Because of the book, I started to see the HBO series and see how loyal it is to the book. I surely would go see it if it were a movie.
This book is not for the soft hearted. This is not for the mellow people. If being violent and explicit is what you call adult reading, well, this is it. There are some pretty rough scenes that are pretty shocking. So, if you decide to read it, brace yourself.
Yes, I would, because it's packed with intrigue, gore, and so many interwoven characters. It's pretty hard to keep all the characters straight, but that doesn't get much in the way of the exciting plot.
The reader is acceptable, but nothing more. He has a nice gravely, old man voice, but it has very little range. The characters all sound pretty much the same. It's like having grandpa tell you a story.
Used to be my favorite books were the Merlin series by Mary Stewart, and now I am afraid my beloved Myrddin Emrys has fallen to the number two spot.
The story here reads like a historical fiction cake with magic icing. The story is told with the point of view changing from chapter to chapter and adds a dimension of engaging complexity that makes the whole story seem all the more real, and all the more magical.
I was concerned when I purchased this that it might be some endlessly tedious description of knights in battle, but its not. It is a very character- driven human story with castles and dragons.
As a point of interest, there is what I imagine to be a true representation of medieval life. There is much violence including but certainly not limited to the murder of children and rape. The author does not dwell on these things or glorify them. To my mind, as I said, it seems to to be true to the reality of life at that time.
And dont forget, there is magic too! Here again the author handles this element so that it is impotant, but it is not the focus of the story.
I cannot imagine hearing this tale and not wanting the hear the rest of the series so be aware that there are 3 more available. The next two are read by the brilliant, great, incomparable Roy Dotrice. The fourth in the series is read by John Lee.
We are all waiting for Mr Martin to finish writing the fifth.
Thrilling, addictive and immersive
Ned Stark's end.
Anyone else. I absolutely hated this narrator. He didn't know how to pronounce names. In fact, he pronounces Bran as "Brian," Winterfell as "Winterfall," Catelyn is pronounced multiple ways. And his mewling voice didn't match the tone of the book at all. Hated hated hated his narration. Game of Thrones deserves so much better than this.
Lord of the Rings. similar genre and extensive character development.
This is the first Roy Dotrice narration I have listened to.
It is very hard to put down this story, but the length make it impossible to listen to in one sitting.
All of the books from this series are based on great characters.
This is an amazing story that just grabs you and drags you under. Wonderfully read by the father of the actress who played Jane Banks in the movie MARY POPPINS. The characters are more like stock fantasy or science fiction characters than what I usually like but the plotting is terrific. I recommend it for the beach or a drive or a commute...or for people who like good stories. Not much to contemplate, but sometimes a good story is enough.
There are over TEN THOUSAND reviews of this fine work, so why another one? Who needs another recommendation? Well, the very question raises a point. I consider every listener here at Audible to be a friend, of sorts. I actually read this book years ago, when it first appeared. And here's why I'd recommend it to all my Audible friends: This is an author's engaging love affair with his readers/listeners. Martin has sculpted each and every word in this first novel to be precise, important and expressive, and by the way, CAPTIVATING. As a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, I've often felt that Tolkien could have said more with less, if you know my meaning. Not so here. Not only would I recommend it to a friend, I'd recommend that they listen to it again, to catch every great moment.
Tyrian Lanister. What a roller coaster ride of a character! Martin has often said that we shouldn't invest too much into a particular character in his work, because their shelf life could expire at any moment. Well, this one character is WELL worth such an investment, and pays dividends in good listening all along the way. Once again, I will NOT express plot specifics or moments in the audiobook. Buy it. Enjoy it.
So many to choose from. By my favorite is the very first encounter with the white walkers. Anyone who has the audiobook knows the scene, so no spoilers here!
Well there IS an HBO series of this book. My caption would be "Winter is Coming..."
Okay, so this was one more review of a stellar book. By now, everyone with a beating heart has seen "Game of Thrones" or heard about it. Trust me on this - The book is MUCH better than the HBO series, and the series is fantastic. So, go ahead. Buy the audiobook. You definitely deserve the experience. And don't forget. Listen to it AGAIN.
Several frineds of mine have been trying to get me to read this for a few years now. I actually started reading it, but only got about 100 pages or so in before I gave up. When I saw it on Audible, I decided to give it another try just to shut them up. Boy, am I glad I listened to them!! One you have all the characters straight, the story is quite engaging. some things which may seem superfluous at the time end up being critical later on. One thing that Martin does much better than the master himself, Tolkien, is write interesting female characters. Whereas the females in The Lord of the Rings seemed "tacked on," the females in this book are well-written, deep characters who are critical to the story. Also, you never really seem sure whom to root for. Characters you may dislike at first soon become your favorites. I'm not a big fan of fantasy overall, and after reading this series, I doubt I'll be able to read anything else in this genre, because nothing can top this! I'm now listening to the second book, A Clash of Kings, and I hope the third, A Storm of Swords comes to Audible in the next few weeks, because I'm seriously addicted to this series! I must also comment on the narrator, Roy Dotrice. I love the different voies he uses. They are clear enough that you know who you are listening to even if he doesn't tell you right away. The only negative is that he sometimes changes pronunciations of names (Joffrey become Jeffrey, for example) but that is hardly enough to detract from his otherwise excellent narration.
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