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A Game of Thrones Audiobook

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

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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.

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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

4.7 (61215 )
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4.7 (51384 )
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4.6 (51366 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Friend 05-14-16
    Friend 05-14-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Narrator was a disaster"

    This is my first review after hundreds of books. I am writing to try to spare someone else all the misery. The narrator simply cannot handle a variety of characters. If everyone in the book were a middle aged army captain, he would have been awesome. But that's not the case. He made Sansa Stark sound like a dirty old man in a trench coat. In a word, it was ridiculous. An audiobook without good narrating is like a birthday cake without sugar. No flavor. It was so bad that it made me confused at several points because I couldn't understand who the speaker was. This is truly bad narration. Do your ears a favor and read the physical books. The only
    hope is a complete rerecording of the series.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-07-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-07-10 Member Since 2016

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "5 Stars with reservations"

    Thank goodness for reviews. I am happy with my Audible subscription but I might not be had I made many mistakes in spending my credits. I have not made many mistakes thanks to reviews by listeners.

    This was an incredible book. The narrator took some getting used to in particularly the way children and women are spoken. Otherwise, the narrator is brilliant. He sounds like the great actor that he is. This is not just a good narration; it is a great performance. As strange as it was at times, I have been tempted to listen to the next book in the series just for the narrator.

    The story is deep and complex… exactly what I was looking for. The characters are rich and it is easy to become invested in their fate. Therein lies the rub. If the character is good and kind and honorable, they are probably going to die. This is a story in which it pays to be bad. Maybe that was the way things were back then, whenever then or where is. The sex and violence did not seem gratuitous… only the evil that men and women do. Okay, there was a lot of violence, which brings me to my conclusion.

    I give the book 5 stars because the book was that good. Reading beyond the first in the series feels, for me, like self-flagellation. The book was just too dark and depressing. There was too much torturing of characters and eventually, I felt like was starting to feel the pain myself. I am not a sadist nor am I a masochist. So as well as the book was written and narrated, I do not think I will continue beyond Vol 1.

    169 of 200 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ComicGurlGeek 08-15-15

    wheee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe I'm just spoiled by TV"

    Like many, I decided to finally read George R.R. Martin's epic novels after being drawn in by the HBO TV series based on the books. But perhaps the awesome visuals and great cast of actors spoiled me, because I couldn't get in to the audiobooks. I found the narrator's pace plodding and his accents irritating...again, this could just be because I already had voices for the characters in mind. In any case, I finally just bought the series for my Kindle and am reading them the old-fashioned way.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Weiss california, usa 11-05-13
    Jennifer Weiss california, usa 11-05-13 Member Since 2013

    dogmama

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "narrator leaves somehing to be desired"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really. I think you'd do better to read it yourself, or wait till a better narrator does it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story itself is fantastic.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was lacking because the actor misreads words and names, but mainly because he only does old men voices well. Of all the books I've listened to, this is the only time I've ever really disliked a performance.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles Portland. Oregon 05-02-15
    Miles Portland. Oregon 05-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible narrator ruins a great book"
    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Dotrice makes a slew of mistakes and errors that should have been caught with editing and multiple takes. Not only does he occasionally trip over lines, but he doesn't seem to know how to pronounce a single name in this entire book. It's incredibly jarring to listen to Brian and P-tire and Sancha. Not only that, but his voices are frequently distracting. Aftere being spoilt for talent in the show, the caricature voices are either too difficult to understand, like Varys slurring his words disgustingly, or downright insulting, as with the strange Warwick Davis impression he seems to be doing for Tyrion.

    I sincerely hope to find other narrators for the subsequent books, because I have no intention of continuing this series with Dotrice narrating.


    28 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 03-16-13
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 03-16-13 Member Since 2016

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for the soft hearted"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Well, I would recommend the print version since I did not like the narrator's acting. I felt awkward and disgusted at times.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    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.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    28 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liza115 03-11-13
    Liza115 03-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Story - didn't care for the reader"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The reader made listening very difficult.


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Although I understand that there are many characters, and the timeperiod lends itself to "gruff" characters, I didn't like listening to the gruff and harsh voice of some of the characters. It was a difficult listen for me personally.


    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon H. Ewing 02-27-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Game of Thrones"

    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.

    126 of 156 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 05-17-15
    Jonathan 05-17-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    5
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    "Absolutely horrible narration"

    I have seen the HBO series on game of thrones so I can keep up with the story but i got through 2 chapters and couldn't stand to listen to this terrible narration any longer. I thought I had it set at X1.5 for a minute but it was just the narration. His voices were terrible and the wens voice sounded like big burly men. Please get someone else to read these as I really do like the series and want to hear the books as well, since HBO has rushed things IMO.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Stephens City, VA, United States 10-30-13
    Bill Stephens City, VA, United States 10-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Couldn't finish listening"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I would have loved to keep going with this book but I could not get past the narrator's voice/reading. Will have to look for this book some more as I think the story would be interesting.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Change the Narrator


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Tone, missed attempts at dialect.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Desire to listen to it from another narrator.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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