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A Game of Thrones (Part One): Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire | [George R. R. Martin]

A Game of Thrones (Part One): Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire

This is Part One of Book 1 of the A Song of Ice and Fire Series. This first volume in the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is unabridged and split into two parts. Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
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Publisher's Summary

This is Part One of Book 1 of the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE Series.

This first volume in the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is unabridged and split into two parts. Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men… all will play the Game of Thrones. Winter is coming…

©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

"A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won’t let go. It’s brilliant." (Robert Jordan)

"Colossal, staggering… Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world… one of the greats of fantasy literature." (SFX)

"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads… Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (753 )
5 star
 (460)
4 star
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3 star
 (60)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.6 (673 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (662 )
5 star
 (377)
4 star
 (173)
3 star
 (63)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Milner Mildura, Australia 09-08-11
    Milner Mildura, Australia 09-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Story
    "Ros"

    I did not like the narration of this book; it was a struggle to get through the first book. So much so that I am going to read instead of listen to the rest of the series. Everyone sounds old, aggressive, lecherous or feeble minded.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter perth, Australia 02-10-14
    Peter perth, Australia 02-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well told"
    Would you listen to A Game of Thrones (Part One) again? Why?

    Yes, its a good story, well told.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    No one part stands out far above the rest. Some of it is a bit mundane, the rest makes up for it, and some!


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    At the start I didn't rate him very highly, I thought his voices were all a bit too much the same.
    About half way through I realize he is very good. I am not sure if its because he got better or I got used to him. Ether way, I hope he continues to do the rest of the books.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Having seen the TV show, there was not too many surprises.
    It fleshed out a familiar story as only a book can do.


    Any additional comments?

    Get it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tash Googong, Australia 01-01-14
    Tash Googong, Australia 01-01-14 Member Since 2014

    -Tash

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
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    "Unlisten-to-able"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    George R. R. Martin - yes
    Roy Dotrice - definitely no


    How could the performance have been better?

    Any narrator could have done a better job than Roy Dotrice. It was dismal. I couldn't even listen. I wish I hadn't bought all the books before hearing how hopeless this guys is.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Woongarrah, Australia 09-24-13
    Tina Woongarrah, Australia 09-24-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Let down by character voices"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    I have read all of the books and am re reading by audiobook. This is one of the best series I have ever read and I would like to read more George RR Martin beyond A Song of Ice and Fire. I would not listen to another reading by this narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    There are too many characters for one narrator. Young characters sound like they are elderly, many characters are made to sound very simple, voices are applied to text accidentally, character names are mispronounced. I was very surprised about the number of errors in what is quite an expensive product full price. I would have thought the sections with errors could have been re recorded.

    Another option would have been a dramatic reading with many actors contributing to get the voices right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nichola australia 04-28-13
    Nichola australia 04-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uninspiring narration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The story is great but the narration is uninspiring and puts me to sleep. I think i will have to read this one in hard copy or ebook to fully appreciate the story.


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

    Intonation does not change even when the plot is tense and action packed. Almost monotone.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alberga leiden, Netherlands 10-29-12
    Alberga leiden, Netherlands 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, not so great voice."
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    I loved the story and the way it is told by the author not the narrator. First person perspective, and there are a lot of persons.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best thing is the set up of the story line.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    I will have to listen to more of his performances, he is the narrator of the other books in this series. So I am have no choice.
    I read that a lot of people love his acting. I just find it really annoying. A lot of huffing and puffing for the distinguished people. He also uses a lto of spit. Women sound like hardend men. Some young boys/men sound like 50 year old barbarians. But the most annoying for me was the constant breathing in through the nose to sound distinguished. Together with the wetness/ spit talk of certain characters made it really irritating. It is not as bad as Daffy duck just enough to annoy me.

    Also a lot of times you cannot distinguish the characters cause they all start to sound the same after a while.

    But some people absolutely love his voice acting.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes the voice acting made me cringe from time to time.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is so good that even Roy Dotrice's voice acting can't stop me from buying the other parts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Iwan 07-09-15
    Iwan 07-09-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Fantastic but.."

    Buy the whole first book don't buy just the first half!! Because you will not be able to purchase the second part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Jenkins 05-28-15
    B Jenkins 05-28-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great story but poor performance"

    though I loved the story the accents used were all over the place

    people from the north given southern English accents while other members of their family had northern ones

    and the same for the southerners

    no consistency with the narrative


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma 05-13-15
    Emma 05-13-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Something like torture"
    What made the experience of listening to A Game of Thrones (Part One) the most enjoyable?

    The story and the added information you just can't get from the TV series


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    Getting to know some of the characters a bit better


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader isn't consistent with the names he pronounces, he does all young people and women with the same voice - his - and his annunciation is not great in general. I wish I could hear it with a good reader


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Weisz 05-06-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it.
    to1p7"

    loved it. very exciting & gory. watched all the seasons so far. cant wait for other seasons

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Paul
    guildford, United Kingdom
    7/24/11
    Overall
    "Personally I liked Dotrice.... but..."

    Unless I'm hugely mistaken only half of the book itself has been uploaded for sale. (yes, I know it's split into two parts but the second part ends with 'you have reached the end of a download but not of the book' message and, having asked friends, they've said the two parts of the audiobook only get to 2/3rds of the book itself. No answer from audible twitter on what the score is. Maybe there's another part to be uploaded later? Who knows.

    Anyhow: I liked the narrator but found it similarly hard to work out who was who etc. I put it down to the naming convention in the book itself, I was enjoying what I was listening to anyhow...

    35 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • JMWILLIAMS
    NR. HALESWORTH,, United Kingdom
    4/30/12
    Overall
    "I'm sorry Mr Dotrice"

    I wish I had listened to a sample first, and then I would have avoided downloading this. I'm sorry Mr Dotrice, but your narration did nothing for me - except to convince me to buy the book and read it for myself. My fault, I will not make the same mistake in future. The story sounded wonderful, but after a couple of hours I became so distracted and frustrated with the narration, that I deleted it from my iPod. It may work for you, try the sample.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sparrow
    Ryde,, United Kingdom
    5/15/12
    Overall
    "Have you got a strong constitution?"

    You will need a strong constitution to get through this excellent series of books. If you have watched the TV series, it is tame compared to the books. At first I hated the readers voice. He made even the gentlest child sound like a hatefull crone. Then I came to realise as the story went on that this was a cruel world being conjured, filled with pain, malice, greed and torture and that this was normal life there. I had to have a break from this story a number of times, sometimes for a week just to gather the courage to continue to listen. You, like me will probably be taken to the depths of dispair repeatedly, having all hope for the hero's dashed time and time again. There is also love and bawdy titilation from some unlikely characters that put finishing touches to this masterpiece.
    Beware all ye who enter these stories!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Barbara
    Brackendowns, South Africa
    4/30/12
    Overall
    "Frustrating Narrator"

    Loved the story, but got really frustrated with the narrator, which is very distracting in an audio book. Everyone sounded drunk and weak. Decided to read the rest myself and am enjoying them a whole load more.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sally
    Bury, United Kingdom
    1/8/12
    Overall
    "An enthralling story"

    There are several reviews here which express far more eloquently than I could just how good this story is so I'm not going to comment on that aspect, instead I'll comment on the listening experience provided by the audiobooks.

    1. I do feel that it helps for a newcomer to the books to have seen the TV show, the story in non-linear at points, jumping forward and then backtracking, this can be a little disconcerting, you may wonder if you've accidentally skipped over a chapter somewhere. I certainly had to rewind on a number of occasions.

    2. A few reviewers have suggested that Roy Dotrice doesn't do a good job with the narration. I disagree, I rather like his reading style but, whoever produced the recordings should be embarrassed by the fact that at certain points characters are renamed and worst of all one character's accent suddenly changes from Northern English to Welsh, I thought I was hearing things at first. Given the number of characters and the scope of the book I think on the whole he did a good job, but someone dropped the ball somewhere in the edit suite.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gwendoline
    Llandinam, United Kingdom
    8/1/11
    Overall
    "Wonderful story - appalling narration."

    I have to thank Audible for introducing me to George R.R. Martin's epic saga - I hesitated to delve into the book myself but thought I might while away a few hours by listening to it. I found I was enchanted by the story but the narration was so awful I had to give up listening and go out and buy the book so that I could read it myself. Roy Dotrice made all the characters sound as though they were in their dotage. With some of the characters his characterisation was so over the top, particularly with Varys, that you simply couldn't understand what he was saying. But the thing that really annoyed me was that while his brother and sister, Jaime & Cercei, had very upper class accents, Tyrion had a distinct Yorkshire accent - until about half way through when he suddenly became Welsh. Very odd and very disappointing.

    28 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Matt Godwin
    3/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, terrible naration"

    A compelling fast paced story badly hampered by a really bad reading.

    Many of the youngers charachters in particular are voiced as if they're in their sixties.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • TM FRAIN
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book, bad audio"

    Fast becoming a classic story, but read on the audiobook like it was a 1940's BBC radio drama. Little or none of the individual characters were brought to life, although it was all very clearly annunciated. Back to reading it again for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Brown
    2/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book, Not So Great Reader"

    The readers bizarre portrayal of Drogo and Tirion makes for hard listening at times. Overall it is just about bareable!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Perry
    2/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator very annoying for such a great story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator. His voice lacks any drama and is delivered in a 'rumbling' monotone that is hard to follow and detracts totally from the story. This is going to be returned and I'll continue reading it myself. A real shame for such a gripping narrative.


    If you’ve listened to books by George R. R. Martin before, how does this one compare?

    No. First one.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?

    There are so many great voices about. This needs a calm author active British accent in my opinion. Similar to a Martin Sheen or a David Tennant just a shame they are too busy. Sean Bean would also be great as it needs some grit. Roy Dotrice is just an indistinguishable mess. Ian McKellen's wolf brother reading shows how this kind of story can be done.


    Was A Game of Thrones (Part One) worth the listening time?

    No. It will be worth the reading time though.


    Any additional comments?

    An opportunity missed. If the same narrator does the whole series then I won't be getting any. Shame as they are perfect stories for long car journeys

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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