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
"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)
This would be a 5-star review, except that Audible has divided the book into 2 parts so that you have to use two tokens to finish the book. The US version of the book is sold in its entirety for a single token.
I have read every volume of this saga published to date and watched the DVD - this audible edition is a marvellous rendition of a great tale and Roy Dotrice does an excellent job with the huge range of characters. He is especially good with the male characters and has a good range of voices for them. I respect the fact that he does not try to be the female characters, choosing instead to rely on the author's drawing of the character rendered in the narrator's voice. This is far more effective, for me, than trying to be what he is not. I am working my way through the audible editions of each volume and am sure I will revisit them more than once. George R R Martin's imagination is rich and powerful; he has provided a feast for his fans. Roy Dotrice has enhanced my enjoyment enormously.
No one needs me to tell them how good George R. R. Martin's series is. However I did find it disappointing that Australians are forced to buy this book in two parts. The full book is available to other regions so why not for us? It is for this reason I have given the overall rating 1 star. Also if you are coming to the books from the brilliant TV series as I did you may find Roy Dotrice's performance of some characters off-putting as they are so different.
The novel is a favourite, but this talking book is really exceptional. The narrater is the master of voices and accents. Tyrion as a Welshman is masterful, and after listening enthralled through this I found one tiny flaw: Occasionally Roy forgets to step out of a characterisation when reading the narrative. Other than that I would call his performance flawless, and entirely in keeping with the quality of the storytelling.
The most memorable moment was when Tyrion first spoke. I'd always pegged him as being frightfully plummy, like Roy's version of Littlefinger, but the accent and voice used were a delightful surprise, and now work for me. I'm rereading the text of another book in the series, and now am very happy to hear Tyrion as Welsh in my head.
His eclectic and diverse range of both voice and accent stands out. He's got a vast array of distinct characters nailed down in a masterful way. He's very impressive.
Even if you haven't read the Ice & Fire series (shame on you) I recommend this audio book. It's like watching a movie, with a cast of hundreds, with your eyes closed.
I thoroughly enjoyed ever minute of this Audio book, the story is very engaging and hooks you in within the first 5 minutes. The narrator however has a very small revenue of voices he is able to lend the characters and it sometimes makes things a tad confusing. Also, and I put this as a caution. THIS IS ONLY ONE HALF OF THE FIRST BOOK. I understand some of you may think this point mute but with all the different versions of the one book on here I accidentally missed this rather obvious situation and proceeded to buy the Second half of the second book and listen to that after finishing this... However props must be given to the Author because despite this I managed to piece the important bits that I missed together, which is about a years worth of information.
Anyway I hope this helps in your decision to purchase this truly wonderful book.
A Game Of Thrones absolutely lived up to expectations and after HBO picking it up to do their most expensive series yet why wouldn't it. However, it was Roy Dotrice who really brought this book to life for me. His narration is smooth and lively, painting the world of Westeros in vivid colour and depth. Having an individual voice for each character was unexpected but welcomed giving another layer to each personality. I think my boyfriend is glad I've finished the series (for now) because he can have his girlfriend back. I can't wait for the next book in the series but more so I can't wait to here more from Roy Dotrice.
I read Stephen King's Cell once. It made for lovely wrapping paper.
One of the best thing about reading novels is the ability to create your interpretation of the world in question, to flavour the characters beyond the story itself, or the words on the page. When books get adapted to film, the characters are presented in a very stark way (so that people complain
Not going to give away spoilers here, but the first few times Roy Dotrice went from regal narrator to guttermouth were pretty memorable to me! :P
Dotrice has a talent of providing each character with their own unique voice - not a mean feat in a novel that has more antagonists than a YouTube comment section! It may be a slight lisp, or a throaty chuckle, but the variances in Dotrice's voice allow each character their own identity.
There are so many great characters. It is too difficult to choose just one. One of the most amazing things about this author is that he treats the characters realistically. As a result, it is very difficult to predict what will happen to them
They were all done well.
When Lord Eddard died. From that point I knew that realism took priority over sentimentality. It makes reading the series so much more interesting.
I started reading this series years ago when only books 1 and 2 had been released. i was riveted but got frustrated waiting for each installment and gave them away. I'm really enjoying listening to them now. the narrator is fantastic - so many different voices and characters. Some of them are, for me, not quite right, but the major characters are brilliant.
If you haven't been introduced to the series before, I can strongly recommend the audio version - with one reservation: the maps and genealogies the are available in book form really help to anchor the story. With so many characters and so much sweeping action, it can be a little confusing without these resources. Especially because audio doesn't really allow you to go back and pick up a detail you might have missed.
"Nice story, shame about the narrator"
I came to this series fresh as I'd never seen the tv show, and I just love this style. Fast paced and compelling
Wonderfully descriptive without slowing the pace, similar enough to our own world for the minds eye, different enough for wonder, the story transports you to another realm, suspension of reality is complete.
Unfortunately, I find the narrator's voice grates on my nerves at times and distracts me from the story. I am sure his readings would have been wonderful at one time, but, probably due to age or ill health, he gets out of breath and phlegmy far too often, and trips over the words too. It is a shame.
"I so much wanted to enjoy this. Sadly not to be"
Yes, The tone was quite monotonous and I gave up after an hour of listening. The wrong reader in my opinion. maybe would have been better as a full cast?
The story started off very promising, but I like to,listen o audiobooks in the car and this was just too much to concentrate on while driving. I found myself constsntly replaying bits. The readers tone was quite monotonous and I gave up after an hour of trying.
Roy Doltrice understands volume but not pace and this makes the book difficult to understand. So bad, in fact, I gave up.
No, because it is so badly read.
"Brilliant story, not a bad reader. But crap finish"
It's a really good story. I have watched the first 3 seasons and thought i would get the books. Not a bad recording apart from the sudden way it ends! Im pretty sure it didnt end like that in season 1!
listening is always better than reading
seeing how the characters grow
i read far to slow so its great to have it read to me
some parts were funny, and some parts sad but overal all its just great
So not a big fan of reading, but i watched the TV sersies when it was first on and wanted to know what happened past the first season, so listened to the first book, and then read the second.... I'ne never said this before but the books are definetly better than the TV show and that great too. If you like fantasy books i recomend these iand i dont normaly enjoy reading...
love this story, switched from the book to audio as narration is really good. listened to it every spare moment
"Good story, bad performance"
Having read most of the series now (i've yet to start A Dance with Dragons), i was really looking forward to revisiting the first few books in their audio form. Unfortunately i couldn't get past the rather poor narration and sadly it seems that the entire series has been voiced by the same narrator, so i'll probably not be bothering with the later audiobooks either.
Anyone familiar with the books is aware of the fact that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of characters mentioned throughout the series. However, with the 'main' characters i would at least hope for a little consistency. For one thing, Tyrion's accent seems to wander from region to region depending on what chapter of the book is being read. The narrator also seems to forget how to pronounce character's names quite regularly, it's pretty jarring to be getting dialogue out of the blue from "Geoffrey", "Anya" and "Brian".
Perhaps if you're unfamiliar with the books and don't mind a few inconsistencies, this is worth a go, but otherwise i'd give it a miss.
"Makes commuting a pleasure"
I would recommend this audiobook, particularly because I simply don't have time to read the hard copy, but am thoroughly enjoying being able to "read" it whilst driving. I know others who have struggled with the paper copy, but to be able to sit back and listen is great.
I am able to visualise the characters through his attempts to differentiate them with accents. Whilst some people don't like this aspect, I find it helps me - particularly since I am usually a visual person, so need good signposts to help me remember who everyone is if I am listening.
I am enjoying having "episodes" that are generally around 45 minutes long whilst I drive, it makes the story last longer.
I almost look forward to driving in order to carry on with the tale. It makes me less guilty about finding time to sit and read a book, when I can listen to it whilst doing something else.
"Great story wrong Narrator"
I have read all of the series to date and the audio edition is a great way to recap as the books do become complicated.
More adult version of lord of the rings
I will continue with the audio books but I don't think that Roy Dotrice is the best choice as narrator
"a modern classic,enthralling."
a mesmerizing fairytale for adults.can't wait to listen to the next part,but disapointed that it is being sold as two books.Roy Dotrice's narration is amazing.
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