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J. Caldwell

  • 2
  • reviews
  • 79
  • helpful votes
  • 17
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  • A Game of Thrones

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106,254
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92,193
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 92,098

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse - unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review of First 5 Books

  • By DCinMI on 09-12-13

Entertaining story, narrating not so much

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-06-17

Highly recommend this book if you enjoy the television series. There are some differences, but the history is richer in the novel(s) and I found it easier to follow.

However, Mr. Dotrice's narration leaves a lot to be desired. His voice is harsh and gruff, which doesn't lend itself to a plethora of various characters (I found the voice of Tywin especially obnoxious - forcibly pompous, uttering 2 or 3 words between lengthy pauses and breaths, like the worst caricature of a fat old British member of parliament). His interpretation of the pronounciation of the characters' names was inconsistent - "Joffrey" became "Jeffrey" at one point, "Hodor" was used interchangeably with "Hodar," and the Stark matriarch was sometimes "Catt-lin" and other times "Cait-lin," just to name a few. Narration of dialogue in a character's voice sometimes carries over into non-dialogue parts (i.e. reading "...said Arya" in Arya's voice). I found myself actually surprised this recording was given the thumbs-up for release, especially for a story so wildly popular as this one.

The narration almost ruins the book for me. I so wished for a different narrator for the remainder of the series, but alas - if you want to experience Game of Thrones on audiobook, this is what you're stuck with.

79 of 85 people found this review helpful

  • World Without End

  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 45 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,952
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,854
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,864

In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 40 hours too short ...

  • By Henrik on 11-03-07

Excellent, compelling story and narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-05-17

Would've given 5 stars were it not for the periodic, abrupt "END OF DISC __" callouts punctuating the entire recording. Super distracting.

Otherwise, I was really sad when this one ended. Ken Follett really does his homework in order to set the historical scenes with painstaking accuracy, almost to the point of showing off. I really loved the story, and his attention to detail made it feel all the more real. This story is fraught with danger, suspense, action, romance, mystery, drama, set against the backdrop of 14th century village life under the charge of an old priory stuck in its rigidly religious traditions. I'm glad John Lee narrates so many of Follett's books - and this is certainly one of his best performances, IMHO. My only complaint is this author's way of describing sex from a woman's perspective - as a woman, there were several eyeroll-inducing moments for me (it was painfully obviously written by a man).