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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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    66,918
  • 4 Stars
    11,523
  • 3 Stars
    2,535
  • 2 Stars
    961
  • 1 Stars
    1,130

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    52,830
  • 4 Stars
    12,242
  • 3 Stars
    3,991
  • 2 Stars
    1,103
  • 1 Stars
    1,047

Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    60,464
  • 4 Stars
    7,669
  • 3 Stars
    1,723
  • 2 Stars
    586
  • 1 Stars
    722
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Absolutely One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read!

One of the greatest and most entriguing books of fiction ever written in recent years..

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The reader was awesome!

The reader made all of the characters so individual I just loved listening to this book !

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  • Aron
  • Iceland
  • 04-04-17

Shortest 33 hour book I've ever listened to

The title says it all. The performance is excellent. The story is better. I couldn't stop, even taking the long way home to finish a chapter.

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absolutely loved it. !

One of my favorite stories of all time. It's well written with so many interesting and complex characters. I look forward to the other books in the series! I would have like a better effort at voice performance though, as all the characters sounded pretty much the same.

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All the voices sound like old men.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I do not like how he narrates every voice he does to sound like old raspy men. When a character is clearly supposed to young or female. I don't expect a full voice change, but a little inflection would help make it more believable. Also, whenever he was reading without creating a voice, it had a droning quality. I've ready the series three times and wanted to listen to it again while I worked and am a little disappointed in the narrator choice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Arya. Of Course.

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

Not particularly.

Was A Game of Thrones worth the listening time?

Yes, the book is amazing.

Any additional comments?

I would like to hear the book as read by a woman, with a woman's tone when describing some of the more uncomfortable scenes. I bet the reading would be so beautiful and nuanced that I wouldn't even feel like I'm listening to my dirty old uncle describing a scene from his favorite filthy movie. A woman might actually put a little sadness on some of those parts to help the reader truly feel the desperation and pain instead of watching it like a voyeur in a sticky peep show booth. Not sure the male audience would go for that, though.

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Loved every second!

What an amazing story. This is my first interaction with the series because I didn't watch the show. The narrator does an amazing job giving each character their own voice. It was sometimes difficult to keep so many characters straight but it gets easier. The story made me cry and laugh and sometimes I couldn't bare to press pause. Go for it if you are on the fence about starting it. Be warned though it can get pretty gruesome so just be prepared! "When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die." ❤️❤️❤️

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Throne me Baby

Yah this is truly a pleasure to listen too, excellent actor. They awoke the Dragon..:)

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The Best Possible Narrator for Epic Fantasy

Roy Dotrice is ideal for this story. I don't understand the negative reviews against him. He gives all characters in the series a personality that the listener will recognize as the story progresses. He guides your emotions and excitement flawlessly and he gives somber scenes the patience they deserve. I can't wait to finish the series. Roy makes the story what it was intended to be. Highly recommended.

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fantastic... enthralling

There is no other book like this. I cannot wait for the rest. The performance is impeccable.

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better then the show

love the narator love the show but this is more visual for me. thank you so much for the time killing while driving around for work