A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 (Unabridged)
by George R. R. Martin
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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.
Difficult to listen to
As others have said, the reader's per-character voices are less than ideal, particularly for children and women. His pronunciation of many of the proper nouns within the book is also jarring, and not what I would have expected for a given spelling.
The chapter divisions are completely arbitrary with respect to content, and seem to be based entirely on time. Of the four parts (each around 250MB -- the whole book is about 1GB of audio), only two have chapters (42 and 40, respectively); the others have one 8.5 hour section. The last sentence of each "chapter" is repeated at the beginning of the next one, which is distracting when listened to sequentially.
Dramatically this gets 4 stars, but the technical problems are a huge detractor. For $44, I really feel let down.
Great series read by a superb narrator
If you don't like Roy Dotrice for whatever reason you might as well stop reading here. I have been listening to audiobooks almost exclusively for the last 10 years on my ipod and can say that Roy Dotrice does an outstanding job. His scope of characters rivals anything ever done before and to those detractors of a man reading a woman's part, all I can say is get used to it. The majority of audiobooks are read by a single person, whether man or woman and the assuming of opposite sexes is just par for the course. Some books have broadened that envelope with dramatizations that feature a host of narrators, male and female alike or the splitting of readers as in The Wheel of Time series where the male focused chapters and female focused chapters are read by the appropriate sex. Regardless, Dotrice does a wonderful job here but it would make sense to everyone interested to listen to the sample provided. For any audiobook you should listen to the sample, that just seems like good common sense. Audible has longer previews for those who need more of a sample.
There are few audiobooks I listen to repeatedly and this series is on the top of that list. I have run through it at least 3 times after initially reading all of the hardcovers. Martin's new book is coming out in a short time (after an ungodly 7 year wait) and Dotrice is listed as the reader so I am expecting quite a wonderful ride once again.
worst reader EVER
This reader would be good for gas-light era British epics, but here we are forced to suffer these wonderful books, while listening as the characters are shackled with the worst english accents ever choked out. I mean, really? Whose bright idea was it to have this done in these terrible tones? At some point didn't someone come forward and say; "iam not sure these accents are really going to work in this kind of fantasy..."
Do yourself a favor and buy the actual books, before this reader can ruin what is one of the best adult fantasy series ever penned.