NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES—THE MASTERPIECE THAT BECAME A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
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. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. 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. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Renowned for its vast array of heroes, villains, and those who sit somewhere in between, Game of Thrones would be an insurmountable challenge for most narrators. But Tony Award–winning actor Roy Dotrice—who played Hallyne the Pyromancer in the smash hit TV adaptation—dives deep into his box of voice tricks to breathe life into the literally hundreds of characters who appear in the fantasy epic’s first volume. Even if you don’t yet know your Greyjoys from your Grey Worms, Dotrice’s masterful sense of pacing will immerse you in the treacherous complications of George R.R. Martin’s bloodthirsty world.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fantastic book, okay reader
I have listened to dozens of epic texts via audiobook. This is, undoubtedly, one of my favorite books. I love the gritty and dystopian nature of Martin's characters. I love the realistic discussion of sex and real families. This is epic fantasy for adults, and despite my love and devotion to Tolkien's masterpieces, in many way this surpasses even that.
However, I feel less enthusiastic about the reader. He is not bad, but it takes real skill and talent for a reader of one sex to expertly speak in the voice of someone of the opposite sex, and the reader here does not pull it off as well as I would like. The reader only does an adequate job of distinguishing voices between characters, but this is no different than what you would have if you sat down and read the book for yourself. I am very picky about my readers, and have been spoiled by some very good ones.
The book itself is a 5 star, the reader is a 3 star.
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.
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.