- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 33 hours and 50 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: December 9, 2003
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0001DBI1Q
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
Of course they weren't wrong.
What George R.R. Martin has done here defies genre, period. It doesn't matter if you're like me and don't care for this sub-genre of fantasy... it doesn't matter if your like my spouse, and don't like fantasy at all. If you enjoy brilliant, incredibly-developed, thought-provoking stories... those with a strongly developed cast of characters who blissfully lack being "good vs. evil" and instead all display their shades of grey, good traits, evil traits, unique traits, all sorts of traits... then this book is for you. Buy it. Open it up. Start reading. You won't regret it.
Long term fans of the genre will make immediate comparisons to other giants (!) of the field, and the first name to spring to mind will, of course, be J R R Tolkien, with his breathtaking LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. On a superficial level, Martin’s books are longer (by a looooong way) and yet despite the extra length and time involved in writing and reading them, he has failed to gift the reader with the quality of prose, and downright beauty, that is the trademark of Gandalf, Frodon, Elrond and company.
Humour has a minor role in the book, but only with certain clans. I am thinking of the Lannisters here, folks, but only the loveable and highly durable Tyrion (the imp) demonstrates qualities of this nature worth mentioning. And of course he uses humour as a defence mechanism in order to cope with the situations and compromises he finds himself in on a daily basis.
For the rest of the cast, life is much, much, much too serious to be caught laughing. And it’s only going to get worse. Winter is coming, you see. One of the plethora of strong features of GOT is character development, and they oftentimes grow and develop right before your eyes. Obviously time passes in this book but i found it immensely satisfying seeing how some of the younger generations of the book’s populace cope with, and grow into, roles they find themselves in. Some under duress, some at the hands of fate and some, Gods forbid, at the result of their own engineering.
There is the subtle hint of dragons making an appearance in the story, but having just reached page 604 out of 780 I do believe that the reader is running out of time and words if they are going to be blessed with the presence of these magnificent creatures in the first book of this epic fable. Of course there is a lot more going on than just the re-emergence of dragons; like i just mentioned, Winter is Coming, and even though that is a saying strongly favoured by the Starks, it may well turn out to be a metaphor that affects the entire world that Mr Martin has so wonderfully crafted.
The pace of the book ebbs and flows. It started off well, with several major emotional shocks hitting the reader full in the face early on. By page 300 I was ready to declare my personal love for Catelyn Stark (I still am) but then things slowed down and i found myself forced to carry on the exploration of this fantastic world i have become lost in. And for every page i forced myself to read, i found myself resenting the time doing so, and not spent playing hide and seek in Middle Earth with Sauron and company. But then the pace of the book picked up again, new characters came to life and a multitude of betrayals took place which made my investment more than worthwhile.
Some of the locations described in the book are truly breath taking. Some of the ideas, too, are good enough to make you yearn to become one with the book and morph yourself right there. This book is incredibly deep. Characters that are presumably killed off are spoken of with such fervour and respect that you may well find yourself hoping against hope that they will be found again. There are many aspect of the book that have moved me, or grabbed my imagination by the throat and not let go. I have attempted to keep this review spoiler free and purposely vague at times. I can fully imagine myself reading GAME OF THRONES multiple times. Not for the beauty of the prose, because that is not its strong point. But certainly in order to relieve the drama, and the excitement, the cliffhangers and the shocks, you could certainly call me a fan.
Four stars for a dead set modern day classic. It is not perfect by any means, and i can only assume the story will get stronger as i make progress through the books. Watch this space and I will let you know.
Summer is over. Winter is coming. Books rule.