A Clash of Kings

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3 out of 5 stars
By Robin on 07-02-13

Problematic, but good on the whole.

What did you like best about A Clash of Kings? What did you like least?

Martin's series is grand and ambitious in its scope, and that is simultaneously its blessing and its curse. The writing is strong, but the pace of the story is at once somehow quick, drawing the ear to the next page, and painfully slow. His use of different perspectives to tell the story is refreshing, but there are certain characters that it seems should be added to that list who remain absent, while some characters can grow simply tiresome at times. Nonetheless, if you're here for more of what you got in "A Game of Thrones", you'll find plenty.

That being said, Dotrice's narration is, to say the least, a mixed bag. Some characters, mainly the older male characters, are given excellent voices. Similarly, the voice he uses to narrate the general text itself is deliberate and clear. That being said, the list of characters who are nearly destroyed by his flamboyant voicing is long and unfortunate. He miserably fails at voicing literally every female character in the book, especially Brienne of Tarth and Mellisandre, and he manages to butcher most of the younger characters, including Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark. His most distracting and consistent failures come with two of the most important characters, Tyrion Lannister (who is given to sound like a shamefully caricatured leprechaun) and Lord Varys, whose sloppy annunciation and unmstakeable lisp are a shame to Mr. Dotrice and an absolute failure to grasp the character. Also worth mention are his terrible performances as Hodor the stableboy and Yoren the black brother. With Hodor the failure is less distracting, since he only says one word anyway, but Yoren is consistently annoying and hard on the ear in every scene.

Nonetheless, the writing is strong enough that a careful listener can work around the narration. I would recommend this recording of this book, but be aware of what you're getting yourself into beforehand.

What other book might you compare A Clash of Kings to and why?

More important, I think, are the books I would not compare it to. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Heinlein's works and essentially all other rote fantasy material is not fundamentally comparable. Often, the books read more like a novelized, fictionalized history of Scotland or England, and that's a compliment. Martin understands the kind of society he's mimicking, and as such he manages to write what is mostly a political novel with fantasy elements, rather than a fantasy novel with politics.

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

I will, but *only* because his is the only available narration of these books. Otherwise, I would not be caught dead listening to another of his performances.

Did A Clash of Kings inspire you to do anything?

Keep reading the series.

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43 of 47 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 04-02-13

I'm hooked, but narration...

Would you listen to A Clash of Kings again? Why?

No. I seldom listen to books more than once.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tyrion Lannister. Obvious underdog, bullied his whole life. He's coming up in the world and doing big things. Will he stay humble? It seems like a question Tyrion would ask himeself.
That's why I like the character so much.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?

Roy does 2 or 3 voices voices very well.
But! his females all sound like toothless old crones in pirate movies. Even the young beautiful ones.

The remainder of male characters sound like grumpy Leprechauns. I'm not joking. They really do. It's getting quite old and it's very disappointing.

That said Roy has the perfect amount of drama. His voice is excellent for reading the back story. You find yourself lost in the story till it comes time to narrate a female part. Then he snaps you out of it like being awakened from a sleep by a power saw in your bedroom.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

37 hours N/A.

Any additional comments?

Just finishing up book 2. Already bought book 3.
I'm excited about the series and will be more than ready to move on after book 3.
Regardless of how it leaves me hanging.

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54 of 60 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Theodore on 01-17-12

Did not disappoint...

Roy Dotrice again, simply great at what he does....

The twists and turns in the book is simply great and I am loving how the characters are very slowly but purposely being developed. The book has three different stories running as one it seems and it weaves together very well. Just plain impressive.

Overall... Just plain epic!

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63 of 74 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Nicholas on 12-13-11

Prepare to work on little sleep once you start

Any additional comments?

This whole series is well worth the time and the money. Once you start its all consuming. if you dont dream about it when you finally go to sleep, then your not paying attention.

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46 of 55 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Benjamin on 05-06-13

Great book, but bad "chapters"

Any additional comments?

The first audiobook (Game of Thrones) has chapter breaks that coincide with where they would be in the physical book. These breaks are timed out, and so happen at random points in the story. Even the four "parts" of the book break mid-chapter.

It would be a better listening experience if the breaks happened at an appropriate chapter break.

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73 of 88 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Alisha on 05-28-13

Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up

Where does A Clash of Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I thought it was a fantastic story, and well narrated. My #1 pet peeve, which I found really irritating, was that the listening chapters didn't line up with the chapter menu on my iphone. It made it difficult to find my spot if I lost it, made it impossible to figure out how much of a chapter is left, and I couldn't check the next chapter to see who's perspective was coming next (which I like to do).

Would you listen to another book narrated by Roy Dotrice?

Yes, I'm ready for Book 3!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I love the end, how the author positions all the characters for changes in the next book. I also love every section about Arya Stark, with her cleverness, strength, and stubborn determination.

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17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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