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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) (edition 2011)

by George R.R. Martin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,00485937 (4.39)4 / 1358
Member:amhamilt
Title:A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 720 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

  1. 204
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 172
    Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (majkia)
    majkia: Both feature war-torn landscapes, confusing and conflicting motivations for main characters, and focus on complex characters whose loyalties are strained and oftentimes change.
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    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (allthesedarnbooks)
  4. 152
    Shogun: A Novel of Japan by James Clavell (saturnine13)
    saturnine13: If you like gritty, faux historical fiction, how about another with an asian flavor? Shogun, like A Game of Thrones, concerns the byzantine political intrigues of a multitude of different characters painted in moral shades of grey, generously heaped with gruesome action and heart-breaking romance. While Shogun lacks dragons, it does have the added interest of being mostly based upon real events and people.… (more)
  5. 120
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  6. 100
    The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin (jpers36)
  7. 101
    Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (music2084)
  8. 70
    The Iron King by Maurice Druon (Fayries)
    Fayries: George R. R. Martin himself wrote that "Druon's series was one of my major inspirations".
  9. 125
    The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny (ryvre)
    ryvre: Both are fantasy books with lots of politics and intrigue among the royal families.
  10. 40
    Malice by John Gwynne (Toby_Sugden)
    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
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  14. 41
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    quenstalof: Both are high fantasy epics with dragons :-)
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    sboyte: Like Game of Thrones, this book shows us the lives of medieval men and women with a bit of magic and politics thrown in.
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  20. 10
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(see all 31 recommendations)

1990s (4)
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English (813)  Spanish (13)  French (6)  Dutch (5)  German (5)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  All (2)  Danish (2)  Italian (1)  Polish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (1)  All (857)
Showing 1-5 of 813 (next | show all)
I read this after watching the series. I am not sure I could have followed without knowing the characters from the show, but I am glad I read it to give me additional context to the characters. This is not a genre I normally read, but I enjoyed this because of the plot twists and creative world created by Martin. Not the best written book, but worth it if you love the show! ( )
  sbenne3 | Mar 27, 2017 |
I'm hooked. ( )
  Piggelin | Mar 11, 2017 |
I even tried the free audible edition to spare me the effort of reading it, but kept falling asleep to that.
I gave up at chapter 29. Sure, there are some micro stories in there that I quite like - the "bastard" (as we are told endlessly) Jon has a pleasing little character arc during his early time at the wall and the interactions between characters are well done. Poor Bran falling from the tower was good. The writing has a pleasing easy flow.
But at the macro scale - what the heck is going on? Where is the plot? It just feels like it is going no where with events happening that don't appear to contribute to progressing a plot.
Some say it is like a soap opera. I think I agree and I don't like soap operas.
I've heard that GRRM's writing style is to plant seeds and see what grows. I think he needs a trellis or something to give what is growing some structure and purpose. Then it might be growing into an impressive garden instead of a tangle of weeds - all be it pretty weeds.
Some say it gets better the more you get into it, but this reader has been kept waiting way too long for the story (if there is a story) to obtain a sense of purpose and pace.

I do congratulate GRRM on finding an audience, a large one at that, to consume his works. I am conscious of the fact that a number of people I know reading the series are doing so because it is "famous" and they feel they should, and not because they actually enjoy it. That is sad. ( )
  AdrianGHilder | Feb 22, 2017 |
That. Was. Awesome. Enough said. ( )
  SarahHayes | Feb 20, 2017 |
After hearing so many good things about this series, I finally decided to try it. That was probably one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I had thought about just jumping right into the television show without reading the book, but my brother talked me out of that idea. He said that to get the full effect of the show, I should read the book first.

I was slightly daunted by the length of this book. Even to someone who reads often (and quickly), 800 pages is long. Despite this, I still finished in a few days because it was just that good. Each chapter was between ten and twenty pages, so they went by quickly. However, they were not numbered so I wasnÛªt sure quite how many chapters I had read in a sitting.

I would recommend A Game of Thrones to anyone who wants a great read, as long as they have the time and can commit to an 807-page book. It was filled with intrigue, deceit, and a dash of honor. So many things happened throughout the story that it kept me reading late into the night on a few occasions. Each chapter revealed a new twist, and I was always on the edge of my seat. One word of caution to anyone who decides to read it: do not become attached to any characters. No one is safe.


Full review at nerdybookgirl.blogspot.com. ( )
  katybenben | Feb 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 813 (next | show all)
The best about this is the way you can trust it to all fit together and make sense. If Martin mentions something without explaining it, it’ll be explained later, or anyway alluded to so that you can put it together yourself. It’s overflowing with detail and you can trust that all of the detail belongs and is necessary and interesting. The world and the story are completely immersive, with no jolts to jerk you out of your suspension of disbelief.
added by johnsmithsen | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Sep 9, 2009)
 
This is a perfect book.

There's honestly nothing I can think of that could improve it in any way. This is a book that made me shout at it, that made me giggle and cry, that made me gasp, that made me tremble and hate and love. It's seamless; I'd say it's unputdownable, except that sometimes I found I desperately needed to put it down because I was overwhelmed with the wonder of it, only to pick it up again half an hour later.
added by Shortride | editSF Site, Amal El-Mohtar (Mar 15, 2007)
 
And yet, I couldn't stop reading. And it wasn't with the kind of self-loathing desperation for closure that took me to the end of The Da Vinci Code. I read A Game Of Thrones with genuine pleasure. It may be a cartoon, but it's one that is brilliantly drawn. Archaic absurdity aside, Martin's writing is excellent. His dialogue is snappy and frequently funny. His descriptive prose is immediate and atmospheric, especially when it comes to building a sense of deliciously dark foreboding relating to a long winter that is about to engulf his fictional land.
 
I even tried the free audible edition to spare me the effort of reading it, but kept falling asleep to that.
I gave up at chapter 29. Sure, there are some micro stories in there that I quite like - the "bastard" (as we are told endlessly) Jon has a pleasing little character arc during his early time at the wall and the interactions between characters are well done. Poor Bran falling from the tower was good. The writing has a pleasing easy flow.
But at the macro scale - what the heck is going on? Where is the plot? It just feels like it is going no where with events happening that don't appear to contribute to progressing a plot.
Some say it is like a soap opera. I think I agree and I don't like soap operas.
I've heard that GRRM's writing style is to plant seeds and see what grows. I think he needs a trellis or something to give what is growing some structure and purpose. Then it might be growing into an impressive garden instead of a tangle of weeds - all be it pretty weeds.
Some say it gets better the more you get into it, but this reader has been kept waiting way too long for the story (if there is a story) to obtain a sense of purpose and pace.

I do congratulate GRRM on finding an audience, a large one at that, to consume his works. I am conscious of the fact that a number of people I know reading the series are doing so because it is "famous" and they feel they should, and not because they actually enjoy it. That is sad.
 

» Add other authors (54 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Altieri, Alan D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiltunen, PetriIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hlinovsky, SatuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodgman, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thulin, LouiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Dedication
this one is for Melinda
First words
"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."
Quotations
"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends", Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace." He gave a shrug. "They never are."
Bran thought about it. "Can a man still be brave if he's afraid? "That is the only time a man can be brave," his father told him.
The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.
A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.
Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
If you are combining a translated copy please check carefully as in some languages this book was split into two volumes. In some languages there is a single volume edition and a split edition - you should only combine the single volume edition with the English edition.

Languages known to have multiple-volumes - French*, German*, Italian*, Portugese, Romanian and Swedish*.

Languages marked by an asterisk also have a single volume edition.
This is the single-volume edition "A Game of Thrones". DO not combine with the omnibus edition containing "A Game of Thrones" and " A Clash of Kings".
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Book description
Publisher description for A Game of Thrones;

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Haiku summary
Long suffering Starks,
betrayal is always near,
beware Lannisters.

(leahdawn)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553573403, Mass Market Paperback)

Readers of epic fantasy series are: (1) patient--they are left in suspense between each volume, (2) persistent--they reread or at least review the previous book(s) when a new installment comes out, (3) strong--these 700-page doorstoppers are heavy, and (4) mentally agile--they follow a host of characters through a myriad of subplots. In A Game of Thrones, the first book of a projected six, George R.R. Martin rewards readers with a vividly real world, well-drawn characters, complex but coherent plotting, and beautifully constructed prose, which Locus called "well above the norms of the genre."

Martin's Seven Kingdoms resemble England during the Wars of the Roses, with the Stark and Lannister families standing in for the Yorks and Lancasters. The story of these two families and their struggle to control the Iron Throne dominates the foreground; in the background is a huge, ancient wall marking the northern border, beyond which barbarians, ice vampires, and direwolves menace the south as years-long winter advances. Abroad, a dragon princess lives among horse nomads and dreams of fiery reconquest.

There is much bloodshed, cruelty, and death, but A Game of Thrones is nevertheless compelling; it garnered a Nebula nomination and won the 1996 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. So, on to A Clash of Kings! --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

A tale of court intrigues in the land of Seven Kingdoms, a country "blessed by golden summers that go on for years, and cursed by cruel winters that can last a generation." The cold is returning to Winterfell, where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime. A time of conflict has arisen in the Stark family, as they are pulled from the safety of their home into a whirlpool of tradedy, betrayal, assassination plots and counterplots. Each decision and action carries with it the potential for conflict as several prominent families, comprised of lords, ladies, soldiers, sorcerers, assassins and bastards, are pulled together in the most deadly game of all, the game of thrones.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

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