Top critical review
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on 2 September 2014
Plenty of other reviews go into detail about the content of the book, so I won't repeat that here. I'm enough of a fan of this series to persevere with the books, but not enough to rave about how amazing it is - it's good. The books seem to get steadily worse as the series progresses - that's not to say that they're poor, but that they lack finesse, and tend to plod aimlessly in places. It's almost like Martin was given carte blanche after the first two books, and the books were published in a hurry without too much attention to detail.
Specifically in reference to the audiobook version, it's the voices I have difficulty with. I don't envy the narrator for having to conjure so many voices for the characters, and he does an admirable job of differentiating so many of them. I just can't get past the fact that most of the characters sound like old-age pensioners, and some of those who came across to me as quite intelligent and articulate in earlier books come across here as a bit slow and dim-witted.
Finally - and importantly - there's nothing quite as disturbing as listening to a posh elderly man simulating a girl in the throes of sexual ecstasy, especially whilst wearing headphones. Still makes me shudder even now.