A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (Unabridged) - George R.R. Martin
I have listened to the audiobooks, all with Roy Dotrice and luckily for me, Dotrice re-recorded Feast For Crows just as I was getting to book 4. I understand those who hate Dotrice--- that all the women he voices sound like old hags. And that's true, but after 120 hours, you get used to him and he DOES do a good job. That is, until this book.
Roy Dotrice cannot keep his voices straight and this flaw kills this book. Over the first three, there were some vocal variations, like Jaime Lannister sounding distinct in Book 2, and then sounding similar to Tyrion in Book 3 (which I can appreciate). In book 4, not only does Dotrice bungle voices between prior books and this book, but he bungles voices WITHIN this book.
For example, Little Finger -- a character he has voiced in all volumes has always had a sly erudite voice… and in the early chapters, he does. Midway through, Little Finger sounds like a walrus-- a gruff voice Dotrice had often reserved for characters such as Edmure Tully or Jorah Mormont. The voices are VASTLY different. The listener (me) was shocked… and I twice rewound the chapter to try to figure out if something happened to his throat (nothing did).
The following character's voices vary DISTINCTLY throughout the book: Jaime, Little Finger, Arya, Catelyn (who's name pronunciation also changes--- Dotrice pronounces it CAT-lin in books 1-3 and KATE-lin in book 4-- I don't care which is proper, I care about being freaking consistent), Hyle Hunt (whose voice changes seriously between one POV chapter to the next), Eddard (in a flashback scene) . All in all -- this problem is far from tiny--- it is wide sweeping.
Like many people here, I listen to a lot of audiobooks… Quality is important.. Voicing characters well and consistently is crucial lest the listen become extremely confused. Dotrice cannot be solely to blame. Wasn't there a director? Wasn't there a person listening to Dotrice speak into the microphone who could have said, "hey Roy? You know, you've voiced Petyr Baelish a whole bunch of times in the last three books, and you never used that voice…. just saying.."
The team who produced this audiobook, all involved, should really be ashamed. And I cannot think that anyone who has listened to the epic thus far will fail to notice this problem. John Lee's version may be the way to go.