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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 56 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on November 6, 2000
This is not a critique of Tolkien's work; rather it is a condemnation of Houghton Mifflin's hardcover boxed set. Thirty years after first reading "The Lord of the Rings" I decided to read it again. Besides the engrossing and detailed story, I had a renewed interest in the technical aspects of Tolkien's craft and his use of the English language. I am not disappointed and I am enjoying the reading immensely.
I bought the Hardcover Boxed edition published October, 1988, by Houghton Mifflin Co (Trd); ISBN: 0395489326 ; because I wanted a high quality, permanent copy with good typesetting and larger print. When I received this particular edition I was shocked at the extremely poor quality of print and generally poor quality of every aspect of the presentation. In two of the volumes the maps are incorrectly bound so that they are impossible to unfold. It is not even possible to cut the map out of the book because important parts of the middle of it have been sewn up in the binding.
But the damning point of this edition is the printed page. Every single page has both drop outs and extra ink everywhere. The printing weight varies from page to page, at times fading to a medium gray, at other times a dense bold face. I am not exaggerating when I proclaim that most paperbacks are printed more carefully and more clearly than this.
Buy the books, read them and enjoy them. But benefit from my misfortune and stay far far away from this edition.
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on January 5, 2003
I have been a long time fan of the LOTR. Since the movies were released some of my friends wanted to know more about the books, so I checked this set out of the Library thinking it was a good place to start. Sadly I was mistaken from the very begining this recording is a disappointment. The Actors voices are flat and devoid of expression. As a result, the listener gets the impression that the characters treat their task with the same respect that they would place on a Disney movie.
After one disc of waiting for things to get better, I decided to try listening to the battle Of Helms Deep. Here too I found nothing but an endless monotone backed by poor sound effects.
If you are a true Tolkien fan or someone who wants to get the full magic of The Lord of the Rings I recommend the BBC production starring Ian Holm.
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on May 30, 2000
I will not elaborate on the contents of J. R. R. Tolkien's masterpiece, others have done that much better, just read some the remaining reviews. Instead I would like to give my two cents to this specific edition: while it is dubbed as "Collector's Edition", I had to find out the hard way, that it is not really set in new type but only photo-offset from another edition which leads to an irregular print with lots of flaws in the appearance of the different letters. If you know the book, just compare pages 6 (photo-offset) and 7 (conventionally set) for excellent examples of blurred acharacters vs. clarity and excellent readability. In my personal view, this is not the standard I would expect from a "Collector's Edition" let alone from the price of this book. - I am extremely disappointed.
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on October 11, 1999
Yes, I am a Tolkien fan. So much so that my family gave me the Lord of the Rings in the collectors edition, a box containing the three volumes bound together.
I must advise against this edition. Although the cover is lovely, with gilt lettering and a faux leather cover, and although the book has black type and red page headings on it's thick smooth paper, I say don't buy it.
There is no justifying a "Collector's Edition" with broken type on every page. If broken-type is not the correct term, forgive me. Only be aware that this edition has incompletely printed letters on seemingly every page.
In a paperback edition, or if the broken type was rare, I wouldn't comment, but in a "collector's edition," one should get a little more care in the presentation of the text.
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on January 13, 2004
As I fan of Lord of the Rings (the books and the movies) I was quite excited to recieve this for CHristmas. My excitement died within minutes of placing it in my CD player. The voices, aside from the narrator, do not seem to fit the characters. Espoecially disturbing were when the high elfs had voices that sounded like Alvin, Theodore and Simon, rather than the noble creatures they should sound like, and Tom Bombadil sounding like a tripped out leprechaun. It also bothers me that almost every actor seems to be reading, so much so that you can hear the pause as they come to the end of a line or page, even if it is mid-sentance. And perhaps the worst thing is the way they mispronounce names and places. Tolkien gives a pronunciation guide in the books, they should have used it.
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on August 7, 1998 another man's poison. Before I get flamed by rabid Tolkien fanatics, let me state that I've attempted to enjoy this book several times over the last 7 years or so. Each time, I've managed to get perhaps 1/3 of the way through before I finally give up. I mean, I enjoyed "The Hobbit", and, as devoted fantasy readers, it's our duty to worship L.O.T.R., right? Sorry, but this is one book of flowery prose that zaps me (and many readers, I'm betting) right into slumberland. The characters and situations are well-crafted, but his style of writing about them generates a 0 on the interest meter.
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on January 20, 2003
I have just listened to part of this in my friend's car and I am disgusted. Not only is it the worst written abridged book I have ever heard, they have terrible sound effects in the background. It is also very irresponsible of them to let the actors pronounce at least 80 percent of the names wrong, they said Sauron as if it were spelled Suron. They said Gimli son of Glo-in instead of Gloin and the list goes on forever. Annoying voices were given to all of the hobbits, especially Sam. I recommend the BBC version or the unabridged version to listen to...Reading the books works too.
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on January 8, 2002
Don't get me wrong. I am a Tolkien fan. I am not, however, a fan of this edition. Being in publishing myself I can spot a quality product versus an inferior one. This "Collector's Edition" is horrific. From page to page the type is either light or so dark that the print seems to blur. Leather bound? It's not worth even mentioning. Please think twice about spending the money on this one folks. Finer editions surely abound. The publisher should be ashamed for reproducing such a fine tale in such a poor package.
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on January 14, 2002
I do love 'The lord of the rings'. I red it in German first, as this is my mother-language. My cousin gave me this edition as a present. Well, it is not a very good one. The print is sometimes light and sometimes dark, it often looks like 'The neverending story'- there it is ment to be. If you want to have a super-edition, you should rather wait, untill somebody publishes one! For the German readers I hope, that some day, Artemis& Winkler will publish a thin-print-edition!
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on October 18, 1999
The 'Collector's Edition' hardbound leatherette version is not worth buying. I've returned two copies to local bookstores because of incomplete printing. The pages look like they were printed on a half-broken laser printer low on toner. The lack of attention to detail in making the plates for this version shocks me. Please look at this book before you buy it. Seriously - my thrice-read paperback versions look better. The cover is great, though.
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