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on June 17, 2003
I just finished reading "The Lord of the Rings" and am trying to gather my thoughts about it. It is long! And there are parts that are boring. But there are parts that are soaring and beautiful and bring tears to your eyes. Elves, dwarves, hobbits, wizards, and monsters of various sorts fill the pages as Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry wind their way to the Crack of Doom to rid the world of the ring that would give ultimate power to the evil lord. The creative imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien boggles the mind as the reader becomes involved in episode after episode of danger and intrigue, such as the attempts of Gollum to steal the ring, the giant spider that would crush the life out of Frodo, and the orcs and black riders and other strange enemies that are constantly appearing out of nowhere to threaten the hobbits' mission. Filled with folklore, magic and enchantment, "The Lord of the Rings" also speaks to the need we all have to participate in a great quest, to rise above our ordinary existence and do a great service for mankind. We identify with Frodo, an average middle-aged hobbit, who, like his Uncle Bilbo before him (in "The Hobbit"), enjoyed his peace and quiet and comforts, and yet, when he was selected to go on this amazing quest, through no choice of his own, rose to the occasion and became immortal.
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on April 11, 2002
....under the publisher;s constraints, in the land of Houghton-Mifflin, where the profits lie.
Most people think this superb book, which is popularly abbreviated LOTR, pronounced "Loater", is pretty darn good, a Jungian archetype in its own right. Some people criticize the slow development, and the various included songs and poetry as being archaic, and the journey through the marshes as being depressing, but they miss part of the point - this is literature influenced and honoring older styles. The MTV generation should consider learning to slow down and savour things. I cannot contribute anything particularly original to a review of this book as a literary work.
However - on the edition: One caution: The boxed red-leather bound collector's edition, (echoing the fictional "Red Book of Westmarch", the mythical preserved source of the story) has one jarring flaw. It lacks the much enlarged, detailed map, showing Gondor, Rohan, and western Mordor, normally found in the third volume (The Return of the King, ROTK) in the individual-volume editions. That map greatly aids readers in following of the events of ROTK, and it is worth one's while to have a regular hardback or paperback edition handy in order to have access to this map.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 16, 2006
I am not going to fill you in on the many lives of J.R.R. Tolkien. Nor am I going to paraphrase the story. J.R.R. Tolkien himself tells you what you need to know in the prolog. However I don't believe that people take him seriously when he says that this work is not an allegory.

The reason I say buy the complete "Lord of the Rings" now is that you will just be picking up speed and getting everything straight in your mind and you will come to the end of this volume. Talk about a cliffhanger. This animal leaves you with several.

Everyone in the book seems to enjoy pleasures. So should you and consider buying the hardback book. My images of the critters of course do not match any pictures. However you don't have to strain your eyes with a paperback in one hand, tea in the other and a cat in the third. A good size book will help detour any animals heading for your lap.
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on May 7, 2004
Inglis' delivery was very nearly flawless. He also has an excellent singing voice; I was astonished to find there were so many songs written down in the books. The only major problem I had with this set is that it was finite.
I had never heard of Mr. Inglis before listening to this set. He actually made me look forward to an hour-long commute. If someone were to publish his reading of the Zip code directory, I would purchase it immediately. He's that good.
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on September 22, 2003
This Millenium Edition Lord of the Rings 7 volume set is amazing. It has black binding with red and gold Eye of Sauron and has JRR Tolkien's signature on the inside front page. It is by far the best version to date and very hard to find. The UK version comes with a CD which has JRR Tolkien reading exerpts from the story. Each volume binding has a letter of Tolkien's name. A must have if you can find it.
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on May 6, 2015
Frodo's group have gotten separated following the premature passing of Boromir who succumbed to fatal injuries when fending off goblin troops. Aragorn, Gimli (Gloin's son), and Legolas Greenleaf put his body to rest on a boat to cast it off into the mournful stream. Where the currents will soon carry him away to his dearest brother, Faramir. Elsewhere, the two Hobbits Pippin and Merry eluded their captivity of the Orcs. They unite with the Ent trees backed by jolly Treebeard so they can confront the traitor warlock Saruman at Dark Tower Orthanc for mercilessly chopping down and killing numberous Ents. Gandalf fans need not despair anymore; the wizard had triumphantly come back from death and had been revived as Gandalf the White! We're introduced to the infamous Grima Wormtongue: Theoden's faithful servant and Saruman's underhand spy with a manipulative streak! Meanwhile, Gollum remains on the loose, having somehow escaped imprisonment by the Wood-elves. Attaboy! He again tracks down Sam and Frodo by nightfall, despite detesting moonlight. But Bilbo Baggins' nephew manages to subdue the imp. Frodo brings out the nicer Smeagol personality in Gollum, and he agrees to help him and Sam out on their venture in destroying the One Ring as a guide. Samwise Gamgee continues to be wary of ''Stinker'' and suspects he's hatching some sort of scheme.

I had been pleased J.R.R. Tolkien finally decided to place focus on Gollum by his long-awaited reappearance in Book Four of The Two Towers. The imp played too small a role back in The Hobbit, and I really have a thing for that Middle-earth character. He cracked me up in certain parts of the second Lord of the Rings novel! Had no idea the little rascal's a finicky eater! Whether Smeagol will stay good or regress back to his devious Gollum self, I will not say. Read on and find out what happens!!
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on April 1, 2015
60 years have passed since the previous events of The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins has become a 111 year old Hobbit man! Bilbo holds a birthday party in the Shire as he leaves Bag End for a holiday back in Rivendell to finish the rest of his memoirs. Yes, Elrond is alive and well. Frodo, Bilbo Baggins' heir, is requested by Gandalf to set out on a dangerous quest with the Ring to dispose of it in the boiling Cracks of Doom! That way, the fiend Sauron will be vanquished and won't regain his former power. Three other young Halflings named Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took join Frodo Baggins on this mission. Gandalf the Grey gives Frodo the name Underhill for anonymity as Bilbo made the mistake telling Gollum his true identity, and almost tracked him down at the Hobbit's homeland to pilfer back his ''Precious'' that was taken. On the way, the Hobbits are being stalked by suspicious Black Riders on horseback...

Unlike The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings doesn't have much pictures, save the decorated arch leading to the entrance of the Moria Mines and five maps outlining Middle-earth's locations. I nevertheless loved those illustrations and how J.R.R. Tolkien did the stylized ancient bold lettering on the One Ring for chapter 2. It's also a much longer novel!

I had an incredible time happily reading the first half to The Fellowship of the Ring that was packed with excitement and daring adventures Frodo and his companions experience during their travels!

J.R.R. Tolkien sheds some light by introducing other Hobbit races which exist throughout Middle-earth besides the Bagginses and Tooks. One of them are the Stoors, the kin Gollum (or should I say Smeagol) once belonged until his grandmother and relatives disowned him. He isn't entirely altogether malevolent.

It left me grieved learning Balin unfairly died! He was the closest Dwarf to Bilbo Baggins. Orcs are cold-blooded savages who really deserve death, not Gollum! Oin, too, suffered a terrible end. I barely held back my tears! (sobbing)
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on January 18, 2015
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien is the epitome of fantasy fiction.

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.”

Bilbo Baggins of the Shire had an amazing life then retired to journey far away leaving behind the ring of power to his dear nephew Frodo Baggins.
“When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.”
Frodo forms a bond with a an amazing group of people we came to love known as “The Fellowship of the Ring”
“Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.”

In this very powerful, classical story, passion, friendship, love, loyalty, mystery, and action is masterfully blend with realistic, three dimensional characters. Tolkien’s story happens in a different world, and he makes that world palpable. There is this unspoken connection between his readers and his story, it’s as if he reaches out through the enchantment of his pages to touch our hearts and one cannot help but love his work. The adventure of his characters are epic, wrought with danger, sadness, grief and triumph. Readers appreciate the fragility of life in a time when darkness looms over the world and death was omnipresent.

Tolkien is a master storyteller and it’s almost impossible to find a very successful author today who has not drawn upon his work for inspiration, he also set the foundation for many up and coming writers.

The Lord of the Rings is truly an unforgettable read that stays with you for a lifetime, this enthralling tale is a worldwide bestseller and its regarded as insult to this great writer to not read his work whether you are a new or established writer in this genre. Fiction just doesn’t get as good as Tolkien.
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on January 18, 2015
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien is the epitome of fantasy fiction.

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.”

Bilbo Baggins of the Shire had an amazing life then retired to journey far away leaving behind the ring of power to his dear nephew Frodo Baggins.
“When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.”
Frodo forms a bond with a an amazing group of people we came to love known as “The Fellowship of the Ring”
“Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.”

In this very powerful, classical story, passion, friendship, love, loyalty, mystery, and action is masterfully blend with realistic, three dimensional characters. Tolkien’s story happens in a different world, and he makes that world palpable. There is this unspoken connection between his readers and his story, it’s as if he reaches out through the enchantment of his pages to touch our hearts and one cannot help but love his work. The adventure of his characters are epic, wrought with danger, sadness, grief and triumph. Readers appreciate the fragility of life in a time when darkness looms over the world and death was omnipresent.

Tolkien is a master storyteller and it’s almost impossible to find a very successful author today who has not drawn upon his work for inspiration, he also set the foundation for many up and coming writers.

The Lord of the Rings is truly an unforgettable read that stays with you for a lifetime, this enthralling tale is a worldwide bestseller and its regarded as insult to this great writer to not read his work whether you are a new or established writer in this genre. Fiction just doesn’t get as good as Tolkien.
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The second volume of Tolkien's epic trilogy never even wavers. If anything, it seems steadier and more controlled than "Fellowship of the Ring," as several characters become more central and the plot focus widens to envelop all of Middle Earth. It suffers from a bit of sequelitis in places, but the overall book is just as enthralling as the first.

Aragorn finds that Merry and Pippin have been abducted rather than killed -- for what reason, no one knows. Frodo and Sam have left on their own. So Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to find the orcs and retrieve the hobbits, but are stopped by the fierce Riders of Rohan, and then by an old and dear friend: Gandalf, who has been resurrected in the new form of a White wizard. Elsewhere, Merry and Pippin must use all of their wits to escape the orcs, and then find a strange band of allies that no one could have hoped for.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam head into Mordor -- with an eerily familiar figure, Gollum, following them. Frodo subjugates Gollum, forcing him to swear on "the precious" that he won't harm him. In return, Gollum promises to guide the two hobbits through Mordor, straight to Mount Doom. But the Ring is weighing more heavily than ever on Frodo, and is starting to reassert its old sway on Gollum...

One of the most noticeable changes in this book is the shift of focus. "Fellowship" was Frodo-centric, since the narration revolved around him, as did all the events and thoughts. But with the breaking of the Fellowship, the narration falls into three categories: Frodo and Sam; Merry and Pippin; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. This triple style allows individuals to shine more brightly, when they are called on to do more than hike with Frodo.

Tolkien also presented a wider view of Middle-Earth in general. While the slow slog through Mordor doesn't really tell or show readers much -- aside from what a hellhole Sauron is the middle of -- it's shocking to see the the effects of the orcs, Saruman and Sauron on places such as Gondor and Rohan.

Changes can be seen in Frodo even in this book, and which become more pronounced in the third book of the trilogy, "Return of the King." He becomes sadder and more introspective, and the Ring's growing hold on him can be glimpsed at times. Aragorn is also changing. He is no longer merely the rugged outcast Ranger, but displays the hints of a future great king, if he can only get to his throne.
Merry and Pippin also change: these two innocent young hobbits have to suddenly Sam is more promiment in this book, as Frodo's friend and personal pillar of strength.

But where Tolkien really outdid himself is Gollum. Gollum returns, in a substantially different state. Oh, he's still addled and addicted to the Ring, but he displays a dual love/loathing for the Ring, a weird affection for Frodo (who, from his point of view, is probably the only person who has been kind to him), and displays a Ring-induced multiple-personality syndrome. Very rarely can bad guys elicit the sort of loathing and pity from the reader that Gollum does.

One noticeable aspect of this book is friendship. When the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell, virtually everyone is a stranger, with the exception of the hobbits. However, in this book we get our view of how much Sam loves Frodo and wants to help him. Sam is fully aware of how much Frodo needs emotional support, and he's quite willing to be a pillar of strength for his friend. We see Gimli and Legolas's affection for Merry and Pippin; and Legolas's willingness to kill Eomer if Eomer hurts Gimli shows how far this Elf and Dwarf have come.

This book is substantially darker than "Fellowship." Frodo is starting to stumble under the weight of the Ring, and other characters die or are seriously hurt. The scene where Pippin's mind is trapped by Sauron is a very disturbing one, as is a violent and saddening scene late in the book. But there is also some wry humor: Gandalf's joke as he hears Saruman throttling Grima Wormtongue, Legolas's snippy comments about pipeweed as Gimli and the hobbits smoke up a storm, and Sam's debate with Gollum about whether they should cook the rabbits.

Tolkien's second Lord of the Rings novel is a thrilling fantasy adventure, exploring more of his invented world than "Fellowship of the Ring" did. A truly enthralling experience.
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