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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You better go ahead and buy them all now
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...
Published on Sept. 16 2006 by bernie

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent fruitiness
The plot is some sort of Reluctant Everyman Hero Vs. The Easily Recognizable and Conveniently Centralized Ultimate Evil. The author really could have done better here. And what is with all this "Tom Bombadillo-Hey!" stuff? Man, that is fruity! The author has a good command of the English language and all, but the use he puts it to is disappointing.
This was...
Published on Aug. 22 2001 by renton_bagges


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You better go ahead and buy them all now, Sept. 16 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Books!, March 20 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am a book lover and a huge fan of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis! I would own anything by them! These books are light which is nice for a hardcover!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great classic story, crappy binding on this edition, Sept. 11 2013
By 
Liz. C (Edmonton, AB) - See all my reviews
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Bought this awhile ago in the set, to avoid the strain of my hardcover copy on the wrists.
This book is so thick, the binding let go after several reads. Probably because the large number of pages makes it harder to keep open. Never had that problem on a book before
Now there is so many pages falling out, it isn't really of use. Save your cash and buy a better copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book!!, July 22 2013
By 
Lynae Yankee - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book 3 times and I never get tired of reading it. It has a great storyline and it has some violence in it. I suggest that it should be read by an adult first.

Caleb yankee,10 years old
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5.0 out of 5 stars Odd Man Out, Feb. 23 2013
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is the first volume in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. The next two are The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The Hobbit contains an important backstory, but is not absolutely essential for enjoyment of this tale.

Frodo Baggins discovers that the gold ring given to him by his uncle Bilbo is more than a trinket of minor magic. It is the physical embodiment of a great evil power. And its owner is looking for it. Frodo, along with three other hobbits from the Shire, travel to Rivendell to participate in the Council of Elrond. There it is decided to return the ring to be destroyed in the volcanic fires of Mordor, where it was originally forged. Frodo and eight companions set out to accomplish this task. The book follows the first part of their journey.

This book was made into the movie The Fellowship of the Ring, which is remarkably faithful to it. With one interesting exception. Between leaving the Shire and arriving at Rivendell, Frodo and his fellow hobbits spend an indeterminate period of time in the Old Forests as guests of Tom Bombadil. Tom was omitted from the film entirely. Both fans and critics have suggested he didn't belong in the book, either.

Tom does not fit well into the taxonomy of good, evil, and unaligned creatures in the rest of the trilogy. He is clearly powerful, working magic in his forest by singing and persuading plants and animals to do this and that. And the ring has no power over him, not even making him invisible when he tries it on. When it is suggested in Elrond's Council that the ring be entrusted to Tom, this idea is rejected. Tom doesn't stay focused on any one thing very long and would make an inattentive guardian. The hobbits are refreshed by their stay with Tom, but he neither hinders nor helps them with their larger objective.

Tolkien offered an incomplete explanation for Tom's presence in the story. In a world where everyone, good and evil, is struggling for power and control, Tom seems to have renounced this kind of power. There is an immediacy to the good he does for others, offering food or helping with a concrete problem. He doesn't sign on for a larger quest, and accepts no responsibility to lead. He exists in impenetrable serenity, while causing frustration in some of those around him.

Tom is hard to understand and even harder to explain to an action-oriented audience. It is small wonder that the film omits him. But Tom Bombadil is worth understanding and is one reason you should read this book, even if you have seen the movie. Is there a place in the world for someone who seeks no power over others, even to do good?

Think about your answer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The War Of The Ring Begins, Sept. 2 2012
By 
Dave_42 "Dave_42" (Australia) - See all my reviews
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The Fellowship of the Ring:

Though receiving mixed reviews, there is little doubt that "The Fellowship Of The Ring" stands as starting a new era for fantasy literature. Prior to its publication (July 24, 1954), fantasy adventures were aimed at young readers, including Tolkien's previous work - "The Hobbit" which was published nearly 17 years prior. While "The Fellowship Of The Ring" still centers on the adventures of the child-like Hobbits, the material is much darker and more serious than its predecessor. Tolkien also showed that one can deal with serious themes (machine vs. nature) in fantasy writing.

Tolkien preferred the name "The War of the Ring" to the eventual title of "The Lord of the Rings", and he wanted it published in a single volume as part of a two-volume set which would have also contained "The Silmarillion", but Tolkien did not have much influence at that time, and so the Publisher dictated that the single work would be divided into three books, the first of which is "The Fellowship Of The Ring". Each of the three volumes is then divided into two books, though this volume also contains a prologue entitled "Concerning Hobbits" which summarizes the events in "The Hobbit" as well as provides background material about what type of beings Hobbits are.

The first book is titled "The Ring Sets Out" and covers the events of Bilbo Baggins leaving the Shire after his birthday, the transfer of the ring from Bilbo to his nephew, Frodo Baggins, and the adventures of Frodo, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Merriadoc Brandybuck (Merry), and Peregrin Took (Pippin) as they escape from the shire and travel to Rivendale. In addition, the reader is introduced to Gandalf, Strider/Aragorn, Fredegar Bolger (Fatty), Farmer Maggot, Tom Bombadil, and Glorfindel. The reader is also introduced to the Nazgûl, who and pursuing the ring. The events in this book take place over numerous years, though once the hobbits leave the shire it is a shorter period of time.

The second book is titled "The Ring Goes South", though it has also been called "The Journey of the Nine Companions" and covers the time at Rivendale. There we learn about Saruman turning on Gandalf and imprisoning him at Orthanc, and we meet the other members of the fellowship, Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli. In addition there is Glóin (Gimli's father whom the reader would have met in the Hobbit), and Galdor. The book then covers their travels, from the failed attempt to cross the Misty Mountains at Caradhras through their travel through Moria, to the forest of Lothlórien where they meet Celeborn and Galadriel. The book ends with the breaking of the fellowship at Amon Hen. Frodo and Sam have left the others, and an Orc attack is causing confusion with the remaining members.

As much as I enjoyed the movies which were based on these books, they are simply do not capture significant pieces of the story. Wonderful characters are lost, as are nuances and events which are simply cut out. Some things are changed in the movies, perhaps to make them easier to follow, so while I can certainly understand why one might enjoy the films, I would suggest that you do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to enjoy the books and the original story.

The Two Towers:

Which Two?

I remember reading an article where the author discussed which towers were possibly the two towers referred to in the title of the second novel of "The Lord of The Rings". Candidates included Ortanc, Barad-dûr, Ecthelion, Minas Morgul, and Cirith Ungol. One could have included the Hornburg in the list as well, but this particular discussion did not include it. The author discussed several pairs of options, but for me the answer was simple, as it indicates at the end of authorized Ballentine edition of "The Fellowship of the Ring" that it is Ortahnc and Minus Morgal and that is where the action is focused for most of the two books contained in the "The Two Towers". However, if you watch the film, it strongly points to two towers as Orthanc and Barad-dûr. To confuse matters more, there is a letter from Tolkien to Rayner Unwin where he states that the two towers are Orthanc and Cirith Ungol, but remember that it wasn't Tolkien that split the work into three volumes and he was never happy with the title, and apparently he changed his mind later as he is the author of the note I mentioned above. Of course, to enjoy the book it really doesn't matter which two towers the title actually refers to, but it was an interesting discussion.

I believe that the second volume of a trilogy is the most difficult one to evaluate. The reader is coming into a story which has already begun, and left with no real ending. In the case of "The Two Towers", Tolkien navigates those difficulties quite well. Though certainly one should read "The Fellowship of the Ring" first, there is a brief synopsis, and while each of the two books in the volume leaves the story hanging a bit, they are certainly reasonable places to leave the story off. "The Two Towers" was originally published on November 11th of 1954.

Book III is titled "The Treason of Isengard" and covers the stories of all the characters except Frodo and Sam (who are the subjects of Book IV). It starts where Book II left off, with Aragorn hearing Boromir's horn. This book introduces numerous new characters such as Treebeard, Éomer, King Théoden, Lady Éowyn, and of course Grima Wormtongue. It is a tale rich in characters, and in large battles, heroism, and last ditch efforts. The book ends with victory against Saruman, but that is over-shadowed by the coming battle with Sauron and the forces of Mordor, as well as the lack of knowledge of what has become to Frodo and Sam.

Book IV is titled "The Ring Goes East", though it has also been called "The Journey of the Ringbearers" and by contrast with Book III there are very few characters. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are the main characters of this book, though we do meet Faramir during the tale of the ring-bearers as they take the ring to Mordor. This book as a darker ending than Book III, as the book closes with Frodo having been poisoned by the venom of Shelob and has been taken by the enemy, with Sam struggling to rescue him.

As with the first book in the series when compared with the movie, I personally prefer the book, though I have enjoyed the movie as well. However long the movie is, it is a condensed version of the book, and you will miss out on many significant characters and events, as well as be unaware of the changes which were made for whatever reason. The movies were a valiant effort to bring this effort to the screen, and they honor Tolkien's overall story, but to fully appreciate what Tolkien created, you need to read the books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Praise, Nov. 28 2001
By 
Big Dave (Boise, Idaho) - See all my reviews
This book (and when I say "this book," I mean the entire trilogy) is an extremely intricate and powerful book that rewards multiple readings. To call it a good "adventure book" or to note that modern fantasy literature is virtually all just sincere flattery of Tolkien or to observe that Tolkien's own precedents were epic and mythological literature or to wonder at the depth, consistency, beauty and, above all, REALITY of Tolkien's Middle Earth is to damn with faint praise. Read it again. There is always something more.
What struck me during my most recent reading was the deeply Christian ethos of the book. The ring is, of course, the power to indulge one's pride, the capacity for ultimate self-aggrandizement. The heroes of the west are all great because they are all able to deny themselves that power: Bilbo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Galadriel, even Boromir (after a moment's slip) are all great because they are humble. There's a wonderful passage in Mordor where Sam is wearing the ring and sees himself as the irresistible gardener, striding through the wasteland with a flaming sword and using the power of the ring to restore the land. It's delightful characterization and powerful writing.
(...)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent fruitiness, Aug. 22 2001
By 
The plot is some sort of Reluctant Everyman Hero Vs. The Easily Recognizable and Conveniently Centralized Ultimate Evil. The author really could have done better here. And what is with all this "Tom Bombadillo-Hey!" stuff? Man, that is fruity! The author has a good command of the English language and all, but the use he puts it to is disappointing.
This was written a while ago, and it hasn't aged well.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I fail to understand the popularity of this series, Feb. 16 2000
Really! I do not get why this trilogy, even back when it was made, was so revered. Tolkien is the reason I'm not such a fan of fantasy (the other reasons being Squaresoft and other Video game companies, and a few bad authors). Tolkien was basically the inventor of all of today's popular cliches. A nobody who by chance gets a powerful object that must be delt with, an old pointy-hatted wizard, that dark force that wants to rule the world... despite all this, there really is almost no plot to speak of. Basically Frodo and company go from here to there and everywhere in between, with the events having almost no connection. Alot of characters were pointless too. What exactly was the purpose of Tom Bombadil, Rivendell, or Boromir? Ok, Boromir had SOME importance, but Rivendell ended up summing up what we all knew all along: that Frodo had to go to Mordor and destroy the ring (Which he does almost withut incident). I guess this trilogy is good if you crave adventure and exploration, because its certainly nothing if you want complex plots.
On a side note, I rather liked the Silmarillion...
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1.0 out of 5 stars Took me years..., May 8 1999
I used to trust the opinions of others. Not any more. Over a period of years, I tried continually just to make it to the end, and when I finally get there, there's not even a climax!!! There wasn't even a character that I actually liked! People keep saying the next two are better, but after slogging through the most boring document in existance short of the phone book, I think I'll stick with Robert Jordan and Mercedes Lackey.
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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring v. 1
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring v. 1 by J. R. R. Tolkien (Paperback - March 12 1979)
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