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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 178 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on July 11, 2016
HarperCollins; 60th Anniversary edition edition (June 19 2014) - This is a "Study" set, as equal to a text-book set as one could get. The books are beautifully bound in black hardboards with sewn, smooth high quality paper. The print is crisp and easily read. Although the main book is broken into it's three volumes it follows the pagination of the 50th anniversary set; meaning the page numbering in volume 2 picks up right where the page numbering in volume 1 ends. Thus, to follow along in the Readers Companion you use the standard pagination numbers, not the volume specific numbering that is intended for a different 3 volume set in publication.

From what I have read so far, the annotations are top grade and are from renowned Tolkien Scholars. They summarize into one book, easily followed with the text, much of the information available on the variation of text and meanings etc. that exist in other Tolkien texts such as Christopher's "Histories of Middle-Earth". (I have that set too - worth every penny!).

All in all, I am extremely pleased with this purchase and am sure these books will give years of pleasure.
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on May 9, 2002
Funny thing about The Lord of the Rings; it's almost exactly what you would expect from a SciFi fantasy. Wizards, dragons, trolls, sorcerers and so forth. For that matter the book should be fairly predictable... and it is. But I really enjoy Tolkien's writing style. He seems to know how to put together the entire story well and make it coherent and easy to follow. Not a lot of complex language structure or vocabulary is used. Also to keep in mind, Tolkien is British so his language usage is different than American English. Hence, I found the poetry and songs somewhat childish but the one thing it does do is put you into the characters' shoes, so to speak. The greatest aspect of Tolkien's writing is the ability to put you at the "edge of your seat". Just when things seem to slow down and get boring, Tolkien jumps in with an ambush by the black riders or a raid by Orcs. This alone made me want to finish the book (I've read it three times up to this point in my lifetime). Main character development was good as well, but I missed reading some excerpts with Sauron directly speaking. All that the reader learns about him comes from the other characters. I suppose Tolkien had a good reason for doing this because Sauron is one of the major characters in the novel. I'm still searching for the answer. Overall, it is a good book and suitable for young people (age ~13 and up). I recommend it for anyone with an interest in fiction, not merely science fiction or fantasy.
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on April 22, 2004
I have just read the book and I am a fantasy lover, so to me, the book was great.
The only reason I rated this book 4 stars is for the longing of wanting to finish the book and the fact that at one point elves are bad.
The book is great though, if you do not prefer fantasy stories, this might not be on your top five list.
If I could change the story, I woud have prevented the death of a certain person in the book. (I am not going to tell you who or anything else about the book)
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The presentation of this collectors edition is very nice. Although I'm always afraid of Gold embossing wearing off in my hands, this cover looks well done. The hard cover is finnished in a green leatherlike textured (paper?), as is the slip case. The presentation of the cover of the box slip case would have been better if the title picture had been inlaid instead of adheared to the box as a sticker (the reason for the loss of one star), but of course it is only a cover. I found the typesetting large, clean, and easy to read on its bright white paper with bright green title accents. Most Illustrations are in a woodcut two colour wimsical style with a few full colour watercolour paintings. I think you will find this edition a joy to read. The cover presentation is far better than the 50th anniversary single volume edition of "The Lord of the Rings" by Harper Collins, which has a gold embossed, near black (seems faded) paper dust jacket covering a red gold embossed canvas-textured paper hardcover.Lord Of The Rings Single Volume Cl
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on April 1, 2004
J.R.R. Tolkien's great novel the Hobbit is a book for people 14+ years old. It keeps you interested throughout the whole story of Bilbo Baggins travels and problems. Tolkien is very descriptive in his story telling and when you are reading it almost feels like you are right there with Bilbo and his companions.
This is a great tale of how Bilbo Baggins is a little, fat hobbit from the little Shire village. Everything is green and bright in the Shire with houses carved into hills with round doors and gardens surrounding every house. Bilbo is minding his business when some unexpected people who are dwarves lead by a wizard named Gandalf.
The dwarves convinced Bilbo to come along with them on their great quest to kill Smog the might dragon that has been terrorizing their home for quite some time. Soon on their journey Bilbo has to face the dragon by himself to save the whole country that the dwarves live in.
In this tale of good and evil Bilbo comes into battle with many strange creatures from HUGE spiders, and angry demented wolves. If you are one for adventure and fighting, this book is cram packed with tales that will keep your nose in the book from the first page to the last adventure home.
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on March 11, 2004
The Hobbit
By J.R.R. Tolkien
Reviewed by B. Khau
P. 5
This book takes place before the Fellowship of the ring which is part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The book is about Bilbo Baggins, who is a hobbit that lives his peaceful life at the Shire. Hobbits are little people that live in comfortable holes. One day, a powerful wizard named Gandalf visits Bilbo and invites him to go out on an adventure with some dwarves. Bilbo agrees and his adventure starts. Little does he know of what challenges with he run across...
One thing I like about this book is the way the author describes something."Hobbits are little people, smaller than dwarfs. They love peace and quiet and good tilled earth. They dislike machines, but they are handy with tools. They are nimble but don't like to hurry. They have sharp ears and eyes. They are inclined to be fat. They wear bright colors but seldom wear shoes. They like to laugh and eat(six meals a day)and drink. They like parties and they like to give and recieve presents. They inhabit a land they call The Shire, a place between the River Brandywine and the Far Downs."This is an excellent quote that is discriptive and simple at the same time. It caught my attention and provided me with lots of background information that I would stumble and be confused without.
One thing that I dislike about this book is the way it lengthens things that are boring or get boring. Most of these things are not important in the story and easily get forgotten.They can also confuse you."You are familiar with Thorin's style on important occasion, but Bilbo felt impatient. By now he was quite familiar with Thorin too, and he knew what he was driving at."This is an example of somethings I dislike. If you are not really concentrated, this could confuse you. I had to read over that paragraph a couple times before I acually understood much of it. Later on in the book this paragraph seems irrelevant. You should also only try to read this book if you have a lot of time to spare. It is pretty long and there are lots of parts in the book that will take some time to understand.
My favortie part of the book is the beginning. It caught my attention with good descriptions. They were not too long and acually told you how something looked or felt. There was no junk about descriptions that you can't even visualize and remember enough to care. The beginning was solid and it didn't leave you confused and wondering what the author meant. My least favorite part was Chapter 18. It didn't lead to an ending well. There were a couple boring parts that I wish were taken out.
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on February 2, 2004
This is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a well-off, quiet little halfling (a Hobbit) who'd never wanted any adventures in his life, and of how he became the reluctant participant in a perilous treasure hunt.
It all began one afternoon, when Gandalf the wizard came knocking at the round door of his cosy Hobbit Hole. The next morning, thirteen dwarves were crowding his living-room and enrolling him to steal the gold guarded under the lonely Mountain by Smaug, the last of the great dragons.
So off he went, through forests old and mountains cold, deceiving trolls, solving riddles in the dark, escaping from goblins and elves, and most of the time rescuing the dwarves from the many perils he himself inadvertenly put them in, thanks to a magical ring he found in Gollum's cave, a ring that has to power to render him invisible.
This was the second time I read The Hobbit, and looking at it now with the critical eye of the (amateur) reviewer, I'm afraid to admit I was somewhat annoyed at the beginning by Tolkien's paternalistic tone, by how he sometimes addresses the reader and makes references to the real world, or hints at what's coming up later in the story. This makes the book seem clearly targeted to a young audience, and indeed, The Hobbit would be perfect for reading aloud to a child. However, this tone changes in the course of the story, and especially during the final Battle of the Five Armies, where it reaches a more epic scope, more suitable for young adults. Mark you, I'm not saying I didn't like it, but was just slightliy disappointed not to enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Oh, the heresy!
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on May 29, 2002
Tolkein's now classic fairy tale of the land of Middle Earth and its inhabitants, the Hobbits, is an enchanting and mythical story of the underdog hero Bilbo. The so-called prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy is actually a splice or intersection of the Ring in which Bilbo discovers the ring in Golem's cave. The story of Bilbo and his adventures is classic lore of slaying the dragon to win the pot of gold. With his band of misfits and hungry tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum gnomes, there is a comic ambiance to the story that helps the reader through some of the slow scenes. While this is not a must read to understand the Ring Trilogy, it certainly is a worth while read unto itself without the burden of two more books to complete the journey. Tolkein's writing is fun and witty while asking the reader to understand a few new words in his created language. There are times as well that the story slows down either for narrative purposes where the writing speaks to you, the reader, or for the group to sing a song to celebrate their happiness in the style of medieval celtic literature. While the book is reccomended and in some cases manditory, it's an overall enjoyable read.
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on April 3, 2002
I read four book in this semester, ‚hread more than 500 pages. I read �gHarry potter and the Philosopher�fs stone�h, �gHarry potter and the Goblet of Fire�h, �gHarry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban�h and �gLoad of the Ring part one�h. I don�ft finish read �gLoad of the Ring The Fellowship of the Ring�h
I like �gLoad of the Ring�h because it is fun and cool. I personally enjoyed this book. The story follows this theme, "Three rings for the Eleven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie." The story begins with Frodo the little hobbit, who inherits a ring from his uncle Bilbo. Unfortunately, he learns from his friend, Gandalf the Wizard, that the ring is extremely evil, and wants to get back to his master, The dark Lord Sauron. Then starts the adventure of the Hobbit, who goes on a journey with a few companions to the only place where the ring can be destroyed, the Cracks of Doom in the fiery mountain Orodruin, inside Sauron's realm of Mordor. Chased by evil that does not sleep, this book gives you more than just entertainment, it also throws in some values and other ideas, like friendship, loyalty, courage, respect for one another. J.R.R Tolkiens did a great job developing the characters, and I recommend this book to the fans, but also to those who don't know Tolkiens, because this is a true piece of art, and also the best book I ever read.
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on March 31, 2002
J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 novel, "The Hobbit: or There and Back Again" is the starting point for what became "The Lord of the Rings". It is a whimsical adventure, introducing us to hobbits, dwarves, elves, dragons, and a host of other fantastic creatures. However, this is not just a tale of quest-adventure, or a simple morality play. Tolkien's own introduction to the first edition notes the "glimpses into the history and politics" of Bilbo's world that the novel provides. Indeed, "The Hobbit" is a journey from innocence to experience, but the lessons learned are fraught with contradictions and complicated political messages.
"The Hobbit" begins abruptly, as Bilbo Baggins, a 50 year old hobbit, living a comfortable, sedate life, is intruded upon by the wizard Gandalf and a company of 13 dwarves. Against his better judgement, Bilbo is swept into accompanying this band in a quest to recover the treasure and birthright of Thorin Oakenshield, the dwarf leader. For countless years, the Lonely Mountain, ancestral home of Thorin's people, has been inhabited by the powerful usurping dragon, Smaug. At Gandalf's insistence, the dwarves, believing Bilbo to be an accomplished burglar, recruit the hobbit to assist their quest. The quest, which takes the adventurers halfway across their world, is beset by trials and tribulations, as they must face dangerous goblins, spiders, the dragon, and the commercial civilization of Men. These are trials of mental and physical strength, and they test the dwarves, but more importantly, Bilbo. Bilbo's encounter with Gollum and the adventure of the Ring is the centerpiece of the novel. Bilbo's characterization as a burglar by Gandalf and the dwarves at the novel's beginning casts a shadow over the ethical decisions Bilbo is faced with throughout the rest of the tale.
There are many points of interest in a novel like this, which could be seen as a fairly straightforward Marxist fable. Tolkien's distrust of money as a locus of desire is most apparent in the development of Thorin's character, but also in his anxiety over the Master of Lake-Town, and in the fat and complacent Smaug, whose flesh has become embedded with jewels from ages of sitting atop his treasure hoard. Contrasting this with Bilbo, whose primary interest is in food and good cheer, is problematic. His experiences with Gollum and the Ring and his later relationship with Thorin call into serious question Bilbo's own priorities. In fact, one of the things that is so amazing about "The Hobbit" is that there seems to be no one character that represents the center of morality in a novel so concerned with honorable action and fair dealing.
The action of "The Hobbit" is fast-paced, and Tolkien for the most part is content to sacrifice character development to plot. That said, the most interesting characters in the novel for me were Gandalf, Bilbo, the "skin-changer" Beorn, and Thorin. They provide a complicated variety of perspectives on inter-cultural relations and politics, value systems, and justice. Tolkien's achievement in "The Hobbit" is the way that he disguises what is problematic in the society he presents in what appears to be, and is at heart, a fun and enjoyable adventure.
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