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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comment on the product
While a Lord of the Rings fanatic myself, I don't see a reason to write an extensive commentary on the trilogy. If you want a review on the book there are more than sufficient amounts of widely varied opinions below my own that should satiate one's curiosity as to the virtues (or lack thereof) of Tolkien's most acclaimed work.

I feel it more important to note...
Published on Oct. 11 2006 by S. Peters

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Edition is a Disgrace!
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...
Published on Nov. 6 2000 by Robert S. Truesdell


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5.0 out of 5 stars The story ends, Feb. 25 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Return of the King (Paperback)
"Return of the King" is the worthy climax to J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, the fantasy that created the genre as we know it today. Now, as the blockbuster movie adaptation is over, many readers are checking out the dramatic story that ends Tolkien's masterpiece and life's work.

Gandalf has ridden to the city of Gondor with Pippin (partly to keep him out of trouble), where the forces of Mordor are attacking. There is upheaval in the city itself, as the steward of Gondor is going nuts. Merry pledges his service to King Theoden of Rohan, not knowing what is ahead for the king and his relatives. And Aragorn is seeking out allies to fight Sauron on a military scale, even if they can't defeat him unless the Ring is destroyed. His search will take him to tribes of forest-dwellers, to Gondor -- and even to summon an army of the dead.

In Mordor, the unconscious Frodo has been captured by Sauron's orcs, and taken to the fortress of Cirith Ungol. Sam is desperate to free his friend, but knows that he can't take on an army, and that Frodo would want him to finish the quest. Sam manages to free Frodo from captivity, but they must still brave more dangers before they can come to Mount Doom, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed. As they travel Sam sees Frodo slipping further and further into the Ring's grasp. Will Frodo be able to destroy the Ring?

Usually, the climax of an epic adventure is a disappointment. "Return of the King" succeeds in almost every way, wrapping up each individual storyline, one by one. The ending has a feeling of finality; this is one story that could never have a sequel; Tolkien shows that in a war like this, there is no true "happy ending." Even if the good guys win, there will still be scarring, and death, and haunting memories of what once happened. And even if a person survives, he will never be the same.

This is the grimmest of the three books in this trilogy. Frodo and Sam are stuck in the vividly horrific Mordor, while the city of Minas Tirith is on the verge of completely crumbling. Tolkien does a phenomenal job of exploring the madness, despair, rage and sorrow that accompany a war, and the way it can affect even the idyllic Shire. And he doesn't forget the slow period of healing that follows -- for people, for civilizations, and even for nature.

Though a section of the book near the end descends into near-biblical prose, which changes post-Gondor, Tolkien does not waver in his ability to evoke emotion. One of the most touching scenes in the book is when Sam finds Frodo naked, unconscious and being beaten by an orc. Others include Merry's farewell to Theoden, Eowyn's slaying of the Witch-King, and of course the bittersweet final scene.

Speaking of Frodo, this trilogy's hero is almost unrecognizable in parts of this book. The bright, naive young hobbit of the first book has been worn down to a pale shadow of himself. As he grows increasingly attached to the Ring, we even see him doing what seems unimaginable: threatening Sam with a dagger. Sam has come a long way from the shy young hobbit who couldn't say a word around the High Elves -- now he's attacking orcs and carrying Frodo to Mount Doom.

And the supporting characters are not neglected either, with the younger hobbits being exposed to the horrors of war, Aragorn breaking fully into his role as the future king of Gondor, and passionate war-maiden Eowyn affecting the war as nobody else could. Some much-loved characters are lost, and others will be permanently changed.

The story doesn't really end on the last page; for more background, especially on Aragorn and Arwen, readers should also read the appendices at the end of the book. Another good addition is "The End of the Third Age," in which the unpublished epilogue of this book can be found. Though this is probably not canonical, it nicely concludes the story and is a heartwarming look at what happens in the years following "Return of the King."

It's difficult, once the story has finished, to accept that one has to say goodbye to Middle-Earth and its enchanting inhabitants. But as Gandalf says, "I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Towering, Feb. 25 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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. "The Two Towers" starts heading into darker territory, and will leave readers panting for more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever, Sept. 6 2004
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
The Lord of the Rings has a different view of life than its prelude, The Hobbit. The Hobbit is very comical and features an adventure, while The Lord of the Rings is very serious and features a quest.
The Lord of the Rings is a great story, but some of the parts may seem a bit boring and confusing to those who have not read The Simarillian.
The best part of the book (which the movie dosn't really show) is the "Moralistic" parts. Without friendship,freedom, trust, pity and hope the story would have ended tragicly.One part that made me think was how Men envy the Elves' immortality , while Elves envy Men because they hate to see all that they love fade. This contridicts a lot of people's thinking.People who have watched the movie will also note many wonderful characters and scenes never even shown. Also, although there is a bit of love between Arwen and Aragorn, the whole story is not about their love!!!! ( the movie also leaves Eowyn and Faramir at loose ends while they fall in love in the book) The violent war scences depicted in the movie THE RETURN OF THE KING do not take up half of the story, either.
The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book, and I think that it would be wise to devout a few hours of your time to read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The grandfather of all fantasy, April 25 2004
By 
Amanda S. Killgore (houston, tx USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
Without the Lord of the Rings, we wouldn't have any great fantasy; not Star Wars, Thomas Covenant, or the Shanarra books. Reading the trilogy, you see how Tolkien has been borrowed from by so many of the great authors. The range of emotions encapsulated herein are far and wide. There is the warmth of the Hobbit's hominess, the nobility exhibited by most of the characters; Aragorn, even Boromir, and yes, the Hobbits. The power of evil is great, but in the face of such love and courage, it is rendered nothing, and all the sadness becomes untrue. Even if you have seen all the movies, you can't say there's no point in reading the books. While Peter Jackson's films are magnificent, they are not the books. The books have unusual turns of phrase and poetry, insights into the characters that film just cannot convey. See the movies and read the books both. While in most cases, the only way the movie can equal or surpass the book is if the book merely adapts the movie, in this case, the two are equals, complementary to one another.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A World of His Own, March 19 2004
By 
J C E Hitchcock (Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
I have come late to Tolkien's works, despite (or rather because of) the fact that they were cult reading when I was at school. One of my classmates, then aged about sixteen, proudly boasted that he had read the entire work about fifty times, and ever since I have tended to associate Tolkien with obsessive fanatics. I was, however, eventually persuaded to read the books by Peter Jackson's excellent trilogy of films.
The plot of "Lord of the Rings", a novel of well over 1,000 pages, is too complex to be summarised here in any depth. At its centre is a magic ring (a motif Tolkien seems to have borrowed from Wagner). This ring can give its owner immense power, but can only be used for evil purposes. At the beginning of the work the ring is owned by the elderly hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who acquired it many years before (the story of how he did so is told in "The Hobbit") and has no idea of its power. He is warned, however, by the wizard Gandalf that the evil Dark Lord Sauron, who originally forged the ring, is trying to regain it in order to enslave Middle-Earth (the imagined world in which the story is set).
The story has two interlocking themes. Firstly, there is the journey of Bilbo's nephew Frodo to destroy the ring, something that can only be achieved by casting it into Mount Doom, the volcano in which it was eventually forged. (During the early part of his journey, Frodo has a number of companions- the "Fellowship of the Ring"- but only one of these, his faithful servant Sam, stays with him to the end). The second is the war that is waged by Sauron and his allies against the peoples of Middle Earth- humans, hobbits, elves, dwarves and ents (walking trees)- and of their courageous resistance.
The book is much more than a fantasy adventure. Many have tried to read hidden meanings into it, both religious and political, even though Tolkien explicitly stated that it was not an allegory. Certainly, it is not an allegory in the sense of "The Pilgrim's Progress" or "Animal Farm"- a book where every detail has a symbolic meaning or can be related to an actual historical event. (Sauron, for example is not simply another name for the Devil or a disguised portrait of Hitler). This does not, however, mean that there is no symbolism in "Lord of the Rings". The main symbol is the ring itself, which represents evil and its power to corrupt the human spirit. The heroes such as Gandalf and Frodo do not dare to use the ring against Sauron because they fear that if they do they will be corrupted by its power and become as evil as he is. The various races who people Middle Earth also have symbolic functions, especially the Elves and the Orcs. The former, in Tolkien's world, are not small fairy-like creatures but an ancient race, beautiful, wise and noble who represent the higher, spiritual side of human nature. The brutal and aggressive Orcs, by contrast, represent its lower, bestial side.
The theme of good versus evil is one that is capable of either a religious or a secular interpretation, but Tolkien himself was a devout Christian, and some of the themes of the book seem to be directly related to Christian ideas. There is no single Christ-figure, but three of the heroes have Christ-like attributes. Frodo, the ring-bearer, symbolically bears the sin of the world. Gandalf the wise and benevolent sage rises from the dead after dying in a struggle with an evil adversary. The final part of the book is entitled "The Return of the King"; this relates to the reappearance of Aragorn, the lost heir to the throne of the kingdom of Gondor, but can also be taken as a reference to the Second Coming.
So far, I have discussed the work in largely abstract terms, but it is not principally a book about abstractions. What sets it apart from many other fantasy works is that Middle-Earth is brilliantly imagined in all its concrete reality. It is a world that is in some respects a familiar one. Its geography, climate, flora and fauna are closely based on those of Europe. The hobbits, for all their small stature, hairy feet and habit of living in holes, are also reassuringly familiar; conservative and phlegmatic by temperament, they seem like the Middle-Earth equivalent of tweedy, pipe-smoking Englishmen. In other respects, Tolkien's world is highly exotic one. He spent many years of his life developing his ideas about the races who inhabit it, working out full details of their cultures, their histories, their mythologies and (most important from his point of view as he was an academic philologist) their languages. Many of these details are set out in the Appendices which, although they do not form part of the main story, are nevertheless a fascinating part of the work.
Against this background, Tolkien creates a cast of characters who, even when they have a symbolic function, also come to life as individuals. (Something else that sets him apart from many other fantasy writers). Besides those mentioned above, I should also mention Sam, Frodo's loyal and steadfast servant, Saruman, a former colleague of Gandalf who was tempted by cynicism and self-interest to throw in his lot with Sauron, and especially Gollum. Gollum is the mysterious creature from whom Bilbo originally won the ring, and whose life is dominated by the desire to recapture it. He is vicious and treacherous, and yet at the same time capable of arousing pity. He both desires the ring and fears its power; at the end he will play an ironic yet vital role in its destruction. From evil, good can sometimes spring.
Having read the work, I can now understand why it has such a fascination for many people, even if I have no immediate plans to read it another forty-nine times. In some literary and academic circles there may be a prejudice against the heroic fantasy genre, which is regarded (with some justification) as tending to produce shallow, one-dimensional works. The miracle of "The Lord of the Rings" is that Tolkien has taken this unfashionable genre and used it to produce a rich, multi-layered work, one which has taken its rightful place among the masterpieces of twentieth-century English literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless masterpiece!, March 17 2004
By 
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of the Hobbit Frodo Baggins and of how he discovers that the invisibility ring handed down to him by his uncle Bilbo is in fact the One Ring of Power, the most dangerous of artifacts, forged by the evil lord Sauron to ensnare all the peoples of Middle-Earth and bent them to his will. It has to be destroyed! Following Gandalf the old Wizard's advice, Frodo leaves his quiet Hobbit hole in the Shire and with three of his friends, makes for Rivendell to seek the Elves' counsel. There he volunteers to be the Ring-Bearer, the one who must destroy the Ring by casting into the very fire in which it was forged, in the furnaces of Mount Doom. With eight companions, he sets off on a most perilous quest, over mountains and under them, on rivers and through forests beautiful beyond words, to the heart of Mordor.
The adventure goes on in The Two Towers. The Fellowship has just been broken, and as the Hobbits Merry and Pippin are captured by Orcs to be brought to the traitor wizard Saruman, now the ally of Sauron, Frodo and his friend Sam are slowly making their way through desolate plains and treacherous bogs, to Mordor. Soon they realize that Gollum, a nasty creature who once possessed the Ring, is following them. Captured, and still under the irresistible lure of the Ring, the twisted wretch agrees to become their guide to the forsaken land. Meanwhile Aragorn the Heir of Kings, Legolas the Elf and Gimli the Dwarf are running across the grassy plains of Rohan, the domain of the Rohirrim horse masters, to rescue Merry and Pippin and later help Théoden, King of Rohan, defend his people against Saruman's army in the battle of Helm's Deep.
In The Return of the King, as Frodo and Sam are ineluctably treading closer to the heart of danger, putting the goal of their quest in jeopardy every day a little bit more as Frodo's mind threatens to give in to the power of the Ring, Aragorn and his companions must defend the beautiful white city of Minas Tirith, capital of Gondor, in a hopeless struggle against Sauron's reckless army of berserkers.
How does one go about writing a review of such a masterpiece, now that The Lord of the Rings is not only the second most read book of the twentieth century (after the Bible), but also a blockbuster movie trilogy? How does one do it justice? One just can't. That's it, I admit defeat. I simply lack superlatives to describe the tidal waves of emotions that overwhelm me each time I read this book. So I'll just say this: read it. And re-read it. And again.
The Lord of the Rings is timeless, atemporal. Even though Tolkien himself was notoriously not fond of allegories, I can't help seeing that, in these dark and sad days of our time, it stands as a beacon, a bright message of peace, telling us that even when evil and fear threatens to drown us all, there's still hope... May it be tomorrow's Bible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless masterpiece!, March 17 2004
By 
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of the Hobbit Frodo Baggins and of how he discovers that the invisibility ring handed down to him by his uncle Bilbo is in fact the One Ring of Power, the most dangerous of artifacts, forged by the evil lord Sauron to ensnare all the peoples of Middle-Earth and bent them to his will. It has to be destroyed! Following Gandalf the old Wizard's advice, Frodo leaves his quiet Hobbit hole in the Shire and with three of his friends, makes for Rivendell to seek the Elves' counsel. There he volunteers to be the Ring-Bearer, the one who must destroy the Ring by casting into the very fire in which it was forged, in the furnaces of Mount Doom. With eight companions, he sets off on a most perilous quest, over mountains and under them, on rivers and through forests beautiful beyond words, to the heart of Mordor.
The adventure goes on in The Two Towers. The Fellowship has just been broken, and as the Hobbits Merry and Pippin are captured by Orcs to be brought to the traitor wizard Saruman, now the ally of Sauron, Frodo and his friend Sam are slowly making their way through desolate plains and treacherous bogs, to Mordor. Soon they realize that Gollum, a nasty creature who once possessed the Ring, is following them. Captured, and still under the irresistible lure of the Ring, the twisted wretch agrees to become their guide to the forsaken land. Meanwhile Aragorn the Heir of Kings, Legolas the Elf and Gimli the Dwarf are running across the grassy plains of Rohan, the domain of the Rohirrim horse masters, to rescue Merry and Pippin and later help Théoden, King of Rohan, defend his people against Saruman's army in the battle of Helm's Deep.
In The Return of the King, as Frodo and Sam are ineluctably treading closer to the heart of danger, putting the goal of their quest in jeopardy every day a little bit more as Frodo's mind threatens to give in to the power of the Ring, Aragorn and his companions must defend the beautiful white city of Minas Tirith, capital of Gondor, in a hopeless struggle against Sauron's reckless army of berserkers.
How does one go about writing a review of such a masterpiece, now that The Lord of the Rings is not only the second most read book of the twentieth century (after the Bible), but also a blockbuster movie trilogy? How does one do it justice? One just can't. That's it, I admit defeat. I simply lack superlatives to describe the tidal waves of emotions that overwhelm me each time I read this book. So I'll just say this: read it. And re-read it. And again.
The Lord of the Rings is timeless, atemporal. Even though Tolkien himself was notoriously not fond of allegories, I can't help seeing that, in these dark and sad days of our time, it stands as a beacon, a bright message of peace, telling us that even when evil and fear threatens to drown us all, there's still hope... May it be tomorrow's Bible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Way better than 5 stars, a classic, Feb. 29 2004
By 
P. A Gaudet "Matthew Gaudet" (Ipswich, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
The Lord of the Rings in my opinion is the single greatest piece of literature to be written and conceived by a single man. Tolkien was am absolutely brilliant Philologist and was way ahead of all the scholars back then (when he was at oxford), and still is even after his death. He had a noble heart and was generous with his time to others. And Most of all he loved the natural world as god had created it untainted by industry. He was a lover of trees. He was and still is the greatest English Literary scholar of european and germanic languages, and read more than most people read in a lifetime. On the whole he knew the entire history of English literature, Could speak fluent anglo saxon, German and Greek and Latin. He knew the great tales of men's past not in their modern english translations but as they were originally written and conceived. Like the Iliad anf the odyssey, in greek, the kalevala in finnish, and beowulf in the original saxon. He had also read the Elder Edda and Younger Edda, sometimes known as the poetic edda and the prose edda, in original ancient german. He had read the whole corpus of Icelandic Sagas in their original language, and was a lover of the latin translation of the bible which he recited at catholic mass. Here is a book that should be taught in English classes in middle school and high schools and colleges. But the literary elite does'nt want that to happen because of their preference for post-modernism and reality based fiction. Plus he knew good literature, and not that snobby tripe they shove down our throats in school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Lord of All Books!, Feb. 23 2004
By 
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
"The Lord of the Rings" is usually found in a single volume, or in three volumes: 1) "The Fellowship of the Ring", 2) "The Two Towers", and 3) "The Return of the King". My recommended reading age is 13+ years old, and I recommend reading "The Hobbit" first.
When I was 15 years old in high school, I had to read "The Hobbit" for an English class. After reading that book, the teacher then let us borrow "The Lord of the Rings". Before I had started "The Return of the King", I had bought my own set of books. After I had read both books, I actually liked "The Hobbit" better than "The Lord of the Rings" at first - because the "The Hobbit" was brighter: a fun, grand adventure with more humor, whereas "The Lord of the Rings" was darker: a serious, grim life and death struggle for world survival. But by the time I was about 16, the historical significance of "The Lord of the Rings" began to appeal more to me. This is especially true if you read Appendices A and B of "The Lord of the Rings", and also read the "The Silmarillion". You begin to understand the rich history of Tolkien's Middle-Earth/ Beleriand creation. How the "The Silmarillion" brings out the significant events of the First and Second Ages, while the events in "The Lord of the Rings" are the culmination of the Third Age...each Age lasting thousands of years and ending with an immensely significant event.
It was 25 years before I read "The Lord of the Rings" again, but Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn, Galadriel, Legolas, Gimli, and many more had become household names! I had matured over those years, and my tastes changed. I was no longer a big fantasy/science-fiction reader: instead I was reading military history. I didn't expect to still love "The Lord of the Rings" the way I did as a teenager. I was happily wrong! This is still an exciting book, but I discovered what I really love...it is allegory-type stories. J. R. R. Tolkien himself has said that "The Lord of the Rings" is not allegory, because he hated allegory where he felt the author is dictating to the reader what is in their story...and that any other interpretation is incorrect. Tolkien wanted a reader to apply their own experiences and tastes to influence what they were reading. OK, but in real history one can still get allegory if their own experiences and tastes allow it. How many can learn about World War II and not apply the basic allegorical interpretation that good triumphs over evil? I've heard of, and can understand, several allegorical interpretations of "The Lord of the Rings". Frodo is like Jesus Christ: bearing the greatest of burdens for world salvation while being tempted to stray from his purpose, and the weight of the ring is similar to Christ's cross . The One Ring is like the atomic bomb: the ultimate weapon that corrupts whoever uses it, despite even good intentions, into a power-hungry creature of evil. There's an ecological message with the Ents trying to protect trees; and also the natural beauty of various places throughout Middle-Earth, while evil beings try to destroy it all (including the use of mechanical and polluting progress). I also get out of "The Lord of the Rings" a sense of a military mission: that Frodo & Sam are behind enemy lines on a mission that could end a war, and that Frodo realizes that getting back home or even staying alive doesn't matter - just completion of the mission...that's also sacrifice, perseverance, & camaraderie so prevalent in the military history I've read. There's prejudice with years of animosity between elves and dwarves, and how small, kind gestures can begin to erase all those blighted years...also, how people or races can put aside differences to solve a common problem. There's the recognition of the small, common people (citizen soldiers) that perform the greatest, toughest, and most necessary duty in any war. There's world peace in peril and that something needs to be done before it's too late. There's avoiding the easier way out, and facing one's problems and seeing them through to a conclusion despite severe hardships.
I feel that Tolkien saw a little bit of himself in many of the good races of his world. The hobbits are like Tolkien because they love food, company, and talking about family. The ents are like Tolkien because of their unbounded love of trees. Gandalf the wizard is like Tolkien because of his exceptional intelligence and purpose of guiding others along the right path. Some men are like Tolkien because of their inner strength and gallantry, while other men show weakness by succumbing to evil...very realistic. But I believe he saw the beauty and enchantment of the elves in his wife, and why he loved both most dearly: that's why on their gravestone Luthien appears after his wife's name, and Beren appears after his name. The dwarves don't seem to resemble Tolkien, but they are present in much folklore, which is linked to his personal love of medieval languages.
"The Lord of the Rings" is a masterpiece in my opinion, and it's size (over 1000 pages in any printed format) is pretty daunting, but give it a shot! It'll be time well spent. And get ready for adventure, terror, excitement, love, treachery, devotion, monumental historic events, unforgettable battles, military strategy, exotic languages & culture, etc. See what you get out of the book! I think most people will enjoy it and/or be moved by it. And who knows, maybe it'll become your favorite book too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, Feb. 21 2004
By 
Tori (Newark, DE USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Two Towers (Audio CD)
If you want to read the best book in the world, Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien is the one! This fantasy, adventure-filled novel, takes place in Middle Earth. Frodo Baggins continues his journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring of Power, with his guide and best friend, Samwise Gamgee. With the death of Gandalf in the Mines of Moria, and Boromir in the woods, Frodo and Sam must be strong to continue their long, dreadful, and dangerous road to Mordor. They had been separated from their fellow companions Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli. Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin were kidnapped by the Uruk-Hai, and now Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are in hot pursuit. Frodo and Sam soon realize that they aren't alone. While they are sleeping, Gollum attacks Frodo and tries to take 'The Precious' (the Ring) from him. Gollum is held captive until he offers to take them to the Black Gates of Mordor, and in return he will be set free. Gollum make a solemn promise by swearing on 'The Precious.' After making it to the Black Gates, Gollum says that there is another safer and more secret way to get to Mount Doom. Frodo and Sam unknowingly agree, and don't know that Gollum actually has another plan in store for them. To find out what happens in this exciting, page turner epic, you must read this book! Having reading this book, I can truly die a happy person, knowing that this is the best book I will ever read in my entire life!
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The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien (Hardcover - Oct. 21 2004)
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