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31 of 31 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

versus
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but *not* leather binding
Only an balrog could object to an revised 50th anniversary edition, with corrections beyond those in the the standard revised version. BUT...

This edition is *not* "leather bound:" it's a less-than-ordinary hardcover binding with paper-thin faux-leather glued over paper boards. The bookmark ribbon breaks the binding. Signatures are glued rather than sewn...
Published on Feb. 9 2010 by mcewin


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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Decent!, Nov. 11 2012
By 
Ryan (Quebec, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
The product arrived in 3 days, in mint-condition and looks great on my bookshelf. As for the content, the story is bogged down with too much detail and conversation. And it's hard to pronounce many names and places so I was a bit annoyed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Review of the Greatest Book Ever!!, Oct. 26 2012
By 
Anthony L. (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is so iconic, so wide in its scope, so vivid in its imagery, so unprecedented that writing a review of it is a colossal undertaking. As C.S. Lewis said, "here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart."

Just the thought of it is enough to scare anyone off the job. Yet, reading over the other customer reviews, I felt I needed to step up to the challenge and write a long review, one that contained an honest opinion and a factual analysis.
This review is long, but is logical, informational, and spoiler-free, I encourage you to read it all, thoroughly.
This is that review:

LOTR [abbreviation: Lord of the Rings] is the magnum opus of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: an Oxford professor and author. It is actually a trilogy of three books:
--The Fellowship of the Ring
--The Two Towers
--and The Return of the King
JRRT spent over 12 yrs writing the LOTR trilogy, which was released in 1954. It has since gone on to become one of the most loved, respected, and greatest novels ever written.
After a wildly successful and brilliant film adaptation from New Zealander Peter Jackson, the LOTR now has an immense fan base, a slew of parodies, paintings, and music left in its wake, and a legacy greater than any single work of fantasy in the history of writing.

...

The first thing I must write about is the land LOTR takes place in: Arda, also known as Middle Earth.

Middle Earth is the greatest fictional world ever created. Period.

I DEFY anyone to prove otherwise. Take it up with me in the comments.
The main works of Tolkien, from the Silmarillion to the Lord of the Rings take place in Middle Earth, and cover everything from its creation at the hands of Illuvatar, to the beginning of the Fourth Age.

Tolkien meticulously planned, invented, and imagined EVERY detail of Middle Earth. Middle Earth is so full, so rich and detailed, that many say that Tolkien was more interested in the land his characters were in than the characters themselves.
I beg to differ!--Tolkien was certainly interested in his maps and landscapes but his characters are the real stars.

...

There are not enough adjectives in my vocabulary to describe how mind-bogglingly detailed Middle Earth is.
Tolkien named and placed over a thousand mountains, rivers, towns, cities, fortresses, islands, and forests, so many, in fact, that encyclopedias and dictionaries have been filled with them.

In addition, Tolkien invented over a dozen languages, the most complete of them is Quenya--the Elven language. Tolkien wrote over 1,000 names, words, and phrases for the Elven languages. Tolkien is not the only author to make up a fantasy language, but he is the best. Young Christopher Paolini's attempts at constructing a language are downright laughable.

If you have time, check out the following link, which includes an Elvish Dictionary:
[...]
...

I am in no way detracting from other great fantasy worlds such as Westeros, Narnia, Randland, and Gormenghast, but here Middle Earth far surpasses all other fantasy worlds.
The detail adds to the LOTR by adding a sense of realism and a distinct Middle Earth-type feel. For the most part, the more detailed your world is, the more your audiences will relate to the characters.

Enough about the real world, I'll turn to the book.
--Lord of the Rings is long, over 1,000 pages. But this is not long at all compared to Eragon, Game of Thrones, Eye of the World, and the Way of Kings.

-- Plot: Thanks, to Peter Jackson, you probably already know the plot. But the movies are not the book, and here is the plot again.

It is the third age of the world, and darkness is looming over Middle Earth.
The Dark Lord Sauron has gathered to him the 20 Rings of Power, the means by which he will enslave Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Only one thing is missing - the One Ring, which has fallen into the hands of...a hobbit.
Deep in the peaceful Shire, young Frodo Baggins is entrusted with an immense task - to take the Ring and destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom, deep within the Enemy's territory. So, with a Fellowship of 9 valiant members - 4 hobbits, 1 wizard, 2 men, and elf, and a dwarf, Frodo must embark on an impossible journey. One from which he may not return...

--The Fellowship: These are the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, and their races:

Frodo Baggins: Hobbit.
Frodo Baggins was the Ringbearer. He was fifty when he set out from Hobbiton. Notably he never killed anything on the quest, the most he did was stab the foot of a Cave Troll. He has been likened to a Christ figure.
He wore a coat of mithril and carried Bilbo's sword Sting. Galadriel gave him the light of Earendil.

Samwise Gamgee: Hobbit.
Samwise was Frodo's gardener, servant, and closest companion. He bore the ring in Mordor for a time. Galadriel gave him a box of earth from Lothlorien, and elven rope.

Gandalf the Grey: Wizard.
One of the five Istari sent to Middle Earth. Gandalf, a.k.a. Olorin, Mithrandir, Greyhame, was instrumental in forming the Fellowship, and played a large role in the downfall of Sauron. He also appeared in The Hobbit.
He carried a sword called Glamdring. He wore grey robes, and later white.

Aragorn son of Arathorn: Man.
Aragorn was descended from the Kings of Numenor, and was a member of the Dunedain. He was blessed with long life. He went by the name Strider in Bree. He carried the sword that was broken - Anduril.

Boromir son of Denethor: Man.
Boromir was the son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor. He was the older brother of Faramir. He carried a great horn.
He saved the Fellowship's lives at Carvahall, where he instructed each of them to carry a bundle of firewood. He was tempted by the Ring.

Legolas son of Thranduril: Elf.
Legolas was the only Elf in the company. He was light on his feet, quiet, and was good with horses. He carried a bow, which he used prodigiously.
He did NOT shoot an oliphaunt.

Gimli son of Gloin: Dwarf.
Gimli was a dwarf. He conflicted with Legolas at the beginning, but became friends. He wielded an axe.

Meriadoc Brandybuck: Hobbit.
Meriadoc, also called Merry, was a hobbit from Hobbiton. His knowledge of the Old Forest was crucial to the hobbits.

Peregrin Took: Hobbit.
The youngest of the group, Peregrin, known as Pippin, was Merry's best friend, and a good singer.
...

My favorite member of the Fellowship is Samwise. Yeah, laugh all you want and post your little comments about "Fat old Sam". But until you've read The Choices of Master Samwise, or the Tower of Cirith Ungol, or Mount Doom...you haven't seen ANYTHING yet.

Samwise Gamgee is easily the greatest, most courageous character in the Fellowship.

Next would be Gandalf.
Read this passage from The White Rider, and tell me...
"And this also I say: you are our captain and our banner. The Dark Lord has Nine. But we have One, mightier than they: the White Rider. He has passed through fire and the abyss, and they shall fear him. We will go where he leads."
...that doesn't give you shivers!

...

Many people like to say Tolkien's characters are "black-and-white". This means that all his characters are easily divided into Good and Evil. That's not true.
Today, fantasy authors like to paint their characters Grey. Look at G.R.R.M.'s writings:
Characters like Tyrion, Jaime, Theon, the Hound, and Daenerys. Are they good or evil...Whose side are they on...What are their true intentions...?

Whereas in Tolkien's writings:
Aragorn - Good, Sauron - Bad, Gandalf - Good, Saruman - Bad, Elves - Good, Orcs - Bad. It's simple, Right?
Wrong.

Look at Boromir - he's fought against Sauron, yet he tried to take the Ring from Frodo. He wanted to defeat Sauron, but he opposed destroying the Ring.
And Sméagol - he was Frodo and Sam's guide, yet he wanted the Ring for himself. He led them into Mordor, yet he ------------------- (Spoiler).

Those are grey characters.

...

The legacy of Tolkien's works, especially LOTR, CANNOT be overstated.

LOTR has been voted "The Greatest Book of the Millennium", by Amazon.com and appears on almost EVERY list of greatest books ever written.
It is the 3rd bestselling book of all time, selling over 150,000,000 copies.
The Peter Jackson Trilogy alone has grossed over $2,947,978,376, and has been voted the greatest Motion Picture Trilogy of all time by Empire Magazine.

The three films are some of the most famous, iconic, and greatest adaptations of a fantasy novels ever made, appearing on Wikipedia's List of Highest Grossing Films, Empire Magazine's 500 Greatest Movies List, AFI's 100 Greatest Films List, IMDb's 250 Best Films list, and Metacritc's Best Movies of This Decade.

LOTR's impact on high, epic, heroic, and quest fantasy, is enormous. It revitalized the genre. No, it REWROTE the genre.
LOTR is the father of modern fantasy. Believe it or not, even today's fantasy (A Song of Ice and Fire, The Inheritance Cycle, etc) is influenced by Tolkien.
Tolkien's character's Frodo, Gandalf, Gollum and others have entered popular culture.

While Tolkien may not have invented Elves, Dragons, Dwarves, or Orcs, his vision of those creatures shaped the characters into what we recognize them as today.
Science Fiction authors such as Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Frank Herbert (Dune) and George Lucas (Star Wars) have been influenced by Tolkien.
It is easy to see how fantasy authors are influenced by Tolkien. Terry Brooks, Stephen R. Donaldson, David Eddings, and, yes, Christopher Paolini all ripped LOTR off.

George R.R. Martin has been called "The American Tolkien", and claims JRRT as a huge influence.
J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, is truly, a Masterpiece!

...

Conclusion:
As the Sunday Times famously said:
"The English speaking world is divided into those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and those who are going to read them."

Which camp are you? If you have not read the Lord of the Rings - The Greatest Book of the Millennium, The Most Influential Work of Fantasy - do so immediately.

I'm not joking. If I haven't given you enough incentive already, how about some more:
Do you like fantasy? Do you like good, no, great books? Are you a fan of books that contain Action, Adventure, High, Epic, Heroic Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Large, Epic, Thrilling Battles, Journeys, Strong, Heroic, Likeable Characters, Evil, Hate-able, Scary, and Disgusting Villains, Thrills, Chills, Laughs, and Cheers?
Then you'll love the Lord of the Rings.
Do you like Hobbits, Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orcs, Barrow-wights, Dragons, Giant Spiders, and Wizards?
Then The Lord of the Rings is for you.

Read it!

...

And until then, I hope you've enjoyed this review. Give it a like and post a comment. Read my other fantasy reviews.

Mára mesta, I Melain berio le.
Goodbye, May the Valar Keep You!

Also Recommended:
The Hobbit - The Enchanting Prequel
The Silmarillion - The Glorious Beginning
The Children of Húrin - The Moving Tragedy
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] - The Brilliant Adaptation
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography - The Best Biography
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book for Lord of the Ring readers!, Oct. 17 2012
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
I've read this book many times, but it took three books to do it. This book makes it less expensive than buying the three separate books. Just a great story to read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars the Books are Small, Oct. 16 2012
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This review is from: The Lord Of The Rings (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of the Lord of the Rings stories, having read it as a child. I bought this set to read it again, and was very disappointed at how small the books are. They are as small as a dime novel. The packaging and covers are nice, but the writing is tiny and will be hard to read for people with weak eyes and the paper is not very strong. If any pages get wet, be warned, it will tear like a tissue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Water in a dry place, October 1, 2007, Sept. 1 2012
By 
Mike London "MAC" (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
Over the past several decades, THE LORD OF THE RINGS has sold millions of copies and is commonly regarded as one of the most influential fantasy novels ever published. Many first time readers have began their trek into Middle-earth with Frodo and the Company of the Ring in recent years. What they will encounter there has been loved by millions of readers before them, and if they allow themselves to respond to Tolkien and his Myth will doubtless become a loyal and ardent fan of Tolkien and those furry-footed hobbits. What's also notable about THE LORD OF THE RINGS is, for a book as long as it is, many of its readers reread the novel many times over. Yet despite its enduring popularity, Tolkien is often held in complete disregard by the literary establishment.

The real question is why? In the literary climate that is characterized by modernism and post-modernism where the twentieth and twenty first century is a wasteland why does a "series" of fantasy novels become one of the most beloved works in modern times?

It's because the power of myth over the human imagination works wonders, creating a longing and a hunger that, Tolkien argues, is met by the Christian religion. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis are the flip-sides of the same coin, with Lewis giving us accounts of the longing and Tolkien providing the books that would create that longing. And what about the longing? It's that longing for Myth, that love for those beauties which Tolkien shows us in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. It's that longing that sets man apart from all other creatures in the universe: a craving for beauty and for joy. The German word for this longing is "senhsucht". In a time characterized by fast-food, cell-phones, materialism, superficiality, the account of a Hobbit working against all odds in a mythic landscape so captures the human imagination (and this is NOT hype) that an entire genre is created. It is because of how Tolkien so masterfully handles Myth that he has been so highly treasured by such a large fan base.

Still, there are a few things to consider when reading Tolkien nowadays. Looking over the reviews, it proved rather shocking to me that people have been complaining that, although it was original when it was published, much of what Tolkien has done has become cliche and that other writers are much better working with these cliches and making them more exciting than Tolkien. They complain about his "endless descriptions" of the natural world, very detailed accounts of geography and not enough "characterization." The characters are unrealistic: the "human drama" required by the book's very nature is beyond Tolkien's scope as a writer. THE FELLOWSHIP is both uneven and very weak in pacing, with so much invested in the world and its history Tolkien forgets to make us care about the characters themselves. Another fault oft cited against Tolkien is the lack of "female characters," and there have been accusations that Tolkien is racist; one of my favorite misconceptions is that Frodo and Sam are homosexuals.

Academia has no time for Tolkien, and many of our key critics have denounced Tolkien as ill-written or escapist (Harold Bloom said that THE LORD OF THE RINGS is a period piece which will simply not die but just keeps lingering on long after its relevance. This is the stance taken by a lot of professional critics with a grudge against Tolkien, and wonderfully have been proven wrong). To this day, while not nearly as openly hostile as previous decades, academia in general harbors resentment against Tolkien and everything he's done. As far as they're concerned, he's done something that is actually popular and therefore unworthy of study. It's one of those "high-brow vs. low-brow" situations, and instead of producing "worthwhile" academic research, Tolkien instead writes a "series" of novels which become one of the most established authors of this century. In recent years, academic support has grown tremendously for Tolkien, but he is still a very hotly contested modern writer, unlike some other "academically undeniable" classics such as James Joyce. Unlike the academic favorites, Tolkien highly polarizes the professional literary establishment. Fortunately he has gained some ground here though.

Much of the complaints voiced against THE LORD OF THE RINGS are both unimportant and irrelevant. Tolkien is working with literary traditions not in-tune with the modern mind, but is instead handling narrative threads of Myth. Tolkien gives us solid archetypes to work with, bringing out the very qualities of masculinity and the beauties and stark wonders of femininty, but all expressed in mythological terminology. The idea of Sam and Frodo as homosexual is both ridiculous and totally unfounded. In Myth, good is characterized and seen as "White," and the evil is dark and perverted. Those who say Tolkien is racist approach him from the wrong standpoint.

As for the modern fantasy reader, those who complain about Tolkien's originality (while acknowledging it, but that later writers do a much better job with it) is like saying Shakespeare, while a good dramatist, is not that good because other people take his principals and make them more exciting, etc. I heard a story once about a person who went to see a Shakespeare play and went away complaining there were too many quotes in the play to make it any good. Shakespeare is the source of these quotes and he did not even realise it.

Most people know that Tolkien founded modern fantasy. Tolkien laid down the template for the fantasy genre in general, and anyone who reads fantasy has been touched, directly or indirectly, by Tolkien's work. Almost all of the major fantasy authors have acknowledge their debt to Tolkien, and the shadow Tolkien casts over fantasy literature is very long indeed. Because there is fifty years separating us from the original publication, it is much harder to approach THE LORD OF THE RINGS as those first reviewers, for those who have grown up reading fantasy literature are now accustomed to Dwarves and Elves and Dark Lords and Epic Quests, but when it was issued THE LORD OF THE RINGS transformed and invented an entire new genre. It is not Tolkien's fault that his vision of a mythology was so successful that everyone else decided they would try their hand at fantasy and work within Tolkien's templates. The main problem with fantasy authors in general are they are more interested in emulation than they are in true "myth-making." Much like early rock and roll, which, because rock was not an established form of music, the early musicians relied on other forms to create a new genre, Tolkien did not have this tradition to fall back on so instead he used various literatures and epic poems to create his own vision of myth. A lot of fantasy writers do not work in the context of myth any more, but rather rely on genre stereotypes which are generally found in Tolkien. Many readers who are interested in "pulp" fantasy get bogged down in Tolkien because he takes the time to fully explain his world and its cultures, because his goal is different. There is plenty of action in LORD OF THE RINGS, but those raised on the pulp fantasy will not care for it.

Ultimately, THE LORD OF THE RINGS's criticism has shown itself to be of little importance on its durability as a major text. Ever since its publication in 1954, 1955, and 1956, LOTR has become one of the most important literary works our era has produced, highly regarded and passionately loved by an enormous amount of people. Despite the very vocal minority who despise Tolkien and his work, THE LORD OF THE RINGS has consistently topped the polls for the best book of the last one hundred years. Whatever the critics say, THE LORD OF THE RINGS is here to stay because popular imagination has grabbed hold of Tolkien's vision and ran with it. Tolkien and Lewis have been wonderfully vindicated in their belief that there is an enormous adult appetite for Myth and fantasy literature.

Tolkien's work is water in a dry place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, May 24 2012
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
I have always wanted one of the Fiftieth Anniversary Books of Lord of the Rings and now I own one. I could never buy one because at the time it was expensive. Now that I have one in my collection, I am proud. This book will never be read but if you haven't read one of these books then read it. You will be amazed at it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOTR black box set, April 20 2012
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
Need I say, AMAZING !! Delivered in two days as well. My first time reading the books, (after of course having watched the movies and loving them), and the literature is simple Pure Gold !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Lord" rules, March 4 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)
Though Tolkien was not the first or most critically-acclaimed fantasy writer, he remains the most beloved and influential, even though "Lord of the Rings" is decades old.

Now with the epic movie trilogy based on this book, new waves of readers are discovering the unique power of the "Lord of the Rings." It has quietly created the fantasy genre as we know it, set the tone for most fantasy ever since, topped many "best book" polls, and helped spawn such entertainment phenomena as "Star Wars."

Following up on events in "The Hobbit," "The Fellowship of the Ring" stars the quiet, good-natured hobbit Frodo Baggins, who has inherited a golden Ring that allows its user to become invisible. But his friend, Gandalf the wizard, informs Frodo that the Ring is really the Ring of Power, a tiny invulnerable token that the demonic Dark Lord Sauron has poured his essence and power into. And if Sauron can regain the Ring, he will be able to conquer Middle-Earth. Aghast, Frodo joins a fellowship of Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Men and a wizard, to go to the one place where the Ring can be destroyed: Mount Doom.

"The Two Towers" begins directly after "Fellowship," after Frodo Baggins flees with his friend Sam into Mordor, with no one to protect them. His cousins Merry and Pippin are kidnapped by orcs from the renegade wizard Saruman. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli begin a frenetic search for the hobbits, and receive unexpected help from unlikely allies. Meanwhile, the Ring weighs more heavily on Frodo, as he is forced to get help from one of the people he most despised: the Ring's slave Gollum.

"Return of the King" brings the trilogy to an action-packed, slam-bang and ultimately poignant finale. Sam barely rescues Frodo from Sauron's orcs, and the two resume their journey to Mount Doom, barely escaping Sauron's forces. As Aragorn leads the desperate battle against Sauron's armies at the city of Minas Tirith, Frodo falls increasingly under the seductive spell of the Ring.

"Lord of the Rings" is indeed a powerful book, speaking to virtually everyone who has read it. J.R.R. Tolkien drew from legends and myths, ranging from the ancient Norse mythology to more recent legends, mingled with his love of the British country folk and his Roman Catholic beliefs.

Though there are no direct linkages or lessons in the trilogy, Tolkien probably drew on his experiences in World War I for the ravaged battlefields and breakneck action sequences. His beliefs are equally misty but present: they fueled the ethics of the good guys, the fall of formerly-good wizard Saruman, and the themes of temptation, redemption, evil and good that run through every character.

Frodo Baggins is an everyman hero, who dreams of adventure but begins to treasure the simple, boring life that he had once he is deprived of it. His deteriotation is saddening, all the more so because he is aware of it. The equally vibrant cast also includes Gandalf the crabby grandfatherly wizard, Sam Gamgee the loyal gardener, and a variety of kings, elves, dwarves, and more lovable little hobbits.

Tolkien's writing is evocative and descriptive, though not to extremes; Mordor, for example, is best described through the way that Sam and Frodo react to it. The dialogue can range from goofy and hilarious to solemn and archaic, or to some combination of the two. And the pacing is gradual but necessary -- readers with short attention spans won't be able to handle this story. If they can handle sprawling, epic tales, then probably they can.

Even after all the years, J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" still rules the fantasy genre and has become an integral part of modern literature. It's an epic for all ages, and few books have even come close to equalling it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This should be in any Tolkien fan's collection, April 29 2003
By 
Mobius "definitive" (Folsom, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I have listened to the majority of the CDs in this collection and what a terrific experience it has been. Rob Inglis' voice is absolutely perfect for the story. All the characters come to life from this single narrator. What's more, the songs and poems in the book are sung and read brilliantly. The passage where Aragorn and Legolas sing to the western, southern, and northern winds for the passing of Boromir has been done exceptionaly well.
As noted by others, there are some minor word substitutions and differences in the edition being read from but that in no way diminishes this elegant work. The story is timeless, the reading masterful. It's almost as if the Rob Inglis' voice has been tailor made for this type of story. The imagery of the book really comes alive with the reading. One passage sticks in my mind. It's the one where the Fellowship is travelling down Anduin and Legolas steps out of the boat to shoot down the Nazgul and his flying steed. The reading and imagery are so vivid that the entire scene just builds an image in the mind. Few books and readings have achieved such a high level.
Undoubtedly others will find their own favorite moments. That's what the combination of literary and narrative masters provides. At the very worse this work will provide hours of enjoyment. No Tolkien fan should be without this exceptional effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance by Inglis, but some quibbles, Sept. 30 2002
By 
E. Palladino "epalladino" (Bronx, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This reading of the entire Lord of the Rings is hard not to rate highly because of the quality of the performance. Mr. Inglis seems to have a whole world of different voices. I can't imagine how he managed to come up with so many or how he managed to remember what voice he picked for each character. He performs so well that this is really more a dramatization of the whole book rather than just someone reading it; even his voicing of the narration is perfect.
I've not listened to the whole yet, being about half-way through the Fellowship of the Ring. I assume that the quality of the performance will be just as good for the parts I've not listened to yet. However, I do have several quibbles (which are not enough to lessen my rating, but which I found surprising against the overall quality).
The first quibble has nothing to do with Mr. Inglis himself: Sometimes I can hear, faintly, another voice in the background. It sounds like this voice is also reading something. To the creators of this recording: get better sound-proofing. Mr. Inglis's voice and performance are so wonderful that it is a pity to have this distraction.
The second quibble has to do with Mr. Inglis: I happen to be listening to this recording while following along in my printed books of the trilogy, therefore it becomes obvious when Mr. Inglis departs from the text. I really don't mind the sometimes excessive use of contractions that are not in Tolkien's original (even though "don't use the ring" really does not have the same emphasis as "do *not* use the ring") and it's not so bad when he substitutes one word for another of the same meaning (possibly he may be reading from a different edition).
However, occasionally, Mr. Inglis makes boo-boos that change the meaning of the sentence being read. At least two come to mind (and these from the first half of the Fellowship): Near the end of the Tom Bombadil episode (when Frodo and Co. are taking leave of Goldberry) a "morning" is changed to a "misty morning". The word "misty" is not in the text and confuses the meaning of the passage as the sentences that follow imply that the morning is a clear one. The other most noticible change is that Sam's statement "How do *we* know that you are the real Strider..." gets read as "How do *you* know that you are the real Strider...", which makes no sense. These are the two errors of reading that first come to mind, but there were more. Enough, let's say, to surprise me in a performance that is almost pitch-perfect.
However, like I said previously, these quibbles don't reduce my rating and the set is well worth any amount of money.
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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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