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
39 of 42 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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2.0 out of 5 stars the Books are Small,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Water in a dry place, October 1, 2007,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars LOTR black box set,
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 !!
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lord" rules,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be in any Tolkien fan's collection,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance by Inglis, but some quibbles,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!,
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful book,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Collector's Edition) (Imitation Leather)i love this book. it restores all three lord of the rings books into one volume like it was originally planned to be all those years ago when it was written. there are maps of middle earth inside along with geneology of the hobbits and an alphabet of the language. i got this book for my last birthday but first read it 9 years ago when i was in 9th grade. it's a bit heavy to carry along with 3 other skool books but i managed and believe it or not it actually got me out of trouble once. anyway, i love this book just because of the aesthetic beauty of it. the story inside is wonderful as well. it's the tale of frodo baggins and his inheritance of the One ring from bilbo. it goes from the rolling hills of the shire to the dark shadows of the mountains of mordor. the quest to destroy the ring and frodo is the only person to have the strength to carry out the deed. it's the tale of the nine and their odyssey to mt. doom to throw the ring back from whence it came. this book is filled with danger, battles, orcs, evil spirits, ring wraiths that hunt the bearer, and sauron the original owner of the ring who wants to get it back. a must read for any fan of the hobbit or of the new movie that has come out.
4.0 out of 5 stars One For The Bookshelves!,
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: Deluxe Illustrated Ed (Hardcover)This is a review of the Alan Lee illustrated, Houghton Mifflin hardcover book (ISBN: 0395595118).
This edition of LORD OF THE RINGS is very "deluxe". The dust jacket has the same gold-foil runic borders that THE HOBBIT and THE SILMARILLION editions have (released at the same time). The Alan Lee illustrations are first-rate and abundant throughout the book. There is a nice red bookmark sewed into the book's spine. The Tolkien maps are included, but (like many of the paperback versions) are simply printed on pages - not glued to the back cover as a fold-out.
I am happy with my copy. LORD OF THE RINGS, of course, is one of my favorite books. One has to take care when reading it -- all three volumes in one book create quite a weight in one's lap!
For the first-time reader of RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP (vol. 1) mixes adventure and high fantasy (ex: Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wights) to good effect and really hooks the reader in. THE TWO TOWERS (vol. 2) takes its time. The characters are split and Tolkien spends exclusive time with each faction. Don't expect film-like cutting between the main storylines. Tolkien, instead, spends several chapters concentrating solely on Sam and Frodo leaving the reader to wonder what's been happening to Merry or Pippin in the meantime. RETURN OF THE KING (vol. 3) becomes quite beautiful and poetic and is a great reward if you can make it that far! The characters by this time have become quite dear.
Enjoy this edition -- definitely one for the bookshelves!
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The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
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