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The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings, Part 1: Fellowship of the Ring Vol 1 by Tolkien, J. R. R. International editio Edition (2007) Paperback

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Internationalitio edition
  • ASIN: B00DO8IM7I
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 634,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First published in 1954 The Fellowship Of The Ring is the first part of the epic saga, and Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord Of The Rings. It has been a firm favourite of mine since I first read it over 25 years ago, and every time I return to the trilogy I find something new in this multilayered and deep piece of literature. I have worked my through it again recently, and with much temerity have decided to post a review of this stand out classic of classics.

In this first part of the trilogy, the Ring that Bilbo Baggins `acquired' from Gollum in the Hobbit is passed to his nephew, Frodo. Gandalf informs Frodo that the ring is in fact deadly dangerous, and Frodo sets out on a desperate journey to the safety of Rivendell. There the true nature of the ring is learned, and a fellowship of elves, men, dwarves, hobbits and wizards sets off on an even more perilous quest.

It is, as the author notes in his charming foreword, a tale that grew with the telling. The early parts of the book are closer in style to the Hobbit, and compared to the epic nature and darker tone of some of the later sections these can seem still a little limited and at times almost childish, as though Tolkien is writing another children's book. But the tale grows, Tolkien's skill and imagination grows, and soon this is a thrilling, gripping, complex tale.

I find when reading this that it not just the plot that I love, but the completeness of Tolkien's world. He has developed a whole history, mythology, geography and etymology for it, all incredibly detailed. The book does not describe these in detail, but has frequent sideways references to them. This is what sets it apart from other fantasies, the feeling of a complete reality in which the adventures are taking place, a rich and textured world.
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What a wonderfully woven story by J.R.R. Tolkein. The world he created, the characters, the life he breathed into this story is enough to make me speechless to tell you the truth. What kind of imagination must he have had to sit and create this whole fictional world, but better yet, make it sound so real that you'd expect to be able to book the next ticket to the Shire or Rivendell!

I admit I have read the books after having watched the films countless times. Films that I also love and am a huge fan of, by the way. In a sense, though, I truly believe that having watched the films aided me in understanding and imagining that world much better than I would have had I been left to my own "imagination-al" (not a word, I know) resources. Does that mean my imagination is limited? Perhaps. Or maybe it means I just don't think my imagination is good enough to compete with Tolkein or Peter Jackson for that matter. It could also mean that since I've watched the films already, I'm just biased, for I can never imagine another Frodo than that of Elijah Wood's face!

That being said, the story-telling is absolutely brilliant. You can't help but feel yourself slowly get immersed into the events taking place, almost embarking on this - quite dreadful, to be honest - journey with Frodo and Sam et al. Feeling this responsibility right alongside Frodo, heaving with the weight of the ring, having your stomach clench with hunger, and stretching your legs and feet out as you feel every gnawing emotion that they feel.

The Fellowship of the Ring starts off a bit slow, but that's to be expected if you're going to be able to really assemble together a complete picture of each and every character that this book introduces.
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