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The Tolkien Audio Collection [Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

J. R. R. Tolkien , Christopher Tolkien
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2007

For generations, J R R Tolkien’s words have brought to thrilling life a world of hobbits, magic, and historic myth, woken from its foggy slumber within our minds. Here, he tells the tales in his own voice.

Of historic note, these selections from ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ are based on a tape recording Tolkien made in 1952, which inspired him to continue his own quest to see his vision in print. Also included is a never-published poem, “The Mirror of Galadriel,” originally intended for inclusion in the trilogy, yet edited out. And, finally, Tolkien’s son, Christopher, reads slections from his father’s ‘The Silmarillion’, the epic foundation upon which rests the whole of his work.


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007147015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007147014
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

For generations, J R R Tolkien's words have brought to thrilling life a world of hobbits, magic and historic myth, woken from its foggy slumber within our minds. Here, he tells the tale in his own voice.

Of historic note, these selections from
'The Hobbit
' and
'The Lord of the Rings
' are based on a tape recording Tolkien made in 1952, which inspired him to continue his own quest to see his vision in print. Also included is a never-published poem,
'The Mirror of Galadriel
', originally intended for inclusion in the trilogy, yet edited out. And, finally, Tolkien's son, Christopher, reads selections from his father's
'The Silmarillion
', the epic foundation upon which rests the whole of his work.

'Other J R R Tolkien titles available from HarperCollinsAudioBooks include:
'

'The Hobbit
' (unabridged edition) Read by Rob Inglis
'The Lord of the Rings
' (complete text) Read by Rob Inglis

About the Author

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father’s death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.



Christopher Tolkien, born on 21st November 1924, is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself since his father's death in 1973 to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and the collections entitled Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. Since 1975 he has lived in France with his wife Baillie.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christopher is true to his dad's word. 2 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Christopher Tolkien's selected readings from the Silmarillion tell the story of Beren and Luthien - surely a legend worthy of 1000 pages itself - and of the Darkening of Valinor.
The trials, tribulations, treachery and heroism of the Feanor clan are laid bare in a rich subtle voice full of pathos and terror as the text demands.
For those who found the Silmarillion daunting these readings are essential. They clear the way for a full unterstanding of the history and context of the subsequent Lord of the Rings.
The links with the Lord of the Rings are the key to a full appreciation of the Silmarillion. The obvious parallel of Beren and Luthien and Aragorn and Arwen are merely interesting compared to the strands that thread the Trees of Valinor, the Silmarils and the Phial of Galadriel as they stretch to the Third Age.
A memorable passage introduces Galadriel and we get a glimpse of her majesty, ambition and power that was to be further exposed in the Lord of the Rings.
Perhaps the finest legacy of the readings is the image of the earlier ages of Middle Earth that will have listeners scurrying back to the Silmarillion for more.
This is all great stuff and Christopher Tolkien reads surprisingly well. I only wish he was a bit more prolific.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tapes for Tolkien fans 29 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
If you want to give this as a present to a Tolkien fan then this is it, a collection of Tolkiens best books, (well, they are in my opinion they are) including the great joint work "The road goes ever on" with Donald Swann and J.R.R. Tolkien, but if you buy them for yourself and you have never read Tolkien books before beware, you will probably not be able to understand it. But as a gift it is great, myself a avid tolkien fan who has a large collection of Tolkien books will certainly look forward to adding this to my collection. 9 out of 10
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 9 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This was a present for a Tolkein fan who was disappointed with it, JRR may be an excellent author but not very good as a narrator.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien has fun with Tolkien 24 April 2002
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
According to the inserts, these recordings were made before the "Lord of the Rings" books were even published. J.R.R. Tolkien performed these snippets for friends, in order to get their opinion of his new story as well as inspire himself to pursue publication. It is pretty fortunate that they were recorded.
Of course, the recording quality of these informal chats is not top-notch, but I would expect nothing different. These are not professional recordings, but probably just someone with a recording machine in a living room while Tolkien performs. They are intimate, and a wonder to hear. Imagine if you could have been there, with Professor Tolkien trying to interest you in his funny little stories!
Tolkien reads excerpts from several of his books, including "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." He reads "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," and sings a few of his songs. It is great fun to hear the "gollum" noise as he envisioned it, as well as the Elvish language spoken by it's author.
I highly recommend these recordings. They are a window into the past.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars J. R. R. Tolkien is a great reader of his own work. 30 Sep 2002
By E. Palladino - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's too bad that Tolkien didn't get a chance to read the whole of "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit". But, it's wonderful that these recordings survived for us to hear them since they were not professionally made and most were done before "Lord of the Rings" was even published, let alone popular. Also, also my thanks to who ever decided to put all these on CD. My LPs of these recordings are worn out.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tolkien Audio Collection [abridged] a most marvlous expe 26 Jan 2003
By R. Foret Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ever wanted to actually HEAR the voice of the author of "The Lord of the Rings" books reading some of his own wanderfull work? Well, whith this collection, you CAN!!! Yes, it's true, Tolkien reading his own writing!!! Among the many treasures contained in this fabulous four disk collection is a sample of Tolkien reading the two lines of writing on the ring, "one ring to rule them all..." No, he doesn't read it in the black speech, but I'd like to think that he DID record that. there's a pretty good sprinkling of Elvish here too: both spoken and sung. You will just love the first item in this collection. Here, Tolkien reads the passage about Gollum from "the Hobbit". It should be noted that He reads at a fairly fast rate so you may have to listen somewhat more closely than you might otherwise. This one will just keep you coming back again and again and again!!!!! You'll NEVER tire of it.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Track List and Review: 4hr 10min-long treat for any Tolkien fan; remastered; does NOT contain unpublished poem 5 Dec 2012
By Anonymouse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Here is a complete track listing for this item. My review is after the track listing.

=========================================================================================

CD 1: Songs and excerpts from "The Hobbit" and "The Fellowship of the Ring" read by J.R.R. Tolkien (49 minutes)
1. The Hobbit: Chapter 5: Riddles in the Dark (29:49)
2. The Fellowship of the Ring: Book I: Chapter I: A Long Expected Party - The Old Walking Song (0:17)
3. TFotR Book I: Chapter II: The Shadow of the Past - Verse of the Rings (0:52)
4. TFotR Book I: Chapter III: Three is Company - A Walking Song (1:01)
5. TFotR Book I: Chapter III: Three is Company - "Snow White! Snow White!" (0:38)
6. TFotR Book I: Chapter V: A Conspiracy Unmasked - The Bath Song (0:42)
7. TFotR Book I: Chapter V: A Conspiracy Unmasked - Farewell Song of Merry and Pippin (0:28)
8. TFotR Book I: Chapter VI: The Old Forest - "Hey! Come merry doll!" (0:38)
9. TFotR Book I: Chapter VI: The Old Forest - "Hop along, my little friends" (0:21)
10. TFotR Book I: Chapter IX: At the Sign of the Prancing Pony - "The is an inn, a merry old in..." (1:53)
11: TFotR Book I: Chapter XI: A Knife in the Dark - The Fall of Gil-Galad (0:25)
12: TFotR Book I: Chapter XI: A Knife in the Dark - Song of Beren and Luthien (3:06)
13: TFotR Book I: Chapter XII: Flight to the Ford - Sam's Rhyme of the Troll (2:36)
14. TFotR Book II: Chapter I: Many Meetings - "They got up and withdrew quietly..." (0:31)
15. TFotR Book II: Chapter IV: A Journey in the Dark - Song of Durin (1:43)
16. TFotR Book II: Chapter VI: Lothlorien - Song of Nimrodel (1:43)
17. TFotR Book II: Chapter VII: The Mirror of Galadriel - Frodo's Lament for Gandalf (0:58)
18. TFotR Book II: Chapter VIII: Farewell to Lorien - Galadriel's Song of Eldamar ("Namarie Alatriello naina Loreindesse", Galadriel's Lament in Lorien, spoken version) (0:48)

CD 2: Songs and excerpts from "The Two Towers", "The Return of the King", "The Fellowship of the Ring", and "The Adventure os Tom Bombadil" read by J.R.R. Tolkien (73 minutes)
1. The Two Towers: Book III: Chapter I: The Departure of Boromir - Lament for Boromir (2:39)
2. TTT Book III: Chapter IV: Treebeard - The Long List of the Ents (1:20)
3. TTT Book III: Chapter IV: Treebeard - Treebeard's Song (1:15)
4. TTT Book III: Chapter IV: Treebeard - The Ent and the Ent-wife (2:15)
5. TTT Book III: Chapter IV: Treebeard - Bregalad's Song (0:43)
6. TTT Book III: Chapter IV: Treebeard - The Ent's Marching Song (1:09)
7. TTT Book III: Chapter VI: The King of the Golden Hall - Lament for Rohirrim (0:37)
8. TTT Book III: Chapter VI: The King of the Golden Hall - Gandalf's Song of Lorien (0:25)
9. TTT Book IV: Chapter II: The Passage of the Marshes - Gollumn's Song (0:57)
10. TTT Book IV: Chapter III: The Black Gate is Closed - Oliphaunt (0:57)
11. TTT Book IV: Chapter IV: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit - "A little way back along the lake..." (7:39)
12. The Return of the King: Book V: Chapter III: The Muster of Rohan - Lament for Theodeon (1:07)
13. TRotK Book V: Chapter V: The Ride of the Rohirrim - "Then since we must look for fell deeds..." (8:41)
14. TRotK Book V: Chapter VI: The Battle of the Pellennor Fields - Song for the Mounds of Mundburg (1:36)
15. TRotK Book VI: Chapter III: Mound Doom - "There at the bend it ws cut deep..." (7:09)
16. TRotK Book VI: Chapter V: The Steward and the King - The Eagle Song (0:47)
17. The Fellowship of the Ring: Book II: Chapter VIII: Farewell to Lorien - Galadriel's Lament in Lorien ("Namarie Alatriello naina Loreindesse", sung version) (1:27)
18. TFotR Book II: Chapter I: Many Meetings - A Elbereth Gilthoniel! (from the Tom Bombadil sessions) (0:16)
19. TFotR Book II: Chapter VIII: Farewell to Lorien - Galadriel's Lament in Lorien (alternate spoken version from the Tom Bombadil sessions) (1:05)
20. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - "Old Tom Bombadil..." (6:53)
21. TAoTB - Errantry (2:54)
22. TAoTB - Princess Mee (1:37)
23. TAoTB - The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon (3:41)
24. TAoTB - Perry-The-Winkle (4:27)
25. TAoTB - The Mewlips (1:26)
26. TAoTB - The Hoard (3:34)
27. TAoTB - The Sea-Bells (5:16)

CD 3: Excerpts from "The Silmarillion" read by Christopher Tolkien (68 minutes)
1. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 1 - "The story tells that after the battle in which Morgoth..." (1:37)
2. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 2 - "Then there came a time near dawn on the eve of spring..." (10:31)
3. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 3 - "The story tells that Beren, leaving.." (8:12)
4. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 4 - "In the time when Sauron cast Beren into the pit..." (3:19)
5. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 5 - "The story tells that Huan found Luthien..." (7:53)
6. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 6 - "The story tells that Huan returned to..." (35:16)
7. Chapter 19: Of Beren and Luthien: Part 7 and Chapter 20: Paragraph 1 - "It is said that Beren and Luthien returned..." (1:33)

CD 4: Excerpts from "The Silmarillion" read by Christopher Tolkien (60 minutes)
1. Chapter 8: Of the Darkening of Valinor: Part 1 - "When Manwe heard of the ways that Melkor had taken..." (11:44)
2. Chapter 8: Of the Darkening of Valinor: Part 2 - "So the great darkness fell upon Valinor..." (2:47)
3. Chapter 9: On the Flight of the Noldor: Part 1 - "After a time a great concourse gathered about the ring of doom..." (14:40)
4. Chapter 9: On the Flight of the Noldor: Part 2 - "Now when it was known that Morgoth had escaped from Valinor..." (13:52)
5. Chapter 9: On the Flight of the Noldor: Part 3 - "Now Feanor led the Noldor northward..." (17:40)

=========================================================================================

# of CDs: 4
Length: 4 hours 10 minutes
CD case: Paperboard case with paperboard sleeve
Amazon price: 16.50 USD with free shipping
Price listed on CD: 25.00 USD

This CD collection is a treasure for any fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" fantasy universe. The Father of Modern Fantasy himself reads and sings poems, passages, and songs from "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", and "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil". Additionally, J.R.R.'s son, Christopher Tolkien, reads long excerpts from "The Silmarillion", the hefty mythology behind Middle-Earth.

J.R.R. Tolkien's recordings were made in 1952, two years before "The Fellowship of the Ring" was published. His readings and songs are insight into what he saw out of his own writing. You can feel his enthusiasm when he's singing and laughing to merry rhymes, or his grief when he sings Galadriel's lament. He passionately acts out the parts from "Riddles in the Dark" and "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit", making different voices for each character. He fluidly pronounces the Quenya lyrics as they are meant to be sung/spoken. Listening to these tracks gives you the opportunity to glimpse the Middle Earth Tolkien saw.

Regarding the "never-published poem 'The Mirror of Galadriel'", it isn't actually unpublished. They're referring to CD 1 Track 17 ("Frodo's Lament for Gandalf"), which IS a poem Frodo reads in "Fellowship of the Ring" (Book II, Chapter VII). From a review on an audio cassette collection...

>>> "The second to last poem is, according to the blurb that came with the tape, an unpublished poem that was apparently intended for inclusion in The Fellowship of the Ring. I am confused by this, because the penultimate recording is simply Sam's poetic tribute to Gandalf from 'The Mirror of Galadriel'. Until now I had never found this a particularly moving or significant poem. However, Tolkien gives the words a simple gravity that perfectly matches the (supposed) passing of Gandalf the Grey."
>>> - From Martin Baker's review of "JRR Tolkien Reads Excerpts from The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring" on Tolkien Society

...it appears that this "never-published poem" is really just a 30-something-year-old error that was never corrected.

Several reviewers have complained about the sound quality. These tracks are actually better than you realize. I first heard many of these readings on Harper Collins's audio cassette collection, and it's quite clear the tracks have been remastered since. I hear little of the static, popping, and clipping from the cassette versions, and the volume levels are more balanced. Happily, you can still hear some of the charming background noises like creaking chairs, shuffling papers, and cars driving up the road. When I hear those environmental noises, I feel like I'm in the room with Tolkien, listening to him sing in person.

In CDs 3 and 4, Christopher Tolkien's reads from "The Silmarillion", the book he assembled and published after his father died. "The Silmarillion" in its entirety isn't for everyone, since it's a pretty dry read. But the tale of Beren and Luthien on the third CD should be interesting even to casual fans, as it's the inspiration for the Aragorn/Awren romance that's explored in the movies, and the storytelling is reminiscent of Greek epics. The quality on Christopher Tolkien's reading are much clearer than his father's recordings, and sound much like a professional audiobook.

If you're looking at this product because you used to have the Harper/Caedmon audio cassette collection, you can buy this knowing it will contain all those recordings plus a few extras. I used to own the 4-cassette collection that included all the content from CDs 1, 2, and 3, and all the recordings are familiar. The only difference I've found so far is the additional readings in CD 4 and that the 1952 recordings are cleaner and more balanced. (In a few days I'll properly compare the cassettes and CDs and update the review if there are any missing tracks on the CDs.)

All-in-all this is an invaluable addition to any fan's collection. If you're a Tolkien fan yourself or if you're shopping for a Tolkien fan, you can't go wrong with this. I've been listening to these tracks for over a decade, and find joy in them every time.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Tolkien's Words to Life 9 May 2007
By Franz Metcalf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Who better to read Tolkien than Tolkien?

What I find so delightful in this compilation is the variety of mood and tone that both J. R. R. and Christopher bring to Tolkien's work. J. R. R. has real fun with the poems and narratives (especially of Sam and Gollum). The riddle chapter from The Hobbitt is an absolute treasure. J. R. R.'s vocal characterization of Gollum is genuinely first rate; no actor could have done it better. And his reading of the charge of the Rohirrim to the aid of Gondor is fully heroic.

But J. R. R. is always rustic whereas Christopher is erudite. The contrast is remarkable and somehow effective. Christopher's reading from The Silmarillion gives a sense of the depth of history of the Elder Days. His Oxbridge accent (after all, he grew up in Oxford) is perfect for the great persons he gives voice to. And of course he knows his father's work better than any person alive.

If you've ever enjoyed *reading* Tolkien, you owe it to yourself to *hear* Tolkien. You will love it! (And your kids will love Gollum!)
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