23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Its the Best!, 10 Feb 2002
This radio adaptation of Tolkien's work needs no additional praise other than to say 'it's the best'.
Here's why (for me at any rate):
It is remarabley faithful to the book. No small achievement considering the complexity of the plot and number of charachters involved. Only in one instance (Bombadil) does it stray from the story-line. Apart from that - what you hear is exactly the way the story unfolds.
The cast are excellent. Each selected for their natural qualities of voice. They 'sound' like the charachters they are portraying. So, Gimli: gruff, tenacious; Aragorn: noble, resiliant; Gandalf: benevolence, with a strong undercurrent of power tending to swift action. With around 13 hours of dialogue there is such a richness of tone, emotion and interaction to be heard. 'Effects' are (thankfully) minimal and leave the best to ones imagination.
As an added bonus, the 14th CD is a collection of the songs and incidental music used in the episodes. These create an atmosphere of timelessnes and wonder, punctuating the story-line to marvelleous effect. There's also a booklet on the making of the series and the seemingly obligatory map of middle-earth to make sense of the quest.
Two small criticisms. The CD set dosn't cover events in the appendices that come at the end of the third volume of LoTR. This particulalry affects the charachter of Arwen because her relationship with Aragorn (central to his motivation in the war of the ring) is only fully brought out in one of those Appendices. This adaptation could have made more of the time they share at Rivendell to highlight her charachter.
And the other criticism? One Tolkien himself would have shared; the story - and hence this CD set of the radio adaptation - is too short.