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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest adaptations ever, with an ensemble cast
I remember reading the Fellowship of the Ring at school. My friend had the three volume book, but I thought I would start with the first and see how it went. I was captured, and have been enchanted ever since with the mythological world of Middle Earth. But, it was not until I had listened to this box set that I realised, for instance, how great was the suffering of...
Published on 11 May 2001 by robert_m_davis@hotmail.com

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218 of 234 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
We all know that the The Lord of the Rings is a work of genius, so this review covers this particular published version (The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition). First off this book is expensive and in format it is only a little larger than the paperback version. Also apart from the three pages from the book of Mazurbul there are no illustrations. First...
Published on 23 April 2005 by J Meehan


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest adaptations ever, with an ensemble cast, 11 May 2001
I remember reading the Fellowship of the Ring at school. My friend had the three volume book, but I thought I would start with the first and see how it went. I was captured, and have been enchanted ever since with the mythological world of Middle Earth. But, it was not until I had listened to this box set that I realised, for instance, how great was the suffering of Frodo, and indeed how bittersweet the ending really is. I don't think that this can replace the text, but owning it will compliment the books tremendously, and act as an appetizer to the upcoming movies. Enjoy!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly superb performance - BBC radio at its best!, 13 July 2001
In essence, the best audio transcription of this famous story and most unlikely to be beaten. Well done BBC Radio for a fantastic job! All the superlatives have essentially been used in previous reviewers comments so I'll be brief : I've listened to the tape version for several years while living in the USA. My family and I recently relocated to France for my job and one of the tapes was damaged during the house move. I immediately bought the CD version and regularly listen to them during a somewhat boring commute on the A43 autoroute from Lyon to Chambéry (a one hour journey). That's one CD per journey, two for the round trip, so I get through the whole story in a little more than a week. Michael Hordern (sadly no longer with us) is my quintessential Gandalf, and for me will always remain so, although I've no doubt that Ian MacKellan will do a fine job as the great wizard in the film version at the end of this year. All of the principal actors, and even the minor ones such as Butterbur (James Grout) and Grima Wormtongue (Paul Brooke) put on excellent performances. Amazing abilites from Peter Woodthorpe, a fine Aragorn (Robert Stephens) and Samwise (William Nighy), and of course Ian Holm as Frodo (it'll be interesting to see his visual interpretation of Bilbo in the film version). All in all, a superb achievement by both cast and production team. My one (albeit very slight) disappointment - the voice of Arwen Evenstar (Sonia Fraser) has always sounded to me like the voice of a much older woman than the actual character (my sincere apologies Mrs. Fraser; I've no idea how you were at the time of the recordings!) My visual image of Arwen is of a much younger, ageless and timeless, elf lady, as most of us probably imagine. Be that as it may, whatever you do, and especially if you've not yet read the book, buy this CD set and be prepared for a wonderful journey of the imagination!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great edition!, 18 Mar 2002
By A Customer
JRR Tolkien's book "The Lord of the Rings" needs no introduction. It's a timeless classic that should at least be given a try by absolutley everyone! That said, this edition is just great! I was quite surprised when I first saw this edition with my own eyes. The books are large, pages are thick, the covers and the illustrations are a feast to look at and the text is big and clear. If you are looking for an edition of "The Lord of the Rings" that is a bit more special than the cheaper ones, this is the one to get!
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trully unbelievable !, 26 Feb 2000
By A Customer
I know, this might look like an expensive buy, but believe me, once you get to the last CD of this brilliant dramatisation of Lord of the Rings, you won't even care about the money you've spent ! This is how good this radio version is. I would give it 1000 stars if i could !
After listening to this 14 hours of incredible High Fantasy atmosphere, i only wish all the books from Tolkien were available in this form. I know the Lord of the Rings movies are being filmed at this moment, but after listening to this brilliant radio adaptation, i can't believe the movies will be better than this radio series. This is the perfect buy for anyone who loves Fantasy, no matter what age you are. Excelent for Tolien fans, and perfect to introduce the Tolkien world to anyone who never eard of it.
For a start, the actors are perfect, specialy, the voices of Sam, Gollum and Gandalf, wich are fantastic. And the cast it's huuuuuuge with plenty of voices everywhere.
The sound effects are powerfull, altough a bit to much early eighties electronics some times, but very ,very good nevertheless, specialy in the battle scenes and in the countryside atmospheres.
But to me the most impressive thing in all this adaptation , is the music soundtrack. This radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings, has one of the most beautiful music soundtracks i ever eard, and the way in wich the music is used to create emotion and carry the listener into the Midlle Earth is incredible. Listen to the battle preparation scenes in the dark , and you'll get imediately transported into this amazing world, just by the power of sound. The epic music, combined with the sound of horses, arms, men singing and marching and all sort of sound atmospheres creates a movie in our minds, that i doubt any real movie will provoque the same efect ever !
There's epic music, powerfull music, soothing music, simple tunes, elf songs, and all sorts of TolKien poems set to song in a brilliant "medieval" way. And all this comes also in CD n.14 , just for us to enjoy after we listen to the story in the other 13 Cds.
I also have the other radio adaptation made of 1968 of THE HOBBIT, wich i advise everyone to get it also, because all of what i've said for this Lord of the Rings , BBC Radio adaptation also goes for BBC's The Hobbit.
So to finish, i'll just say, if you're in doubt, and worried about the price, just go for it. You won't regret it. By the end you wish you had plenty more like this one to buy. So sell your car, sell your house, sell your mother-in-law, but get this BBC RADIO THE LORD OF THE RINGS. And also the HOBBIT.
After you'll listen to it, you won't even care about the money you spent in buying the thing.
As for me ,this was one of the best buys of my life. And i'm 30 years old. I've already bought a lot.
This Lord of the Rings, radio dramatization is a masterpiece.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listening Perfection, 6 Dec 2001
Perhaps, like me, you're not an avid reader of the fantasy genre. However, anyone who respects good writing should have read Lord of the Rings. LOTR is a contemporary classic and deserves respect as a great novel. So, as other reviewers have said, this audio drama cannot replace the book; it does, however, supplement the book wonderfully and bring Middle-Earth to life.
I don't envy the actors in the forthcoming films the prospect of trying to follow this production. Iam Holm steals the show, William Nighy (such an under-rated actor) adds wonderful comic relief, the late Robert Stephens gives a powerful performance which I can only compare to Burton's best and Michael Hordern and Peter Woodthorpe ARE Gandalf and Gollum.
Think of the price in terms of CDs - the cost of 3 or 4 CDs for 13 hours of outstanding entertainment - a bargain. I bought this years ago and have never regretted it for a moment.
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268 of 282 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not a novel in the modern sense, 3 Jan 2009
By 
Mr. R. A. Seffen (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
To all the people who've given this a low mark, and all seem to have the same gripe with it - you all fail to understand that this is not a novel in the sense we've come to understand as a fantasy novel these days, so it's not fair to judge it as such.
Tolkien was not a career author, he didn't set out to write a searing page-turner, a wizzbang tale of derring-do in 500 sizzling chapters. Gandalf doesn't hurl raging fireballs at enemies, Aragorn doesn't have a sex scene with Arwen while doing Eowyn behind her back, there's no pandering to the lowest common denominator to flog a few more copies.
Tolkien barely cared if no one ever read it. He was writing it largely for himself and his friends and family.
You're all guilty of confusing the result of Tolkien's legacy and influence (virtually every other fantasy novel, movie or game) with his actual work, and expecting to see in the father what you've seen in his unruly children.

Judge it for what it is, not for what you wanted it to be as a modern fantasy reader.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sound approach to Middle-Earth, 15 Sep 2001
By 
I must have read J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings at least 30 times over the same number of years.
I have seen two films come and go, that did not 'reach' me in the same way as the books (it is usually the same with pictures/drawings etc).
The Lord of the Rings is one of those rare books who's impressions given are personal to that reader.
In this way the CD's (taken from the BBC Radio adaptation of the early 1980's), do not intrude on ones personal 'mind pictures' for the story. In a number of respects they enhance previous reading experience. The voices are particularly good, striking, in terms of Gandalf and the late/great Sir Michael Hordern.
Admittedly, some scenes have had to be passed over,especially earlier on in the story i.e the old forest, Tom Bombadil, the barrow downs (due to the sheer size of the work), other than these areas, the story is very much intact.
This is a story (we found) best played on a winters night around the fire (it can make television almost seem a basic and vulgar entertainment). But however heard, it will inspire, thrill, and endear all to the great man's master work.
The 13 CD package is attractively packaged, including a map, and a CD of music from this adaptation.
I believe this sort of experience/entertainment is ideal for children of all ages, particularly really grown up children (adults) !
These CD's will compliment your Tolkien collection and continue the pure magic of this classic tale for years/generations to come.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT - The Best Adaption you'll find anywhere, 4 Dec 2000
By A Customer
I originally heard this about five years ago, and listening to it again, it just gets better. The price may seem steep, but it is worth it. I originally heard this after I had read the books, and of course there are things you feel shouldn't have been left out, but putting what they did in 13 hours you will not be disappointed. All the actors are great, but I must single out Ian Holm for his performance, the emotions he can convey in his voice and the way he delivers his lines are excellent.
I just hope the upcoming movies can equal this, but I somehow doubt it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book but it has some flaws., 8 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lord of The Rings (Hardcover)
Simply wonderful; but it has some structural flaws. The slip case is very tight holding the book, which is good but the rough cloth on the inside of the case may scratch up the leather half of the cover in time. The leather half is well bound and confortable to touch and hold. The cloth half has some quality faults in the edge's, the edge stitching is loose and in time may fray badly. It would have been nice if Harper Collins had numbered each copy due to the fact that there were only 1,000 copies produced, but you can't have everything =).
Other than that there are no other problems, and this copy of LOTR met my every expectation.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of audio dramatisation, 9 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Having read and loved the book I really had doubts that a 13 hour audio full dramatised version could do it justice but any doubts I had were quashed when I heard the first few minutes and that haunting main theme kicked in. Assuming if you're reading this you've already read the book I won't need to go into specifics but Gollum was just so...perfect. Loathsome and quite pitiful at the same time. Ian Holm as Frodo was magnificent, the leading role of a talented cast, special praise going to those actors portraying Bilbo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Pippin, Merry, Sam, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir. The music was equal parts moving, exciting and awe-inspring, and how nice of the CD makers to include a 14th disc with nearly an hour of the score, my fave parts being the main score and the fan-bloody-tastic March of the Ents. Every single part of this version of the book to end all books is honed to perfection, but the standouts go to the Prancing Pony section of disc 2 and the entire Mines of Moria sequence of Disc 4, which is a triumph of sound in a scene where visuals are all. I could babble on forever about this, but, it may seem costly, but it's worth it. Empty your wallets, go home, put this on and be entranced.
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