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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sound approach to Middle-Earth
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...
Published on 15 Sep 2001 by P. Currie

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219 of 235 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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37 of 38 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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284 of 298 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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44 of 46 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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its the Best!, 10 Feb 2002
By 
roy.bishop@easynet.co.uk (High Wycombe, Bucks. UK) - See all my reviews
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.
Enjoy!
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you sitting comfortably?, 11 July 2004
Then Rob Inglis will read you the best story ever written.

Story telling is a tradition that predates book writing and reading by thousands of years. These days it's a luxury to be able to listen to the story teller. I've read Lord of the Rings too many times to be able to remember but up to now, nobody has ever read it to me. Rob Inglis has remedied that sad deficit. It took me a short while to get into the unfamiliar 'listener' state of mind because listening is a different discipline, a different skill, to reading. Somehow, it takes more concentration but perhaps that's just because of lack of practise. Once the right level of concentration was achieved, Rob Inglis's voice and the images it conjured, filled my mind to the exclusion of all else. It's hard to imagine the craft of story telling being executed any better than this.

This story teller managed to reproduce the voices of hobbits, men, elves, dwarves, wizards, eagles, nazgul, orcs and Gollum - all different and all very fitting for the characters represented. Not only that but he sang each song from the book, unaccompanied and they all sounded good.

It's the best present anyone has given me and I expect to listen to it at least as many times as I've read the book.
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24 of 25 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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80 of 85 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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38 of 40 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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36 of 38 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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this 'middle-earth', 19 May 2004
By 
Ash - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ignoring the really corny title for this review, this is an outstanding buy. It is a lot of money, particularly when you're a debt-ridden student but what better to spend you last £50 of your student loan. This set is superb. I only read the Lord of the Rings a few years ago and got completely hooked. I therefore wanted to buy myself a copy of the classic books so I could read them when I wanted, rather then waiting weeks for the library copy to be returned, particularly when the person has clearly stolen or lost it seeing as it was nearly 9 months overdue. Anyway, I wanted a copy of the books and was amazed by the sheer variety of potential versions. I decided to buy this one on the basis of a couple of the reviews and some help I got from one of the reviewers via e-mail.

This set is exquisite. The set is fairly heavy and being a hard-back it is large, not to mention the cost, but it comes in a slipcase which is both hardy and beautifully decorated. The books themselves each have a removable dust-jacket which is illustrated with a relevant picture according to the book. The books are in a clear print which allows quick and easy reading. There are also some brilliant illustrations by Alan Lee - one of the artists used by Jackson in designing the film sets etc. The pictures are therefore fairly recognisable as the images match those from the films but in a water-colour (I think) painting form.

I have also bought the sinfgle book version and the set of the one book version with the hobbit, but I would recommend this version first as it is the best out of the selection of Lee illustrated hard-backs.

I would, however, also recommend you to purchase a smaller paper-back version if you want to read on the move. These books are big and would be very clumsy if you want to read them with the ease of a paperback. Whilst you don't need a desk, these books aren't exactly active reader friendly so either don't buy them as your one-and-only copy or buy them but also get a smaller version. This set is perfect of a bookshelf and casual reading, although mine haven't been read since I got the paperbacks, simply because I don't want to damage them. I know how very sad that is but they really are that good.
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