32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2014
It's perfect! The images became better (colours is richer) and it's more detailed comparing with the 3-book HarperCollins illustrated edition from 2002. The slipcase is cool and simple. The book came in a special cardboard box from HarperCollins. It weigt 2,410 kg and it has 1217 pages. The chalk overlay paper is thick enough. The font is clear and of a good size (neither too big nor too small). Two maps are on the endpapers (the large-scale map of Middle-earth at the end of The Third Age & the detailed map of Rohan, Gondor and Mordor) and one more (Shire map) is indise on a page of the book. This new edition features a special 3-page foldout frontispiece showing the complete version of Alan Lee's painting of a Ringwraith flying out from Minas Morgul towards Minas Tirith. This complete version of the painting has never been included before. In addition to this, all 50 paintings have been reproduced from brand new digital scans provided by Mr Lee and they look stunning. It's a really ultimate edition! I wouldn't say it's too bulky, but as a story told inside, the book is monumental outside) You will like it, I'm sure! It is of the highest quality!
P.S. And one more thing to tell. I found that the pagination is quite different from the usual (like in 3-volume HarperCollins illustrated edition from 2002). So now it doesn't fit my "The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion (Hardback)" 2005 year edition (ISBN 13: 9780618642670). I can't use the LOTR references from this book. I guess if they corrected the pagination in their new "The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion" 2014 year edition (ISBN 13: 9780007556908). ADD: I found that they had not corrected it.
332 of 350 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2009
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2007
This is a beautiful boxset, with the cover designs of the incorporated three volumes of the novel repeated on the outer sides of the box. The paperback editions of the aforementioned three volumes are the latest editions (2005) and therefore contain the presently definitive text.
What can I write about The Lord of the Rings that has not already been written? It is, I believe, a magnificent novel which will appeal to many different types of reader, whether they be fans of fantasy / science-fiction / adventure or not. The only people I would not recommend this book to are those who do not enjoy reading at all. Assuming that you still partake to any extent in this sadly dwindling pastime, I suggest that although the novel can be somewhat challenging in the sheer number of locations and characters it presents, this should mean no great difficulty for adult readers. Younger readers may find it heavy-going (as I did at age 14), but as Tolkien himself pointed out, one cannot expand one's vocabulary by reading a book aimed at one's own age-group, but rather, by reading a book aimed above it. I did not myself know that Tolkien said this before reading so in the accompanying 'The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion'.
Which brings me nicely to the aptly described "definitive annotated guide". This volume is indeed a 'companion' of the highest order. It not only contains comprehensive notes on the text, but also includes the 'Nomenclature' and time-schemes penned by Tolkien as an aid to himself and others, as well as a list of the differences between the original and more recent editions (errors present from the beginning as well as those due to ill-managed reprints and revisions throughout the book's history, and the emendments made to correct these).
Never in my not-inconsiderable experience of my favourite novel have I found any guide so utterly useful and interesting.
I have but one minor gripe, being this: I assumed that the page numbers heading each of the notes in the Reader's Companion would refer to the pages of the edition it accompanies in this package. This is, however, not the case. This is no great problem, though, as the authors of the Companion had the foresight to also precede each note with the first line of the paragraph to which it belongs. Since the notes are also divided into the appropriate chapters of the relevant Books and Volumes, this does not even begin to tarnish the fifth star I have awarded this excellent set. I heartily recommend this to any reader, old or new, but most especially to those who either do not already possess the definitive text of the novel, or have yet to sample the delights of Hammond and Scull's guide to its intricacies.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2002
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!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2003
Tolkien's Middle-earth has changed the face of modern fantasy, and launched thousands upon thousands of budding authors on a new career in a relatively new genre. I first read "The Hobbit" during childhood, and I thought it was good; an enjoyable story for someone looking for wizards and orcs in 'go-on-a-quest' book. Then I picked up "The Lord of the Rings" and was blown away. There are so many twists, and a great depth to each of the characters, even the evil ones. The nature of evil, and how fine the line is between good and evil is one of the main themes in this book, and I constantly found myself questioning each character as they went on a physical, and mental journey. Add to that that the many of the characters are not heroes in the usual stereotypes, especially the hobbits. Sméagol, or Gollum, is one such case where the plot twists and turns around a character. Sometimes you hate him because he seems evil, other times you feel sympathy for him. The plot is, as I said, full of twists and dramatic turns, as Middle-earth unites to destroy the One Ring. There is a depth to the plot, a background of detailed history before the events in this book. "The Hobbit" was good because it had these things, but on a more simplified scale. This book takes what was good about "The Hobbit", trebles it, and puts some added detail in for good measure. "The Lord of the Rings" remains one of my favourite books of all time, and opened the door to the fantasy genre for me. I have yet to find one in the genre near the level Tolkien reached. Brilliantly told, with rich characters and intriguing plot makes "The Lord of the Rings" one of the best books ever written.
88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 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.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2010
For me, this book is reason to own a Kindle. Big and heavy enough to be used as a doorstop even in paperback editions, being able to carry it (along with everything else I have) in electronic format is a massive improvement and gives yet another reason to enjoy it all over again.
The quality of the presentation is extremely high, with maps and illustrations reproduced well, and a generally high standard of editing. It's not perfect - the maps need to be higher resolution when they're so important to the enjoyment of the story, and there are some annoying occasional lapses in the quality of proofing like characters suddenly being called by only their first initial and not their name (this is my number 1 pet hate in e-books, but it's rare enough here not to spoil things).
219 of 235 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2005
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 impressions will probably leave most people wondering where their money went. So what do you get for the money?
Well, clearly the publishers have spent some time thinking about how to add both quality and usability. There are two fold out maps printed in black and red. Not spectacular and in size these cover no more space than if they were printed across two pages. However, because they are fold out they are easier to read and if left "folded out" can be referred to whilst reading text on other pages.
The slip cover works well and is has a sturdy feel. The paper has a quality (non glossy) feel and is much whiter than other versions (especially the paperback) I have seen. Combined with a very crisp font this makes the book easy to read, something I struggle with in some of the cheaper published versions. Somehow when the book is closed after use the pages easily compress back to their original size making the slip case easy to use without the case being oversized.
It would have been easy for the publishers to have fallen into the trap of printing this book in the larger format of some Lord of the Rings books. However, the Lord of the Rings is a long story and these larger formats are very difficult to read due to the weight of the books. This book can actually be used!
Overall the book has an understated feel of quality which will grow on you. However there is no getting away from the premium price. If you are looking for something to give a more immediate impression there are cheaper versions, printed on glossier paper, in larger format and with more illustrations.
This makes this a book for the dedicated Lord of the Rings collector, if you just want a book for everyday use or to read for the first time I would suggest one of the mid-price versions.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2002
Right first off the film is based upon Lord of the Rings, it is not Lord of the Rings. The film was as good as it could be when you consider that any longer than 3hrs and alot of people would leave the cinema and a lot of the book would be dull and plodding on the screen. But that aside the book is great. The first time you read it you'll go slowly through the first book, quicker through the second and (as I'm doing right now for the 100th time) race through the third. You'll like the last book better than the first on your first trip throuhg middle earth because there's more going on and more epic battles but when you read it again and again you'll begin to enjoy the feeling of comfort in the shire and the thrill when that danger is shattered and miss it and long to return to your comfortable fire in your nice hobbit hole. And all the feasts and friendly homes you come across will only remind you. And one other thing remember when it was written, those were the days where gay meant happy and therefore Sam's tenderness towards Frodo comes from love and from a bond forged in danger not something sexual as one reviewer has interpreted it as. Listen to me go on, basicly buy 2 copies of this book you'll need a second when the first falls apart after you've read it a 100 times.