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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great edition!
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...
Published on 18 Mar 2002

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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt the best book ever written!, 15 Nov 2006
At first glance 'The Lord of the Rings' just looks like another fantasy book filled with complicated barely believeable situations, and then you read it. Within no more than three chapters it is clear that this is another beast, comprehensable, exciting, engaging, dramatic, funny, and with such loveable characters that it is impossible not to love these books.

Forget fantasy for a moment, and think drama, war epic and adventure story of unrivaled achievement, voted best book of the 20th century, The Lord of The Rings is worth every page it is printed on! It is a rare achievement for a book written, initially, 70 odd years ago, and first sent to print in the 50's to be so timeless, and to stand up to repeat readings so well.

Although at times the plot gets a little caught up in matters you dont fully understand, or areas of the story you perhaps dont like as much as others, Tolkein makes even your least favourite chapters readable with his strong command of the English language, especially his descriptive ability.

Tolkiens chraracters, for the most part, are well developed and easily likeable, especially the Hobbits, who you see adapt to their surroundings and develop as the story goes on. I think this is most clearly seen in Sam, who sometimes seems to be overlooked, rather oddly, as he is one of the few pivitol characters, and is, by the end of the book, carrying most of the wieght of the narrative, and extremely successfully. From a hobbit that has no interest in becoming a warrior to 'Samwise The Stouthearted,' Plus he is hilariously adorable from start to finish!

But Sam is not Tolkiens only achievement, I think it would be remiss if I didn't mention Gollum somewhere. Such a complex and tortured character, slinker and stinker, you feel like you should hate Gollum, but it is almost impossible not to feel some empathy for him.

The length of the book is due to Tolkiens attention to detail, which really helps to from the world that he created and gives a sense of a history to these chracters and the places they visit.

The Lord of the Rings looks impossible at a glance, due to the sheer length of it, but by the end you want to keep reading, and broken in to six books, as Tolkien origionally wrote it, it is certainly manageable, and incredibley enjoyable!

From Bywater to Mount Doom (or Amon Hen to Gondor if you prefer,) This is a story unlike any other, and not to be missed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The bittersweet end, 28 Feb 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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"Return of the King" is the worthy climax to J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, the fantasy that created the genre as we know it today. Now, as the blockbuster movie adaptation is over, many readers are checking out the dramatic story that ends Tolkien's masterpiece and life's work.
The story opens where "Two Towers" left off. Gandalf has ridden to the city of Gondor with Pippin (partly to keep him out of trouble), where the forces of Mordor are attacking. There is upheaval in the city itself, as the steward of Gondor is going nuts. Merry pledges his service to King Theoden of Rohan, not knowing what is ahead for the king and his relatives. And Aragorn is seeking out allies to fight Sauron on a military scale, even if they can't defeat him unless the Ring is destroyed. His search will take him to tribes of forest-dwellers, to Gondor -- and even to summon an army of the dead.
In Mordor, the unconscious Frodo has been captured by Sauron's orcs, and taken to the fortress of Cirith Ungol. Sam is desperate to free his friend, but knows that he can't take on an army, and that Frodo would want him to finish the quest. Sam manages to free Frodo from captivity, but they must still brave more dangers before they can come to Mount Doom, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed. As they travel Sam sees Frodo slipping further and further into the Ring's grasp. Will Frodo be able to destroy the Ring?
Usually, the climax of an epic adventure is a disappointment. "Return of the King" succeeds in almost every way, wrapping up each individual storyline, one by one. The ending has a feeling of finality; this is one story that could never have a sequel; Tolkien shows that in a war like this, there is no true "happy ending." Even if the good guys win, there will still be scarring, and death, and haunting memories of what once happened. And even if a person survives, he will never be the same.
This is the grimmest of the three books in this trilogy. Frodo and Sam are stuck in the vividly horrific Mordor, while the city of Minas Tirith is on the verge of completely crumbling. Tolkien does a phenomenal job of exploring the madness, despair, rage and sorrow that accompany a war, and the way it can affect even the idyllic Shire. And he doesn't forget the slow period of healing that follows -- for people, for civilizations, and even for nature.
Though a section of the book near the end descends into near-biblical prose, which changes post-Gondor, Tolkien does not waver in his ability to evoke emotion. One of the most touching scenes in the book is when Sam finds Frodo naked, unconscious and being beaten by an orc. Others include Merry's farewell to Theoden, Eowyn's slaying of the Witch-King, and of course the bittersweet final scene.
Speaking of Frodo, this trilogy's hero is almost unrecognizable in parts of this book. The bright, naive young hobbit of the first book has been worn down to a pale shadow of himself. As he grows increasingly attached to the Ring, we even see him doing what seems unimaginable: threatening Sam with a dagger. Sam has come a long way from the shy young hobbit who couldn't say a word around the High Elves -- now he's attacking orcs and carrying Frodo to Mount Doom.
And the supporting characters are not neglected either, with the younger hobbits being exposed to the horrors of war, Aragorn breaking fully into his role as the future king of Gondor, and passionate war-maiden Eowyn affecting the war as nobody else could. Some much-loved characters are lost, and others will be permanently changed.
The story doesn't really end on the last page; for more background, especially on Aragorn and Arwen, readers should also read the appendices at the end of the book. Another good addition is "The End of the Third Age," in which the unpublished epilogue of this book can be found. Though this is probably not canonical, it nicely concludes the story and is a heartwarming look at what happens in the years following "Return of the King."
It's difficult, once the story has finished, to accept that one has to say goodbye to Middle-Earth and its enchanting inhabitants. But as Gandalf says, "I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings, the Book of the Millenium!, 12 Mar 2002
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This review is from: Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
J.R.R. Tolkien first started writing Lord of the Rings in 1937, the year The Hobbit was published. A professor of Linguistics at Oxford at the time, he had the vision of creating a whole new world, with such detail that even the language would have a history and linguistical roots. With the grandeur of this vision, he spent the next 17 years working on creating his epic work of fantasy. And above all, Tolkien believed his work should entertain the reader. The Lord of the Rings accomplishes both.
The book begins in the Shire, where Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who has lost some of his respectability through his own 'adventure' some years earlier, plans his going away Birthday Party. Bilbo's adventure, described in The Hobbit, led him to finding a Ring of Power, later revealed to be the One Ring, the Ring belonging to the Dark Lord, Sauron. Bilbo leaves the Ring to his nephew, Frodo, who then is told it's nature by Gandalf, the wizard. Gandalf advises Frodo to take the Ring to the Elven city Rivendell, to seek safety and advice on what to do with the Ring. Frodo and a small group of friends set off for Rivendell, where they are advised to destroy the Ring. They are then joined by other travellers, or Fellowship, to help them on the journey to Mordor, where the Ring can be destroyed. On the journey, Frodo and his companions encounter servants of Sauron who attempt to destroy them, and finally break up the Fellowship, leaving only Frodo and his companion, Sam, to finish the most dangerous part of the journey alone: 'two very small hobbits in a great big world.'
The book differs from the movie in that more time is spent on the development of the characters and history of the Ring and Middle Earth. One of the main characters, Tom Bombadil, a mythical figure who aids the hobbits on their way, is completely left out. As a result, the book provides a far richer experience in terms of the character of the hobbits, and the history, lands and people of Middle Earth, and far less focus on the battle scenes so prevalent in the movie. The movie does, however, satisfy the requirement of readers of Middle Earth to provide a rich visual experience which until recently would have been impossible to create on the big screen.
J.R.R. Tolkien succeeded in creating a work worthy of his lifetime of effort. British readers voted Lord of the Rings "Book of the Century", over such works as Ulysses, by Joyce. Amazon readers in turn voted it "Book of the Millenium"! Surely, no matter how it is considered, it is the type of book that once read, you will will never forget it and certainly not be able to put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien's master achievement, 29 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Like many people out there, I was at first a sceptic as regarded the Tolkien trilogy of the "Lord of the Rings", and gave up frequent attempts at reading it after 50 pages. However, after having read "The Hobbit", my interest was rekindled and I decided to persevere...and what a great reward awaited me for that perseverence! Once I started reading it, I was hooked!
Tolkien's masterpiece revolves around the great Ring of Power, crafted by Sauron, the Dark Lord. The Ring contained the greater part of Sauron's magic powers and was used by him for evil purposes until wrested from him by the joint forces of Elves and Men. It was subsequently lost, and the action of the "Lord of the Rings" centers on the happenings that occur once the Ring is unwittingly rediscovered , the race between both good and evil forces for the possession of the Ring, and how the people of Middle Earth deal with the crisis.
The entire plot is extremely well thought out, it is consistent all the way through. Exciting twists and turns, nail-biting suspense, wars, chases, escapes, really horrible baddies and noble goodies, lots of magic and even true love. The characters are varied and carefully crafted, with individuality and depth. This book has an element of everything, making it into a timeless classic.
Tolkien's supreme achievement is the invention of an entire, cohesive world, with its own languages, poetry, history and myth, where magic still influenced the lives of the folk of Middle Earth. The fact that he was a methodical, intelligent writer with a gift for writing shines through the entire work. "The Lord of the Rings" is a stunning masterpiece and those who haven't read it yet are definitely missing out!
If some of the mythological references seem sketched, I suggest you read "The Silmarillion", which gives more background information on the whole history of Tolkien's Middle Earth. For greater enjoyment, I also suggest reading "The Hobbit" first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have not read this book READ IT!, 6 Feb 2001
By A Customer
It is in my opinion that this is the best book ever written or at least the best of the century. You must read this even if you do not normally read fantasy books it has love, action, magic and the best story line ever. I read this when I was 12 so there is know reason for adults not to read this. I recommend that you read the hobbit first, because that will give you a lot of background information in Lord of the Rings and you will not get lost, my dad told me that he read Lord of the rings first and found that it made a lot hard to understand the story line.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply outstanding, 20 May 2000
how can you say anything that hasn't already been said about this literary masterpiece. Having first read this 25 years ago , i am about to read it again as i have been spoilt forever by this book . When i put it down i felt empty as i knew instinctively that nothing in the future would ever come near to the rollercoster of emotions this book produced. Having read many thousands of books since i have to concede and read it again.My online experiences are even coloured by this book , with nicknames and passwords being used from this magical world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At least one teen 'oo spends more of her time reading..., 25 Dec 2001
By A Customer
When he wrote the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien created a *world*. The characters aren't just "characters", they're real people with their own goals, and faults, hopes and troubles. You feel like you could walk down a road and see these people and greet them like old friends. I loved this series ever since I first read it, and I hope that you, whoever you are, will find yourself a copy and read it. And then share it with friends. And get *them* to share it with friends. These books are magic, to those who love new worlds...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greatest epic of the English Language, 17 April 2001
By A Customer
First I would like to explain why I rate it 4 and not 5 stars, despite my strong one-line summary. The only reason is that I feel that some of the second book, The Two Towers, could have been left out. Having said that, I wish to share that part of this epic which no other reviewer here seems to have mentioned. Not only is LOTR possessed of a vast scope, charming characters and bold action( all of which I like greatly), but the VOICE of Tolkien, his adjectives, writing style, etc, sound like music to me. Some of the poetry that occasionally occurs is perhaps not the best, however it is nearly neccessary 'documentation', and lends yet a greater air of authenticity. The words of Tolkien are honed as in a furnace. What turns of phrase. Like many here, I reread my copies about every 18 months or so. There are lessons in the struggle with self, and with good and evil here; evil does not always appear so. If you have not read this trilogy, I commend it to your attention; give it about 40 pages or so to shift into high gear from introduction of some rather petty minded folk to the high calling and peril in which some of them find themselves. Again, the finest, the highest, the noblest expression of the quest I have found in literature. Elendil!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change your life-style, 3 Oct 2001
It is my humble opinion that the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is the best fantasy story ever. All other authors who use elves, dwarves and humans as there base characters (like R.E. Feist, R. Jordan, Weis&Hickman and so one) can only try to emulate (sometimes even successful) Tolkiens masterpiece.
The storyline, like that of many other autors, is complex, multi-dimensional, exhilarating, and riveting. However, for most authers this is where it ends, but Tolkien takes it a little further. The element emotion is extremely well developed in these books. They will make you cry, they will make you laugh and whenever there is a battle, be sure you're in a secure room, because the battle-rage will make you go look for a sword and start hacking stuff (wonderously enough Tolkien never falls back to describing battles in all their details, meaning with alot of blood and gore).
But Tolkien did not merely create a good book, no, he created an entire new world, with new races with histories that reach back thousands of years, he redesigned the concept Gods and invented an entire new language to go with it(which he himself actually mastered) including it's grammer. To keep this oratory short, read it OR DIE
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defining my childhood, 9 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Defining how much Lord Of The Rings means to me would be like trying to define my childhood. When I was young, my parents took turns to read it to me and my sisters. It was a coninous joy and my own greatest pleasure before sleep. Time has gone by and my family has split up, my life is filled with more complex worries...but there is still this book. And now, after a tiring day of work and exams, I read it to my girlfriend, leading her into the wonderous world that this book creates. It is pure escapism, the more you think about it and analyse it, you take away the true pleasure of this book, and that's it's ability to drag you into it's story. You feel every step through Middle-Earth, you'll laugh with the jokes, cheer when the king returns, be horrified by the Black Riders...and cry at the end, feeling you've lived with the characters and seen them through all their troubles. With this book now honoured by being called the best book of the 20th century, and equally blessed with a chance to make a world of cinema-goers happy, the legacy that JRR Tolkien has left us just goes from strength to strength. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have. I know that someday, perhaps my children will.
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