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4.6 out of 5 stars1,532
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 14 March 2005
I don't think there's need to talk about the contents. As you probably know, there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who have read LOTR and those who will read it later. :) Obviously, I belong to the first group, and own several copies of it (not all, but sooner or later... :))
The reason why I bought this particular edition is that I wanted a book for everyday tear and wear, one that is not heavy, so I can carry it with me wherever, and one I can fold the way I want (and not feel too sorry for that). I do have a three-volume copy, but I wanted one that has the WHOLE story in it (you know the frustration of wanting to check out something only to find out it is in the other volume, don't you?). Of course, a one-volume copy of LOTR is gonna be thick. And I mean THICK. This book is just OK to still be managable.
Why it got "only" 4 stars? Thickness is one thing. Paper and print quality is another - not that it's bad. It's OK. The maps are a bit clumsy and difficult to make out.
One more thing: This is the "read-the-story" book, so don't expect illustrations other than the cover and other niceties. This is Tolkien and nothing more. (Not that you need anything more...:)
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on 10 November 2003
I'd never heard of LOTR or Tolkien until an Austrian friend of the family conned me into buying the 'pirated'version of The Fellowship.. at a Filipino market. That night, we took the movie back to our family run resort, and sat around the bar - along with other forigners from the area - watching the movie. From the first twenty minutes in The Shire I was hooked. It was a fabulous film, and Peter Jackson - along with everyone else who bought the movie to life - deserve nothing but praise for their efforts. I came back to Australia - my home country - three months later, and immedietly set out to find The Lord Of The Rings books. I read each of them in turn and fell in love with Tolkiens work. He has a mind of genius. His works engage you and speak to YOU. He includes you in the stories. The description and depth of Middle-Earth and her inhabitants is exquisit. I'm proud to say that now, two and a half years down the track, I am the owner of over forty books written by J.R.R. Tolkien or dedicated to his work or the LOTR films. I'm also a bit of a junkie for LOTR merchandise and have hundreds! For the Tolkien lover, or anyone who likes Dark Fantasy, I recommend these gorgeous stories 100%!
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on 27 December 2013
I bought this book along with the Two Towers and Return of the King Special Editions. The pattern on the spines of the three books match up to form an image of the White Tree of Gondor - it certainly looks good on the bookshelf!

This book is presented in a green/yellow coloured cloth bound hardcover that looks both attractive and durable. Inside, the first thing you come across is a beautiful map of Middle Earth in black and white (and red) before the story begins. I won't say anything about the story itself as we all know about it and there are in depth reviews floating around on the web (both critical and applauding!). This review is for this particular edition of the book, and I think it is fantastic.

It's worth noting that this "special edition" is available as part of a box set with the other two books in the trilogy, along with a cloth bound version of the Hobbit.
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This book is expensive, a paperback would be a fraction of the price, but it is worth every penny. I had just finished reading the Hobbit to my 9 year old and thought The Lord of the Rings would be a great follow on from that.
I like proper books, I love the feel of them and this one does not disappoint.

Notwithstanding the story, the book is a quality collectors product that should not just be looked at but read.

My only complaint is that it has heft, sitting next to my son for his bedtime story it is not a book I can hold in one hand. I have to rest it against my knees. This is a book to be handed down the generations.
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on 13 May 2005
I'm presuming that if you are thinkng of buying this very special edition that you need no introduction to the story! This is a truly beautiful edition of The Lord of the Rings, which is something for a real fan of Tolkien's work to buy (perhaps, as I did, when their paperback edition has fallen apart through being read so many times). Alan Lee is a superb illustrator and so it really is worth buying for the illustrations as well.
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on 25 February 2006
Alot of people seem to be shunning this book because they do not think it is as good as the BBC version. Now the BBC version is in fact a dramatisation which means that the actors who portray the characters are supposed to make them come alive. This Rob Inglis version does not do this however because it is simply a reading for those who not want to read it, but hear it in it's purest form. The reason that Rob Inglis does not put as much emphasis into the characters is because he deliberately tries to make it sound unedited and not put his own image of the characters into the performance and therefore leave it as tolkien wrote it. Personally I believe that Rob Inglis puts on a very good and clear performance and I would reccomend it to any TRUE Tolkien fan.
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on 22 April 2008
This book is a challenge. This is what puts many people off it the first time they open it, especially if they have already seen the movie. The point is, this is not just easy entertainment, like the film was. Yes, they tried in places to put a philosophical gloss on, but took great care to explain this to anyone watching, just in case they missed it.

Yes, there are great long descriptive passages, but they are there for a reason. We are so used to having images presented to us that we no longer seem to find description necessary. This is a pity, because if you give him a chance, Tolkien is one of the best descriptive writers I know. We cannot explore all the detail in a single reading, just as we cannot see all the detail in a good painting in a single quick viewing. The only way to sink yourself into this world is to let the author describe it to you, there would be no point in him writing this book if everyone could just think up their own equally valid version.

The greatest thing about the Lord of the Rings is, like all great art, the fact that we cannot understand and see all in a single reading. People reread it many times, because each new reading reveals something that went unnoticed before. The immense complexity of the characters cannot be shown in a quick and easy way, employed by many fantasy writers of cheap Tolkien-spinoffs, simply by stating something like 'Tom was a very sensitive boy. Having been bullied by his schoolmates, he was constantly on the alert.. blablabla'. Tolkien understood, unlike many of these other authors, that only a very complex combination of deeds, words and thoughts can reveal who and what someone truly is.

If you do struggle reading this, and I can imagine that as I didn't manage to finish it the first time I read it, I strongly recommend an audio book. This may look like cheating as you can simply let it run, and then claim to have read it all. I firmly believe (without reading any experts on this, so I may be eating these words at some later date) that Tolkien was thinking of the great epic poems from the past while writing this. Poems from a completely oral culture. When this is read aloud by a good actor, trees and places appear before your eyes. Passages which may seem dull if you try to tackle them on your own suddenly flow past effortlessly, with your imagination free from fetters to picture the scene.

I don't think this review will ever be read by many people, this has been more of a rant for me than anything else. I do hope more people will be able to find their way to Middle Earth, simply by giving it another chance. It really is worth the effort to see your way past slightly older language than you may be accustomed to, and a style so radically different from usual. But that is something all great art has as well: a unique style, and this work should not be disregarded simply because we are not used to it.
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on 21 February 2003
I don't need to blether on about the quality of this book - it's well documented that Lord of the Rings has been voted the best book ever written on many occassions, so no need to go over old ground here. But I will rave about the quality of this excellent edition! Superbly bound, beautiful artwork, lovely touches like a red tape place marker....This is the edition to own, I would even recommend it over the deluxe edition as this is far more "readable" and practical. Printed on thick, high quality paper, this hefty edition may be on the pricey side but it's worth every single penny. This is a 'Ringers' dream edition and without a doubt, this is the one to own.
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on 15 January 2002
In fairness Lord of the Rings doesn't require much praise. It certainly doesn't require another lengthy review from a Amazon customer. However I feel that it would be good to address those people who have seen the film and now feel it's time to read the book.
The book is, and will always remain, a classic in the works of literature. The film has been well received and is indeed a welcome adaptation of the book. But the two cannot be compared. For those of you who have seen the film first, don't expect to receive the same Hollywood style action packed story in the book. If you expect this then you will find the book boring by comparion and it may be wise to avoid it. However if you wish to experience the story told in fantastic detail using some of the best English literature, then you will find the book a true reward and encourage you to read it.
Tolkien was known to have said that nothing he created could be captured in a film, it exists only in scrolls and imagination. I whole heartly agree with him.
Don't let the film cloud your judgement on a true classic.
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on 8 September 2005
Everybody knows about "The Lord Of The Rings". But the works of Alan Lee make this edition worth every single penny. I bought it in '91, the very first print, and treasure it since then. Wonderful job, yet untouched by the "commerciality" of the last few years. If you liked the story and want to get a hardcover, you should definitely go for this edition.
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