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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Warning
The vast majority of people who read Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' have nothing but praise for it. But i am here to tell you that it does have one major fault.
Its language is so eloquent, and characters so captivating, that within a few chapters it has a hold on you. It makes you long for any opportunity to read a few more pages. Anywhere will do, at home, at...
Published on 11 Dec 2004 by K. A. Gardner

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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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11 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly wooden, far back and stilted performances., 20 Jun 2010
By 
Bobby Davro (LIVERPOOL United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I realise that I'm in danger of having a hobbit thrown at me, but I felt that I should attempt to provide some balance to the gratuitous torrent of praise directed at these CDs. I've just finished listening to them and, imho, they were pretty disappointing for the following reasons:
i) Just about everyone sounds like they're from upper middle England as opposed to Middle Earth. Now I'm dead against Amerispeak as the common tongue of fantasy characters, but Hobbiton is not Eaton. I challenge anyone not to roll on the floor when the riders of Mordor first speak (it's like they've drafted in Mr Chomondley Warner - youtube it if you don't remember Harry Enfield's 1930s TV presenter).
ii) Some of the voice actors simply do a poor job. The script sounds read out: the intonation is often stilted and unconvincing, as if the actors aren't sufficiently familiar with their lines.
iii) Everything is so announced. I know this problem is generic to spoken-only media, but it's really jarring to have the characters crowbar descriptions of the scene (and their actions) into their sentences. "I'm just going to attack that orc, who has presently appeared through those wooden doors, surprsing us all!"
iv) The ubiquitous poems and songs. I appreciate this is being true to the books, but the performances are cringe-makingly bad. Frodo (Holm), speaks, yes SPEAKS, the 'merry old inn' song! It's reminiscent of one of those appalling family karaokes, where your uncle embarassedly fumbles his way through a rap.
Don't get me wrong, I love LOTR, but I've been spoiled by the excellent realisation of the books in both the real life and animated films. I'd advise anyone to buy those before adding the radio play to their collection of all things Tolkien.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 1 Mar 2000
By 
Mr Gary E Whorwood (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Quite simply the most impressive epic I have ever read. Unsurpassed
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5 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, 22 Dec 2004
By A Customer
Lord of the Rings is not a terrible book. But nor is it the literary masterpiece most people seem to think it is. And let's be honest here, there is no way that this book is the greatest work in English Literature is there? What about Milton's 'Paradise Lost' or Spenser's 'Faerie Queene'?
Anyway this aside, Lotr has a great story and steals the best parts of world mythology and comes up with a plot that is quite enjoyable. However, we must remember that this is a plot that is borrowed from just about every major epic and folktale going. There's nothing wrong with this. As T.S Eliot said: 'Poor poets immitate. Greats poets steal'. However, it's worth pointing out that Lotr is not a fresh work that is completely original. In fact i would say that there isn't a book that's less original.
And what about the characters? Well this is the worst thing about the book. the characters are cardboard cut outs with no personalities or depth at all. Sorry, but they are. There's no psychological depth or grounding in any of them.
Overall not bad.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good but a bit of an anti climax, 15 Aug 2001
This was a very demanding book-really enjoyed many of the scenes, like the dark riders being drowned in Gandalfs river. But I thought the book lasted 50 pages too many. No real battles, even at the end, too many poems, way too much descriptive detail. Some great stuff in there and well rewarding but very heavy going. Tolkien must have had some amazing dreams!
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not that good, 6 Jan 2002
By A Customer
I bought the BBC dramatization of this and actually prefer it to the books -- and far and away more than the film, which lacked most of
Tolkien's magic. Tolkien's appeal is in his tone. His invention isn't especially original and some of it is downright mawkish (or reminiscent, for instance, of the Wizard of Oz). This might have been an academic professor slumming, but he had a lot of fun doing it and the book should be enjoyed for what it is -- decent light reading. It's not especially literary. Michael Moorcock beats Tolkien hands down on that score, though without the pomp and circumstance. It is a great bit of total escapism. The appeal of Stormbringer is in its total commitment to the implications of the material, whereas Tolkien gives us a bit of a cop out. Also I don't like 'total evil' any more than Milton did (his Satan is far from pure evil) and I enjoy the work of Moorcock, Harrison, Mieville and some of the newer writers precisely because they show that one man's 'total evil' is another 'pure idealism'. We should have learned that by now. All in all a good bit of fun. Moorcock and Harrison offer a bit more real cerebral pleasure in their subtexts,
but for comfort, Professor Tolkien offers a great, wild, safe roller-coaster ride.
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14 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Narration, 26 Mar 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
Anybody who thinks Rob Inglis does justice to the text should listen to Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter series. Inglis' delivery is rushed and his tone often bizarrely inappropriate to the mood of the sentence. His characterizations are appalling and even allowing for personal taste the choice of dialects is almost insulting to the characters. Every few seconds the listener is dragged back from the splendour of Tolkien's language by the jarring ineptitude of Inglis' ill prepared reading.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars did not meet my expectations, 1 Sep 2006
By 
L. Joachim "TonTon" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For a long time my brother had been hassling me to read this book, and I was under no doubt that it was as good as everyone says it is, so when I had finally got some spare time on my hands I settled down to read this so-called "masterpiece".

I must admit it did take quite a while to get started, but once I had, I did find the book pretty exciting. However I could not help feeling, as I laboured on through endless paragraphs of battle and elf food, that mr. J.R.R. Tolkien was in dire need of a thorough editor. Yes, I did find the story enthralling but I have to say that it could have been vastly improved by cutting out a lot of the pointless (yes, I will say it) waffle. A lot of points were covered in too much unnecessary detail, while there were so many characters that they all seemed rather 2-dimesional.

While in my opinion this book would have been a great read (if a little slow) if I had just picked it up off of the shelf out of curiosity, but after being bombarded by LOTR hype all over the place I somewhat felt a little let down having expected a much higher quality of story. So while i would not recommend this book strongly, as I feel there are far better books out there deserving of the attention, I will not deny that it is worth a read if you happen to lay your hands on it and have a lot of time to spare. Just don't get your hopes too high.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Return of the King review, 26 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book was in excellent condition condition and came very quickly but as I read the it, near the end of the book it was bound wrong and I couldn't finish it, the text returned all the way back to fellowship of the ring, I then had to source another book to finish the story.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jackson did it Justice, 15 July 2011
First things first. I didn't finish it. I couldn't finish it. The arrival of the tedious walking tree proving a bridge too far. Fantasy novels, and delusions of grandeur aside that IS it's genre, aren't my forte, though I do dabble.

On the plus side Tolkien's universe is an amazing creation. No point denying it. His imaginings have been meticulously brought to life, complete with history and underlying mythology. Unfortunatley, this strength also serves to hinder the flow of the novel. Being a fictional universe, Tolkien, feels the compulsion to establish, embellish and finally pummel the reader with history lessons. Ultimately, I just didn't care enough to wade through it.

The story itself is fairly ordinarily, amounting as it does to a challenging hobbit road trip. They're chased. They hide. They meet some good people. They meet some bad people. There's some fighting. Ultimately, I just didn't care enough about the characters or universe to carry on. Doesn't make me bad person, just my opinion.

I note the tedious "is it great literature" debate rages on. I suspect those decrying the fact do so on the snobbish grounds it's a fantasy novel. While it's not to my taste, I concede it is very well written and imagined. Does it stand up against the established classics, not for me, it lacks emotion, but it is THE classic of its genre cannot be disputed.

For the record, I found the films all 9 (NINE) hours of them fairly tedious as well, so Jackson truly did capture the spirit of the book.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Im , sorry but for me they are OK !, 12 April 2010
By 
Stephen Thompson "SteThompson" (Leeds England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have to say slightly overated. I love the films and couldn't wait to read the books. I previously read the Hobbit and that was great, maybe because that was for younger audiences. I read up to page 256 and it was ok at times i completley lost the plot, so at the nd i just gave up. Im sorry but the films are just alot better.
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