Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings, the Book of the Millenium!, 12 Mar. 2002
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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