- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Film tie-in edition edition (30 Aug. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007488319
- ISBN-13: 978-0007488315
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5,378 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings, Part 1 Paperback – 30 Aug 2012
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‘The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them.’ Sunday Times
‘A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness.’ New Statesman
‘Masterpiece? Oh yes, I’ve no doubt about that.’ Evening Standard
About the Author
J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 60 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
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I have bought a number of hardback and paperback editions of this masterpiece, including a first edition copy (which includes a first impression of the Return of the King). The original edition set aside, this one is easily the best edition of the lot.
Paper quality: High-quality paper, cream-coloured, and relatively fine. The volumes are thinner than previous standard hardback editions.
Dust jacket: The dust-jackets reproduce a design by the author, which eventually wasn't used for the original publication. This was a shame as the design is superb. This is of course a matter of personal taste but in my opinion they are far better than cover illustrations by Alan Lee, John Howe and the likes. My only criticism is about the Harper Collins logo. Ideally, this should have been absent from the book spine, as it detracts a bit from the vintage aspect of the jacket.
Box: Sturdy and thick. The usual stuff. It is a bit cumbersome, but will protect the books well.
Reader's companion: This is the revised edition. If you have read the book at least once already, and want to enjoy the text again as you would savour an exceptional vintage glass, then you should read it again with this volume in hand.
As others have mentioned, the first edition of The Hobbit is not within most folks budget and so I was quite excited to see this offered many years ago. I'm not sure I am going to actual pore over it and check to see what the differences between the first edition and subsequent ones (Rateliff's The History of the Hobbit does that). But just to look at it and page through it is worth the purchase price.
It is a wonderful addition to my bookcase!
This hardcover edition is a single volume print, and l think the description refers to a paperback 3 volume version.
It is frustrating that there are so many versions and yet the reviews are all lumped together on the Amazon website.
Although disappointingly only one volume this is still not bad value for money. Size wise it is slightly easier to handle for reading than the single volume 1991 edition with the Alan Lee illustrations.
However, the print is smaller and some may find it too small to read comfortably, even though the book is attractively presented on white paper pages. There are only the original maps and in-text rune illustrations (some in red print) in this 50th anniversary special edition, ie no additional illustrations. The text has been emended in consultation with Christopher Tolkien to reflect his father's original wishes which were apparently sometimes over-ridden by the publishers!
In summary, might suit if you want a single volume hardcover edition and are not bothered by fairly small print or the lack of additional illustrations.
Otherwise, if looking for something easier to handle and read you may want to go for a 3 volume set, although a new 3 volume hardcover set will probably set you back considerably more than this edition.
Needless to say the book itself is a masterpiece which is well worth reading if you are not daunted by the length of it.
Based on Tolkien's own second edition, the book omits his 1954 Foreword, which he himself came to regret as misconceived, but includes his revised Foreword of 1966 and his 1966 Prologue. We're also given a seven page Note on the Text by Douglas A. Anderson, as well as a four page Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.
Tolkien would probably chuckle if he knew that two of his frustrated wishes for his book have finally been granted half a century after he proposed them. The tengwar ring inscription has at last been printed in fiery red instead of black; and a tipped in, fold-out plate reproduces his laboriously crafted, battle-distressed pages from the Book of Mazarbul, already well known to fans from their appearance in a Tolkien calendar and then in Pictures by J. R. R. Tolkien. The inscription on the Door of Moria, by contrast, remains in its familiar black on white, a retreat from the arguably more fitting white on black alternative ventured in the large format hardcover edition featuring paintings by Alan Lee. The only other illustrations are Christopher Tolkien's canonical red and black maps of part of the Shire and of the west of Middle-earth, the latter in its much improved, Unfinished Tales version but now reduced to only about a quarter of its original area. Readers with eyes as keen as Gwaihir's may regret that lines that were once firm and true are now pixelatedly fuzzy; those who would prefer a larger map should seek out the poster-sized version redone by John Howe (The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth: Special Edition).
The design of the text is very similar to that of the second edition, the only obvious difference being that the PostScript Monotype Plantin font is slightly smaller than the Imprint font of yore. The traditional tengwar and runes still adorn the title page, now accompanied by a JRRT monogram. L.E.G.O., Harper Collins's Italian printer, has printed the text crisply on a smooth, cream-coloured paper much like that often used by Everyman's Library, a touch less opaque than would be ideal but not to the point of being objectionable.
The book is signature bound with a black and yellow headband, and comes in a robust black cover with elegant gilt lettering. It lies nicely flat when opened. The dust jacket, matt and reminiscent of parchment but with a tough plastic lining, allows us to enjoy a motif painted by Tolkien himself, in which Sauron's Eye stares at us through the Ruling Ring and its tengwar, while Vilya, Nenya and Narya jointly confront his malevolence. The jacket's English lettering is printed in a striking copper foil, which lamplight kindles to a gleam that's rather beautiful.
This admirable, almost perfect edition of Tolkien's masterpiece probably comes closer than any other to bringing us his book in the form that he desired. Warmly recommended.
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So then I decided to get the lord of the rings and It sort of