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on 12 November 2016
Absolutely, utterly, superb.

All the benefits of the book whilst being able to sit and enjoy having it read to you. Superb on a chilly autumn evening with the light low and a glass of something nice - and if you have a log fire as well I'm jealous! Sit back and enjoy all the depth that no movie could ever do justice to. An audiobook gives the full story but sparing both eyestrain and brainstrain (regarding pronunciations), instead letting you sit back and let the story sink in with such a depth of detail and warmth that I actually prefer it to the written word!

Thank you Tolkien for writing it.

And thank you Rob Inglis for bringing the words fully to life.
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on 15 November 2016
This has been a long-delayed product, but I found it to be worth the wait. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the slipcase was and it arrived here in the U.S. undamaged, which is not always the case. I had to order this from AmazonUK because AmazonUS cancelled the product, several times. And I wasn't going to wait for them to actually get it in stock. Because frequently many of the Tolkien offerings from AmazonUK never end up here in the U.S. To me, it's well worth international shipping.

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!
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on 1 May 2018
This review is about this specific edition, not Tolkien's work (which hardly needs more reviews anyway).

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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 November 2014
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 1 July 2015
I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it yet so I will avoid saying anything in the story, but the book itself is well made and although paper back, I found it quite durable. The writing was easy to read and the chapters are well spaced. I am now looking forward to reading the third book in the series! I will say one thing however about the story; when I started reading the books, it was after watching the movies by Peter Jackson and I heard that you either like the books or the movies and rarely both, I used to think rather naively perhaps "Well if the movies are based off the books is there a difference?" Well after reading the first book and just finished reading this one I can say there are certainly more details in the books as compared to the movies. I won't say more for fear of spoiling the story but if you have watched the movies, give the books a try too you may be pleasantly surprised, I know I was/am :)

Now I'm off to read the third book! Happy reading all!
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on 7 December 2017
This book is great quality for the price. Buy this if you would like to read the Lord of the Rings but do not have a particular large budget. Came in perfect condition, with no complaints. This is perfect for those who would like to further indulge in the Tolkien series beyond the movies. As someone who had only seen the movies, the book opened me up to new things which were left out in the movie so it is certainly a book to read for those Lord of the Rings fans. One thing is that the pages are quite thin so they can be torn if not dealt with care, however I have not torn my copy of this book.
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on 1 September 2015
Beware if you are buying this 2004 hardcover edition, having read the product description and expecting it to be a 3 volume boxset.
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.
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on 21 January 2015
I've been a follower of Tolkein for more decades than I care to remember. He took more care when writing his tales, reading forward and backward, to remove all kinks. His in-depth knowledge of Old English and Old Norse legends provided the basis of his stories, to wonderful effect.

But you already know that.

This boxed set is incredible value. It's a super gift for young and old and all those in between. But it's the best gift for yourself.
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on 13 June 2018
Good story but very much written for kids. Odd that Tolkien spent years inventing languages for all the races, and vast histories, yet was capable of writing, in the first few pages, that Bilbo’s door was opened ‘like a popgun’. Sorry, there were no guns back the , pop or otherwise, as Tolkien or one of his editors over the years should have spotted. Likewise the LOTR was riddled with silly errors that I think more important than fake languages, etc. But there you go.
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on 12 July 2013
An unfortunate consequence of the success of The Lord of the Rings has been that frequent resetting has engendered errors by the hundred. In some copies, the ring verse has lost its last line; in others, The Council of Elrond its last two sentences. The chief virtue of this 50th Anniversary Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring (ISBN 9780007203543) is that its text, prepared by some of the most eminent Tolkienologists on Arda, is undoubtedly the most accurate ever published.

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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