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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 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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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 November 2013
The Fellowship Of The Ring: JRR Tolkien, unabridged reading by Rob Inglis – The start of a tale that grows with the telling

First published in 1954 The Fellowship Of The Ring is the first part of the epic saga, and Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord Of The Rings. It has been a firm favourite of mine since I first read it over 25 years ago, and every time I return to the trilogy I find something new in this multilayered and deep piece of literature. I have worked my through it again recently, and with much temerity have decided to post a review of this stand out classic of classics.

In this first part of the trilogy, the Ring that Bilbo Baggins ‘acquired’ from Gollum in the Hobbit is passed to his nephew, Frodo. Gandalf informs Frodo that the ring is in fact deadly dangerous, and Frodo sets out on a desperate journey to the safety of Rivendell. There the true nature of the ring is learned, and a fellowship of elves, men, dwarves, hobbits and wizards sets off on an even more perilous quest.

It is, as the author notes in his charming foreword, a tale that grew with the telling. The early parts of the book are closer in style to the Hobbit, and compared to the epic nature and darker tone of some of the later sections these can seem still a little limited and at times almost childish, as though Tolkien is writing another children’s book. But the tale grows, Tolkien’s skill and imagination grows, and soon this is a thrilling, gripping, complex tale.

I find when reading this that it not just the plot that I love, but the completeness of Tolkien’s world. He has developed a whole history, mythology, geography and etymology for it, all incredibly detailed. The book does not describe these in detail, but has frequent sideways references to them. This is what sets it apart from other fantasies, the feeling of a complete reality in which the adventures are taking place, a rich and textured world. This adds a depth to the books which few others can match.

Again in his foreword, Tolkien mentions that there are parts of the book that some people dislike, yet others love, and that few people like all of the book. I have to agree with this, much as I love the tale, I find the early sections detailing the adventures as far as the land of Bree a little tiresome at times, and I have always thought that the character of Tom Bombadil is somewhat out of place in the book. After Bree however, the adventure kicks into high gear and I am totally immersed in the tale. This is just my opinion, I know others who will defend Bombadil’s inclusion to the death.

In all this is a great read in it’s own right, ending on a great cliffhanger that leads into the second book. It has a lot of high adventure, and Tolkien’s rich multilayered tale telling. It’s a classic of it’s time, and has to get 5 stars.

This unabridged reading from Rob Inglis is pretty good. For the most part it is excellent, though he can be a little flat in his delivery at times, and some of his voices are ill suited to the characters – Lobelia Sackville-Baggins’ deep gruff tones are a particular miscalculation. But for the most part he gets it spot on, and his Jamaican Windsor Davies voice for Tom Bombadil is a particular delight, indeed I almost like the character in the audio book, whereas I usally skip past his section when reading the printed word. All in all it’s a good reading. At 16 discs and clocking in at 19 hours 10 minutes of listening, this is perfect for the car on long journeys! I have to say that I listened to it back and forth to work over about a week, and my interest was maintained throughout, a testament to the skill of both author and reader. 5 stars all round.
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on 26 August 2017
Great story. Just brill. As in, the plot was fantastic. Kept me on the edge of my seat numerous times.
If you're looking for a relatively short read, or if you don't have the patience to read long books... this is not for you. It took me FOREVER to read The Fellowship Of The Ring, and the only reason I got through both The Two Towers and Return Of The King in three days was because it was holiday and my dad said I had to read the books before anyone could watch the films, so naturally my siblings pestered me to do so.
This is not just a trashy novel, either. It is one of the great works of literature in the world, and, as all the others, it is not necessarily an easy read.
Tolkein describes in detail most of the locations in the book, even if nothing happens there. These descriptions often say things like 'To the north, they could see [details of some forest or other]. Further to the west horizon, there was [details of some mountains or other]. No more than ten leagues to the southeast, [details of some river or other]. And then they moved on.' These descriptions get very tiresome, and quite quickly I learnt to skim over them to see if there was any important information or goings on, and if not I would skip past completely.
Another thing is that, while Tolkein has many great characters, his descriptions of their personality are rare and brief, and his descriptions of their appearance don't stick in the mind. Some authors, if and when a character dies, will describe it in such a way that it brings tears to your eyes, because of the description of the events, the reactions of other characters, and because you felt you knew this character well from earlier descriptions of them. I would love to say Tolkein is one of those authors, but, to me at least, he is not.
The ending is not as satisfying as perhaps it could be. The end result is all well and good, but then more happens of no real significance to the story, and the end is somewhat mellow for my liking.
All the same, I recommend it for anyone who has the patience to read it well and finish it.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 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 12 February 2018
A classic, but oh my, does it drag. Endless descriptions of field and dale, little hobbit feet traipsing along in redundant splendor. If you feel the films were over-long, compared to the books they are paragons of concise story-telling.
Extremely dodgy politics (satirized in Spinrad's 'Iron Dream'), but still, the kids and I managed to finish it, including a few of the appendices, in about two months of bedtime reading. Tom Bombadil has become our favorite - and he didn't even make it into the films. As a teenager I'd given up after book two, bored, but this time I made it.
Amazing feat of creation by Tolkien. Read it and all subsequent fantasy will make more sense.
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on 27 December 2013
I bought this book along with the Fellowship of the Ring 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 purple/red 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 continues. 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 version of the Hobbit.
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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 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 14 April 2015
I already had bought the book in a Finnish translation. (I am a Finn.) In the translation the letters themselves are copied in their original form, i.e. in English, but the black-on-white text is, naturally, in Finnish. When leafing through the Finnish translation I hadn't noticed a delightful detail which was there, as it is in the photocopy of the original. See page 31, 2nd line from the bottom. There P.B. (Polar Bear) reveals a secret: "My real name is Karhu but I don't tell most people.
Now the word "Karhu" is pure Finnish, of all the languages! It means simply "Bear". I had, many years ago, learned somewhere that J.R.R., who loved everything Northern, had studied even my language and was particularly fond of our national Epic, the Kalevala. Still, this little detail made me love this magnificent book all the more.
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