Fantasy. Fiction. Mythology. Inspired by The Hobbit, and begun in 1937, The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy that Tolkien created to provide "the necessary background of history for Elvish tongues." From these academic aspirations was born one of the most popular and imaginative works in English literature. The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between powers of good and evil. In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien's great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universehobbits, elves, and wizardsstep colorfully forth from the pages. Rob Inglis' narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio. "Suffice it to say that this unabridged recorded version ... is marvelous in all respects. The narration is clear and delivered in a smooth English accent of a master storyteller."Kliat.
Original publication date
by J.R.R. Tolkien.
P. Wetzel's new full-verse review:
Good, bad and in between.
I've read this thrice. Each time was nice.
The last, I must confess,
Is filtered through the story's new
If I could own one book alone
This treasure's what I'd
But this critique shall also speak
Of things I wish he'd lose.
Foremost there is a Name of his
To which my fury delves:
" ... those creatures which in English I
misleadingly call 'Elves' ..."
This Tolkien quote was one he wrote
His self-confess'd linguistic mess
was published by his son.*
When Santa spoke of little folk
who help him make his rounds,
His voice recalls those Northern Halls
where proper Elves are found.
Full stop. 'Nuff said. Put that to bed.
For next I must despair:
Why'd he create a Lord of Hate
Who's peers don't seem to care?
Behind closed doors in Valinor
Aloof the Valar dwell,
While Sauron's powers seize the hour -
Rend Middle Earth to hell.
Perhaps a nice tell-tale device,
Perhaps a little more.
For there was strife in Tolkien's life:
He suffered loss in war.
One last dissent ere I relent:
Goldberry is her name.
Her vapid role, her empty soul
Could hardly be more lame.
But last and most, I rise to toast
This language lover's art:
No author herds his flock of words
More deftly to my heart!
- P. J. Wetzel, 2011
*Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981) No. 131.
The Lord of the Rings is a
The work repays second and third readings because of the depth Tolkien gives his world of Middle Earth. According to the introduction, Tolkien had worked out an entire history for Middle Earth before he'd ever written the first volume and it shows. Other made-up worlds seem like painted trees on a drape--Tolkien's trees have roots.
This is my third time reading The Fellowship of the Ring and each time I find more in it. I remember reading it for the second time right after the film came out, in the wake of 9/11. Lines had a new resonance for me then. Lines like:
"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
Tolkien denies in the introduction that The Lord of the Rings is meant as allegory or topical; he specifically denies that it's inspired by World War II even though it was begun soon after The Hobbit in 1938 and the first volume published in 1954. He despises allegory he wrote and declared we confuse allegory with "applicability." Indeed, that is where I found the power and timeliness of the story--its applicability to my own times where we feel the shadow of history passing over us.
Some complain of Tolkien's style. And I remember once seeing his prose as stiff, although this time I was mostly impressed with its readability and the glints of humor.
There are antique touches--like Gimli's adoration of Galadriel and how female characters are depicted--notable, especially Goldberry, for their beauty than any other quality. (Although Galadriel is certainly more than a pretty face.) I'm glad the film strengthened Arwen's character by giving her Glorfindel's role. By injecting some heroism in her character it gives us a reason why Aragorn would love her so much beyond her loveliness.
And not everything is equally engrossing. Generally, I liked the choices of cuts and compressions the film made. My eyes glazed over at the frequent songs and I skipped over them. The expositional prologue I could have done without. So yes, I have my share of criticisms. But so much shines in this book--not all of which riches you're going to get by watching only the movie: the prodigious imagination, the moving and believable friendships--and that "applicability" of experience.
I've recently discovered audiobooks due to a lengthy commute, and though I could do very well without my long drive, I'm glad of it because it forced me to find ways to make the time pass more quickly. I reread The Lord
I hardly need to give a plot summary for such a work as this. Tolkien sets the stage for his epic in the humble reaches of the Shire, where a hobbit, Frodo Baggins, is given a momentous task that even the strong fear to undertake. He is aided in his quest by members of Middle-earth's various and distinct cultures, Elves, Dwarves, and Men (as well as some of his folk, the hobbits). Across the hundreds of miles between the Shire and the East lies a terrible power, unspeakable in its malice and nearly invincible in its power. Frodo's task is to destroy the one thing the Enemy needs to fully dominate Middle-earth â yes, the Ring of Power.
Middle-earth is peopled with various distinct cultures, each with its own history and customs, and brushing up against these different worlds (represented in both the various characters and in legends and songs) is one of the joys of this work. I appreciated Inglis' efforts to differentiate the characters and their respective cultures.
I thoroughly enjoyed Inglis' interpretations of the characters' voices, which he does very well with the exception of the female voices. He tries, but it's hard for a man with such a deep voice to convincingly voice Goldberry and Galadriel. He does a very good job with Gimli and most of the other male characters, however.
Inglis is very ambitious in his attempts to set music to and sing the assorted songs Tolkien included in the narrative. For the most part Inglis' melodies are passable, though I thought Tom Bombadil's song especially good. But some of the others were not quite so memorable or did not seem to fit the lyrics very well. Still, I give him full marks for trying! Writing music for all the songs in The Lord of the Rings is no small project.
The only thing I lament about this audiobook is how it does not include Tolkien's classic prologue "Concerning Hobbits." Readers familiar with the book will know that this prologue is a somewhat lengthy discourse on the history and habits of hobbits, and traces the three main families as far back as their settlement. I know it isn't essential to the story, but fans like me who eagerly drink up every word Tolkien wrote will be disappointed at its exclusion. Perhaps Recorded Books was afraid no one would ever get past the first disc if they included it. They underestimate us!
I'm thankful my library saw fit to purchase the entire work in three volumes on audiobook. This installment was 16 discs, over twenty hours of listening. But I enjoyed every word. I recommend this reading to Tolkien fans who would like to experience the work in a new way. But it's a bit of a commitment â make sure you have time for it!
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first part, now published as two of the 6 books that comprise the full trilogy. As is and ever was, there is discontent in the Shire, rumours of growing unease and âdark powersâ arising in distant lands. But to the adventurous Frodo and his friends these are mere tales, until one day the wandering Gandalf â a wizard of some repute â passes by and informs Frodo that Bilboâs trinket is none other than the One Ring. Invested with great power by the evil Sauron and lost by him in his great defeat at the end of the Second Age â a very long time ago. He is regaining his strength and now greatly desires his Ring again. Frodo agrees to journey in secret to Rivendell to discuss with the wise elf Elrond a course of action. There he gains eight companions and begin their journey to Mordor to attempt to destroy the Ring. There quest takes them across the dwarven stronghold in the Misty Mountains, and through the elvish forest of Lothlorien until the reach the river and Tol Amroth where the Fellowship of the Ring ends.
These themes are now the bad clichĂ©s of fantasy â stocky grim dwarves, tall wise elves, affable hobbits, wise old grey haired wizards and of course the long long journey through varying countryside. But they are only clichĂ©s now because of this book it is the original source for a wide range of material, the basis of Dungeons and Dragons, Dragonlance, and many others, many of which have their own derivatives. There are often complaints about the amount of songs and poetry in Tolkienâs writing, but in truth there is very little, they can be skipped but the song The Cow jumped Over the Moon, is superb as is Samâs little troll ditty. Tolkien invented an entire Elvish grammar for some of his characters to speak and the names can become a bit confusing. The descriptive writing drags a little at times, but the action when it does come is fast paced. It is very much a story / world driven narrative as there is little depth to the characters thoughts, but the viewpoint of the hobbits who are generally ignorant about the wider world allows the more experienced characters to describe the complexity of the world they travel through. The only justifyable complaint is the absence and weakness of women in the tale. Only Galadrial has any power or identity.
Over all this is a classic of the fantasy genre, and should be read by everyone. The charming and detailed world is a delight. Allow plenty of time, relax, and let the depth of the world immerse you in the ultimate fantasy quest adventure.
I'd forgotten how incredibly slow - dare I say plodding - is the pacing. One hundred pages in, Frodo has barely left the Shire. Two-thirds of the way through, he's in Rivendell and they're still debating what to do with the Ring. After fifteen years, the memory of the movies is more fresh in my mind than the first time I read the book and was waiting with bated breath to find out who or what the Black Riders were, and if they would be successful in finding the Ring. The old-fashioned, archaic language and resulting clunky dialog (how often can one think "Frodo son of Drogo" without cracking a grin or rolling eyes?) is exactly what I would criticize in books I read now.
But despite its faults, I love this series. I love the hobbits. No one but Gandalf seems to expect much of them, least of all the hobbits themselves. They love the small comforts of home, and can't imagine anything better than putting up their feet with some good food and pipeweed (amend that last to "a good book," and I'd be right there with them). And it's just because they love home so much that they do what they must to protect it. They are not heroes. They're just regular folk who, seeing a need to combat evil, do their best, even though they can't know the final outcome. It gives me hope that, if push comes to shove, maybe I could do the same. And that is why clunky dialog, archaic language, poetry, slow plot and all, I will read these books another seven times.
It may be unfair to rate a single volume, but this is how the book was published, one volume at a time. This first book clearly showed a lot of potential, but it was too slow for me at times. However, I do have to credit the book for its strengths, and for being ahead of its time in 1954. I wish I had read it to my kids, so that probably says four stars right there.
Just this quote on Arwen, daughter of Elrond; I liked the âlight of stars in her bright eyesâ. One of the appendices later reveals that sheâs actually 2700 years old:
âYoung she was and yet not so. The braids of her dark hair were touched by no frost; her white arms and clear face were flawless and smooth, and the light of stars was in her bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night; yet queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring.â
It has to be read, it's LoTR, for cryin' out loud. I don't think you can be taken seriously as a reader of fiction (and especially not of fantasy) if you haven't read it.
That said...BORING. B-O-R-I-N-G. If he described one more tree, one
Tolkien created a rich, detailed, and believable history for the races of Middle Earth, no question. The REAL SACRILIDGE...I'd like to see what one of today's good fantasy writers could come up with set in the world Tolkien created.
That being said, I appreciate Tolkein's insanely thorough world-building. Even though the characterization follows the most basic and traditional of archetypes, it's still very effective.
Itâs been 13 years since I first read the Lord of the Rings series and it was high time for a reread. This epic trilogy starts out quietly enough. Thereâs the Shire, a
Thereâs no need to rehash the plot as most people are familiar with it because of the movies. Suffice to say Tolkien is a master story teller. He pays attention to every detail and you can feel the terror of the hobbits as the Black Riders hunt them. You share in their awe as the meet the elves and hear their songs. Middle Earth is both completely unique and infinitely familiar. Itâs almost as if youâve stepped back in time and youâre witnessing the history of a simpler people, but none of them ever existed.
The trilogy has such depth and deals with issues that are relevant in every time period. The heart of the story is about friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. It's about trusting those who are wise and setting aside your own goals for the good of all. It deals with grief, temptation, greed, trust, overcoming your fears and prejudices, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Itâs about knowing whatâs really important in life. The only people who can truly resist the ring are the ones who don't value power and wealth above all else. More than anything, Frodo wants to go home and he has no desire for glory. Thatâs the only reason heâs able to resist the ring for so long.
The book teaches so many beautiful lessons but even more than that it's an incredibly readable story. Tolkienâs descriptions carry you away into a world with elves, dwarves and hobbits. You can feel the encroaching darkness and taste the stagnant air in the Monies of Moria. You can see the leaves grow golden in Galadriel's forest.
There were so many things that I had forgotten about the books. In the years since I first read them Iâd begun to believe they were dense or hard to follow because of all the unusual names and locations, but that wasnât the case. I felt instantly transported and thrilled to be traveling with Strider and the hobbits as they made their way to Rivendell.
I absolutely adore the movies and think they are some of the best adaptations of book to film that Iâve seen. But there are a few parts that differ from the books and I couldnât help notice those sections. Some of them are just wonderful, but I know you canât fit everything into a movie.
Thereâs one scene where Frodo and Sam cross paths with elves early in the book. Same is enthralled with them, because heâs been dreaming of meeting elves his whole life. Then thereâs Tom Bombadil and his lady Goldberry, the daughter of the River. They are such lovely characters. Tom is wise and stands outside of the normal rules and faults of others in Middle Earth. I love the scene with the Barrow-wights and Old Man Willow when Tom rescues the hobbits.
Iâd forgotten the original reasons so many were gathered at Rivendell for the Council of Elrond. Leogalos was there to let Elrond know that Gollum had escaped from the Mirkwood elves. Boromir had been traveling for 110 days to get from Gondor to Rivendell. He came because his brother, Faramir, was having a dream over and over again to "Seek the sword that was broken... for Isildur's Bane shall waken." Boromir only had the dream once. I couldnât help but wonder how differently things might have turned out if Faramir had been part of the fellowship instead of his older, brasher brother.
Thereâs also a scene where Gandalf is rescued from Saruman by the eagle Gwaihir because Radagast told birds and beasts where Gandalf was going to be. That section reminded me of Harry Potter and how Voldemort always underestimated people he thought were less powerful than him. Sauruman used Radagast to unknowingly trick Gandalf into going to Isengard. Saruman underestimated Radagast and never thought that he would be the reason Gandalf was able to escape.
BOTTOM LINE: Completely irresistible. This might be my favorite book of the trilogy. Itâs our introduction to the wonderful world of Middle Earth. It holds the first glimpse of Rivendell; it cements the lifelong friendships between the members of the fellowship, and takes us on a trip through the hallowed woods of LothlĂłrien. We meet Tom Bombadil, attend a party in the Shire, and above all else we see the strength it takes to for someone to sacrifice themself for the good of others.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo going out of your door," he (Bilbo) used to say. "You step into the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
"Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill."
A few tidbits where the book differs from the film:
- Frodo was orphaned when both his parents drowned.
- He and Bilbo have the same birthday, September 22, and when Bilbo turned 111 Frodo turned 33, which is the age when hobbits officially become an adult.
- Almost 20 years go by between Bilbo leaving the Shire and Frodo leaving. He was 50 when he started out on the journey.
- He sold Bag End before he left.
- Merry and Pippin were always planning on going, it wasn't a last minute thing.
- They stop at Farmer Maggot's house and then he drives them to the ferry.
- The Elf Glorfindel met the hobbits and Strider, not Arwen and Gandalf is the one who made the water turn into horses during the flood that scares the Ringwraiths off.
- Aragorn and Bilbo were great friends. They had been at Rivendell together for a long time and Bilbo called him the Dunadan.
- Aragorn was the one who found Gollum and took him to the elves.
- Gandalf was in Gondor when he found info about the ring in scrolls Isildur wrote.
- After Gwaihir Eagle saves Gandalf he takes him to Rohan where Gandalf gets Shadowfax.
- The Hobbits spend two months in Rivendell after Elrond's Council before embarking on their journey.
In the little land known as the Shire, Bilbo Baggins of Bag End ws heaving his eleventy-first birthday party. There had been much talk about it and when the day arived, there was a huge party and Frodo Baggins was given a ring that had belonged to Bilbo that
I liked this book because it was exiting and i loved the settings and how he explains the situattions.
Book two of The Fellow Ship of the Ring
Frodo awakes to find that he is in a room and on a bed. He also finds that Bilbo is there finishing his writings and enjoing his lazy days. a councel is heald and all the lords or Rivendell are gathered to discuss what must be done to get rid of the ring. They all agree that they should snend a fellowship of nine people to go to the cracks of Mount Doom and cast the ring in. The people chosen to go are Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Gimli, Legalos, Pippin, Merry, Boromir, and Aragorn. They soon depart and head to the Misty Mountains, but their path is blocked by snow as they try to pass. Then Gandalf remembers another way that goes under the mountains and out the other side. They reach the gate of Moria and head under and find that it is infested with orcs. As they run from a Bolrog, Gandalf makes a stand to keep the rest of the fellowship safe and falls down into an abiss with the Bolrog. The fellowship then heads to Lothlorien to find councel and healing and are met by Gladriel, the lady of Lorien. they stay almost a full month and are given many gifts for there departure. As they take the boats down the Nimrodel they are aware of a little creture theat has been folowing them ever since they left Moria. They guess that it is Smeagle, one of the previous ouners of the ring. As they settle down for the night, Frodo goes missing and the fellowship spreads out to find him. Wile searching, Merry and Pippin are captured by a band of Uruk-Hai. Boromir goes and tries to rescue them but gets killed after he gets shote by six arrows. Meanwile Frodo starts to float away on a boat and almost gets away, but Sam catches him and together they start the last part of their adventure.
I liked this book because it was sad that both Boromir and Gandalf died.
I have not felt such magic and such a connection to the characters that I felt while reading this in a while. I knew a basic plot of this book before reading it, because of watching the movie, but my interest was never lessened by that because the book is quite different than the movie. There is such a magical feeling to the book that I feel the movie never quite achieves.
When Frodo first starts on his journey with Sam, Merry, and Pippin I felt that it moved a bit slow but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. As the journey moved on I loved reading more about the hobbits. I loved how brave they could be at times even though they were terrified and I loved their humor in the face of danger. I just loved the hobbits.
Pretty much this review is just going to turn into me listing everything that I loved because I loved everything so I'll try and spare you all now. So while I loved all the poems, action, imagery, and so on the thing that I loved most about this book was reading about the characters and really getting to know them. I absolutely regret not reading this sooner, it was a fantastic book and I cannot wait to read the other two volumes. I am behind on this month's reading list so I have to try and control myself and wait until later to read the rest of the series. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has not read it yet, you will not regret it at all.