The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hardcover, 1988

Call number



Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1988), Edition: 2 Sub Rei, 432 pages


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 universe�hobbits, elves, and wizards�step colorfully forth from the pages. Rob Inglis' narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.… (more)

Media reviews

Evening Standard
Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.
5 more
Literary Review
Tolkien was a storyteller of genius
Daily Telegraph
A triumphant close ... a grand piece of work, grand in both conception and execution. An astonishing imaginative tour de force.
New Statesman
A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness
"Tolkien has succeeded superbly, and what happened in the year of the Shire 1418 in the Third Age of Middle Earth is not only fascinating in A. D. 1954 but also a warning and an inspiration. No fiction I have read in the last five years has given me more joy than 'The Fellowship of the Ring.'"

User reviews

LibraryThing member PJWetzel
Lord of the Rings (three books with wings)
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
Theatrical success.

If I could own one book alone
This treasure's what I'd
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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
in nineteen-fifty-one.
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.
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
The first thing I should say for those unfamiliar with it, is that The Fellowship of the Ring isn't a self-contained book, one in a trilogy, but the first volume of what was conceived as one novel--thus expect an abrupt ending and have The Two Towers ready to grab.

The Lord of the Rings is a
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"must-try" for anyone who likes fantasy if not a must-read. Not everyone I know who has tried it loves it, but as someone who has read widely in the fantasy genre, I can tell you no book is more influential in post-World War II high fantasy and there are authors, particularly Brooks and Jordan, that come across as cheap imitations--especially having tackled both those authors recently.

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.
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LibraryThing member reading_fox
It wasn't the first, and there are many reasonable arguments as to why it isn't the best, but Lord of the Rings is still the defining work of the fantasy genre. Written in response to reader requests for more information after The Hobbit, it is set some 80years on opening with The Hobbit, Bilbo's
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eleventy first (111) and Frodo's Coming of Age (33) birthday parties. Vast in scope and set in an epically detailed world with over 3000 years of history and backstory, it took 15 or so years to write -something available to no present day authors making a living from their writing, and hence why no other work comes close to the grand scale of Lord of the Rings - and many different versions were considered. Although it was written over the Second World War, and parallels could be drawn, in the preface Tolkien expressly denies any allegory and maintains it is "just" a story - the history of the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth as described in later times by the surviving fragments of the diaries and recollections of those hobbits – minor players in the grand scheme of things - who took part. It is told in third person following Frodo Baggins who has inherited Bilbo’s magic ring, discovered in the depths of Misty Mountains many years ago.

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 “dark powers” arising in distant lands. But to the adventurous Frodo and his friends these are mere tales, until one day the wandering Gandalf – a wizard of some repute – passes by and informs Frodo that Bilbo’s 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 – 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 clichés of fantasy – 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 clichés 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 Tolkien’s 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 Sam’s 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.
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LibraryThing member atimco
This review is for the Recorded Books unabridged audiobook read by Rob Inglis.

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
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of the Rings annually, and decided to listen to it this year. Rob Inglis' interpretation of the classic story is a celebrated achievement in the field of recorded books and I was looking forward to starting it. I was not disappointed.

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 — 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 — make sure you have time for it!
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LibraryThing member lycomayflower
I have no recollection of not knowing what happens next in The Lord of the Rings, which makes rereading the books a bit like sitting down with one of the Grimms' fairy tales. There's no suspense or surprise; the fun of it all comes from anticipating upcoming favorite bits and being reminded of
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parts not as well remembered (or now misremembered due to repeated viewings of Jackson's films). While I delight in some of the humor of the Hobbiton chapters and am thrilled by the two meatiest history-telling chapters ("The Shadow of the Past" and "The Council of Elrond") of this book, Fellowship has become my least favorite volume of Rings--perhaps because I have read it many, many more times than the other two, though more likely because the things which most thrill me in the story (the history of men and Frodo's internal struggle) appear mostly in Towers and King. Every time I read Rings, I am struck more thoroughly by how remarkable it is that the thing was ever published (it is a singularly odd piece in that it owes just as much to the chronicle and the romance as it does to the modern novel, and yet it is unapologetically unironic in its use of those forms) and by how very, very glad I am that it was.
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LibraryThing member silverwing2332
This series can be a little boring, I am a huge fan and have always loved this world that Tolkien created. During the time I was reading the book, I was struck at how dry some of it was, it almost made me put down the book for a while and give up reading it. I advise anyone who wants to give up on
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this trilogy to not do that. It is a wonderful trilogy even if some of it is a little dry, a little too historical or too hard to grasp. You will never come across a story with more beauty, more fantasy, or with such a complex culture or language from a series.
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LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
This, if you don't know, is the first volume of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the tale of Frodo Baggins, nephew and heir to Bilbo Baggins, the hero of The Hobbit. Amongst his inheritance is the magical ring that Bilbo acquired in the aforementioned story. It turns out that the ring is a
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lot more than it seems--'tis a thing of power and corrupting evil. And, it's creator, the evil Sauron, has started looking for it. The best solution is to return the ring to it's crucible of creation--the one place where it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for Frodo, it's a task that must be carried out by him. This volume starts the tale, as Frodo and various companions set out, pursued by the minions of Sauron. It's a sweeping epic, a rich tapestry of characters, setting and adventure.
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LibraryThing member martensgirl
I was massively disappointed by this book and don't see its mass appeal. Endless geographical descriptions and turgid satnav-like routes made the whole thing twice as long as it needed to be.
LibraryThing member rincewind1986
i only read lord of the rings a few years ago. and devoured all 3 books in as many days. What can one say other than perfection.
LibraryThing member bell7
This is at least my seventh time reading The Fellowship of the Ring. It's been about seven years since I last read it, and I'm a much different reader than I was any of the previous six times I've read it. I've read many more books, become a more critical reader, and have read especially broadly in
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the fantasy genre.

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.
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LibraryThing member Lori_Eshleman
I returned to The Lord of the Rings after first reading it voraciously in college many years ago. It was interesting to read this first part with the knowledge and experience I now have, including the study of Old Norse and Old English texts and Early Medieval art history, which provided some of
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Tolkien’s sources. Though I am no longer twenty, it’s still a great read! I am struck by the sense of humor that crops up here and there, especially when it comes to the hobbits, who have a predilection for drinking songs and dancing on tables. The humor leavens the sense of sadness, loss, and nostalgia for a past golden age, when beings like elves lived in harmony with nature and each other. Tolkien’s reverent descriptions of landscape, woods, waterways, and the night sky also relieve the tension of being tracked by maleficent creatures such as orcs, ringwraiths and balrogs. Were the author alive today, I believe he would be an ardent advocate for natural preservation and sustainability. In early medieval mode, he is also a big advocate for loyalty and commitment to one’s “fellowship,” no matter how different they are. And they are indeed different: several hobbits, a wizard, an elf, a dwarf, and two men. I think Tolkien would fit right in with today’s multicultural world. Finally, Tolkien’s work is surprisingly psychological, addressing the battles within and the difficulty of self-control: the greed for power over others, represented by the One Ring--versus the dedication to peace and respect, not only toward other beings and creatures, but toward the earth itself. Tolkien still speaks in a clear voice to our contemporary world.
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LibraryThing member Darthtony0
Book one of The Felloship of the Ring
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
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could turn him invisible. That night bilbo dissapeared and went away to stay with the elves and Frodo was given Bag End and everything inside of it. over the next few years, Frodo kept selebrating Bilbo's birthdays with his own, even after everyone in the Shire said theat he was dead. one day in Frodo's fiftyith year, strange things started to happen. There were rumores that kept going around about how the Dark Tower had been rebuilt. So Frodo, along with his friends Merry, Pippin, and Sam went and traveled to Rivendell. Along the way, they met Strider(also known as Aragorn) in Bree.From bree they were chased by the Black Riders, or Nazgul, all the way to Wheather Top. There Aragorn foght the Nazgul off after they had stabbed Frodo with a cursed nife. Aragorn then dobbled his pace and gave Frodo to an elf who sent Frodo on his horse to Rivendell.
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.
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LibraryThing member pdxwoman
Three Stars (Read at least once &/or Recommend selectively).

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
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more path, one more hill, one more ANYTHING, I couldn't have stood it. And the never ending songs/poetry? And all the Elvin names thrown out there page after page -- but never mentioned again? I just started skipping paragraphs and songs, looking for key words indicating I needed to pay attention again.

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.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
**If you haven’t read the book, just skip this review. I tried to avoid spoilers, but there is just too much to talk about.**

It’s 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. There’s the Shire, a
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peaceful place full of hobbits and rolling green hills. Anyone familiar with The Hobbit will recognize Bilbo Baggins, but this is not his story. His nephew Frodo inherits a ring from him and nothing in his life will ever be the same.

There’s 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. It’s almost as if you’ve stepped back in time and you’re 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. It’s about knowing what’s 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. That’s the only reason he’s 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. Tolkien’s 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 I’d begun to believe they were dense or hard to follow because of all the unusual names and locations, but that wasn’t 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 I’ve seen. But there are a few parts that differ from the books and I couldn’t help notice those sections. Some of them are just wonderful, but I know you can’t fit everything into a movie.

There’s one scene where Frodo and Sam cross paths with elves early in the book. Same is enthralled with them, because he’s been dreaming of meeting elves his whole life. Then there’s 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.

I’d 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 couldn’t help but wonder how differently things might have turned out if Faramir had been part of the fellowship instead of his older, brasher brother.

There’s 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. It’s 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 Lothlórien. 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.
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LibraryThing member willowcove
Are you kidding? This is THE Fantasy series of ALL time. I really need a 10-star rating capability.
LibraryThing member Arctic-Stranger
This is the fun part of the trilogy. We meet the fellowship, and get a real feel for who they are, and what they are about. I am told that Tolkien wrote this in part for his children, and as they got older, he made the books more complicated. Whenever I get warm fuzzies thinking of LOTR, it is
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usually this book that produces them.
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LibraryThing member Othemts
I read this book aloud (along with my wife) to my daughter for the first time. It's still a classic, imaginative adventure that I remember. Although there are some slow and boring parts when reading to a 9-year-old. You begin to notice how tedious the lists of names and places and the songs and
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poems are when you're reading aloud. Nevertheless, we had a good time reading it and are looking for to the more action-oriented The Two Towers next.
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LibraryThing member jmcilree
Stilted dialog, slow moving.
LibraryThing member CarltonC
One cannot hope to achieve objectivity about a book which one has had read to one as a child and has then reread numerous times as a teenager.
However, 24 years since I last read this and I am still enthralled.
A wonderful book and a brilliant book if read at the right time.
LibraryThing member Orangez
Really liked this a lot. I've seen the movies first so I decided to wait until those images where faded. I must say it deserved the hype. Only thing that annoyed me after a while where all the east, west, north, south, down, up's, plus names of every imaginable little place of land/water/stream.
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But nevertheless a must read!
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LibraryThing member acl
I tried to read this in 8th grade, and couldn't stomach the constant breaks in the story for Middle-Earth history and/or geography lessons. Toliken inserts long, self-indulgent chunks of poetry and song which, verse after verse, tell the reader very little that pertains to the story at hand.
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Additionally, the this volume starts off quite slowly. Entire chapters can be summed up with "and they kept walking." It starts to pick up later on, shortly before the hobbits arrive in Rivendell, but prepare to suffer through a lot of Tom Bombadil's "ring a ding dillo"s and uneventful traveling before you get there.

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.
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LibraryThing member dpappas
I was not expecting or planning on reading this in only a couple days. I had planned on reading this a little each day throughout the month. Needless to say when I became hooked early in the first chapter and couldn't stop thinking about this book, even when I was reading other books, that plan got
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thrown out of the window. Before I read this I was a bit intimidated by it but my fears were for nothing because this was easy to understand and extremely interesting.

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.
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LibraryThing member Harrod
Genius at work and play
LibraryThing member MrsLee
I love the way Rob Inglis reads these stories. He sings the songs, which is just the way it should be, and his voice is very pleasant to hear.
LibraryThing member exlibrisbitsy
I came to the start of this trilogy of books as a reader that had only ever seen them portrayed in movies. So to actually read them for the first time was absolutely amazing. For any fan of the movies I highly recommend it! The world is much richer and more vibrant, with greater nuance and detail,
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and just an all around more vivid and brighter world than the movies could ever hope to portray. They still did a great job though!

The characters were richly displayed and wonderfully drawn. The scenery and descriptions were like paintings with words, and the world as a whole was just unique and layered and believable. I loved reading about the mythology and history behind the story, as well as the built up languages and the songs and poetry that helped make it all have such a rich tapestry. Some people complain that it reads like a historical text and that it is dry and heavy instead of entertaining. I didn't find that true at all for me, but then again I love to read history books so perhaps that's saying something when I say I really loved this book!

Since this book was supposed to be just the first two parts of a very long book it didn't follow the standard story arc and that ended up bothering me a bit. I'm used to a certain level of excitement and lead up to some sort of a climax to finish off the first book, but that didn't end up happening. A lot of the deviations that the movie made makes sense in this light. They needed to make the movie have more of a traditional arc or risk not having people come back for the rest of the series. Tolkein never intended the books to be published separately and so his story reflected that. As a result, for me, the end of the book after the Fellowship left Moria really dragged out for me. I didn't end up enjoying it as much as I had the earlier parts.

All in all though I really enjoyed The Fellowship of the Ring. I highly recommend it for fantasy fans and for anyone that is a big fan of the movies. Getting to read more about your favorite characters is just one small part of getting a peek at the mythology, poetry and language of Tolkein's richly imagined world.
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0395489318 / 9780395489314


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