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The Fellowship Of The Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, 1) Hardcover – March 3, 1988
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The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien's three-volume epic, is set in the imaginary world of Middle-earth - home to many strange beings, and most notably hobbits, a peace-loving "little people," cheerful and shy. Since its original British publication in 1954-55, the saga has entranced readers of all ages. It is at once a classic myth and a modern fairy tale. Critic Michael Straight has hailed it as one of the "very few works of genius in recent literature." Middle-earth is a world receptive to poets, scholars, children, and all other people of good will. Donald Barr has described it as "a scrubbed morning world, and a ringing nightmare world...especially sunlit, and shadowed by perils very fundamental, of a peculiarly uncompounded darkness." The story of ths world is one of high and heroic adventure. Barr compared it to Beowulf, C.S. Lewis to Orlando Furioso, W.H. Auden to The Thirty-nine Steps. In fact the saga is sui generis - a triumph of imagination which springs to life within its own framework and on its own terms.
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From the Publisher
"Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron." -- C.S. Lewis
"Destined to outlast our time." The New York Herald-Tribune
"Exciting... Mr. Tolkien's invention is unflagging" -- W.H. Auden —
From the Back Cover
- Publisher : William Morrow; Subsequent,Reissue edition (March 3, 1988)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0395489318
- ISBN-13 : 978-0395489314
- Reading age : 12+ years, from customers
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.62 x 1.44 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #36,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2022
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I was a solitary young man, escaping schoolyard bullies with fantasy worlds, raised by my grandparents. They both worked and in their stead I was often raised by heroes.
This is one of many formative works for me. I know that the linguistically charged fantasy narrative isnt for everyone, I know some people can wholly enjoy the world without enjoying the written word of it, and I know middle earth is chief in the hearts of so many who may never read the books, but these books are a core of me.
In it so many things happen I didnt understand the depth of before: farmer maggot and Tom Bombadil both helping, a good samaritan and a force of nature respectively, fear of the unknown, the road ever changing you. I didn't understand as a child just how much of Tolkien's own wartime shellshock made it in Middle Earth, greatness falling and the enemy seeming infinite, but I think I do now.
This is a book about a journey, a long, transformative journey that there will never be a full return from. This journey marks both the reader and the characters, leaving them changed: for me it was for the better, for the fellowship it may just be irrevocable bit neutral change, both bad and good coming of it.
This is already lengthy but I'll say this much, if you've not read lord of the rings give it a try, it really is worth it.
The pacing is spot on and you hardly want to skim through anything, because every detail counts and ultimately adds to an exquisite bigger picture.
I loved every single description of the nature: every sunset and sunrise, every gray morning and starry night, every moor and craggy peak. They are presented in such a way as to help you see them with your own heart
I can't wait to read on, to you have a look at The Two Towers and The Return Of The King afterwards, because this is where the power of the English language, the notion of doing the right thing, the turf war on the global scale are at their best and simply unrivalled.
I wish the movies - however great they are and however good Peter Jackson as a director is - did the books justice and let's hope we'll live to see that day when there is a movie or a series (even better) worthy of the master's writing and vision.
For now though, I'll contend myself with coming back to this masterpiece, telling about it to anyone who'd listen and reading it aloud to my kids and having the faintest hope... of seeing the lady Galadriel in real life one day.
Another thing the book does seamlessly is developing characters. For example, Sam is a seemingly underwhelming hobbit. Yet, throughout the book, you can see his courage building and his desire to protect Frodo overpower any thought of his personal safety.
And last but not least, the book leaves no plot holes. Like when Frodo asks Gandalf why he can’t take the ring, the answer is given that the power of the ring is limited to the power of the wielder. Hobbits are fairly low on the food chain so the ring does not do much in their hands. All of these qualities contribute to one of the most well written books of the century that has stood the test of time.
There are things I thought the movie didn't do justice, of course... But overall, the movie was so much more entertaining and well-written than the book.
I'm really only giving it even 2 stars because I had the movie to frame the story before reading it. Without that, I feel I would have lost interest very early in in this book.
Again...I don't want to take away from the brilliance of Tolkien himself and the world he created... He just couldn't convey it in an engaging way to me.
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However, as mentioned, this book isn't perfect. At times the pacing can be very slow, there's also a LOT of text that is purely long text of the travelling they're doing and the land around them. If the land were fantastical and there were much to see during all of these, it would make sense, but often it is simply written to emphasise the length of their journey. As a result, it can drag and can sometimes take a little rereading.
However I cannot knock this book down for that as it is part of what gives the book its feel. It is supposed to feel like a long journey for naive hobbits travelling much much further than they ever have before and seeing many characters, creatures and cultures they never knew even existed. Can't wait to read the second...but may have a couple days off to build up the concentration levels again.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2021
A Prologue describes Hobbit characteristics and the plot of The Hobbit, the prequel to this book.
I wish I had stopped at The Hobbit.
An enjoyable read but bogged down in the middle section with the Hobbits on quest in the Shire repeating themselves IE feasting, telling tales of their question to others. Repetitive and confusing with many different families introduced, son of X, who is son of Y etc.
The book is probably 100 pages too long and after the dreary middle section, improves greatly in the last 125 - 100 pages.
It is a classic so my views are very much in the minority.
I will continue the series watching the films as opposed to reading the books.
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.
Join Frodo, Sam , Gandalf and the company as they start their journey to Mordor to destroy the Ring which Sauron so badly wants.
A classic and highly recommended.