counter create hit J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

Availability: Ready to download

This four-volume, boxed set contains J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterworks The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in Hobbiton by the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves. He finds himself caught up in This four-volume, boxed set contains J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterworks The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in Hobbiton by the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves. He finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider. J.R.R. Tolkien's three volume masterpiece is at once a classic myth and a modern fairy tale—a story of high and heroic adventure set in the unforgettable landscape of Middle-earth


Compare

This four-volume, boxed set contains J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterworks The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in Hobbiton by the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves. He finds himself caught up in This four-volume, boxed set contains J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterworks The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in Hobbiton by the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves. He finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider. J.R.R. Tolkien's three volume masterpiece is at once a classic myth and a modern fairy tale—a story of high and heroic adventure set in the unforgettable landscape of Middle-earth

30 review for J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Some will shout with joy, others will scream in derision. However, we can all agree on one thing: It's long. Some will shout with joy, others will scream in derision. However, we can all agree on one thing: It's long.

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Writers who inspire a genre are usually misunderstood. Tolkien's reasons for writing were completely unlike those of the authors he inspired. He didn't have an audience, a genre, and scores of contemporaries. There was a tradition of high adventure fairy tales, as represented by Eddison, Dunsany, Morris, MacDonald, Haggard, and Kipling, but this was only part of what inspired Tolkien. His writing was chiefly influenced by his familiarity with the mythological traditions of the Norse and Welsh cul Writers who inspire a genre are usually misunderstood. Tolkien's reasons for writing were completely unlike those of the authors he inspired. He didn't have an audience, a genre, and scores of contemporaries. There was a tradition of high adventure fairy tales, as represented by Eddison, Dunsany, Morris, MacDonald, Haggard, and Kipling, but this was only part of what inspired Tolkien. His writing was chiefly influenced by his familiarity with the mythological traditions of the Norse and Welsh cultures. While he began by writing a fairy story with The Hobbit and other early drafts, his later work became a magical epic along the lines of the Eddas. As a translator, Tolkien was intimately knowledgeable with these stories, the myths behind them, and the languages that underpinned them, and endeavored to recreate their form. Contrarily, those who have followed in his footsteps since have tended to be inspired by a desire to imitate him. Yet they failed to do what Tolkien did because they did not have a whole world of mythic tradition, culture, and language to draw on. They mimicked his style, but did not understand his purpose, and hence produced merely empty facsimiles. If they had copied merely the sense of wonder or magnificence, then they might have created perfectly serviceable stories of adventure, but they also copied those parts of Tolkien which do not fit a well-built, exciting story--like his work's sheer length. Tolkien made it 'okay' for writers of fantasy to produce books a thousand pages long, and to write many of them in succession. Yet Tolkien's length had a purpose, it was not merely an affectation. Tolkien needed this length in order to reproduce myth. The Eddas were long and convoluted because they drew from many different stories and accounts, combined over time by numerous story-tellers and eventually compiled by scribes. The many digressions, conflicts, repetitions, asides, fables, songs, and minutiae of these stories came together organically. Each had a purpose, even if they didn't serve the story, they were part of a grand and strange world. Epics often served as encyclopedias for their age, teaching history, morals, laws, myth, and geography--as may be seen in Homer or The Bible. This was the purpose of all of Tolkien's long, dull songs, the litany of troop movements, the lines of lineage, the snippets of didactic myths, and side-adventures. To create a realistically deep and complicated world, he felt he needed to include as many diverging views as the original myths had. He was being true to a literary convention--though not a modern one, and not one we would call a 'genre'. He gave characters similar names to represent other historical traditions: that of common prefixes or suffixes, of a house line adopting similar names for fathers, sons, and brothers. An author who copies this style without that linguistic and cultural meaning just makes for a confusing story, breaking the sensible rule that main characters should not have similar names. Likewise, in a well-written story, side-characters should be kept to the minimum needed to move the plot and entertain the reader with a variety of personalities. It is another rule Tolkien breaks, because he is not interested in an exciting, driving pace. He wants the wealth of characters to match the number of unimportant side characters one would expect from a historical text. The only reason he sometimes gets away with breaking such sensible rules of storytelling is that he often has a purpose for breaking them, and is capable of drawing on his wealth of knowledge to instill further depth and richness in his world. Sometimes, when he slowed his story down with such asides, they did not have enough purpose to merit inclusion, a flaw in pacing which has only increased with modern authors. But underneath all of that, Tolkien does have an appealing and exciting story to tell, of war and succession and moral struggles--the same sort of story that has been found in our myths since the very earliest writings of man. He does not create a straight monomyth, because, like Milton, he presents a hero divided. Frodo takes after the Adam, placing strength in humility and piety, not martial might or wit. Aragorn is an attempt to save the warlike, aristocratic hero whom Milton criticized in his portrayal of Satan. Yet unlike Satan, we do not get an explanation of what makes Strider superior, worthy, or--more importantly--righteous. And in this, Tolkien's attempt to recreate the form of the Eddas is completely at odds with the Christian, romantic moral content with which he fills the story. This central schism makes his work much less true to the tradition than Anderson's The Broken Sword , which was published the same year. Not only does Tolkien put forth a vision of chaste, humble, 'everyman' heroes who persevere against temptation through piety, he also presents a world of dualistic good and evil, of eternal, personal morality, prototypical of the Christian worldview, particularly the post-Miltonic view. His characters are bloodless, chaste, and noble--and if that nobility is sometimes that of simple, hard-working folk, all the better for his Merrie England analogue. More interesting than these is his portrayal of Gollum, one of the few characters with a deep psychological contradiction. In some ways, his central, conflicted role resembles Eddison's Lord Gro, whose work inspired Tolkien. But even this internal conflict is dualistic. Unlike Gro, Gollum is not a character with an alternative view of the world, but fluctuates between the hyperbolic highs and lows of Tolkien's morality. It is unfortunate that both good and evil seem to be external forces at work upon man, because it removes much of the agency and psychological depth of the characters. There is a hint of very alien morality in the out-of-place episode of Tom Bombadil, expressing the separation between man and fairy that Dunsany's work epitomized. Bombadil is the most notorious remainder of the fantastical roots of Tolkien's story which he painstakingly removed in editing in favor of Catholic symbology. Yet despite internal conflicts, there is something respectable in what he achieved, and no fantasy author has yet been capable of comprehending what Tolkien was trying to do and innovating upon it. The best modern writers of fantasy have instead avoided Tolkien, concentrating on other sources of inspiration. The dullards of fantasy have merely rehashed and reshuffled the old tropes back and forth, imagining that they are creating something. One cannot entirely blame Tolkien because Jordan, Martin, Goodkind, Paolini, Brooks, and Salvatore have created a genre out of his work which is unoriginal, cloying, escapist, and sexually unpalatable (if often successful). At least when Tolkien is dull, ponderous, and divergent, he is still achieving something. These authors are mostly trying to fix a Tolkien they don't understand, trying to make him easy to swallow. The uncomfortable sexuality is an attempt to repair the fact that Tolkien wrote a romance where the two lovers are thousands of miles apart for most of the story. Even a libertine like me appreciates Tolkien's chaste, distant, longing romance more than the obsessively fetishistic consummation that has come to define sexuality in the most repressive and escapist genre this side of four-color comic books. I don't think Tolkien is a great writer, I don't even think he is one of the greater fantasy writers. He was a stodgy old Tory, and the Shire is his false golden age of 'Merrie Olde England'. His romance wasn't romantic, and his dualistic moralizing cheapened the story. His attempt to force Christian theology onto a heroic epic is as problematic and conflicted as monks' additions to Beowulf. Tolkien's flaws have been well-documented by notable authors, from Moorcock's 'Epic Pooh' to Mieville's adroit analysis, but for all that, he was no slouch. Even if we lament its stolid lack of imagination, The Lord of the Rings is the work of a careful and deliberate scholar of language, style, and culture. It is the result of a lifetime of collecting and applying knowledge, which is a feat to behold. Each time the moon is mentioned, it is in the proper phase as calculated from the previous instance. Calendar dates and distances are calculated. Every name mentioned has a meaning and a past. I have even heard that each description of a plant or stone was carefully researched to represent the progression of terrain, though I can find no support for this theory. Yet what good is that to a story? It may be impressive as a thought exercise, but to put that much time and work into the details instead of fixing and streamlining the frame of the story itself seems entirely backwards to me. But for all that The Lord of the Rings may be dull, affected, and moralistic, it is Tolkien's, through and through. My Fantasy Book Suggestions

  3. 4 out of 5

    NAT.orious reads ☾

    3.25 STARS ★★★✬✩ This trilogy is for you if… you possess the stamina and enthusiasm for epic fantasy or simply who want to know the beginnings of the genre The individual reviews for each book in this series can be found here: ⫸ The Hobbit ⫸ The Fellowship of the Ring ⫸ The Two Towers ⫸ The Return of the King ⤐ Overall. Admittedly, this was not one of my favourite reads, not by a long shot. If it weren't for the giddy excitement of finally discovering the literary roots of o 3.25 STARS ★★★✬✩ This trilogy is for you if… you possess the stamina and enthusiasm for epic fantasy or simply who want to know the beginnings of the genre The individual reviews for each book in this series can be found here: ⫸ The Hobbit ⫸ The Fellowship of the Ring ⫸ The Two Towers ⫸ The Return of the King ⤐ Overall. Admittedly, this was not one of my favourite reads, not by a long shot. If it weren't for the giddy excitement of finally discovering the literary roots of one of my favourite film-trilogies, I wouldn't have ever made it through these. The writing style was magnificent, but the story-telling so lengthy at times I didn't know where to put my brainpower. I was also very unsatisfied that John chose to stell the stories of the individual character(groups) in sets and not according to the timeline, alternating between the different POVs. It made me very impatient, and not in a good way. The Two Towers was definitely my favourite in the series, it was the most exciting one and also allowed for much needed get-to-know-the-characters-time. You cannot help but really love the bromance between Gimli and Legolas (and Aragorn, to an extent). The introduction of the one and only Shadowfax was another highlight for me, the main reason I was attracted to the films as a kid. The horses in general are a particular beautiful part of the films, except that tons of them died during the making of the movies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Madelene

    It might be a classic, but there are many who have stern reservations about reading this series, partially I suspect due to its length... Well my answer to this is simply: DON'T BE LAZY! My journey within Middle Earth stated as young teenager - my parents gave me 'The Hobbit' as a Christmas present one year and my father and I decided we'd enjoy it together. I think it was the last book he ever read me as a 'bedtime story', but we embarked on the adventures of Bilbo Baggins together and absolutel It might be a classic, but there are many who have stern reservations about reading this series, partially I suspect due to its length... Well my answer to this is simply: DON'T BE LAZY! My journey within Middle Earth stated as young teenager - my parents gave me 'The Hobbit' as a Christmas present one year and my father and I decided we'd enjoy it together. I think it was the last book he ever read me as a 'bedtime story', but we embarked on the adventures of Bilbo Baggins together and absolutely loved every minute of it! The Hobbit was a stunning example of fantasy and adventure writing at its best. One event after another, crisis after epic excitement, wonder at the enormity of the main character's daring and courage. I am only sorry it took me so long to pursue the ongoing tale of the hobbits at Bagend. The Lord of the Rings was definitely a further step up the scale though. I will not deny that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a difficult read in terms of perseverance (hence 4 stars). I have always been an avid reader and there were a couple of times as I went through my teens that I picked up the Fellowship of the Ring and gave up before I could really get my teeth into it. Indeed, I didn't finish the trilogy until I was in my early 20s and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was actually quite proud of myself for having finally completed this mammoth journey with Frodo and his companions. I read about 2/3rds of the trilogy in one block in the end as I decided to forbid myself to watch the epic films again until I was done with the books because I knew that every time I grew impatient for the story to continue without wanting to spend the time or the energy reading it, I'd watch the films and that would result in me not feeling the need to continue the book for a good while. I say all this to illustrate a point - don't give up! It's totally worth it! The Lord of the Rings is filled with new troubles and adventures. At first the idea of following several characters quite separately may be quite unusual, even a little daunting. But it truly brings the world of Middle Earth to life! You get a true feel for the scale and even the politics of such a creation by journeying through it with different companions, each with a different purpose. The struggles and hardships are of such importance and value to both the reader and the characters by the end of the journey, Tolkien has spoken volumes about friendship, love, bravery, honour, loyalty, deceit...you name it, its all there. These books are a must read, wherever you are in your lifetime.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Update December 2020: I‘ve been eyeing this edition for a while and was circling it for the last few days. When I checked this morning, the delivery date shown was before Christmas. So this is now officially my Christmas present to myself. *+*+* I love Lord of the Rings. I doubt I can add anything of value to the discussion, that hasn't already been written about LOTR. I had a one-volume-edition once, like Tolkien intended it. It looked a bit daunting at first. I had meant to read the book for 20 y Update December 2020: I‘ve been eyeing this edition for a while and was circling it for the last few days. When I checked this morning, the delivery date shown was before Christmas. So this is now officially my Christmas present to myself. *+*+* I love Lord of the Rings. I doubt I can add anything of value to the discussion, that hasn't already been written about LOTR. I had a one-volume-edition once, like Tolkien intended it. It looked a bit daunting at first. I had meant to read the book for 20 years or so, but never dared to tackle it. Then the first movie came out. I decided to watch it and then read the book as far as the movie went. Then wait for the second movie, read the second part of the book, wait for the third movie... You get the idea. That plan went down the drain, when (view spoiler)[Gandalf fell into that chasm! As soon as I came home, I grabbed the book and flicked pages to find out, if he was really dead... (hide spoiler)] I then tried to stick to the plan, but just had to keep reading. It still took me a month to get through it, but I enjoyed it very much. I have never re-read it, because I am a little scared that I wouldn't love it as much anymore. And no, the first 100 pages did not bore me at all, and I mean that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    It's a genuinely good series. Very inventive and original. The reason I gave it 2 stars is because it was so god damn boring. Descriptions were tedious, fight scenes were tedious. I couldn't wrap my head around the story in general. Sometimes I skimmed whole paragraphs and pages and understood everything that was happening just fine! Honestly, I'm still wondering where the hell I got the patience to sit down and read the whole thing. Especially with so few female characters (thank god for Eowyn) It's a genuinely good series. Very inventive and original. The reason I gave it 2 stars is because it was so god damn boring. Descriptions were tedious, fight scenes were tedious. I couldn't wrap my head around the story in general. Sometimes I skimmed whole paragraphs and pages and understood everything that was happening just fine! Honestly, I'm still wondering where the hell I got the patience to sit down and read the whole thing. Especially with so few female characters (thank god for Eowyn). I recommend it for people who like fantasy and don't mind unnecessary content.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    My third time to read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read all the poetry and verse this time. I loved these books. They are so different from the typical fiction of this genre. These were so well written, so well thought through. I love how they teach loyalty, fidelity, duty, and love of things more than self. They connect back to the greatness of the past. One other thing, we see that evil gets nervous also and that it will eventually collapse in on itself. In many pieces that My third time to read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read all the poetry and verse this time. I loved these books. They are so different from the typical fiction of this genre. These were so well written, so well thought through. I love how they teach loyalty, fidelity, duty, and love of things more than self. They connect back to the greatness of the past. One other thing, we see that evil gets nervous also and that it will eventually collapse in on itself. In many pieces that show good and evil, good win almost by luck and by "tricking" evil in some way. Good will always win as long as there are good men and women willing to give of self for the better good.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Starting a re-read in early February!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Neveen

    If my life would be writen between the pages of a book; I wish it be the Lord of the ring. By the master's pen; all became real, so Hail to my inspiration Tolkien who made me feel the beauty of words. Hail... If my life would be writen between the pages of a book; I wish it be the Lord of the ring. By the master's pen; all became real, so Hail to my inspiration Tolkien who made me feel the beauty of words. Hail...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather's Mum

    Who can resist the charm of J. R. R. Tolkien's brave little hairy toed Hobbits, awesome Gandalf the Grey, Aragorn, Tom Bombadil, Elf-lord Glorfindel, Half-elven lord Elrond, beautiful Arwen, Boromir, Lady Galadriel, Gimli the Dwarf, and Legolas the Elf. Tolkien describes Hobbits: "I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of fairy rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair Who can resist the charm of J. R. R. Tolkien's brave little hairy toed Hobbits, awesome Gandalf the Grey, Aragorn, Tom Bombadil, Elf-lord Glorfindel, Half-elven lord Elrond, beautiful Arwen, Boromir, Lady Galadriel, Gimli the Dwarf, and Legolas the Elf. Tolkien describes Hobbits: "I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of fairy rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf)." Even Hobbit names are whimsical and bring on a smile. Bilbo Baggins Frodo Baggins Samwise "Sam" Gamgee Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck Peregrin "Pippin" Took Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger Recipe for IRREPRESSIBLE, SPELL-BINDING literary entertainment: Find featured, always hungry Hobbits in hobbit-holes in a Shire and/or at Birthday celebration. Mix with good & bad Wizards, Elves, Dwarves, a magical gold ring everyone wants, Orcs, terrifying Ringwraiths, a once "of hobbit-kind" creature called Gollum, a demon Balrog, a giant spider named Shelob, tree-like Ents, Humans, huge elephant-like Oliphaunts and Trolls. Then throw in lots of adventures, battles, magic, love, death, humor, loyalty, friendship, tears and fear. Arrange all ingredients to make the reader stay up for days... unwilling to do anything but read the next sentence, next paragraph, next page, next chapter, then next book until you finally wave goodbye to Bilbo, Frodo, Gandolph and the elves as they ... read the books and find out!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    J.C.

    Well, I don't really have this boxed set, but of course I've read all the books. I get more out of them with each re-reading. Tolkien would be one of those guys who, if I could invite any 3 people to have dinner with, would get a seat at the table. Well, I don't really have this boxed set, but of course I've read all the books. I get more out of them with each re-reading. Tolkien would be one of those guys who, if I could invite any 3 people to have dinner with, would get a seat at the table.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ebster Davis

    I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings as the sequel to The Hobbit. I knew going into reading there wasn't going to be a lot of Bilbo, but that didn't stop me from reading ahead occasionally to see when his name would pop up next. Reading The Lord of the Rings was a really different experience from The Hobbit not only because it's got a more epic scope and deals with more POV characters, but also because I felt like it introduced me to "Mr Tolkien". Tolkien in The Hobbit is writing for an a p I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings as the sequel to The Hobbit. I knew going into reading there wasn't going to be a lot of Bilbo, but that didn't stop me from reading ahead occasionally to see when his name would pop up next. Reading The Lord of the Rings was a really different experience from The Hobbit not only because it's got a more epic scope and deals with more POV characters, but also because I felt like it introduced me to "Mr Tolkien". Tolkien in The Hobbit is writing for an a particular audience (children and families), so he's catering his narrative delivery so hopefully it will resonate with those types of people. In The Lord of the Rings, I felt like the narrative was much less restrained in that way. The Lord of The Rings is much more pure expression of Mr Tolkien's personality and how he sees the world. Some of his perceptions were really surprising to me. I'm a modern day person and I use a computer and a car on a daily basis and, you know, it's easy to just take it for granted that that's the way the world works. Tolkien, though, is kind of a naturalist: his focus is on stuff like landscapes and plants, and on people being a part of it all. It's a totally different perspective on life than I would normally think of, and it was a treasure to be introduced to it. (view spoiler)[ How do my machines serve me? Or do I serve my machines? Am I using them to live a fuller, more human, life and in accordance with the laws of nature? (hide spoiler)] There's also this really funny thing he does whenever Aragorn shows up (this is particularly prominent in the first book): Mr Tolkien will drop whatever other narrative weave he's working on and enter fanboy mode and remind us how frikkin' awesome Strider/Aragorn is! It became a laughing point for me on my first reading; like, obviously "This guy [the writer] wants me to like Aragorn, but you know....I kinda like Boromir better!" (I was not surprised at all with Boromir's ending, it was actually kind of funny and sad at the same time.) I also think it's interesting, that he's equally good at writing these big epic-scope sequences as he as at writing really quiet ones. One of the scenes I remember most vividly is when the whole Fellowship is just walking along a road somewhere, and he describes how the footfalls of each race of character sound differently. He just creates these moments and moods, you feel like you could just stay in them forever. Notes: I was in the second half of The Two Towers when I found out there were going to be movies about the series. We went to costco one time and they had a trilogy boxed set (along with The Hobbit). that was my first exposure to the movie and merchandise; (And of course Aragorn's there, right on the front cover, because we KNOW how much MR TOLKIEN LUUURVES him some Aragorn!) I remember being so surprised,that they made the character who was clearly meant to be Frodo so good looking, and then reading the bit where Sam and Faramir are talking and mention that Frodo kind of looks like an elf. (Like, Mr Tolkien didn't think that this was important enough to mention earlier?! COMON!) Also, I hadn't thought of elves as particularly effimate. The hobbit's just focus on how tall they are, and I guess I equated "Tall" with having a larger, more bulky skeletal structure. When you think about it, though, most of the POV characters are really, really short. Everyone is ginormous compared to them. And Mr Tolkien is just as likely to describe the elves as "fair" as he is to describe their height. Most of the time, I just thought he meant "light colored" but it makes sense with all the different races of elves, not all of them have to even be white.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    I read this, mainly through my break times during a vile summer job, when I was a student. Tolkien's classic helped to isolate the Trolls I was working with at the time. I read this, mainly through my break times during a vile summer job, when I was a student. Tolkien's classic helped to isolate the Trolls I was working with at the time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    It's been many years since I read this for the first time and what struck me is that I had completely forgotten it was written for children. Tolkien addresses the young reader directly several times, reminding them of something he's told them in an earlier chapter and that sort of thing. He never forgets the child reading the book. There are trolls and massive spiders and other scary creatures but they aren't dwelt upon and they are always quickly defeated. It's very much a child's story in whic It's been many years since I read this for the first time and what struck me is that I had completely forgotten it was written for children. Tolkien addresses the young reader directly several times, reminding them of something he's told them in an earlier chapter and that sort of thing. He never forgets the child reading the book. There are trolls and massive spiders and other scary creatures but they aren't dwelt upon and they are always quickly defeated. It's very much a child's story in which bad things happen but good wins in the end. The films are a different thing completely. I love the Peter Jackson Hobbit movies, though even I think it was a stretch making three of them out of one little book. In true movie fashion, the scary parts are scarier, the spiders bigger and uglier and the trolls more disgusting. The battle of the five armies took about 20 minutes to read in the book and three hours to watch on screen. The movies exaggerate everything, (what else would one expect?) bringing in characters that Tolkien didn't put in the story and even adding a romance. It seems every film must have a romance. Fili and Kili are made more of in the movies than the book, and along with their uncle Thorin are turned into handsome Hollywood swashbucklers, which Tolkien probably never intended. (That's not a complaint - I appreciated Thorin Oakenshield's majestic swagger as much as anyone.) The book overall has a light touch appropriate for children that the movies discarded completely. There is lots of comic relief in the films, but they are weighty stories dealt with in a much more serious tone than that taken by the book. I have read that Tolkien's family dislikes the movies because they stray too far from the intent of the books. I can understand their point of view, but whether it's even true or not, who knows? All I can say is I love the book for certain reasons and I love the movies for other reasons. I can't choose which I like better because I really don't see them as things that can be compared. They are different stories in many ways, different characters and types of characters, different tones and different target audiences. Both are wonderful and I love them all.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Again, I can't do epics. I will watch the movie rather than read this again any day of the week. The writing's very dense, and it's clear that Tolkien was a major history buff. He's created a world that is fully, fully fleshed-out. He probably could have written you a tome that details every moment of Middle Earth for 5000 years (which may be "The Simarillion", actually -- I don't know, I only made it fifty pages into that one). But I just don't have the patience for it. After reading these as a Again, I can't do epics. I will watch the movie rather than read this again any day of the week. The writing's very dense, and it's clear that Tolkien was a major history buff. He's created a world that is fully, fully fleshed-out. He probably could have written you a tome that details every moment of Middle Earth for 5000 years (which may be "The Simarillion", actually -- I don't know, I only made it fifty pages into that one). But I just don't have the patience for it. After reading these as a teenager, I've not really been tempted to go back. And each time I try, I'm quickly dissuaded; I'd rather read a new adventure than re-read an adventure I remember quite well. It's different with someone like Philip Pullman, whose writing is some sort of catnip to me. Tolkien just doesn't strike the same chord, so all hail Peter Jackson, and I'm afraid the books have largely been relegated to display-only on my bookshelf.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Owen

    Given that Tolkien did not just invent a world, new creatures and weapons, but invented an actual freaking language, he gets 5 stars from me (I'm sure he was anxiously awaiting my approval). I could do without the 80 pages on tobacco production, but Tolkien wasn't writing a story; he was writing a history of a place that had never existed. I resisted reading them for years as I thought they were a level of dork I was not ready for. Then I saw the first movie and had to know what happened. I'm so Given that Tolkien did not just invent a world, new creatures and weapons, but invented an actual freaking language, he gets 5 stars from me (I'm sure he was anxiously awaiting my approval). I could do without the 80 pages on tobacco production, but Tolkien wasn't writing a story; he was writing a history of a place that had never existed. I resisted reading them for years as I thought they were a level of dork I was not ready for. Then I saw the first movie and had to know what happened. I'm so happy I did (if I had only seen the movie's incredibly poor tactical decisions I would have thought Tolkien a moron). An incredible work.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bryn

    I agree with Michael Moorcock: racist petit-bourgeois bullshit.

  18. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Dec 2013: Rereading with my 2 oldest kids after seeing "Desolation of Smaug" (they wanted to read it, the 2nd hasn't read beyond "Hobbit" yet, and I wanted to check my memory since I didn't remember things the same way the directors of the movie seemed to ;) Also gave a challenge to them, as in, "I'll read these with you if you'll read through DICKENS with me, ha ha ha ha"...diabolical but they both accepted...we'll see how it goes. How about it you two??) Enjoyed "The Hobbit" tremendously again. Dec 2013: Rereading with my 2 oldest kids after seeing "Desolation of Smaug" (they wanted to read it, the 2nd hasn't read beyond "Hobbit" yet, and I wanted to check my memory since I didn't remember things the same way the directors of the movie seemed to ;) Also gave a challenge to them, as in, "I'll read these with you if you'll read through DICKENS with me, ha ha ha ha"...diabolical but they both accepted...we'll see how it goes. How about it you two??) Enjoyed "The Hobbit" tremendously again. It's amazing, stories, that is. Again and again and again some of them can go round and still delight and enchant. I appreciated the little beauties in the writing this time, things like "like a patch of midnight that had never been cleared up." And little thoughts like: "Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait." And "Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures, and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit?" On to "Fellowship." I love these words from Tolkien's introduction: "Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible, and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer." Guffaw. Well said. --- (The following review was from my last reading, Jan 2009) Tolkien did not like religious allegory, (reportedly including his good friend C.S. Lewis's Narnia series) and says in the introduction to "The Fellowship of the Ring:" "I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other to the purposed domination of the author." Two of my bookgroup friends chose to co-host these books, with an effort to find the "applicability." How fun! I have read and absolutely relished these books a number of times, but haven't really put any effort behind understanding rather than just enjoyment. Because I'm a nerd, I found about 20 articles on religious themes, symbolism, applicability etc. by various people on the internet and read those with the books. To say there is more to these books than I previously imagined is a bit of an understatement. Studying up a bit on other people's theories on Tolkien's writings was fun, but even more was what could be discerned about Tolkien himself from his letters and writings to friends about his books. I love getting to know an author that way and being able to see little bits of their personality come out in their works (like the fact that Tolkien loved smoking a pipe--does all the pipe smoking in the book make more sense now?) Tolkien was a man very faithful to his religion and his God. I loved picking out the manifestations in that. Although LoftR is a "pagan" story (no religion) it is filled with Christian themes of mercy, free will, divine mission, and hope, individual worth, and salvation. Our brands of Christianity differ a bit, Tolkien's and mine, and I also found it a good study to see the sameness and differences. Tolkien wrote to a friend once that he saw history as one long disaster and it seemed to me that his faith was more dominated by the idea--you know, "life is pain, highness,--anyone who says differently is selling something." Perhaps that comes from the belief in original sin? At any rate, I come from a background in which I have come to believe that "man is that he might have joy." Pain and suffering are inevitable, but can successfully exist side by side with hope, joy, and even earthly happiness. We aren't called upon to endure anything we can't handle--with God's help. Frodo's end is a bit sad in that light, I believe we can fulfill our missions and yet still enjoy the fruits. Anyway, some poet wrote that we are more the same than different, but let's still enjoy our differences. Pure truth. I'll sign off with a couple of quotations from the articles I read about how Tolkien came to write these books in case anyone has been ever too turned off from either the movies or the genre to want to read the books. --- "Professor J. R. R. Tolkien was grading papers on a summer day in 1928 when he came upon a blank page in an exam book. Something inspired him to scribble a few words: 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.' The whole thing might have ended there, but it was only a beginning. 'Names always generate a story in my mind,' he explained later. 'Eventually I thought I'd better find out what hobbits were like.'" From "The Truth Beyond Memory, What lies behind the Fellowship" By John J. Miller -- "When The Lord of the Rings first appeared in the 1950s, one of Tolkien's greatest disappointments was that Christian periodicals ignored it. He feared they missed the point that the 500,000-word story was to its very core Catholic. To a Jesuit friend he wrote: 'The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously at first, but consciously in the revision.' When Tolkien began writing it in 1937, he merely wanted it to be a sequel to his clever children's story, The Hobbit. God shocked him, as he later believed, when a dark figure, one of the nine Ringwraiths, suddenly appeared in the story. Tolkien was as surprised at the arrival of a servant of the devil as were his fictional, frightened Hobbits. While meditating on this unexpected arrival, Tolkien seems to have focused upon the Lord's Prayer. 'I think rather of the mysterious last petitions of the Lord's Prayer: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,' Tolkien wrote in 1956. 'A petition against something that cannot happen is unmeaning. There exists the possibility of being placed in position beyond one's power. In which case (as I believe) salvation from ruin will depend on something apparently unconnected: the general sanctity (and humility and mercy) of the sacrificial person.' Tolkien firmly believed that his characters had existed long before he had, that God had given him the story. He believed he merely recorded it. Ultimately, Tolkien claimed, God was the true author of the Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings." From "NOT A HIPPIE CULT FIGURE: The Christian Gifts of J.R.R. Tolkien" by Bradley J. Birzer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Undeadgirl

    read #1 this edition

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jasmin

    Despite not liking the hobbit, I can’t deny that LOTR world will stay with me forever.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    This series was fantastic. The artwork by Alan Lee was beautiful too. That Tolkien imagined this wonderful world so long ago is amazing! He was ahead of his time in creativity & imagination. Seems to me he paved the way for other writers to embrace & run with their imaginations & creativity & even bogus ideas. My beloved Harry Potter series for example is a definite distant relative to Lord of the Rings. They always compare Harry Potter to the Twilight saga but they aren't similar in the least. This series was fantastic. The artwork by Alan Lee was beautiful too. That Tolkien imagined this wonderful world so long ago is amazing! He was ahead of his time in creativity & imagination. Seems to me he paved the way for other writers to embrace & run with their imaginations & creativity & even bogus ideas. My beloved Harry Potter series for example is a definite distant relative to Lord of the Rings. They always compare Harry Potter to the Twilight saga but they aren't similar in the least. It is however evident to me that J.K. Rowling has definitely read, & most definitely enjoyed, LOTR. & since Harry Potter is my favorite series ever I also enjoyed LOTR. I recommend this series to anyone wanting to defy reality for a while & enter a magical world full of brave souls full of heart & wonderful senses of humor that will bring a smile to your face every few pages. I shall now give the movies a chance & see how well they fared in comparison to these wonderful books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    This is not the first edition of this book that I had read. I had LOTR & The Hobbit long-back, in different editions, at different stages of mind. Before the movies had been released, LOTR/H used to be our own secret garden where we could have escaped any time we liked, but now oue own images have been replaced or landscaped by Peter Jackson. Nevertheless, if you think that G.R.R. martin is the last word in terms of writing fantastically entertaining fantasy, then read this book, and change your This is not the first edition of this book that I had read. I had LOTR & The Hobbit long-back, in different editions, at different stages of mind. Before the movies had been released, LOTR/H used to be our own secret garden where we could have escaped any time we liked, but now oue own images have been replaced or landscaped by Peter Jackson. Nevertheless, if you think that G.R.R. martin is the last word in terms of writing fantastically entertaining fantasy, then read this book, and change your opinion, for ever. Highly recommended (esp. this version, since it brings together everything in a rather convenient and yet pleasant manner).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Inara

    What can I say? I just love Orlando B… arrgh I mean Legolas! And Glorfindel! And Haldir! And Elladan and Elrohir! And all the elves.. sigh! Oh, wasn´t there Aragorn, Gandalf and some hobbits too? And weren´t they pursued by evil orcs while wandering through the forest? I think a ring was also playing a main part… I fell instantly in love with these books when I read them for the first time ( I think I was about fifteen that time) and I´m still fond of them. Yes, some people and books are destined What can I say? I just love Orlando B… arrgh I mean Legolas! And Glorfindel! And Haldir! And Elladan and Elrohir! And all the elves.. sigh! Oh, wasn´t there Aragorn, Gandalf and some hobbits too? And weren´t they pursued by evil orcs while wandering through the forest? I think a ring was also playing a main part… I fell instantly in love with these books when I read them for the first time ( I think I was about fifteen that time) and I´m still fond of them. Yes, some people and books are destined to be together for a lifetime… nods head

  24. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Ware

    In many ways this has the same failings as the bible: Long-winded, confusing, too much violence, comes off preachy, an inaccurate historical piece, excessively moralistic and boring. But, like the bible, able to spawn some great movies. Too much walking.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Graham

    See my review of Narnia, yo.

  26. 4 out of 5

    RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)

    Reread them over and over

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Faith Carlson

    Nothing is better than sitting down and reading a good book. We all know this. But, when it's leather bound and the pages are the yellowish color. Its like jumping into middle earth it self! Nothing is better than sitting down and reading a good book. We all know this. But, when it's leather bound and the pages are the yellowish color. Its like jumping into middle earth it self!

  28. 5 out of 5

    M.H.S. Pourri

    Again, amazing book. I actually had to read it through several times

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacob A. Mirallegro

    I recognize that this series has been talked to death and I am very late to the party, however I will share my thoughts anyway and probably go on a rant, creating yet another giant ass review that probably nobody will take the time to read. The Hobbit: my parents read this to me and I had read it myself when I was very little so I have nostalgia for it. Surprisingly it both didn't live up to my memories and didn't disappoint. It was pretty much just how I remembered it but a lot slower. I consist I recognize that this series has been talked to death and I am very late to the party, however I will share my thoughts anyway and probably go on a rant, creating yet another giant ass review that probably nobody will take the time to read. The Hobbit: my parents read this to me and I had read it myself when I was very little so I have nostalgia for it. Surprisingly it both didn't live up to my memories and didn't disappoint. It was pretty much just how I remembered it but a lot slower. I consistently felt like nothing was happening even when a lot was happening. This isn't necessarily bad but it added up to what simply wasn't a super exciting book. I feel like it's very much for kids to have fun thinking about just in the episodic nature, the fun world, and entertaining hijinks the characters encounter. Lord of the Rings: I was originally planning on writing out my thoughts on this treating it like one big book but to my surprise the 6 Books it's split up into felt very distinct. Yes they're all pieces of this one big story but they stood apart and were individual and interesting. Book 1 started a bit slow but that made sense for it's place in the story. It developed characters well and the stakes felt high as they headed out on the adventure. (Tom Bombadil was weird and random and felt like an excuse for Tolkien to write more songs.) Book 1 ended very strongly as I loved every interaction the hobbits had with Strider, great dynamic. Book 2 was a bit of a drop and I thought it was very boring but had some nice character moments and also a few moments of extreme hype. Also these first two books have a lot of variations of the word "fat" which I found very amusing. Book 3 and Book 4 (which made up The Two Towers) are set at the same time but split the perspectives between Frodo and Sam in Book 4 and everyone else in Book 3. This was an incredible move and I really loved how this narrative moved the story. It was really amazing how this actually made the timeline not only easier to follow but also more fun and interesting. It emphasized the isolated feel of Frodo and Sam's journey and made their sections feel so solemn and dramatic, especially whenever Gollum showed up. I was most excited to meet back up with Frodo but I was pleased with how entertaining Book 3 was. Each character felt so developed at this point and breaking them into smaller groups helped to give them more individuality and personality. (Gimli and Legolas are cute together) Book 5 and 6 also did the split perspectives thing but I didn't think it worked as well. Especially since only a couple chapters of Book 6 are strictly on Frodo and Sam before we meet back up with everybody for the long resolutions and endings. Over all though Book 5 was good but it definitely felt like it dragged which wasn't super bad considering its one epic battle that dragged and put a toll on the characters. The best parts of this book was everything with Merry and Pippin. Them actively wanting to fight and help was so cool and made their characters feel so much more inspiring and bad ass. Book 6 was very intense and went a lot faster than Book 5. It was so dramatic for those first couple chapters but then the ring is destroyed (spoiler) and we have like 5 chapters of just resolving everything that's been going on. Don't get me wrong it is the natural story progression but it did amuse me just how long this section had to be because they had so many things to conclude. The last two chapters when they get back to the Shire (spoiler) were really cool because they represented that the hobbits can defend themselves now, they've been affected by these events in a good way. I also got the implication that they weren't quite as isolated in their little hobbit land as they had been. (The reveal that Fatty Bolger was starved in a prison and lost his weight was very tragic and my head canon is that after he got rescued he ate a ton of food and got even fatter than he had been.) Didn't read much of the Appendix but I appreciate Appendix B for giving us that strict timeline of events. Finishing this series was like coming home from a long, tiring car ride and I feel like that's just the vibe Tolkien would've wanted.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Orwell

    This book created a generation, beautiful and fun it was the leader of fantasy until Game of Thrones. Worth the read for anyone who enjoys well crafted and fun novels

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.