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The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (the Hobbit / the Fellowship of the Ring / the Two Towers / the Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2012
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This is the book that Tolkien dreamed of having published but couldn't due to the realities of post-WWII publishing costs and questions about a 400,000 word publication.
For me, there is an emtoional response to this book for two reasons. One, it is as fine or better than the book the author originally wished to have published and two, it is a beautiful piece of art all on its own, suitable for display. If you love books or love Tolkien or both, this is a must have and the centerpiece of any worthy collection.
(Some are commenting that the book isn't actually leather. Be sure to check your version as there are others available, but the information provided to me stated my copy was leather and if it is fake, it fooled me.)
There are for major hardcover editions of LOTR, all published by Houghton Mifflin Co. They are essentially the same price, so I will not take that into consideration.
The best of the editions (5 stars) is the blue Alan Lee illustrated version printed in Nov 1991. I have owned this book for several years, and read it three times. It is durable, beautiful, and has no flaws that I have found. The illustrations are wonderful, though most Tolkien fans will have seen these pictures before.
The red edition printed in Nov 1974 is also a solid edition of the book (4 stars). It is every bit as good as the blue version, but does not have the illustrations. If you are the type of reader that prefers to leave everything to your imagination, this is the version for you.
Both the blue and red versions have matching editions of "The Hobbit" (Houghton Mifflin, Sep 1997 or Oct 1973, respectively). I found both of these editions to be satisfactory.
The other two major editions of LOTR - the white three-volume edition from Oct 1988 and the black seven-volume edition from Jan 2000 - are not recommended (2 stars). The print quality in both is poor, and the durability is less than that of the red and blue versions. The only advantage of these editions is portability, as the red and blue versions are single-volume and quite hefty.
This is *not* a leather binding: it's a very ordinary hardcover edition with paper-thin faux leather glued over paper boards. The bookmark ribbon breaks the binding. Signatures glued rather than sewn together, not held together by the 'leather,' separated from paper spine. Poor production generally: end papers badly centered, more than a little random glue and rubber cement on the covers that really mars the appearance. Mine is the second printing, I do not see the poor type-setting complained of by other reviewers.
Look at Customer Image #18 to see for your self.
It's an OK one-volume edition, given the revisions and illustrations. *NOT* a 'collectible', barely worth the discounted $56 given the disappointment factor. *Don't* give this as a gift to a Tolkien fan, expecting rapture.
Calling this 'leather bound' is *serious* misrepresentation of the product.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
J.R.R. Tolkien's world building was intricate and detailed. It creates a universe that draws the reader in. The details, though excellent, leads to slow pacing at times.Published 2 hours ago by Amanda
It's paper back but still to the expectations of lord of the ringsPublished 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
I have enjoyed reading this series over the years. I am glad its available in e-book form. Tolkien creates a world with so much detail and history it makes you feel part of his... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Earl Kleckner
Anyone who hasn't read this is really missing out. You probably ought to sue your high school for not having this on the curriculum. Read morePublished 3 days ago by StevenBlairWheeler