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As a long time Lord of the Rings fan,.... I have had the paper back set for years... I saw this set and immediately ordered it... To start with, the presentation of the set is excellent... The three books are delivered in a cardboard case that is covered in Allan Lee`s art work... The books themselves are 8x10.5 inches in size and are hefty in weight.. There is nothing like sitting and reading a book that has some weight to it... maybe just me, but reading a hardback over a paperback is the difference between night and day even if the words are identical. The type face is excellent and the artwork through out is images from Allen Lee.If you are reading this review, you are most likely already a Tolkien fan, so to review the book itself can be set aside as this set of books has probably been the most reviewed books in history. (save for he Bible of course). This set has a quality that is far above some of the other sets out there. I personally give this set 10 out of 10 and it has a special spot on my bookself.. Enjoy!!!
I am not one who usually buys books-on-tape (or CD as in this case) but I have long wanted to obtain the Lord of the Rings so as to hear this incredible story over and over. After having read it several times, my book is in tatters and so I searched for an unabridged audio recording. Many of those that I have seen claim to be "unabridged" but the fact is that they are not complete! They give parts of the books in full but leave out many sections or chapters. This set by Rob Inglis is COMPLETE!!! It is very well read with no drastic voicing of characters. Characters are easily distinguished and thoroughly enjoyable. This set is not full of sound effects and music, so if you are looking for that this is not for you. However, I personally prefer the fact that this is not an over-production and is rather quite focussed on what I wanted in the first place, the characters and the story. Inglis does a marvelous job and I am very happy with this set. Again, not to harp on it but, this is a "complete" package well worth the money!!!
Only an balrog could object to an revised 50th anniversary edition, with corrections beyond those in the the standard revised version. BUT...
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.
While the price of this book is steep, this is easily the best version of this book in print. The gilded pages and high-quality leather look, smell and feel wonderful. This is not the questionable quality leather used on previous versions, this is the real deal. More importantly, this version has, as J.R.R. recorded in letters, reproductions of the Book of Marzubul. These are the pages from the Dwarven book found in the Mines of Moria by Gandalf and the Fellowship. In the begining and ending of the book are also included maps that fold out to render Middle-earth for the reader, again as the author originally wanted.
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.)
This is not a review of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". Its having been voted "The Greatest Book of the Millenium" here on Amazon.com says more than enough about the worth of Tolkien's work. Rather, it is a review of the several hardcover editions of this fantastic story. 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. Ramble on....