Customer Reviews: The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, Book 3)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 336 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on January 19, 2000
I saw the cover with the marvelous John Howe illustration of Smaug, the dragon, and the gold leaf trim with the Tolkein runes, I exptected a lot. Apparently I expected too much. The illustrations are excellent, vintage Howe, and the "pop-up" effects are better than average (I have kids, I've seen some poor attempts at pop-up.) But for some reason they didn't think to include the story! Each page has a pull out card that includes actual Tolkien text to "set the scene" of each illustration, but there is no context, no sense of story at all. These are simply unrelated images that somehow tie in to a story. My 4-year-old daughter was first excited by the pictures, and anxious to pull the tabs and wiggle the pictures, then confused by the big words, then bored by the whole thing. After reading her the whole book as a bedtime story, she was thouroughly un-impressed. So was I. I have been waiting a long time to have a children's version of the story I could introduce to my children. I guess I'll wait a little longer.
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on February 9, 2011
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.
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VINE VOICEon December 4, 2004
Note -- Tolkien's work is rated 5 stars. The physical book is rated two stars.

When you pay $100 list for a collector's edition book, you expect it to be perfect in all respects. I am on my 3rd copy of this edition and am still dissatisfied.

The first book had paper that was poorly folded. There were many pages that were misfolded. I returned that and got another copy. This one had a whole signature [one group of pages] with a tear at the top edge.

I returned that and got a third copy. This one seems OK, but the pages are not centered in the hard cover. Its rather dissatisfying, but I think I will keep it.

The publisher should take their printer/binder to task. Three strikes in three pitches is unacceptable for what is a very expensive edition to begin with.

BTW all three copies had glue that overflowed onto the inside cover pages. When you try to separate the pages, they tear where the glue had been.

I think that the publisher dishonors Tolkien's marvelous work and insults their readers by publishing an expensive edition with such poor quality control.
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on February 15, 2001
This story is by far one of my favorites. I read it several times a year, so you might be suprised that I am rating it with only 2 stars! The reason it received such a low rating from me is the binding of the book, and the poor quality of the printing would not last through one of my readings. I had to send it back. I have the paperback edition and have for years, and it has held up through a lot. I was looking for something to last even longer - this was not the right choice. I was expecting much more from the Millenium edition, but I guess I should have learned not to place so much on the millenium hype. I DO recommend reading LOTR, it WILL change the way you daydream for years... but find a version that will last with those years, because you wil want to return to this story...
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on December 19, 2001
This comment relates only to the physical appearance and binding of the The Lord of the Rings (Millennium Edition)box set. I was planning to purchase this set for my son and recently observed two box sets at a local book store. Both sets had irregularities in the size of two of the seven volumes in this set. They were noticeably shorter than the companion volumes, that is, as they sat on the shelf, the binding edges were uneven. The clerk broke the plastic seal so we could inspect the books more carefully and confirmed that they were imperfect. We also observed that the bindings appeared to be second rate, the pages were glued, not stitched, to the binding. Essentially paperback bindings in a mis-matched hard cover. We checked the second set the store had in stock and found the exact same problem with the size of the volumes. Certainly not worth the (...) retail price.
Thom Robbin
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on February 10, 2005
(I am not a native speaker, please overlook my style)

I am not going to review the novel, the root and basis of modern fantasy, a novel I simply love, even if I am not entirely blind to some of its flaws.

This edition was quite a disappointment to me: I bought it to have a nice collectible edition of this classic and was sadly disappointed: the box and the over bookcover are lovely, the pictures are exquisite but the binding is very poor in quality; poor as it is, it is still better than the paper used and the printing which are untolerable for an edition as expensive as this.

If you are looking for an edition for your library, chose elsewhere.
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on December 19, 2010
Lord of the Rings is one of the few books which is always present on my bookshelf, and was the first book I decided to purchase on my Kindle several weeks ago. I was pleased with the formatting and the inclusion of several images such as that of the map and the door. The largest disappointment however for the Kindle version were the typographical errata: misspelled or truncated words, employing the wrong case for proper names (poor Eomer) and in at least one case a Greek letter starting an English word.

An additional feature which would have enhanced the Kindle version is the text-to-speech accessibility, which was surprisingly missing. Foreign language versions were also not available. These points are however small compared to the obvious mistakes in the text, which make one question how faithful the other content is for the Kindle version compared with the original books. While I love the original text, I cannot recommend this version.
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on February 3, 2002
Despite the fact that this is shown as being published in 2001, the copyright dates first from 1954. There is a reason that other versions have come out since this one: this one isn't good.
There are different readers for different characters, and some of the voices are really jarring. Frodo, to my ear, is completely wrong. In addition, it is poorly abridged. One of the most remarkable things about Middle Earth is how wonderfully imagined it is; all of the details are described so lovingly. Not in this version. Here, almost everything is dialog, so you are given little idea of what anything looks like. Some of the most cherished quotations (for me, at least) are mangled. In all, very disappointing. I remember hearing the BBC's dramatization years ago on radio and thinking it was wonderful job on very difficult material. I certainly wouldn't say that of this version.
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on February 2, 2011
For the last 10 years, reading the Lord of the Rings each fall and winter has been a much cherished tradition of mine. This winter was different, because I read the LotR on my kindle for the first time (and also as the first book on my kindle).
As I love the book itself (in the paper version of the LotR), I must stress, that this review is only about the kindle
version of this great book, not about the piece of literature itself, as it was written by J.R.R. Tolkien!
First, I have to say that reading on the kindle is a very nice experience. I forget that I am handling a technical device and get immersed in the story, just as I would with the paper version.
Second, it is much more convenient to read the LotR on the kindle, since one doesn't have to hold a heavy (and in my case falling apart) book in hands. I am actually reading the LotR faster on the kindle than on paper, since flipping a page on the kindle does not mean any change in holding, as with a book! With regards to "feel and touch of the paper", I am missing nothing here, as the paper, as well as the kindle, are to me just the carriers of the story. I want to experience neither the paper, nor the kindle, but only the story they contain!
However, it is much easier in the paper version to just look up the appendix or the maps. This is almost impossible with the kindle version. One does not get any feel for the structure of the LotR and its appendices on the kindle, and one can absolutely forget about reading the maps, as they are impossibly small on the small screen.
The reason, however, why I really cannot recommend this kindle edition of the LotR is, that it contains an astonishing amount of errors. I cannot forgive it when Éomer is spelled "émer" or "éomer" and if Háma is one time just "H!". What means "high-'hearted" or "lors"? "ham mering" and "counten ance" are further examples of very poor proof reading and since I have read this book on paper now around 10 times, I must say that these new mistakes in electronic form astound and anger me! If this was software, I would want a free upgrade to the error-free version...

I do not recommend the kindle-version of the Lord of the Rings to a novice! If you are one like me, who knows the book anyway almost by heart, this kindle edition might be a convenient way to re-read the book, but you might need strong nerves!
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on April 24, 2009
I have just read through Tolkien's forward and the Prologue, and have already found a number of typos in the Kindle edition. These have to do with words in Elvish or Black Speech that have accute accents (such as Dunédain or Barad-dûr. I, too, hope that Amazon will correct and update the Kindle edition.
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