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The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, Part 3) Paperback – November 6, 2003

9,076 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Lord of the Rings Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

New Line Cinema will be releasing "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy in three separate installments, and Houghton Mifflin Tolkien's U.S. publisher since the release of The Hobbit in 1938 will be re-releasing each volume of the trilogy separately and in a boxed set (ISBN 0-618-15397-7. $22; pap. ISBN 0-618-15396-9. $12).
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them.' Sunday Times 'A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness.' New Statesman 'Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.' Evening Standard 'Extraordinarily imaginative, and wholly exciting' The Times 'The story itself is superb' Observer 'A most remarkable feat' Guardian 'Masterpiece? Oh yes' Evening Standard 'An astonishing imaginative tour de force' Daily Telegraph

Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (November 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007171994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007171996
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9,076 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,913,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

473 of 508 people found the following review helpful By CJ on September 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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!!!
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1,020 of 1,130 people found the following review helpful By Larry D. Curtis on October 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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.)
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851 of 943 people found the following review helpful By Chad M. Brick on December 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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 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....
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128 of 138 people found the following review helpful By austin_Larry VINE VOICE on October 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First off this review is about this edition only. The three volume box set 2002 illustrated by Alan Lee.

If you are reading this, I am sure your questions are is this worth the money given that I probably have a set or an edition of LOTR already. For me the answer was yes.

I highly recommend this. The quality is top-notch. I was concerned because some of the reviewers seem to say that it is hard to read and or blotchy ink. It has neither of these problems.

It is on very nice, very clean, very white paper with a large font. The books are substantial even bordering on heavy. They have beautiful red cloth covers with the J.R.R.T. symbol in gold. The dust jackets are beautiful with a different Alan Lee print on the cover, back, and spine.

The box is very nice with Bilbo's trolls and an elven ship leaving the Grey Heavens on the front and back.

The prints are all watercolors and they take up a whole page. Love them. I have always been partial to Alan Lee's work. Is it worth the $50 roughly you can find the box set for? Depends. If you do not have a nice hardback version of LOTR I would say for sure get this. The prints are delightful, the printing is great and very readable and it looks awesome on the table between the no admittance bookends. I love it and say it is worth it for sure.

There is a one volume book with the same illustrations by Alan Lee. I think this is vastly superior as the books here are easier to handle, the three dust jackets are each suberb, and the box is very nice. Alan Lee is a great with watercolors and they are produced very well with these books. I think the high contrast of the print makes it easier to read. Think of this as a great work of art. First Tolkien's art. Second Lee's art. Third the art of printing a good crips text. All 3 come together here for a neat package that you will treasure for years or decades.
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