1,002 of 1,106 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2004
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.)
834 of 921 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2000
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.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2014
Since at this point these books no longer need an introduction, I might as well go straight into the review of this edition, the Deluxe Pocked Boxed Set. It features leatherette covers, which are soft and very well made. The colors are less saturated than they are in Amazon's picture, but that is for the better. They are definitely nice and easy to hold, and the "stand" it comes with is sturdy and beautiful. I decided to put them in my desk, and they could not have gotten a better place. The only complaint that might arise is that the font is small, but that is to be expected from a "pocket" edition, and it is readable anyway. Overall, the quality of this edition is magnificent. If you are a fan, this relatively inexpensive set should definitely be added to your collection. If you haven't read the books, stop reading this and go buy them. Seriously. Now.
1,294 of 1,440 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2000
Everyone knows the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are wonderful stories, and I fully agree. The reason for my bad rating of this PARTICULAR edition of JRR Tolkien's works is that the books are riddled with typographical errors, some so severe that they change the meaning of sentences, effectively reversing the author's intent. One example: "The Breelanders locked their doors at night, which was also not unusual in the Shire." The word "unusual" should have been "usual"--i.e., the Shire Hobbits don't usually lock their doors at night. But exactly the opposite idea is conveyed by this typographical error! And there are many more errors where that one came from. I counted THREE errors on ONE PAGE! AVOID THIS EDITION at all costs!
1,010 of 1,124 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2000
As someone else mentioned, we all know the Lord of the Rings to be by the far one of the greatest works of writing of the 20th century. It is all a game we play with Tolkien, for he too took it much more seriously then any other Fantasy of Science Fiction writer ever has. He made up languages that existed in relationship to languages and dialects that we have in english, and thus created a nightmare for Translators. He told stories of all sorts of perils of creation, and made sure everything was done right. Thus, when an edition like this comes out, it is truly painful. For one, originally, Tolkien created some of the most beautiful maps of Middle Earth, spending time making sure that all of the proportions were accurate. He didn't just jumble down some lines for the coast line, for example. He spent many hours making sure everything was proportinate and made sense. However, sometime after 1988, Ballantine started to release editions of the triliogy with completely new maps, all signed by some Shelly Shapiro. In either case, these new maps were plauged with problems, from being too cartoony and unproportinate to having names of locations from the original maps done away with. The maps, from the very beginning, have been essential to the LoTR books, and having cheap maps made is annoying beyond belief. It shows a sign of disrespect from the editors. To me, it says, "People won't notice anyway. Lets make a smaller sized book with less detailed maps and save some money." If you truly want to expierience this epic (or history, more accurately) as Tolkien envisioned it (not some editor at Ballantine), spend some extra cash and either get a different edition or buy a good map (there is currently an excellent one made by Christopher Tolkien, which is much larger and detailed). Of course, were the map adequate, this edition still suffers from annoying miscopies and misprints and so on. Don't sell out for cheap editions. You've been warned.
126 of 136 people found the following review helpful
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.
665 of 740 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2000
This is not a critique of Tolkien's work; rather it is a condemnation of Houghton Mifflin's hardcover boxed set. Thirty years after first reading "The Lord of the Rings" I decided to read it again. Besides the engrossing and detailed story, I had a renewed interest in the technical aspects of Tolkien's craft and his use of the English language. I am not disappointed and I am enjoying the reading immensely.
I bought the Hardcover Boxed edition published October, 1988, by Houghton Mifflin Co (Trd); ISBN: 0395489326 ; because I wanted a high quality, permanent copy with good typesetting and larger print. When I received this particular edition I was shocked at the extremely poor quality of print and generally poor quality of every aspect of the presentation. In two of the volumes the maps are incorrectly bound so that they are impossible to unfold. It is not even possible to cut the map out of the book because important parts of the middle of it have been sewn up in the binding.
But the damning point of this edition is the printed page. Every single page has both drop outs and extra ink everywhere. The printing weight varies from page to page, at times fading to a medium gray, at other times a dense bold face. I am not exaggerating when I proclaim that most paperbacks are printed more carefully and more clearly than this.
Buy the books, read them and enjoy them. But benefit from my misfortune and stay far far away from this edition.
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
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.
84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2004
In view of the newly found popularity of Tolkien's classic, I decided to update my old Unwin Paperback edition of LOTR. I compared several editions out there (Boxed Rei, Houghton Mifflin and the sober Harper-Collins with the black cover and the single ring in the centre), and decided to buy this one. It is, hands down, the best.
The folding maps need some care, if you're like me and try to keep your books as if they were brand new. Overall, it's very well put together and makes a great addition to my library.
I'm sorry if this review seems superficial, but I feel all that should be written about the books themselves has already been written--and perhaps more. Suffice to say that this is the edition for the true fan of the books, although the whole thing makes a rather big (and elegant) tome to carry around the house.
If you want your children to read it, perhaps a less intimidating edition would be in order, though (my old Unwin set is ideal for that, and it's making its way to the younger in the family).
101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2002
...This item is the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as narrated by Rob Inglis. There are no sound effects. And this is not the BBC recording that was made using a whole cast of people for the different characters. Rob Inglis is able to give each charater their own sound though, and his Gollum voice even gave me the spooks sometimes!
This is a high quality recording and a great way to read the book (I have a hard time keeping the characters all straight in the text version of the book, but it's easy when each character had his own "sound"). If you aren't sure about buying it, check out the copy from your local library - this is the exact same recording that they have from the Recorded Book Company, LLC (in the red and white covers)...