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774 of 849 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My absolute favorite book
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...
Published on December 17, 2000 by Chad M. Brick

versus
1,211 of 1,338 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT buy this edition
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...
Published on December 21, 2000 by Mark Warren


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774 of 849 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My absolute favorite book, December 17, 2000
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (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 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....
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970 of 1,066 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest edition of LOTR ever published, October 26, 2004
By 
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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1,211 of 1,338 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT buy this edition, December 21, 2000
By 
Mark Warren (East Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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!
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968 of 1,069 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Maps, spelling errors, don't do justice, 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.
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100 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review on Editions, November 18, 2001
By 
Jeff Sun (Millbrae, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin Co published three editions of the one-volume LOTR, all of which include the complete text and the appendices:
This 1991 centennial edition has largest text. It includes durable binding, smooth white pages, glossy illustrations, an illustrated cover jacket, and an red ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding. However, the book is the largest LOTR book I've ever seen in my life -- It's quite hefty.
There is a red, faux-leather collector's edition published in 1974. It is slightly smaller in dimensions compared to the centennial edition and weighs considerably less. The cover is beautiful and unmatched in elegance. Chapter headings and margin headings are in orange red. The pages are slightly tinted yellow, as smooth as the centennial edition, and seem to emit a pleasant flagrance. However, there is "broken type" on nearly every page because the text is not conventionally set, but rather a photo offset from another edition. (Conventionally set text would read like a Word document printed with a laser printer. Photo offset would be as if one had scanned that laser-printed World document into a JPEG, and reprinted out that JPEG.) The binding of this edition also seems to be of lesser quality than the 1991 centennial edition.
There is also the LOTR Movie Art Cover edition printed in June of 2001. Like the centennial edition's cover illustration, this edition's movie art is also on a cover jacket. I am not too familiar with this edition, but from casual browsing, I've found that the text, though smallest, looks the most "conventionally set," and the pages are of the same quality as the centennial edition. The book is smaller in height and width but thicker than the collector's edition. The binding looks solid enough, but there is no movie art in the book.
My personal favorite is the centennial edition.
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92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rob Inglis is a great reader, May 24, 2002
By A Customer
...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)...
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501 of 553 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lord of the Ring's (Collector's Edition), November 28, 2001
By 
William H. Haugland III (Buena Park, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What can be better than reading the three greatest books--"The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Two Towers," and "The Return of the King"--ever written? Having a leather-bound volume with all three together is better. If you are a fan of the books or you have a loved one that is, this is the best edition to own. It has a big fold-out map in the back for reference, all the references you can think of, and a really neat red leather cover. I have had this edition for 20 years and it's still in excellent condition. Well worth the cost.
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198 of 216 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality control, 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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256 of 281 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful -- if a bit impractical -- Edition of the Book, January 6, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
This is a particularly beautiful edition of The Lord of the Rings (ISBN: 0618260587 ), and is probably best suited for someone who is already a fan of the book, rather than for someone who is reading the book for the first time.
The format of this edition is larger than most books tend to be making it very difficult to read in any position other than sitting upright holding the book on your lap or on a desk. Each of the three volumes features a beautiful glossy dust jacket and is filled with a dozen or so full color illustrations by the famous Alan Lee.
My main problem with this edition, besides the weight and size of the books, is that the pages containing text are glossy paper. The glare caused by this type of glossy paper make it a little irritating on the eyes when reading for long stretches of time. It would have been much nicer had they published this edition with matte paper for the text and saved the glossy solely for the illustrations.
If you are a fan of Alan Lee's artwork, and don't necessarily intend on READING this edition, though, this is a great piece to pick up and will most likely be the type of book you end up treasuring for years to come -- even if it isn't the one you give your kids to read.
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227 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Fantastic!, April 2, 2003
By 
Randy Given (Manchester, CT USA) - See all my reviews
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Super fantastic! I have read the "Lord of the Rings" (LotR) trilogy eight times. I think that Peter Jackson's movies are the best to day. I think that the 13-hour BBC production is the best radio play to date. Although this 55-hour 46-CD set is the only unabridged audio book for LotR, I doubt that it could be surpassed.
Inglis does an excellent job at articulation and dramatization, giving different intonation and mannerisms to different characters. It really is as if you were reading the book.
The recording is very good. The CDs performed well. The packaging is excellent, in a cardboard case, with three cardboard boxes, each with three liners that can hold up to four CDs each.
One thing that I liked about this is that each track is around three minutes long. This is great for when you have to stop and pick up later -- especially if your portable CD player does not remember the track!
Another thing that I liked was the lack of dynamic range. Yes, the lack of it. The loudness is very even across a wine range of topics. This is especially important when listening in the car or with headphones, typically in noisy environment. With some other products, I was constantly turning the volume up and down. Not with this set. However, the performance of the reading did not suffer at all because of this. That is great!
This should be in every library of LotR fans, especially those that travel a lot and want to listen while on the go. Highly recommended!
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The Lord of the Rings (Movie Art Cover)
The Lord of the Rings (Movie Art Cover) by Brian Sibley (Hardcover - Aug. 2002)
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