57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Book 1) (Audio CD)Writing yet another review of "The Fellowship" is a bit like adding icing to a thousand layer cake. No matter how well written, it is highly unlikely that I could add anything new to the richly deserved kudos that Tolkien's efforts have received in the decades since they first appeared. I have read and re-read these works countless times since I first encountered them when I was in high school, which was back sometime around the invention of fire.
I'm not going to even attempt to describe the contents of the volumes other than to state that it is the tale of a great journey and an even greater quest to free the world of a great horror. It shows how there is no such thing as the least or the greatest, and that all have terribly important tasks to do. Tolkien's tale combines fantasy within an ethical and moral framework to create a story that has value for every age group.
Over the years, my perception of the books has changed considerably. MY first few readings where in childlike (or hippy-like) wonder, and then, over the years, I have become more conscious of the works as literary efforts and some of the wonder has worn off. But even so one cannot but be amazed by the amount of scholarship and effort that went into making "The Lord of the Rings" an epic which deeply touches almost everyone who comes into contact with it. On the negative side, though, I found in my latest re-reading that the language seemed a bit more overblown and stilted than I remembered. Unfortunately, that one piece of the gloss had worn off a bit.
Recently, looking for some tapes to listen to during a long trip, I came upon this set, narrated by Rob Inglis. It was very nicely priced and just the right length. I decided to discover what it felt like to hear "The Lord of the Rings" instead of read it. It turned out to be a felicitous decision. The occasional over-formality of the written text seems to vanish when it is read. The tale takes on an entirely different flow, and I found myself much amazed by all the adventures and trials that the four hobbits faced. In a way, the spoken Ring is a completely different work.
Rob Inglis does a remarkable job of reading. He manages to produce enough different voices to keep the many speakers separate from each other. I think the reading would have benefited from having additional readers, but Inglis does a fine job nonetheless. Except, unfortunately, when he sings. As much as I enjoyed hearing the many songs of Tolkien for the first time, Rob Inglis is not a singer. He can carry a tune alright, but there is something just a bit unmusical about it. Not enough to detract from the total effect, but enough to cause a wince now and then. Even so, this was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Recommended to all who seek a different experience of a wonderful old tale.
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Initial post: Mar 20, 2013 6:50:02 AM PDT
Texas book lover says:
Re: language seeming stilted and overblown. I was wondering if part of this perception could relate to fact that the English Language currently "in use" is shrinking. And that perhaps what you feel has been influenced by modern books, TV, and general speech.
I have read studies that say there has been a drastic drop in words actually used.
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