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The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: Deluxe Pocket Boxed Set Paperback – October 21, 2014
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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Hobbits and wizards and Sauron--oh, my! Mild-mannered Oxford scholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had little inkling when he published The Hobbit; Or, There and Back Again in 1937 that, once hobbits were unleashed upon the world, there would be no turning back. Hobbits are, of course, small, furry creatures who love nothing better than a leisurely life quite free from adventure. But in that first novel and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo and their elvish friends get swept up into a mighty conflict with the dragon Smaug, the dark lord Sauron (who owes much to proud Satan in Paradise Lost), the monstrous Gollum, the Cracks of Doom, and the awful power of the magical Ring. The four books' characters--good and evil--are recognizably human, and the realism is deepened by the magnificent detail of the vast parallel world Tolkien devised, inspired partly by his influential Anglo-Saxon scholarship and his Christian beliefs. (He disapproved of the relative sparseness of detail in the comparable allegorical fantasy his friend C.S. Lewis dreamed up in The Chronicles of Narnia, though he knew Lewis had spun a page-turning yarn.) It has been estimated that one-tenth of all paperbacks sold can trace their ancestry to J.R.R. Tolkien. But even if we had never gotten Robert Jordan's The Path of Daggers and the whole fantasy genre Tolkien inadvertently created by bringing the hobbits so richly to life, Tolkien's epic about the Ring would have left our world enhanced by enchantment. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
'An extraordinary book... the story itself is superb.' The Observer 'Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.' Evening Standard 'Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the 20th century.' Sunday Telegraph 'A story magnificently told.' New Statesman 'An extraordinarily imaginative work, part saga, part allegory, and wholly exciting.' The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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For those who care about such things, the printing is based on the 2004 corrected text, with even further corrections. There are updated introductions/forwards by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, authors of the authoritative "LOTR Readers Companion," as well as by Douglas A. Anderson, who provides a detailed publication history of the Lord of the Rings. The full appendices are included.
Two-page red and black maps of Middle Earth and of Gondor/Rohan/Mordor adorn the front and back covers, with a map of the Shire before the first chapter. Also present are other essentials such as the Doors of Moria and the Tomb of Balin. The only drawback is that the facsimile pages of the Book of Mazarbul was not included, which I found to be surprising and a bit disappointing Also, the ring inscription and the Gandalf "rune" are printed in black rather than silver and red. Probably the main issue is the clear plastic slipcover, which is barely bigger than the book itself, and it is difficult to slip the book back inside it after taking it out. You are more likely to scuff the corners of the book. That being said, these are far from dealbreakers, and the joy to be received from owning this edition far outweighs these issues.
This was the penultimate for those of us old guys and gals who grew up playing dungeons and dragons back when parents were freaking out, thinking it would screw us up for life and drive us crazy. This was really ultimate fantasy novel, and many people have probably seen the movies by now, which I am pleased have treated the series with the respect that us nostalgic old guys and gals have for this series.
If you haven't read this novel because you're younger and only saw the movie, I believe it's worth a read. There are a lot of things in the novel that didn't make it to the movies, and the movie changed some things. I don't get upset about that, and consider film to be a different literary form, and so changes must be made of necessity to novels adapted to movies. Some hard core Tolkien fans were probably upset about it, but most of us love the films.
Still, read the books if you love fantasy, and the audio books are great as well. There is a different tone and feel in the novel than in the films. I think the novel is much scarier, much more mysterious. The film seems to focus more on events from the point of view of Gandalf and the power-players in the drama, while the novel stays focused on the hobbits. This make the world much more mysterious, strange and dangerous, and brings up the readers anxiety and also brings more emotional connection to events.
Also, there are some weird events and characters worth discovering in the novels that aren't in the films.
You may have fallen in love with Frodo, and his friends from the films, but reading the books, you'll fall in love again and in a way that, I feel, makes you appreciate the gravity and heroism of our little friends, which to me was a huge message that the novel playfully asks us to consider. Is power really always held by the powerful? Is it possible, that sometimes, the little guy has just the right edge? You know what, maybe not, but reading this series, I believe that maybe sometimes, the answer is yes.
I'll keep it brief, this is not a review of the actual story but of this specific edition. I have attached many pictures that I hope help you decide if this is an edition you want to buy.
- The font is big and easy to read.
- 65 beautiful illustrations by Alan Lee that bring the story to life.
- Slipcover is an opaque plastic, whit a modern look that I think doesn't complement the book.
- One or two blank pages before and/or after each illustration.
Overall I think this is a great edition and it's worth buying.