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The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (the Hobbit / the Fellowship of the Ring / the Two Towers / the Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2012
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
My only issue is that with the Kindle version, the footnotes seemed to be messed up. Many of them only bring up a page number (with no link), which may be how it was in the original books, but others seem to apply to footnotes further down the page, or just not at all to the thing they're noted from. Frustrating.
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.
Given the choice, I would have ordered two sets just to give one to a friend.