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Showing 1-10 of 11,637 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 20,582 reviews
on May 4, 2017
This is the foundation of the fantasy genre for literature. There may very well be other books out there that preceded this in the genre, but this series established it on the map.

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.
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on December 17, 2015
I have never read the lord of the Rings before but I have watched the movies and played the games and I loved them. However I was always confused at what was going on at times but after reading the books everything makes so much sense now. I honestly liked the books more than the movies and although they are similar the books have way more content and details in them. So if you loved the movies I would 100% suggest getting the books.

Speaking of the books I got the paperback version and they are beautiful. Although they are simple and the covers are one plain color per book it still has that sense of style and simplicity. They covers and case are thick and well made. Although their were points in the books where the words were slightly faded I still has no problem reading them.

I'm not even going to talk about the story since just trust me when I say its one of the best series ever. I have never read or even considered reading a series twice but I honestly think that I might read this one a second time that's how much I liked it.

So if you liked the movies and aren't sure about reading the books I would say go for it and get them since you wont be disappointed. If you never watched the movies then get both them and the books:)
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on June 18, 2017
The Hobbit is a marvellous fantasy and cautionary tale for readers of all ages. Entertaining yet instructional on how to live life to the full, honourably, meaningfully and enjoyably. Even for one like me who has past the half century mark. I simply don't have enough praises for Tolkien's exciting adventure tale that has all the classic ingredients for a good fantasy story. Strange and wonderful beings of goblins, elves, dwarves, stone giants, magic rings, giant spiders, shape shifting beings, castles filled with gold and yes, an angry fire breathing dragon that talk so intelligently, but also inspiring actions of bravery, loyalty, selflessness in endearing characters like our Bilbo Baggins the hobbit and Gandalf the wizard. I was so impressed with the mighty Smaug, the fire breathing and talking dragon, I can't help thinking about the pathetic lizards in the Games of Thrones that pale in comparison. Director Peter Jackson did a wonderful job in bringing the middle earth tale to life with 3 films using the majestic snowy mountains of NZ as backdrop, wonderful CGIs and plenty of embellishments to the story. It was a joy to read the book in tandem with watching the films. Overall Jackson was faithful to Tolkiens message. Despite a fantasy premise, the central theme to the story was serious and confined not just in the fantasy world, but also in the real mortal world of ours. Yes, old vices like greed and corruption. Like the dwarves, the best of us can be blinded by obsession with wealth and luxury or the inexorable insatiable lust to attain it. Sadly like the ambitious Thorin, the king of dwarfs, some of us would sacrifice honour, integrity and friendship for gold. Yet the irony was even though Thorin finally achieved his lifelong ambition to retake his lonely mountain of gold and treasure, and the throne as king under the mountain, he did not live long enough to taste the fruits of his victory. Bilbo Baggins, however, was the antithesis of the king of dwarves Thorin. Humble, hospitable, unambitious, an unlikely hero, easily contented with the simple pleasures of life like breakfast and tea, Bilbo was not blinded by the ocean of gold in the castle nor was he beset with lust to keep the Archenstone. Friendship, loyalty, and honor came first. In the end, Bilbo did have an obsession with his magic ring. With his heart of gold and the good fortune shining on him and the good wizard Gandalf watching after him, Bilbo would no doubt have lived a great long life. Thanks to Bilbo's obsession, we were in for a treat for more adventures from Tolkien.
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on July 21, 2017
Catlin's is the best all-purpose edition of 'The Hobbit' I have ever found. Obviously, literary geeks might cherish Tolkien's own illustrations. Art or film fans have many illustrators to choose from. If you need a certain font, book size, or type of binding, you certainly have options.

But this edition seems ideal to me in most ways. It's as enticing as possible: beautiful, yet accessible--not encumbered by a slipcase or so delicate you're afraid to entrust it to a child. It's durable; clothbound gives all the benefits of hardcover without the hassle of a dust jacket. It's big enough to do the pictures justice, whether for shared or solo reading. It's small & light enough not to be too cumbersome for most readers who'd choose a picture book at all. The text is a comfortable size. The illustrations are detailed, accurate, insightful, & charming--and the style (based on Tolkien's own art) certainly matches the tone of the story.

To be honest, I would prefer other artists' styles for display on my walls. However, these seem to suit the book perfectly. And there are LOTS of pictures; a reader who relies on illustrations for explanation, clarification, or just visual interest to help them stay engaged will never have to wait more than a couple of pages for the next delight. I really couldn't recommend this book highly enough for kids or adults, especially first-time visitors to Middle Earth who might need or at least enjoy a little help visualizing a whole new world.

I am so utterly delighted that it was hard to discipline my mind to think of 'cons' to warn you about. Many people love coated paper; others hate it. I happen to think this is a fabulous application for coated paper. My eyes feast on the bright, crisp look of the printing. My fingers love the cool, smooth feel of the pages (especially in conjunction with the warm, soft cover). And I think the pages will be far more durable than uncoated paper. But glare can be an issue in some light, and I wonder a bit about the chemicals used in such coatings, though I've never researched them.

Also, the illustrations do reveal the answers to riddles on the same pages as the text of the riddles themselves. Some people may like the 'hints', but I wish they were optional--at least withheld till the following page, even if readers were told they could peek ahead for a pictorial clue.

Still, this is the copy I think absolutely best for the most types of readers, young and old. It's what I want to stay in my family for generations. Thank you, Jemima Catlin!
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on September 22, 2014
Having only an old 1994 worn paperback edition of the Lord of the Rings, I wanted to purchase a version that I could read and display for many years to come. I did a ton of research and decided upon this version (ISBN 116-1749849-2513827), illustrated by Alan Lee and published by Harper Collins in June 2014 (I am adding these details because the site does not make it clear what this version is). Please note that this particular printing is NOT available in the US but any Tolkien or LotR devotee should not be deterred (Frodo wouldn't have been!). I must say that this is the finest published one-volume version of the LotR that I have ever laid eyes upon, and is well worth every penny. It includes approximately 50 high-quality color illustrations by Alan Lee, which even for a 30-something like me makes the reading experience exceptional. The front and back covers are made of durable, high-quality cloth (as shown), with a strong and handsome turquoise binding. The pages -- not just the illustrations but the entire book -- are glossy and made of "whiter" paper than you generally find, the margins large, and the typeset easy on the eyes.

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.
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on March 1, 2017
Possibly the best book ever written by mankind. It is truly epic in scope and detail. If you don't know this story by now, or at least some details of it, then pick up a copy of it, set aside a lot of time, and start digging in. Just know that it isn't written in the streamlined style of most modern stories. It takes its time to describe the people and places and events, giving you plenty of context and details. Also, keep in mind that "The Lord of the Rings", while a huge epic in itself, is merely the very end of the story, which Tolkien laid down in "The Silmarillion".

I've read the LOTR trilogy several times over the years, and each time I pick up something I didn't see before, and each time it's as moving and epic as it was before. It's hard to describe what's good about these books in so few words, but these resonated with me according to my own view of the world, and my understanding of history and humanity. We see genuine virtue, and vice, and mixtures of both, in many of the characters. High nobility in both aristocrats and commoners; and low viciousness in both, as well. We also see actions and the results of those actions, for good or evil, painted in vivid, detailed word pictures.

The key, I think, to this story compared to all the other fairy-tale/fantasy stories it inspired is that it takes real human virtues and vices, and plants them in a "real" world which has its own history, which goes back (like ours) to its creation by God. And the names used aren't just made-up "fantasy-sounding" names, but they all have a meaning in the languages the Tolkien created.

Also, if you like LOTR, then I recommend also readingThe Silmarillion, Hobbit, and Unfinished Tales. Each of those expand the scope and world that we experience in LOTR, and actually lay the foundation for LOTR. And they each highlight stories and characters that are mentioned in LOTR.
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on November 2, 2016
The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring takes place in 3001, in a land known as “Middle Earth”. The story contains elements of fantasy, epics, and most importantly, adventure. It tells a story about a hobbit, who, at most times, is unwilling to venture forth into whatever lies ahead. Hobbits are almost always this way but as Frodo questions his potency to be a hero, a wise friend of his explains, “courage is found in unlikely places”(Tolkien 111), which certainly proves true in Frodo Baggins. Frodo is thrust into a quest of destroying the most powerful ring in existence, created by the evil Sauron, the antagonist of the story. He must gather a group of trusted allies and venture to Mount Doom, the only place where the ring can be destroyed.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot, especially because of all the characters. There’s a complex and unique background to all of the characters and their races, and J.R.R. Tolkien even created several languages and numerous family trees. Even though almost everything about this book is absolutely awesome, I have one small problem with it. The beginning of the book is too slow, which I can tell would make re-reading the book long and arduous..Other than that, I appreciate the amount of work Tolkien put into this series, creating much more than a book. I would recommend this book to everyone seeking just a plain old good book, an epic, fantasy, or adventure with great characters and deep plot.
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on September 16, 2016
I purchased the Imitation leather collection and the quality seems nice, but the thing that surprised me the most is the size. The books are VERY small, it didn't look this small in the pictures. But I guess its my fault for not checking the measurements in the description. Also because these books are small it compacts the writing so the pages are very thin and fragile and the font is almost too small as well. I might return it because its too small and almost uncomfortable to read. Its quite a shame, I thought that it was going to be twice the size, but as you can see in the picture the books fit in my hand.
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on May 12, 2011
I'll leave the review of Lord of the Rings to others and instead focus on the Kindle format. Ultimately it's very good. Anyone who is familiar with the books knows there are endnotes and the Kindle handles those well by making them linkable. The spacing and other formatting are top-notch and I haven't noticed any typos so overall an excellent purchase. My only minor complaint is that one could view the page numbers since some of the endnotes refer to them, even though the Kindle format doesn't have them (it's not a huge deal though since the location in the text and the note link to each other).
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on November 6, 2016
great edition. best of all of them. Would buy again in an heartbeat.

However I may be a bit biased. 30 or so years ago I was a printer in Boston and printed the first printing of the jacket covers for this Houghton Mifflin edition.

One of the more fun4 color print projects that came my way since I was already a huge fan of the books. Printed on a 2 Color Heidelberg...
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