- Series: The Lord of the Rings (Book 2)
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books (June 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618574956
- ISBN-13: 978-0618574957
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18,962 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings Paperback – June 1, 2005
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"Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century. The book presents us with the richest profusion of new lands and new creatures, from the beauty of Lothlorien to the horror of Mordor, adventures to hold us spell-bound, and words of beauty and evocation to bring all vividly before us." -- Sunday Telegraph
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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.
If I ever figure out how to add a picture to a review I will take a picture of my first copy of this book, the paperback version of the 50th anniversary edition, and add it to this review. It is split completely in half, the spine is ripped almost entirely off, and there are pages trying desperately to escape the confines of the super industrial-strength rubber band holding everything intact. (FYI: Do not try to use hot glue to reattach sections of a book back to a book's spine. It does not work.) I truly believe if potential readers could see how well-used my book is from all the times I've read it those readers would be frantically hitting the One-Click Purchase button on Amazon.
Of course, if seeing my beautifully wrecked paperback didn't convince them to read it, then maybe the fact that I eventually had to replace it with the same edition, only hardcover, would do it. Or the fact that for those times I just can't lug around the real deal, I also had to download the ebook (though a different edition which my OCD thinks sorta sucks).
In an interview with Christopher Lee, the actor who portrayed Saruman in the Peter Jackson film adaptations, he shared how he re-reads The Lord of the Rings each year. If I could get you to read it even once in your life I would be happy. And so would you!
P.S. For those people who think video games are the root of all evil, I would have to beg them to make an exception for an Xbox game called Shadow of Mordor. Now, I know diddly squat about gaming but my hubby and our son play that game together. Imagine my thrill when my 10 year old came asking all kinds of questions that had us mining the appendices at the end of the book for answers. He's not up for reading the book just yet, but the spark is there. Of course, it didn't hurt that I earned some massive cool points for knowing what was going on in his game world!
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.
But the LOTR set the bar for at least one generation of Fantasy writers as to what fantasy could and should be, a work of tremendous scope and power. It is also interesting, and I think today still a daring choice that the Hero, the person on whom all others actions depends is not The Wizard, or the King, or a Swordsman. It is a Hobbit, and the Hobbits embody all the Virtues of simple English Country folk, without the pretentions and ambitions of their "Betters" It is this person whose, simple purpose and grit; without any particular skill with the sword, bow, or magic that will decide the fate of this world. The first of a Handful of books in my life that when I completed it the first time, I turned it over and read it cover to cover again.