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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Lord of the Rings (BBC Dramatization, Consumer Edition) » User review

65 years on, still the ultimate epic

  • Aug 31, 2011
Rating:
+5
What can I say? After over 65 years, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is still the ultimate fantasy epic. I won't go on and on gushing in praise. I will just note one of the brilliant literary devices that Tolkien uses that sets this book apart from so much other fantasy work. Tolkien weaves a complex narrative with many characters and plot twists, but also manages to set up brilliant parallels between them. For example we see two leaders (Theoden and Denethor) who face strikingly similar challenges, but Tolkien shows them responding differently. The former leads his men against evil, while the latter is cold and despairs. This use of paralleling gives the book so many layers and adds lasting value. Indeed, it's no wonder people can read this book many times over and not get bored. While the Peter Jackson movies are great, it doesn't - and can't - capture all of the nuance in the book. If you haven't read it yet, you're in for a treat.

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About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #79
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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Originally broadcast in 1981 on BBC Radio, this full-cast adaptation of Tolkien's epic trilogy is justifiably regarded as a classic; unfortunately, in 2008, it faces inevitable comparison with Peter Jackson's films. While Jackson had stunning visuals, purists may find this simpler adaptation more to their taste. The radio version remains, in some ways, more faithful to the original trilogy. The extensive cuts to the narrative mean that much of Tolkien's poetic description and a degree of emotional resonance are lost, but narrator Gerard Murphy gives what remains the appropriate gravity. Most of the dialogue is pure Tolkien, and the fine cast does it justice. Ian Holm (who appeared as Bilbo in the films) offers a mature, nuanced portrayal of Frodo that is far truer to the text than Elijah Wood's wide-eyed innocent approach. (On the other hand, Sean Astin's accent and inflections as Sam are so similar to the audiobook's Bill Nighy's, one might suspect that Astin studied this recording before filming.) The 12th CD is devoted to a selection of songs from the books, set to original music.(Sept.)
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Details

ISBN-10: 160283492X
ISBN-13: 978-1602834927
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Genre: Books on CD
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
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