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The Lord of the Rings (novel)

J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, epic fantasy sequel to "The Hobbit", originally published in three volumes in 1954-1955.

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Lord of the Rings

  • Jun 17, 2010
I must confess that I didn't read the Lord of the Rings trilogy until after the first movie was released. Now it's one of several books that I re-read often, and I wish I'd read it long ago. The story is a classic one--the constant war between good and evil. The telling is where Lord of the Rings differs from similar plots. The setting is comprised of vast, largely unexplored lands divided into small regions occupied primarily by their own particular type of inhabitant. Tolkien has woven fantasy into the mix, populating Middle Earth with wizards, elves, hobbits, orcs, goblins, and trolls in addition to humans. The story follows the adventures of Frodo Baggins and his friends as they attempt to destroy the one ring which is capable of overpowering all lifeforms and subjecting them to bondage under Sauron.

The imagery is amazing and far too much to cover in a short review, but the story is often interpreted as mimicking Christianity where the ring represents our sinful nature and we are fighting against the devil and his minions who desire our destruction. Even without understanding the religious symbolism, the story is powerful. Frodo and his companions meet numerous other creatures, some good and some evil, along the way; they journey to distant lands; they see strange sites; and they fight to stay true to one another amid temptation to steal the ring.

Tolkien is a truly remarkable storyteller, providing glimpses into several side stories at once and developing characters through tribulation. His writing style can be somewhat difficult to read. He is extremely detail-oriented and it's easy to get lost in lengthy descriptions of the setting or bored with two dozen stanzas of songs the characters sing. However, the story is well worth the effort, as characters hover between despair and hope until their adventures have ended. I found myself identifying with traits in each of the characters and would be hard-pressed to decide which one I would prefer to be.

I highly recommend these books to all readers and encourage them not to be discouraged if the writing is difficult to understand at times. Take what you can from the story.

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November 19, 2010
What?! You hadn't discovered these classics until the movies came out? Shame on you! But I'm glad you found them. I read 'em when I was a wee lad (the first time), and I re-read them upon news of the films being made. I think THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is a bit slow, especially the stuff that ends up getting overlooked for the films, but once you hit THE TWO TOWERS it really grows into one amazing tale. Nice review. Happy reading.
July 20, 2010
I like how you compare the story with Christian story, I already thought like that. You give good advising for the difficult reading but also encourage us to do it. I have the book and I will read it.
June 19, 2010
Nice review! I was also one of those people who read the books after watching the first movie. I like how you bring up plausible Christian symbolism. Tolkien can be difficult to get through at times, but reading his work is so rewarding!
More The Lord of the Rings (novel) reviews
Quick Tip by . November 05, 2010
They read the Hobbit to me at school; I think I didn't like being read to so I refused to read Lord of the Rings till I was at college and a friend recommended it. Good friend. I was hooked.
review by . June 26, 2010
Lord of the Rings- The Standard for All Fantasy Writing
There are many great fantasy writers. You have to like older guys like Sir Walter Scott and Michael Moorcock (which caracterizes how diverse the books really are). then there are the modern guys like Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind.      The best of these guys write in a fantasy world, but tell stunning real-life human tales. Moorcock's Elric struggled with inner demons and presented the question of how much of your own humanity is already written in and how much we …
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
Okay. Don't get mad that this is popular. Take a read. Develops a love of words and worldbuilding, and a truly deep sense of mythology, one infused with moral and elemental significance.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Doesn't get much better than this.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
This book was way ahead of its time. It's too bad the genius of it wasn't realized until after he died. With the exception of the first 30 or so pages on pipeweed, the book is very difficult to put down.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
What a wonderful fantasy! This ranks in my top ten fantasy books.
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
the origional epic tale....one of the greatest stories out there
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
I didn't particularly enjoy his writing style but I can understand why it's a classic!
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
another excellent book..... the movie was okay too.. but the book....is much better
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
A tome of pure fantasy!
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Anna ()
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About this book


"One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them"

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

About the Author
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in ...
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Author: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Genre: Classic Literature, Fantasy, Novel, Epic Adventure, Mythopoeia
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, Ballantine Books, Houghton Mifflin
Date Published: 1954 and 1955
Format: Novel
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