Again, as in The Hobbit, I am enchanted with the way Tolkien sets his characters and his listener on the road; it’s completely plausible, utterly believable, true to life. We want them to go. We know they have to go if we’re to have a story (and we want the story). But Tolkien sets it all in motion through a series of circumstances and discoveries that make it inevitable that they should go--and that we should have our story.
In spite of the fact that Bilbo, Sam and Frodo live in a world so much different than ours, their motives and emotions are utterly familiar to us. That’s probably why Tolkien succeeds so well: he creates a strange world full of Dark Riders and enchanted woods and haunted barrows, but his characters think and act as we would here in our world of minivans and weekends and laptops. True, we may not be as adventuresome or heroic. But if we were…
Since this is just the first third of the quest, it’s hard to say much more, other than that the story thus far is completely satisfying. The characters we encounter--at least, the members of the Fellowship--become our boon companions. As such, we are loathe to let them go. And the good news is, of course, we don't have to yet.
As with The Hobbit, Rob Inglis’ sonorous voice is the perfect vehicle. But to be honest, you’ll either buy or not buy according to your own lights. If you enjoy this sort of story, if you’re familiar with some of the Saxon/Icelandic/Medieval masterpieces that Tolkien was drawing from, then you will enjoy Fellowship thoroughly. More, if you’re a thoughtful Christian the story will have even more to say to you. Don’t take Tolkien at his word at the end when he says the story was written just to amuse us. (And remember Wilde’s disavowal of any moral purpose at the beginning of Dorian Grey.) Tolkien wrote to edify us, too. As a Poor Clare sister with whom I discussed the book put it, “He’s good. Even better than C. S. Lewis.”
It had been years since I'd read the Trilogy, and after seeing all of the Peter Jackson films, I thought I'd give Audible a try. I listened to all three books in the series over the past month or so, while driving to and from work, and it was so much better for me than listening to the unhappy and troubling world news. In particular, Rob Inglis does an amazing job of differentiating the voices of the many characters - Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Strider/Aragorn, Merry and Pippin - and all of the Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and other assorted beings. Each had a unique accent and vocal quality, which made listening to the story so fun, and easy to follow. The story does get a bit lengthy at times, but Inglis did such a wonderful job narrating, and singing the songs, it was like listening to poetry. I loved it!
The LOTR trilogy is amazing as it is from the pen of Tolkien, but I will say that this particular recording with Rob Inglis serves it very well and even makes it better. I remember reading the books and found parts of them long and almost too detailed at times. I find however that Rob Inglis' narration makes it come to life! Also, the fact that there is a lot of songs in the book is in favor of going through the LOTR in audio form. Some of the songs are fine, but there are some gems that are quite beautiful. It is all a cappella delivered in an elegant form by Rob Inglis. Especially the song of Galadriel and for Boromir. Strongly recommended!
I love the scope of the story, this is the start of a tale within the midst of an even larger mythology. There are so many deep nooks and crannies in this book -- all of the side stories and songs that get told by the characters, and their own backstories -- it feels like a road trip where you see glimpses of loveliness and mystery as you drive, and sometimes you get to stop and take a bit of closer look, but then you have to drive on, hoping that one day you'll get a chance to see more of it. But don't get me wrong, the main story is gorgeous in itself.
It sounds like he had a merry old time reading this book. It's contagious.
It makes me do both. Though it is only the beginning of the trilogy, it is so much about endings and memories, and beautiful things that are to pass away, and some that are gone from the world. But there are truly funny moments too. Even though Tolkien's prose is very poetic and about a fantasy world, it feels true to life.
Heroic quest epic.
This has always been one of my favorite stories, from childhood. It's always delightful to reread it.
I don't know who I would prefer, but Rob Inglis is just not working for me. He did The Hobbit. Now I've got three LOR rings with him, and I just don't like his characterizations or the way he emphasizes his sentences. Plus, he's slow. Yes, you can speed it up a bit, but then it's off.
Okay I am not going to go into a review of the story. If you don't know it, just go ahead and download the book. Its a classic you should have long since read.
Now onto the narration. Excellent. At points in reading this book I felt it dragged but its Tolkien, its Middle Earth, its Elves. I dealt with it because the story over all was good. NONE of that dragging comes in when listening to the Audio book. You stay engaged, or entranced. The Narrator does and excellent job telling the story, giving life to the characters and even pulls off the singing parts as well.
Often the Narrations can ruin a good book. But it can also make a good book soar beyond expectations, and that is what this narrator did for this book.
I'm a big fan of classic fiction series, non-fiction history novels and running.
It's so easy to get completely lost in the story of this book. It's excellently written and has certainty stood the test f time.
The singing! And the multitude of difference characters he was able to portray.
A painter and geologist who enjoys fresh ideas and killer plots of all kinds, especially from science fiction and fantasy.
Whether you have seen the movie, read the books, or have not yet been introduced to the series, you will come away from this recording with a better understanding of the book, the world, and the author himself, for one large reason: narration.
In my own opinion, this is one of the best ways to introduce a new reader to Tolkien. As a matter of fact, this edition on CDs was the way I was introduced, right before the Fellowship of the Ring came out. I have become a voracious Tolkien scholar since.
This format allows many aspects of Tolkien's style and character to come out: mainly, that of his fondness for epic poetry and storytelling in the traditional sense (that is, out loud). The songs and pieces of poetry, narrated by Rob Inglis, now gain meaning that was lost when read to oneself silently.
And as for Rob Inglis himself, he brings such passion and voice to the story, that I often feel as if Tolkien himself is reading to me straight out of the book, as he would often read to his children or students; make no mistake, Tolkien did this, and it shows in his writing and is only highlighted in this definitive audio resource.
It's a classic, and a favorite that I've grown up with. I thought the audiobook would be perfect, but I didn't take into consideration all those songs that Tolkien loved to write. It's the only reason I couldn't listen to it straight through, and ultimately why I didn't finish it.