I loved this reading. The reader's tone, pace, and rhythm were well suited to Tolkien's prose, and merit a 5-star review. The one element which I disliked was that--for some ill-advised reason--the choice was made to sing the songs which are written in verse. In my opinion, those verses were not intended to be sung, but to be read, so that the words may be understood clearly. The tune, just like the meaning of the story, ought to be left to the experience and thought of the reader.
The movie did a phenomenal job of making you care about the characters and feel as they feel. The book does an equally effective job of plunging you into Middle Earth.
What can be said about the 20th century's greatest books except they should be required for anyone calling his or her self well read. I can no longer recall how old I was when I first read Tolkien, but I know I read these five (I include The Hobbit, and The Silmarilion) over and again every year or so ever since and they never grow old. Much of Professor T's philosophy about good versus evil, the strong's subjugation of the week; the value of mercy and long resisting darkness are beautifully played out by a fairly large cast of well developed characters you will never forget. I highly recommend you get a hard copy to follow along with at leisure if it is your maiden voyage to middle earth as the maps and appendices are treasures not given here and unfortunately the only thing wrong with this version is the reader's failure to place emphasis correctly and to capture emotion. I do hope Audible does their own version one day with a more capable narrator (Richard Armitage would be perfect). Regardless I highly recommend all five volumes about the history and people's of this incredible world.
Rob Ingles does a superlative job in his reading of Tolkien's masterwork. He is adept at giving the many different characters their own voice. His performance is engaging, and he has a beautiful, rich singing voice. The poems and songs were always tricky for me to imagine, but he brings them to life, and with beautiful melodies, to boot. This adds an unexpected dimension to the book I never got when reading.
When he sang at first, I wasn't sure, but I realized he was singing in a pianissimo (very quiet). He has a rich, strong, sonorous bass voice, and it took a little getting used to at first. It seems like he's had some quality voice training.
My wife and I were so thoroughly pleased with with this audiobook, we've already been purchased books 2 & 3 in the trilogy, as well as the Hobbit.
Excellent in every aspect!! I never get enough! An enduring classic!! KEEP CALM AND READ ON!!!
This is an absolute must read, unquestionably a staple in Fantasy literature. It is both timeless and immensely satisfying. One of it's greatest appeals is the massive world building and language building that is so lauded today among other bestsellers. Another important distinction is how although it is old, it does not feel "dated" as many books from the time and even later feel. All the tropes of our genre we as Fantasy readers have come to love and expect are here without the possibility of being redundant or derivitative since many are seen here for the first time.