Everyone in the family enjoyed this tremendously. We listened to the Hobbit first and this is very similar to it. A long recording so worthy of a car trip.
Loving long books.
One of my favourite books read the way I'd like to be able to. Rob Inglis does this story the justice it deserves. This book is the first of three, you'll want the other two.
With all of the songs, everyone I know says they skipped over them while reading TLOTR. I enjoy them performed by the reader. There's also info in the songs that you miss if you skip them.
This is the absolute best way to experience the music of Middle Earth.
I really liked this book but I found parts distracting because I hear some background noise and even talking in the background in a few parts. In Chapter 3 about 1/3 of the way through there is someone talking in the background - like on the telephone. I was surprised that no one has edited that out. Maybe they can't or no one knew about it. Don't the editors listen to the whole story before they publish? I am disappointed because when you purchase an audible book you expect superior production.
When you get to Chapter 7 of the second book - the Two Towers - you will hear someone talking and a BLENDER going in the background. What is going on???!! Audible - get a new person in your quality control department!
I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
This book is certainly a classic. However, now that I've listened to about half of the audiobook I remember that when I originally read it, I would often skip over the singing, finding it a bit much.
I actually think the best variation of this classic is the extended edition of the movies. The audio version is just annoying.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
The Lord of the Rings is a true classic and if you have not experienced it (or only experienced the movies) this recording should be a wonderful experience. This recording includes the prefix and appendices (both at the end of the recording), which might be dry for some, but is great for LOTR geeks. Having an unabridged Lord of the Rings on Audible has been long awaited and is terrific. If I had not been exposed to the NPR/Minds-Eye production of this series I would have been pretty happy with the narration. The Minds-Eye production was abridged but was a really excellent performance. Rob Ingles’ narration is very good, and he does particularly well presenting the difficult epic poetry sections, but I did not much like his singing and overall a simple narration can’t compete with the Minds-Eye performances. Nevertheless I was very happy to have this excellent unabridged version. I started out a little unhappy with the narration, but as time went on I just became quite immersed in the story.
Herb Teas Trees and British Comedies
I have often heard it said that the first book in the series is the slowest to get underway. Indeed, it does take a long while comparatively to get Out of the shire and begin the journey, which in my opinion, doesn't really get rolling till The Prancing Pony a good deal of the way in... That being said, I cannot help but feel that the slow beginning helps to make the journey itsself more real in feeling. As you plod stumbling through the woods on the way to The 'Pony, you get a much more visceral feeling for the slow pace and difficult makings of travel in middle earth which I think adds a more realistic understanding of what exactly is entaled in the more rapidly covered traveling done later on.
By covering the grunt work at the beginning, you are allowed to move more rapidly through the travel once the situations get more tense and hectic without underrepresenting the toil that doing so actually involves.
That being said, I very much Do Not like the tendancy for Tolkien to not be capable of passing a field, forrest, or mountain without waxing endlessly about its name, its past, its geographical context, etc... Such data is good to have, but as a first time reader I was left doing a lot of mental work to remember all that data before eventually realising that None of it Really Mattered to the Actual Story Right Now... Likewise, there are several asides into stories and tales (and SONGS) of things that, while also not without their own merrit, also Did Not factor into the story right then...
Time and again I found myself (as a FIRST TIME reader) struggling to keep clear names, events, geography, and characters which are Extensively delved into, to only find later that None of it was Needed to complete the story in the end...
Mind you, these are all the same things that those who read the story time and time again will find most valuable and intriguing in the long run, but as a reader, I'd prefer an author to somehow hint at their non applicability in situ to save me the needless effort.
That being said, I think this story is uniquely better than the next two at providing the key backstory for all that Does Matter. Short passages by Elrond for example cover Vast Spans of Time and move far too quickly over fundamental events that underly the whole situation as it now rests. Indeed, most Everything that happens at the Council Meeting is extremely interesting. Most of this is Not returned to later on in the series and is Important to Catch and Understand!
In fact, I would say this first book in the 3 (tho Tolkien himself divided it differently) is actually the more coherant. A Single Narrative where events progress one after another which is Not the case always in the books to come. Making this book perhaps the most well devised of the 3...
In many ways I very much Love the audible version of the books, for the majority of the time the narration is transparent and characters not only self identify, but seemlessly blend into conversation... but there remains 1 SERIOUS FLAW in the spoken form that Continues to Bother me Time after Time - to the point of loathing their occurrance (Fast forwarding even) - The SINGING is Loathsome to me.
Not that the voice is terrible, but the voice is ever the same for dwarves as elves and hobbits... while Speaking this is not a big deal, but Singing, and especially the choirs of singing, it becomes loathsome.
Moreover however, as one who is hoping to hear and experience the original text as Tolkien presents it, The Tunes and rhythms are completely the contrivance of the narrator and producer and are Not in any way Represented by Tolkien in the original format!
As a musician and composer, I am left Hating the domination of their own whims over the possibilities I might Make Myself as to their performance if the original Data ALONE was given. I cannot help but think that the tunes and rhythms of Dwarves, Elves, and Hobbits would be FAR more Differently structured in Reality than they are here - when presented as the singular whims of the same persons time after time.
Even the lyrics, when I struggle to hear beyond the added absurdity Suggest to me a different itteration... yet the insistance of the ear and the presumption of the reader exert a far stronger pull on the mind.
While I found at first the sections of Tom Bombodil horribly unpleasant and cheezy (he's the Jarjar Binks of middle earth) I wonder afterwards what difference it would have made if the reader had not Imposed on those sections his own 'flumpy doodley doo' approach.
The character as presented would take me about 5 minutes to punch in the face they're so annoying, yet the particular Power and Magic of his song makes me think it Must have been In Actuality far more effective and enticing.
I continue to wish - in vain I suppose - that the material could be presented SIMPLY SPOKEN, yet even then the rhythms might be corrupted... I had even thought of reverting to a TEXT representation for them - thus presenting them as Tolkien intended.
Text can, by use of poetic arrangement, Suggest Possible organisations - in the same way Dr. Suess can, without Emposing a perception on the reader where the author chose not.
In this way I not only dispise the song passages as uninteresting, poorly moving, and similar, but I Regret and Loathe the lasting effects they might have on the interpretations of the songs I might try to make in future of my own sort...
Novels are Loved and Powerful because of their abilities to allow readers to bring their own experiences and memories to bear on the information presented... it simply feels presumptive and imposing for a narrator and a producer to Decide For me that which was Purposefully left open to interpretation in the original form.
Nevertheless, this is the best (and Only) option for an audio form I have yet found, and thankfully the musical passages are less in this book than in the Hobbit... indeed they happen far less even throughout the series. Thankfully.
An annoying and needless flaw to an otherwise excelently made rendition. Not perhaps a book ruiner, but certainly something I wish I had known to disregard Beforehand rather than spend so long listening and wondering if that was as Tolkien had actually heard it... or indeed intended it...
Here's hoping that this foreknowledge in your own case on both counts will allow your first experience of the book to far exceed my own! The potential is yet there, and the fundemental narrative is indeed powerfully evocative and engrossing!
Good luck! and Enjoy!
actually yes. because you can track a little better it being such a long book, and every part being so crucial.
probably when Sam gives his undying speech of friendship :)
ring raith: no man on this earth can possibly deafeat me!
awowen: i am no man.
(chops off this head and falls with a broken arm and a nasgull bite)
just read the book
off all books i consider worth my time, yes. i listened until my ears ached and i was forced to stop for a minute before i went deaf :)
the perspective on the timeless lesson of putting others before your self and fighting for what you believe in has a lot of emphasis on this book, and it is just a beautiful story.
Narration is excellent.
Listening extra hard for other background noises--definitely a couple voices around the time the phone rings (1hr 11 min mark) of chapter 11 (3rd chapter of second download)--it is very very faint, but adds a richness as I imagine Mr. Inglis recording this story and rolling his eyes when the phone rings in the distance.
Yes, I am an artist and tend to like to listen to books on tape while I do my work, and i could not have asked for a better thing to listen to!
Definitely the Scene with Gandalf and the Balrog will always be a particularly great scene to me.
Rob uses similar voices for completely different characters, so sometimes I'm not sure who's talking until the book says so.
It is, and I have.
Now, I'm not sure if any of the other versions of this recording are any better, but, although enjoyable. it may be worth it to see if any of the cheaper recordings are better. Rob Inglis has a great voice for storytelling, but it's only one voice!