It's hard to believe that anyone can improve upon Tolkien, but the narrator, Rob Inglis, does it. The characters, the setting, the story, are all richer and more enjoyable because of his excellent narration. If you have not already immersed yourself in the worlds of Middle Earth with Tolkien and Inglis, do it today. You're in for an adventure.
Not better, but the closest thing to reading it that I have found.
I think in many ways, you cannot compare Tolkien to other fantasy series, because so much of what has been written later is based, however loosely, upon his ideas, which have become fantasy 'standards. Listening to this book is almost more like hearing a work of history- Tolkien seems as concerned with the history and reality of his world as with the story.
I have not listened to him before, but his rich voice give this performance a gravitas that works very well with the material. You are at once both hearing a story and feel as though you are listening to something of great importance. His character voices are good and his descriptive reading is a pleasure to listen to.
No, I have been listening to it in stages while driving, which has been perfect for me.
This brings back to me the importance of these books, both as literature and to me personally. It is a pleasure to hear someone else read a book that I am so familiar with. Not only because it is so well read, but also because of the little differences in how things are read, and to hear remembered phrases or sentences that come back to me. Overall, no Tolkien fans should deny themselves the pleasure of listening to this edition.
The audio version is better to listen to than the print version. :) I do prefer to listen to the audio description of the landscape much more than I like to read about them. Overall, both audio and print are wonderful - this is "Lord of the Rings" we're talking about.
I love the introduction and development of the characters in The Fellowship of the Ring.
I loved Tom Bombadill, quirky, fun, wise. Additionally, I have noted the subtle more sophisticated and elevated tone Inglis uses with Aragorn so I enjoy his characterization there as well.
The time commitment of re-reading all the Tolkien books is significant - it's really wonderful to be able to listen to the books during the long commute and enjoy them again and again.
To now listen to this 3 book set without having to keep track of my CD's is a true treat. The written Rings story has a depth of character, culture, history and interwoven plots that the movie version -- however visually wonderful -- just cannot provide. It is good to drop back into the richness of Middle Earth. I have always felt this reader is well suited to the story.
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.
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 read nothing that is popular.
I can't help having flashbacks to the movie as I read "The Fellowship of the Ring." The audio book is so much better then the film. I cannot get enough with the singing of the reader. It's a bit annoying, but it's apart of the tale that I enjoy. I can't wait to finish off the series and share the trilogy to my family for many years to come. It's one of those books that never get dated. After reading The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, I'm really looking forward to the next two additions in the trilogy to find out what they missed in the movies.
Say something about yourself!
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.
Performance was a little choppy at times. I think it's just because it was an old book recording though so that could be why, but overall good story. I enjoyed it and I'll definitely be going on to the next one.
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!