Well, first, I would like to both thank Audible for finally making this available, and alternately curse them for doing so at a time when they're making so many other great books available (Gardens of the Moon, for one). Needless to say, all others will have to wait until I'm done listening to these.
Second, I have to admit that I've just started listening to it, but so far, I must say that I'm entirely impressed by Mr. Inglis' reading. Nice, clear voice, good differentiation of the different characters.
Third, like many others, I read "The Hobbit" and this trilogy as a pre-teenager about 30 years ago. I loved it. I honestly don't think you can consider yourself a fantasy fan if you haven't read these books. They are, simply put, amazing. I eagerly watched all the movies and was very impressed with those as well. Except for "The Hobbit", of course. Now, I finally have a chance to listen to them in audio, and unabridged!
Again, thank you Audible... now, if you could just get "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" by Tad Williams, I'd be even happier!
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.
I'm going to review the reading as opposed to the writing.
I thought the reader did a good job, except for the singing. I appreciated that he sang the songs that Tolkien wrote, but I'm curious where the melodies came from. I wasn't a big fan of them. To be honest, the songs in the hobbit cartoon and the lord of the rings movies was infinitely better. When this reader sang, it just made my eyes roll.
Also, the reader had a hard time creating a different "voice" for each character. The characters seemed very similar. That could also be the fault of Tolkien.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
The last time I "read" The Fellowship of the Ring, I read it out loud to my daughter at bed time. Took several months, reading a handful of pages each night. That was about a dozen years ago. Prior to that, I read the entire trilogy about a dozen times, but that was back in my youth in the 60s and 70s, when I re-read it every summer (yeah, yeah, go ahead and mock me, I'd do the same). So no surprise that I jumped at listening to the audiobook when I got the chance.
So who are you and what can I tell you about Tolkien's classic fantasy trilogy? Chances are, you already know all about The Lord of the Rings, in which case there's not much I can add other than critique the narration (see below). If you've never heard of LOTR, you've either been living under a rock for the past half century, or you're too young to read, in which case, all I can say is, READ IT (as soon as you can get out from under your rock, or when you're old enough to read big boy books).
Perhaps you've seen the movie trilogy and are wondering whether it's worth your time to read (listen to) the books, no small consideration given the total length of The Hobbit and LOTR tops 65 hours. I would strongly recommend that you at least read The Fellowship. I always loved it the best because it takes place at more of a, uh, I can't say human level because they're mostly not human, but you get more of a feel for individual characters and specific settings, the remaining books operating on a more epic scale.
And a lot of that character development and scene/mood setting occurs in passages (entire chapters, actually) left out of the movie. The film version of The Hobbit, an as yet unfinished trilogy, contains far more material than the book (including some sections originally in The Fellowship). The movie versions of The Two Towers and The Return of the King may be structured in a different manner than the books, but the events are pretty much all there.
By contrast, there are substantial portions of The Fellowship completely omitted by the movie, including four consecutive chapters in Book 1 along with most of a fifth -- when the hobbits approach Buckland with the Black Riders in pursuit, meet Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil in the Old Forest, and encounter the barrow-wight on the Barrow Downs. To keep the movie length manageable, it was determined that these adventures did not further the story of the ring. I don't disagree with the decision, despite my disappointment especially with the loss of the magical Tom Bombadil and his companion Goldberry.
Here then is your main reason to read The Fellowship if you've only seen the movie. There are also major scenes omitted from the fellowship's journey through Moria, Lothlorien, and down the Anduin from Book 2, as well as major passages of lore from The Council of Elrond and other similar discussions. And then there are the many Tolkien songs sung a capella by narrator Rob Inglis to tunes he and his producer wrote. Personally, I found the songs tedious and the recording (done a quarter century ago) crude by today's audiobook standards, so I took a star off Inglis's otherwise legendary recitation.
For Tolkien fans looking for a new way to enjoy his best work, or for others willing or desiring to see what the fuss is all about, this audiobook is a perfect way to follow the adventures of Frodo and his hobbit friends as they make their way across the Shire, through the Old Forest to Bree, on to the magical valley of Rivendell, into the mines of Moria and the enchanated woodland of Lothlorien, and down the Great River toward Gondor and Mordor, along the way meeting Tolkien's version of wizards, elves, dwarves, trolls, wraiths, wights, orcs, balrogs, wargs, and all sorts of men, strange, heroic, devious, and jolly.
Just because the narrarator has a british accent does not make him good. This was suppose to be a very exciting book but was dulled down by a monotone narrarator. Would not reccomend. Better off just reading the actual book/ebook.
Take out the songs or make it possible to easily skip them. There's just too many. I'm addressing the whole Lord of the Rings, not just Fellowship.
Come on, this is a classic that generations have grown to love. Picking out even ten scenes would be hard. ok, ok, Frodo encountering the Nazgul on Weathertop .
effing horrible singer
I don't think anyone will every be able to make this into a movie ;) - It would be really interesting if someone would really do this someday. Take the actual book, realizing that it is mostly made of quiet moments and inner turmoil, rather than 20 minute battle scenes. I think it would lend itself to a mini-series format more than the movie and would take several seasons. Would like to see it done at a rate of one chapter per episode. Take your time with it, get to know the world of middle-earth.
In several spots you can hear background noises: talking mostly. Like someone is in the next room talking on the phone. Very distracting and pulled me completely out of the story.
I wouldn't go looking for books that he's narrated.
I'm disappointed in Audible for allowing a 2nd rate recording of such a venerable title as LOTR.
The story line was good
No the singing killed it for me.
Just wasn't a book for me.
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.