In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy has touched the hearts of young and old alike. Nearly 100 million copies of its many editions have been sold around the world, and occasional collector's editions become prized and valuable items of publishing. Now it is available for the first time on digital download, complete and unabridged.
This is the first book of The Fellowship of the Ring.
Don't miss the rest of Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings.
©1954, 1966 The Trustees of the J.R.R. Tolkien 1967 Settlement; (P)1991 Recorded Books, LLC; This edition published 2001 by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd., London, UK
"An extraordinary book. It deals with a stupendous theme. It leads us through a succession of strange and astonishing episodes, some of them magnificent." (The Observer)
"Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century." (Sunday Telegraph)
The reader has done a marvelous job. I had struggled through the book many years ago and had eventually, after persevering for several years (!) reached the end, but this book tripped through my headphones like sweet music.
In fact that is one of the aspects of the book that I most enjoyed. The reader does a marvelous job of singing the many songs that are recounted in the book and, instead of simply seeming a way to pad out the story, they become an intrinsic part of the narration. For this aspect of the audiobook alone I would highly recommend this title!
Rob Inglis does a very good job of narrating. Personally I could do without the singing and I would rather he simply read the songs but no complaints overall. You can hear every word very clearly and he reads with feeling so you don't feel as though he's just going through the motions.
My only complaints are:
1. In common with most Tolkien fans I think the book is too short.
2. The publisher and/or Audible are guilty of greed by dividing the book into 6 credits. This is not in the spirit of the contract that I have with Audible. Lord of the Rings is one book and should be one credit. It could arguably be divided into three books but certainly not six! Shame on you!
For some reason "The Lord of the Rings" was split into 6 separate downloads, even though it's by all standards a single book. Different parts of it are not meant to be read by themselves.
Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!
Rob Inglis is the perfect narrator for this story. I just wish the book wasn't sold in six separate parts - very (and unnecessarily) pricey. But I bought and enjoyed all six anyway - the story is too well written, and Rob Inglis does too good a job reading it, to stop after the first one.
I just can't get enough of this magnificently written masterpiece. Lord of the Rings is a wonderful exciting escape for me and now thanks to audible I can take it with me everywhere. I can listen to it in the car, lying in bed or sitting on a park bench. Absolutely BRILLIANT audible - give me more !!!
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
I've read the Fellowship of the Ring twice. With Rob Inglis' voice added to this classic, it becomes ten times better. It is sad to see the Fellowship being broken up into two downloadable parts, for which you have to pay separately. It must be mentioned however that Audible's price for it is still much cheaper than buying the audio CD's.
While the first half of the fellowship of the ring (Book 1) is great, the second half (Book 2) evidently isn't available on the site for download. If it is, I haven't found it. This makes buying the first half of the book fairly worthless - I shouldn't have assumed "Part 2" as identified on the download meant the same Part 2 that is in the actual book.
The audio book is not better, it is different. The narrator has the skill to bring a book I struggled to read in print into vivid and exciting life. He does not act the books, he 'narrates' them extremely well, telling the story with rhythm and pace, while giving each character in the book an individual voice.
If, like me, you really struggled with the Lord of the Rings in print, then try a volume of this read by Rob Inglis, this may be the avenue into the Tolkien world you are looking for.
It appears you can get this title when you first sign up for audible, but if you think you're going to spend the rest of your tokens to get the whole series, think again Americans. Once you log in to your account you get a red error saying, "Due to publishing agreements, this title is not available in the country where you live." I hope I can cancel without penalty.
In a way, yes. Many people have a problem reading the print version because Tolkein loves to use very long descriptions and histories along with a very liberal use of songs and poems. These suit an audio version, where the listener can just sit back and soak in the atmosphere created by the vivid descriptions, or enjoy the songs actually sung by the narrator. The voices are also a treat.
The format of the book also suits a voiced narrator as Tolkein writes in the format of a story teller telling you a tale of a world bigger than the books.
The scale of the story is so epic yet personal. And having just listened to The Hobbit, the many references make the world feel so alive and real.
As someone who watched the films before listening/reading the books, I can appreciate the care that both writer and director put in in creating this world in print and in film. Amazing!
Reviewing these books (the whole trilogy, not just the first volume), a classic work of the twentieth century, would be an impertinence I think. It's unlikely you'd consider buying the whole set if you don't already know and enjoy the story. If you admire it without reservation you're possibly unusual. In such a sweeping and varied epic there will inevitably be elements you respond to less than others; for me these would include characters such as Tom Bombadil, many of the songs, the master-servant relationship between some of the Hobbits and the rather stilted, pseudo-Biblical prose style of some of the later sections of The Return of the King. Those are purely subjective responses though; others may well enjoy those very aspects.
What impressed me most, after buying and listening to the complete work (over 52 hours) was the mastery of the reader, Rob Inglis. Other long stories have been ruined for me by a monotonous or weak reading. In a sense, Inglis is in competition with the BBC radio dramatisation (which I thought excellent and still return to)and more recently the three-film version (which I thought equally brilliant). Given that, his rendition is a delight, a tour de force in fact. He never lost my interest, seeming to command a completely convincing and extensive repertoire of character voices which managed to carry the narrative along with complete authority. Brilliant. Thank you, Mr Inglis..! (Out of curiosity I checked listener reviews of this production on Amazon's website and was astonished to find that some thought it dreadful. Interestingly there were no 'in-between' reviews, either 'superb' or 'awful'. I guess you'll just have to buy the first volume to decide what your own response is...)
I am a 14 year old boy who has never really bothered to read Lord of the Rings before now. I have recently got audible and this was the first audiobook that I brought. I was not disappointed. It was very well read and the story was incredibly gripping. I really loved it and I hope that you will consider buying this book.
A wonderful atmospheric recording of the first part of The Lord of the Rings. Rob Inglis' narration brings the characters to life. I think Tolkien would be pleased with this version of his book.
"A good audiobook by Audible ! Amazing..."
This book is a timeless classic fairytale, I believe audible struggle to do them justice but this audiobook is excellent. Its a long book but shouldn't have been split in 2. Note, you don't pay for the second half, it downloads along with the first part. As a narrator, the voice of Rob Inglis suits this book perfectly. The chapters are long and there isn't the usual annoying audible features like switching the narrator between chapters or declaring when each chapter is finished (duh!). Somebody shoot that annnoying woman that introduces every book... please... ;- )
I have never understood why the Lord of the Rings is 'difficult to get into' because many friends have complained about trying to wade through the first 100 pages. Rob Inglis does such a superb job reading the entire trilogy that this never becomes an issue. He does a brilliant job at narrating a truly classic tale. Wonderful stuff and well worth all the credits. Get the Hobbit too.
"The joy never fades"
I first read the LOTR when I was 13, and on occasion I wish I had never read it. Not because it's a bad story, but because it's a world of wonder that I wish I could enter anew again. The depth of the tale, the breadth of the world created by Tolkien exists as a beautiful overlay for our own, creating a window into what the past might have been like as well as understanding how the present could be changed by the action of those with courage they were unaware they possessed. On top of that, it's a great story for anyone at any time. I read it regularly, with no expectations of seeing anything new but it's always there, waiting to be discovered. Take the time to listen to a tale of courage, betrayal, evil and triumph. And love.
"Timeless - and stunning."
As someone else says, it seems an impertinence to review these books - they have to be the most loved novels of the 20thC, across the world.
I originally bought the trilogy on i-Tunes, not realising they don't have a cloud for audiobooks. So when my computer crashed, I lost the lot, as my back up disks were also damaged in the intervening years, meaning I could only retrieve a section of the book. iTunes refused to restore the books for me - upsetting as it was my largest single investment in any audiobook. Hence joining Audible, and making LOTR my main goal for the first year of membership! I'd have joined Audible to buy these books, alone.
My autistic teenager has always struggled with reading, so having these on audiobook has been an absolute boon, to him. He listens to them constantly, and has no problem with the complex language, and subtle emotions.
Rob Inglis's reading is pitch perfect. The producers of the trilogy could not have chosen a better narrator. A faultless rendition of what is, for so many people, a book they return to over and over again, throughout their lives. Having lost them once, ("My precioussss!") I will treasure the Audible LOTR books, and value them as much as my definitive Harper Collins printed version.
"One 'Book' To Rule Them All!"
WOW!! Absolutely superb! A truly amazing book, from start to finish. The Lord of the Rings movies, really don't even scratch the surface. This is, without doubt, a masterpiece. Excellently written, and narrated with style.
If you've watched the movies, and think you know what Lord of the Rings is about, think again. Get this book, and you will understand what I mean.
I read "The Lord of the Rings" for the first time in 1999 or 2000, when I was twelve or thirteen, and revisited it a few years later when the films were huge hits and everybody was reading the books anyway. It's over ten years ago. I read "The Hobbit" too during that period, in fact it was one midsummer night, and if you know anything about midsummer in Finland, you'll know the nights are bright. I started reading in the evening, lying in bed, and couldn't stop. I had no clock, and looking out I had no idea what time it was. Then I realized I had read the whole thing, and found out it was about five o'clock in the morning. One of the most enjoyable reads I've had, easy to say.
I revisited "The Hobbit" two years ago, around the time the first film came out, and was pleasantly surprised by its strength as an individual work, a quality dimmed by the passing years. It's high time, then, to revisit the longer unexpected journey, which in my mind is now so soaked in the narrative solutions of the film versions that it'll be interesting to see the story through.
So instead of three, we get to use six credits if we want the whole thing. Never mind you can get all fifty hours of "Against the Day" for one credit, or sixty hours of "War and Peace" for two. I think "The Hobbit" is a better deal still, though, so I would go for it if I were you. Two credits for 11 hours are credits well spent.
But of course I used the six credits for this. Of course! The good thing about the three books having been split into six parts is that I'll get the chance to really go over the top and take my time with the books, and harass you with endless, speculative rumblings muttered in the corner of The Prancing Pony that nobody pays any attention to. That's the proper thing to do, I think, since the books themselves take their time in not only getting things going keeping them so. In fact, if one is accustomed to the fast-paced film versions (this is argued for and against, but I think they really are fast-paced), one might be shocked at how leisurely Tolkien makes his journey. On one hand one is truly immersed in the world he has created, and since part of the fun and I think the writer's point is to march us through this marvelous creation, this works wonderfully. The Shire becomes a real place that we can care for, since we spend so much time there, since Tolkien also dwells in the matters of the hobbits in his introductions. On the other, there are moments where it seems the narrative merely plods along. I am seriously wondering about Tom Bombadil, for example. I'm not too fond of the Old Forest episode with Bombadil, and especially since he's completely beyond the effect of the ring, he becomes redundant rather quickly, even to the extent that he's explicitly written off from the story in "The Council of Elrond" as exactly that, superfluous . I understand the need for exciting adventure, but for me he's more of a red herring, although I remember liking him a lot when I first read the book, and having been shocked to learn he would be cut from the film version.
Bombadil's presence in the story is needed from the travelogue perspective, though. When they hit the road, there's an awful lot of traveling from one place to another, since Tolkien has to have the pieces moving, and I understand that the adventure in the Old Forest gives a nicer rhythm to the story that finds its culmination with their arrival at Rivendell; Bombadil, Bree and Weathertop serve as useful watersheds, since sandwiched between "The Shadow of the Past" and "Many Meetings" is a great deal moving the necessary pieces around the board.
All this does pay off in "The Council of Elrond", though, where Gandalf gives his account of his journeys, and the conflict with Saruman. The effect when one realizes how their paths *didn't* cross is powerful.
Since it is my intention to write on all six audiobooks, you'll hear me singing Rob Inglis' praises quite a bit. His narrator voice suits Tolkien's tempo well, his Gandalf is spot on, and he doesn't overdo any of the characters for contrast's sake, something I find in Dotrice's interpretations of Martin's epic. And he sings brilliantly! The songs, and there are many, are not read as mere fillers, which they're not, but Inglis gives them life that reveals them as the integral parts of narrative that they are. Brilliant!
"Opens a new world for lovers of the films"
I absolutely loved this audiobook. I've always wanted to get around to reading The Lord of the Rings but I've never been able to set aside the time. I got bored of listening to music in the gym, and podcasts weren't cutting it, so I decided to try an audiobook. The LOTR immediately sprang to mind. I signed up to Audible, downloaded the books to my iphone and I've listened to 30 minutes three times a week during my workout.
The amount of detail in this book can seem overwhelming at first as Tolkien's style of writing is descriptive and thorough, but if you're a fan of the movies you get to know more about the different races; hobbits, elves, dwarfs; the characters, where they come from, family lineage etc; Middle Earth Mythology and history; and this opens up the story into a tale of epic proportions. It's just massive! If it's a fast paced adventure you're after then this might not suit, however the audiobook version is fantastic if you can listen whilst doing something else, like working out in the gym. If you have the patience you won't be disappointed. Rob Inglis does a great job of narrating the story. He's easy to listen to and pitches the story perfectly. This was my first audiobook experience and it was fantastic.
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