The Return of the King is the towering climax to J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy that tells the saga of the hobbits of Middle-earth and the great War of the Rings. In this concluding volume, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron.
In addition to narrating the prose passages, Rob Inglis sings the trilogy’s songs and poems a capella, using melodies composed by Inglis and Claudia Howard, the Recorded Books studio director. This recording also contains Tolkien’s preface to the trilogy, including a prior history of the ring, and shire habitat, history, and folkways.
©1983 Christopher R. Tolkien, Michael H.R.Tolkien, John F.R. Tolkien, and Priscilla M.A.R.Tolkien (P)1990 Recorded Books
I've listened to Fellowship and Two Towers on audiobook by the same narrator, and I had been trying to find Return of the King on CD from a bunch of different libraries and no such luck- but now it's finally here!
Rob Inglis does a wonderful job as the reader, and gives the characters their own voice. I've read the books before and enjoyed them, so I knew that I would like this story- but if you have never read the books before then I definitely reccomend listening to this version. :)
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.
St. Louis, Missouri
A completely satisfying, surprising, edifying and moving end to the long saga. If you like this kind of thing (and I do) then you will enjoy Lord of the Rings beyond all measure. There is nothing I can say to convince you otherwise if your tastes don’t lie in this direction.
I admit that I tackled it, at least in part, out of a desire to repair an omission. Back in high school The Hobbit and its sequels were all the rage; you couldn’t walk into the meanest bookstore without seeing a poster-size version of Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth. And while I read The Hobbit for a class I never embarked on the three following volumes. Laziness? Yes, in part. But also my aversion had something to do with the kind of people who were reading Lord of the Rings at that time: players of Dungeons and Dragons, geeks of the first water, fellows who would argue for hours about the respective powers of about Gandalf and Sauramon. Of course, these books deal with some very sophisticated themes (temptation and sin, redemption and renewal, the wellsprings of courage and perseverance, the choice of revenge or forgiveness) and it isn’t surprising that 16-year-olds would gravitate to the details rather than see the larger sweep of the story. For myself I’m glad I waited. What some dismiss as a quaint fairy story is in reality a profound meditation on all the themes mentioned above and more.
One practical piece of advice: make sure you have a good map. None that I found online covered every location mentioned in the story. But the one that worked best for me was drawn by Christopher Tolkien and is available at, among other places, the Tolkien Gateway (again, a little too D&D for me, but that's where the map is).
Tolkien has a disconcerting habit of mentioning places and events from the distant past that his characters are well aware of, while you are left guessing. (And, incidentally, no map I found showed every place he mentions.) A passing familiarity with Beowulf and the Norse Sagas made me realize these asides were echoes of those works, touches that made the story sound even more like old lore from a land that actually existed. For those interested, there is a long essay by Tolkien at the end of this recording that covers that lore and history; I skipped it, happy to soak in the towering power of the story without all the enthusiast's details on the different strains of pipe weed or who taught the Hobbits the art of building.
Finally, a note on Rob Inglis’ superb performance. He is a boon companion to have on such a long journey. His sonorous delivery, his unerring ability to reflect the mood of the words he reads, helped bring out the inner meaning of much of the tale.
Two juvenile series -- Oz and Harry Potter, all inspired by the classic Beowolf, came to mind during this book. There certainly seems to be a chain of inspiration among every hero adventure series, no matter the characters or settings.
I both laughed out loud and cried.
I listened to the audiobook on a road trip because I was in the middle of reading the books and they don't like you to read while driving. It couldn't have made the travel more delightful. If I could, after this experience, I'd walk around listening to a great audiobook all the time, and never engage in real life again.
I love clean books of all sorts. Love mysteries, fantasies epic to kids stories, fairy tales, romances, humor, and historical fiction
We are at the end of our war trilogy. Some people like to call this book/movie the story with a thousand endings. I disagree. There are several things that have to be wrapped up in this story. Will the hobbits ever get home? Will Aragorn ever become king? Will Frodo and Sam fulfill their quest? Will your favorite characters still be standing when it is all over? Will good triumph over evil? Keep your eyebrows crossed and hang on to your walking sticks because this book is exciting! I have read it so many times, but it never gets old for me. I think over all that the Lord of the Rings is one of the best stories about friendship and enduring to the end that I have ever encountered. The history and poetry are delightful. Maybe I am biased because I am a Tolkien nut, but this book and the other two in the trilogy are fantasy at their best. If you can hang in there and if you are patient enough, the Appendices at the end offer some interesting back story you won't get anywhere else. I hope you like it as much as I do.
As with the other books in this series, Rob Inglis brings an understanding of this material that is rare to find. Tolkien uses both the epic and down to earth styles in this trilogy, and Inglis moves easily between them.
I know that some Audible members, including me, are also a part of the disability community. Just about every disability related book supplier has made these books available to their members. Yet the results were, at best, able to give an accurate reading of the text, and, at worst, give you a reading that was missing something.
I know that some people, unaware that these recordings were even available on Audible, may have tried to use text to speech technology along with a read-aloud type app. I have not tried this, but based on my experience with this technology, the results are not all that great. It's like trying to eat food at a restaurant that was undercooked. You eat a couple of bites, but push your plate away in disgust.
The technology is not able to distinguish between the various writing styles used in these books, nor can it easily deal with Tolkien's invented languages. And as for the songs, well, Houston, we have a problem.
I have tried the various narrations offered from within the disability community. While I did get a feel for the text, I had this feeling that something was not right. Using my dinner analogy, it was like food that was OK, but nothing to write home about.
Rob Inglis hits the nail on the head with his skillful narration. Being the competent actor that he is, he moves easily among Tolkien's various writing styles. He handles the invented languages well, and does an equally credible job singing the songs. Like someone spicing upyour dinner, I find this adds variety to the reading.
One thing Inglis does, and the technology can't do, is to vary the pace of the narration. Whenever Tolkien describes a dramatic scene, such as a battle, Inglis picks up the pace. Whenever there is a moment for reflection, he picks up on that and brings it down. In short, he is sensitive to the mood Tolkien sets throughout the text.
To continue with the dinner analogy, it's as if you've left the restaurant feeling fully satisfied, and you want to come back for more.
In short, why settle for crumbs when you can get a full meal? If you're looking for a good narration of this series, I highly recommend this one.
This book was one of the best books I've listened to and I would recommend it to anyone. The extra information at the end is really interesting and it's nice to know more history behind it all.
post destruction of ring
uses voices and songs. A master of narrator. Best in the business
narration is like the first 2 books. Rob Inglis work in this trilogy is constant perfection
HE INCLUDES THE APPENDICES!!!!!
A beautiful end to an excellent series! Well worth the time and money! I would be hard pressed to find a better series.
Fantasy All Day Every Day!
Yes. Because it's the greatest adventure someone could on without leaving there house.
This one is up there with the rest. Rob Inglis is one of the best narrator's out there.
Robert Inglis is one of the best narrators out there. I remember about 5 or 6 years ago I listened to The Hobbit with him narrating and I fell in love with his many character voices and his excitement when he read. I couldn't wait to download and listen to these books once I remembered who narrated them. I am now on The Earthsea Cycle just because of his good narration style. Lord of The Rings the movies are great! Don't get me wrong but I still think the book and him narrating are better!! I feel like he hit the voices perfectly. If you haven't read, watched or listened to Lord of The Rings and you enjoy fantasy you are missing out. You owe it to yourself to read what made fantasy what it is today. You can't go wrong with Robert Inglis either. I wish he did more books to be honest.
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