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Classics Challenge – The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkein

the fellowship of the ringThe Fellowship of the Ring
Author: JRR Tolkein
Series: #1 in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Description:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

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.

Why I chose this book:
I knew going into doing the classics challenge that I wanted to do some classics that were in a specific genre, rather than true classics (as many people would define them). So I chose to pick books that were seen as classics in the sci-fi/fantasy genres (I combined the 2, because there is often some overlap). However, I did use the Lord of the Rings as the listing, so I am planning on doing the entire trilogy – this is just the first installment.

Review:
Having never read these books, I remember standing in line at the movie theater while in college waiting to see the first of the books – and I was with a bunch of Tolkein fanatics (which made for some interesting viewing – I mean, they even spoke elvish…) But for some reason I never actually read the books. So similar to The Hobbit, when I saw that the audiobooks had been re-mastered and released, I jumped on the opportunity to get them – having loved Rob Inglis’ narration of the Hobbit. And he didn’t disappoint in The Fellowship of the Ring.

For me, the one thing that took me by surprise was the length of time that was actually encompassed in the book. From the movies you would have thought that Frodo ended up with the ring and almost immediately left on his journey – but in truth, there was actually a period of about 12 years between when he got it and he left on journey. There were also many things that didn’t quite make it into the movies (Tom Bombadil for one) – which added to the listening experience; and yet at the same time, proved that at its core, there was probably a lot of extraneous stuff in the book that wasn’t needed (and maybe if that was the case and it was reduced a bit more people may read/enjoy it – because it seemed a common complaint that I have seen is the length/meandering style of his writing).

I have to admit that I’m a bit in 2 minds over whether I enjoyed it or not – for the most part I did, and the parts that were reflected in the movie, I was glad to see how they were described in writing; but at the same time – if I hadn’t been listening to the audiobook, I probably would have given up at some point because there were parts where it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere…

Rob Inglis once again nailed the narration from the voice distinction of the different Hobbits; to the continuous voicing of Gandalf (from The Hobbit), I was impressed. I think that my one comment would be, that at times, Gandalf and Aragon started to sound a bit similar to each other – but it wasn’t too overwhelming. I’m curious to start the next book and see how it turns out as compared to the movie and overall because I remember it not being my favorite…Overall, I would give FotR 3.5 stars, but rounding up to 4.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Audiobook Review, Classics Challenge

 

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Audiobook Review – The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein

The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein

Narrator: Rob Inglis
Run Time: 11 hours and 8 minutes
Publisher: Recorded Books

Book Description:
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Review:
So I am probably one of the few people who had never read or listened to the Hobbit prior to this audiobook. Growing up I was never really into fantasy books – that is something that I have only started getting into in the last year or so. Of course, during college, I did go and see all three of the Lord of the Rings movies when they came out – so when I heard that the Hobbit was going to be released in December, I thought that this was a perfect time to read/listen to it (since I have a personal rule to always read the book prior to seeing the movie). As a side-note, in college, it was funny, that my one room-mate and I had christened our room, the Hobbit hole…mostly because we were the two shortest people in our company (ROTC and all that jazz), and it gave us some laughs…

Upon finishing it, all I can say is, why the heck did no one force me to read/listen to this sooner. I laughed so much while I was driving and listening – I’m actually amazed I didn’t have an accident or anything like that. I think that a lot of my enjoyment was tied up in the narration of the audiobook (but I will touch on that in a few moments). I do think that there was a lot of meandering, and times where chunks of words could have been cut out – but I also think that if that had happened, some of the magic might have been lost.

And on to the narration – I cannot imagine anyone better than Rob Inglis to narrate this book. As soon as I started, I was sucked into his narration. His singing of the various ditties through-out was perfect (I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out). And his Golem voice – I seriously felt like I was in the movie theater seeing Golem as he was in the Lord of the Rings movies (although, looking at the cast list, I can see that it wasn’t him). My mind is still boggled at how he managed to make all of the dwarves sound different through-out – especially with how similar many of the names were – I know that I would have been likely befuddled.

This is an audiobook that can be enjoyed by all – lovers of Tolkein and newbies; young and old. Listen to it!

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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