HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Loading...

The Lord of the Rings (original 1954; edition 1966)

by J. R. R. Tolkien

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
33,73332920 (4.53)1002
Member:Cammy
Title:The Lord of the Rings
Authors:J. R. R. Tolkien
Info:Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974, c1966.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (Author) (1954)

  1. 175
    The Fionavar Tapestry 1. The Summer Tree 2. The Wandering Fire 3. The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay (geophile)
  2. 90
    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien (Percevan)
  3. 91
    The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien (guurtjesboekenkast)
  4. 71
    Watership Down by Richard Adams (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Two great examples of fine English fantasy.
  5. 50
    The Hobbit (Unabridged) (part 1 of 2) by J. R. R. Tolkien (readysetgo)
  6. 84
    The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison (DCBlack)
    DCBlack: Tolkien himself gave Eddison high praise, saying he was "The greatest and most convincing writer of 'invented worlds' that I have read". Of Eddison's best known works, 'The Worm Ouroboros' is the place to start. If you like it you may want to try his Zimiamvia trilogy too.… (more)
  7. 51
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (LKAYC)
  8. 62
    Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner (one-horse.library)
    one-horse.library: Guy forges a ring of power. Everyone who refused to give up the ring has it taken away from them and they die, sooner or later. Except for Wotan, the only person to give it up voluntarily.
  9. 30
    Bilbo's Last Song by J. R. R. Tolkien (Michael.Rimmer)
  10. 74
    Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock (artturnerjr)
  11. 53
    The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien (Percevan)
  12. 86
    The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis (Death_By_Papercut)
  13. 75
    The Last Ringbearer by Kiril Yeskov (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Great alternate history version of the Middle Earth saga--told from the 'evil' Mordor side.
  14. 11
    The Well of the Unicorn by Fletcher Pratt (LamontCranston)
  15. 11
    The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (Anonymous user)
  16. 12
    The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin by Patrick Doud (utterlycharming)
  17. 12
    Heaven's War by Micah Harris (jpers36)
  18. 12
    Elfhunter by C. S. Marks (anyanwubutler)
  19. 46
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H. P. Lovecraft (artturnerjr)
  20. 68
    Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind by Hayao Miyazaki (ecureuil)

(see all 22 recommendations)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 1002 mentions

English (272)  Dutch (17)  German (7)  Spanish (7)  Italian (7)  Finnish (4)  French (4)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (328)
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
I read this book when I was eighteen and needed a week’s recovery to get over my wisdom teeth coming out. As such this novel was ideal, stretching on as it did in its picaresque way across the Middle World.

I’m not so sure I’d enjoy rereading it now. Even back when I did read it, I remember there were passages which just seemed to go on for too long, Tolkien’s love of Old English and the sound of words not being shared to the same extent by myself. Of course, Frodo with his human frailties engages the reader ad there are periods of excitement. But while the tone of the novel is so evocative, the reduction of characters, by and large, to being on the side of good or evil is too great a simplification. Yes, Gollum’s history reveals greater complexity and we have even Gandalf acknowledging temptation but for the most part we’re in little doubt about where the characters stand.

What I will say, though, is that at least Tolkien, having set some rules in this fantasy, sticks by them. Fantasies like the Harry Potter series, where there’s a deus ex machine round every corner sap my interest faster than burst balloon. I guess, thinking about it, this genre just doesn’t appeal to me. ( )
1 vote evening | Jul 24, 2014 |
Tolkien, epic, fantasy, Lord of the Rings ( )
  MsFunk | Jul 19, 2014 |
As a young man Tolkien, like Hemingway, witnessed firsthand the awful slaughter of WWI. Like Hemingway he survived, but by 1918, according to the preface of The Lord of the Rings, all but one of his closest friends were dead. He wrote the trilogy in the period from 1936 - 1949, which may help to explain the work’s dark, often apocalyptic tone -- as well as its “good versus evil” subject matter.

The truth is that unlike his other famous book, The Hobbit (first published in 1936), The Lord of the Rings is not really meant for children. Certain children do devour it though, as I did when I was eight or ten. It had a major impact, opening my eyes to the power of literature as no other book had. The Shire and Mordor, Fangorn Forest, Moria, Rivendell and Lothlórien; I regret that the movies have blurred the vivid landscapes of Middle Earth in my mind, replacing them with the crisp silver-screen versions filmed on location in New Zealand. New Zealand is highly photogenic and fairly well-suited to Tolkien, but screen images are incapable of evoking the same magic or carrying the same emotional charge as fictional landscapes, especially those you read as a child.

The fact is -- and this is a powerful counter-argument to the lament that the novel is dead or dying -- film simply can’t accomplish the things with landscape that literature can. Well-drawn literary landscapes become rooted in your soul, instead of washing over in blasts of music and awe-inspiring, computer-enhanced cinematography.
I picked up the books again several years back, partly because I had the time (at over a thousand densely-printed pages it’s not the kind of thing you can read in single afternoon), and partly because I wanted to revisit it before Hollywood stole my primeval memories of hobbits, wizards, and the detours and byways of Middle Earth. I was not disappointed. It really is a terrific story, in some ways even better than I had remembered.

I was tempted to go on a mission to revive the books’ standing among the MFA set, but then it’s not as if the Tolkien estate really needs my help. Those who love the trilogy will always love it despite the commercial hype, and it will continue to be difficult to explain to those who have avoided it or haven’t been able to get through the first hundred pages (and there are many) what it is that’s so wonderful about it. The uninitiated reader will have to simply take it on faith that The Lord of the Rings provides an unparalleled example of how a fantasy novel can express an extremely true and compelling vision of human existence.

I won’t bother to summarize the plot too extensively. It’s a straightforward quest story, with the twist that the quest is not to retrieve the grail but rather to destroy it. Over the course of the book Frodo Baggins and his fellowship make their way ever eastward, from the bucolic backwater of the hobbits’ Shire to the seething darkness of Mordor. On the way the party experiences many setbacks, as the reader gradually becomes aware of a miasma of apocalyptic evil that is settling over the novel’s world.

They stop over in some very nice places on the way, however, Eden-like way-stations populated primarily by elves, in which the travelers long to remain but cannot. These way-stations are what concern us, because they stand out in the story like islands of light in a rising sea of darkness. They are outposts of a detailed, magical world that has already been lost.

Rather than quote at length from these chapters I’ve selected a few nearly random passages to give you something of the flavor:

"Slowly the hall filled, and Frodo looked with delight upon the many fair faces that were gathered together; the golden firelight played upon them and shimmered in their hair."

"The others cast themselves down upon the fragrant grass, but Frodo stood awhile still lost in wonder. It seemed to him that he had stepped through a high window that looked on a vanished world. A light was upon it for which his language had no name."

Tolkien was an Oxford professor, deeply absorbed in his studies. His main areas of focus were early Nordic and Anglo-Saxon literature, and during the course of his writing life he made up an entire world that was inspired by and in many ways based upon, these bodies of myth. There’s a great deal of verse scattered throughout The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, much of it in Elvish, a complex language that Tolkien, a gifted linguist, ambitiously invented out of whole cloth. I have a feeling that most people simply skip over the verse to get on with the story, but that’s a mistake, because the verse is important to the underlying mood of the books -- the tip of the iceberg, if you will, exposing the vast and emotionally charged lost domain dwelling beneath the story, scaffolding it, and bestowing its unique inner power.

As Frodo’s party makes its way steadily eastward, between and sometimes even during their sojourns in way-stations of light and Bardic poetry, the evil in the world begins to assert itself with ever greater force. Terrifying ringwraiths assail the party and wound Frodo with a clammy blade; flocks of crows and other flying creatures careen menacingly through the sky above their heads; orcs pursue them through the abandoned mines of Moria, and a powerful monster drags the wizard Gandalf down into the abyss. Meanwhile the dreadful penumbra encroaches upon every quarter of the sky, and it is apparent that even fortresses of light such as Rivendell and Lothlórien must eventually succumb to the rising tide of Evil.

This image of a world gradually drowning in darkness buttresses the dramatic tensions inherent in the quest story; it is at bottom an extremely dark tale. Frodo’s journey is from one pole to another -- from the pole of light to the pole of darkness. Early in the quest, soon after they’ve left the last outpost of the known hobbit world, Frodo tries to sleep:

"He lay tossing and turning and listening fearfully to the stealthy night noises: wind in chinks of rock, water dripping, a crack, the sudden rattling fall of a loosened stone. He felt that black shapes were advancing to smother him . . . He lay down again and passed into an uneasy dream, in which he walked on the grass in his garden in the Shire, but it seemed faint and dim, less clear than the tall black shadows that stood looking over the hedge."

And much later, as he and his faithful servant Sam slog along through the swamps on the outskirts of Mordor:

"Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers. As the day wore on the light increased a little, and the mists lifted, growing thinner and more transparent. Far above the rot and vapors of the world the Sun was riding high and golden now in a serene country with floors of dazzling foam, but only a passing ghost of her could they see below, bleared, pale, giving no color and no warmth."

The Lord of the Rings is full of such bleak, frightening images; the prevailing mood is one of fear and dread. What saves it from being merely horrifying or depressing, however, is the potential for redemption. It’s always there in the background. Sometimes it bleeds through, like rays of sunlight appearing through a break in a low overcast.

You can’t have true darkness without light to offset it; you need one to comprehend the other. Fear and dread open the possibility for uncomplicated joy, just as the presence of light gives extra power to the encroaching darkness. To put it in more mundane terms, the “reason” for the elegiac passages -- the “islands” of festivity and light -- is to make the encroaching evil more real and more threatening, and the overwhelmingly dark tone of the story as a whole causes the “islands” to burn that much more brightly.

It is a well-known fact that fiction about happiness is untenable; less well-known, perhaps, is that fiction based solely in realms of darkness also comes too easily, and is by nature incomplete. Evil is indisputably a part of life (although perhaps not in the simple-minded terms put forth by neoconservatives and certain heads of state), but so is love. This is the wisdom underlying Tolkien’s work. His novels enact this truth compellingly and on an epic scale. ( )
1 vote weedlit | Jul 16, 2014 |
Boring. What is seriously lacking in Tolkien's world is just imagination in general. A robot with enough computation power could build a world just as complex and detailed as the one in LOTR. He did it well, but he only reprocessed old ideas and inventions. To me, reading this book is as stimulating as reading the phone directory. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
One of my most favourite books.
Enough said. ( )
  maheswaranm | Mar 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alliata di Villafranca, VickyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alliata, VittoriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auld, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bisaro, FrancescoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fettes, ChristopherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grathmer, IngahildIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglis, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohlmarks, ÅkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Principe, QuirinoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zolla, ElémireForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Contains

Is retold in

Has the adaptation

Is parodied in

Inspired

Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a study

Has as a supplement

Has as a commentary on the text

Has as a student's study guide

Has as a teacher's guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
Dedication
First words
When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.
Quotations
I regret to announce that—though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you—this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!
The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far away the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too quick to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
J.R.R. Tolkien's complete work The Lord of the Rings consists of six Books, frequently bound in three Volumes, as follow:

Volume I: The Fellowship of the Ring, consisting of Book 1, "The Ring Sets Out" and Book 2, "The Ring Goes South";
Volume II: The Two Towers, consisting of Book 3, "The Treason of Isengard," and Book 4, "The Ring Goes East"; and
Volume III: The Return of the King, consisting of Book 5, "The War of the Ring," and Book 6, "The End of the Third Age," with Appendices.

This LT Work consists of Tolkien's complete work; please do not combine it with any constituent part(s), each of which have LT Works pages of their own.

Also, do not combine with the BBC Radio dramatization (while straight audiobooks are generally considered the same work as the original - dramatizations are often regarded as abridgements that should be kept separate.).

Thank you.

Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power -- the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring -- the ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. 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.
Haiku summary
Halfling bears the Ring
from Bag End womb to Mount Doom,
hence Return of King.
(ed.pendragon)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618640150, Paperback)

A Christian can almost be forgiven for not reading the Bible, but there's no salvation for a fantasy fan who hasn't read the gospel of the genre, J.R.R. Tolkien's definitive three-book epic, the Lord of the Rings (encompassing The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King), and its charming precursor, The Hobbit. That many (if not most) fantasy works are in some way derivative of Tolkien is understood, but the influence of the Lord of the Rings is so universal that everybody from George Lucas to Led Zeppelin has appropriated it for one purpose or another.

Not just revolutionary because it was groundbreaking, the Lord of the Rings is timeless because it's the product of a truly top-shelf mind. Tolkien was a distinguished linguist and Oxford scholar of dead languages, with strong ideas about the importance of myth and story and a deep appreciation of nature. His epic, 10 years in the making, recounts the Great War of the Ring and the closing of Middle-Earth's Third Age, a time when magic begins to fade from the world and men rise to dominance. Tolkien carefully details this transition with tremendous skill and love, creating in the Lord of the Rings a universal and all-embracing tale, a justly celebrated classic. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:54 -0400)

(see all 12 descriptions)

Presents the epic depicting the Great War of the Ring, a struggle between good and evil in Middle-earth, following the odyssey of Frodo the hobbit and his companions on a quest to destroy the Ring of Power.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 40 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.53)
0.5 7
1 56
1.5 11
2 158
2.5 77
3 543
3.5 152
4 1806
4.5 392
5 5831

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,699,938 books! | Top bar: Always visible