This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Fellowship Of The Ring - Being The First…

The Fellowship Of The Ring - Being The First Part Of The Lord Of The Rings (original 1954; edition 2003)

by J.R.R. Tolkein (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
42,88836822 (4.37)6 / 571
The first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful ppower of the One ring. All the members of the fellowship, hobbits, elves and wizards, are plunged into a clash between good and evil.
Title:The Fellowship Of The Ring - Being The First Part Of The Lord Of The Rings
Authors:J.R.R. Tolkein (Author)
Info:Houghton Mifflin Company (2003), Edition: Reprint
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954)


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

English (342)  Spanish (10)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (362)
Showing 1-5 of 342 (next | show all)
Audiobook returned.

The narrator is a poor choice for this. He does not characterise the voices sufficiently well to recognise who is speaking; the voices for the young hobbits, especially young Sam sound far too old. He also speaks at an unvarying pace which starts to drift into the background for me.

The Rob Inglis version is NOT recommended ( )
  Kindleifier | Oct 24, 2020 |
"'Won't somebody give us a bit of a song, while the sun is high?' said Merry, when they had finished. 'We haven't had a song or a tale for days.'" (pg. 271)

Re-reading the first part of The Lord of the Rings for the first time since my early teens, I had expected that my impressions of the book would be profoundly changed. I last read The Fellowship of the Ring around 2004, in the immediate aftermath of the films, and I remember being disappointed. The book was much slower, was less inclined to stirring action than the big-screen adaptation, and it had confusing diversions such as Tom Bombadil and the barrow-wights. The writing, while not difficult for a fourteen-year-old, seemed ordinary and dense with unnecessary lore. Now that I am older, and with much longer and denser literary tomes conquered on my bookshelf, I expected I would have a substantially different experience this time. I both did and did not, as I hope to explain in my review, but all in all, reading Fellowship again was a rather muted experience.

Ultimately, the books cannot now escape the shadow of the films. This is not solely because of circumstance, because of the fact that everyone has seen them and they have become so culturally recognised, but because the films improve on what Tolkien did. Often in my re-reading of Fellowship, I found myself marvelling not at Tolkien's creation (though I should) but at the craft of screenwriting evident in the films. Many of the great lines come direct from Tolkien, to his credit, but the films synthesised the stories in a way that embraced the lore and the spirit of Tolkien while making it much more arresting for the audience. Key events such as Bilbo's party, the pursuit of the hobbits by the Nazgûl, and both the forming and the breaking of the Fellowship, are quite simply plotted much better in the films, and it has little or nothing to do with the demands of the newer medium for simplicity, action or spectacle. Each of the storytelling choices on film were just better decisions in general.

This is not to say that Tolkien did poorly; on the contrary, his achievement is magnificent and, if you love the Lord of the Rings films, as I do, then a huge chunk of the credit goes to their original creator. I have already mentioned how many of the great lines from the film are his, but it is also worth restating an obvious and well-worn point: Tolkien's world-building is fantastic. Middle-earth feels complete and real, for all its elves and magic and dark lords, and if Tolkien sometimes gets a bit too heavy in his lore (lines like "in the Riddermark of Rohan the Rohirrim, the Horse-lords, dwell" would be more perplexing if I didn't already know the story), it is rarely off-putting. He set a standard of world-building that most writers could not meet, and those that have met it have been called his imitators. He is one of the true originators in popular genre fiction, alongside the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Lucas and Ian Fleming. Many adventure writers could build their entire reputations around just one of Tolkien's set-pieces; it is remarkable that Tolkien had the genius to conceive of, and write convincingly, the flight from the Nazgûl, the corruption of the Ring, the arrival of Strider, Weathertop, the fall of Gandalf in Moria, and the breaking of the Fellowship (though it should be noted that the fall of Boromir is, strangely, left to open The Two Towers in print). All these incredible, pivotal, instant-classic scenes – and it's only book one of three. It's a wealth of storytelling treasure.

That said, there are some oddities in Tolkien's writing. Tom Bombadil quite rightly gets a kicking, critically speaking, mostly because he won't shut up singing, but also because his role and placement in the book is a drag. His presence interrupts the time-sensitive peril of the hobbits' flight from the Nazgûl, and the fact that he flippantly shows the Ring has no effect on him or his realm somewhat spikes the reader's sense of its supposedly catastrophic effect on Middle-earth.

But mostly it's the singing. We go from the danger of Black Riders and the fate of the world to "hey, Tom, Tom Bombadillo, a ring a ding dillo" from some weirdo who lives in the woods. And he's not the only one who breaks into song: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Aragorn, Legolas, and countless others – no one, it seems, can refrain from a whimsical refrain about willow trees and merry-hearted gladness. "Tom sang most of the time, but it was chiefly nonsense" (pg. 193), and this is true; the songs are silly but they don't sink the book, just as the 'hey nonny nonny' stuff in Shakespeare doesn't sink his plays.

A greater problem, once you learn to tune out the singing, is that – Gandalf aside – the characters all sound alike. The dialogue is functional and lacks differentiation; when Merry says, in response to a piece of lore, that "it must be evil indeed" in that place (pg. 388), he sounds exactly like Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, or any other of the characters. The secondary characters – Legolas, Gimli, etc. – don't have the arcs or the character moments they are granted in the film. Aragorn is the biggest disappointment; there is none of the reluctant kingship that defines his character in the films. Here, he readily agrees with Boromir to go to Minas Tirith as king and reforges the sword Narsil as the Fellowship leaves Rivendell. He resolutely believes that "the hour had come at last when the heir of Elendil should come forth and strive with Sauron for the mastery" (pg. 484). Frankly, it's just less interesting than what Peter Jackson, Viggo Mortensen and the screenwriters give the character.

These are all, to be honest, more or less the same thoughts I had at fourteen years old: the films are better though the books are good, the songs are ridiculous but can be skipped, and the writing is denser than it needs to be. But I mentioned at the start of this review that I both did and did not have a different experience this time around. In the sense that I did, it came in two ways.

The first is that, now that I am older with some more sophisticated literature under my belt, I began to thirst for a literary element in Fellowship that wasn't necessarily there. I recently watched an interview with the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, in which he said he did not understand the appeal of Tolkien's writing, seeing it as of little merit. I thought that harsh at the time, and in some ways I still do, but Borges' criticism kept returning to my mind as I re-read Fellowship. The prose is functional and the book is all plot and world-building, rarely addressing things on a deeper level. Usually, I can find thematic undercurrents in what I read, but aside from 'good versus evil', I struggled to engage with much beyond the superficial here.

Maybe it's all tapped out, a feeling of over-familiarity I have from being aware of The Lord of the Rings world for twenty years. But it's interesting to note that Tolkien himself writes, in his Foreword, that the book has no "inner meaning or 'message'… neither allegorical nor topical" and that it "does not resemble" the real-life War (pg. xvii). There were many passages that made me think, 'come on, this is the Second World War': the dark power rising again after the first Alliance failed to beat it, the dwarves seeking refuge in the West, the appeaser Saruman thinking he can control Sauron, the one great race (the elves/British) passing the torch to a new one (the race of Men/Americans). I can see why Tolkien was keen to distance himself from this, not wanting his meticulously crafted world to be cheapened or overshadowed by claims of being ripped from the headlines, but it's strange that he was so reluctant to acknowledge it, or blind to it. Even if he didn't intend allegory, Middle-earth was created in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s, and it would be rather absurd to argue it wasn't influenced by the seismic history being written daily in the real world at the time. It's very interesting from a literary perspective, which makes it frustrating that the author was at such pains to nix it.

The second way in which I had a different experience this time around was a happier one; I found that I could appreciate the smaller and more contemplative moments of Tolkien's story. I remember, as a teenage reader, getting bored by the Shire, but now that I am older I understand much more intuitively its appeal, and Frodo's reluctance to leave. I remember being disappointed that the action was less impressive than in the films, with Weathertop and the Mines of Moria lacking the beats or thrills of the screen (the teenage me didn't appreciate how much harder that sort of thing is to deliver in print), but this time around I was much less impatient when Strider is gathering athelas herbs, or Frodo is gazing into the Mirror of Galadriel.

Even with my longstanding familiarity with The Lord of the Rings, I was still finding new responses to Tolkien's book. I think if I had come to this fresh – as impossible as that is after the films and their deep imprint on pop-culture – I would appreciate the story, the world-building, and the genius of Tolkien's work all the more. For all its flaws and oddities, the story is fantastically ambitious – and successful in that ambition. Instantly memorable scenes like the flight from the Nazgûl or Gandalf in Moria could make a reputation by themselves. It is classic adventure that can shrug off my criticisms easily, and cause things to bubble up in the imagination which deserve all my praise. You still shouldn't expect me to sing along, though.

"'Yes, you have seen a thing or two since you last peeped out of a looking-glass,' he said to his reflection. 'But now for a merry meeting!' He stretched out his arms and whistled a tune." (pg. 295) ( )
2 vote Mike_F | Oct 23, 2020 |
This book was mentioned on Episode 2 of Checking Out. Listen here!

one word: Tom Bombadill ( )
  rachelreading | Oct 17, 2020 |
What can I say?

It's the quintessential fantasy novel. The writing is perfect, deep in its description and huge in its scope. The story is one of courage, friendship, and dedication to what is good, all wrapped in a fantasy setting that set the standard for all fantasy stories.

It is and always will be one of my all-time favorites. ( )
  crleverette | Oct 5, 2020 |
Διαβάζοντας το στην γλώσσα που γράφτηκε μπορείς να εκτιμήσεις πολύ περισσότερο την αξία αυτού του έργου.
Η ελληνική απόδοση είναι καλή αλλά διαβάζοντας για την Goldberry μπορείς να φανταστείς την αιθέρια γυναίκα του Tom Bombadil, ενώ διαβάζοντας για την Χρυσομουριά το μυαλό σου πάει σε κάποια θείτσα από την Πέρα Ραχούλα. ( )
  NickosX | Sep 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 342 (next | show all)
Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.
added by GYKM | editEvening Standard
Tolkien was a storyteller of genius
added by GYKM | editLiterary Review
A triumphant close ... a grand piece of work, grand in both conception and execution. An astonishing imaginative tour de force.
added by GYKM | editDaily Telegraph
A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness
added by GYKM | editNew Statesman
added by Shortride | editTime (Nov 22, 1954)

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Douglas A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Andersson, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blok, CorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domènech, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Göncz ÁrpádTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herring, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglis, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krege, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marshall, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Määttänen, HeikkiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nasmith, TedCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohlmarks, ÅkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsson, LottaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pošustová-Menšík… StanislavaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, DarrellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westra, Liuwe H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in


Is retold in

Has the adaptation


Has as a commentary on the text

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Tre har elvernes konge i dybeste skove,
Syv har dværgenes herrer i sale af sten,
Ni har mennesket dødeligt, dømt til at sove
Én har den natsote fyrste for ondskab og mén
I Mordors land, hvor skygger ruge.
Én Ring er over dem alle, Én Ring kan finde de andre
Én Ring kan bringe dem alle, i mørket lænke dem alle
I Mordors land, hvor skygger ruge.
First words
Prologue - This book is largely concerned with Hobbits, and from its pages a reader may discover much of their character and a little of their history.
Chap One - 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.
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.
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.
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
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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 Volume I, The Fellowship of the Ring; please do not combine it with any other part(s) or with Tolkien's complete work, each of which have LT Works pages of their own. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
The first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful ppower of the One ring. All the members of the fellowship, hobbits, elves and wizards, are plunged into a clash between good and evil.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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
Galadriel says,
“All will love me and despair!”
What a Drama Queen.


Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.37)
0.5 5
1 100
1.5 14
2 287
2.5 79
3 1152
3.5 214
4 3021
4.5 483
5 6432


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 151,699,075 books! | Top bar: Always visible