The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Thoughts: As anyone who follows my blog would know, I like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and I have been a big fan of the movies since watching them many years ago. Now I have finally read the book and as I expected, it was beyond fantastic. It is easily one of the best books that I have ever read. Because there are some people that have not read the book or seen the movies, this is a spoiler-free review. However, in a later post I will compare the book to the movie.
I already like the story of The Lord of the Rings and it is one of the most original concepts ever created in fiction. There has never been anything like it before or since. Because I am a fan of the movies I enjoyed every minute of the book, however there are a few things that may discourage reads who are new to the story. One of which being the songs and poems. In the book there are many songs and poems, which can become monotonous at times (it did not bother me much though). Although the audiobook is better in those parts because you are listening to them not reading them, fortunately they were removed from the movie. The book starts a little slow, taking several chapters of exposition to get the plot moving. One more thing, there are some passages in the book that are written in different Middle Earth languages, which are not translated.
Disclaimer: I do not have near as much experience with books as I do with movies, although who could not agree that The Lord of the Rings are fantastic books.
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Epic
Release Date: July 24, 1954
Plot: Bilbo Baggins celebrates his 111th (or eleventy-first, as it is called in Hobbiton) birthday on the same day, September 22, that his relative and adopted heir Frodo Baggins celebrates his coming of age at 33. At the birthday party, Bilbo departs from the Shire, the land of the Hobbits, for what he calls a permanent holiday. He leaves Frodo his remaining belongings, including his home, Bag End, and (after some persuasion by the wizard Gandalf) the Ring he had found on his adventures (which he used to make himself invisible). Gandalf leaves on his own business, warning Frodo to keep the Ring secret.
Over the next 17 years Gandalf periodically pays short visits to Bag End. One spring night, he arrives to warn Frodo about the truth of Bilbo's ring; it is the One Ring of Sauron the Dark Lord. Sauron forged it to subdue and rule Middle-earth, but in the War of the Last Alliance, he was defeated by Gil-galad the Elven King and Elendil, High King of Arnor and Gondor, though they themselves perished in the deed. Isildur, Elendil's son, cut the Ring from Sauron's finger. Sauron was thus overthrown, but the Ring itself was not destroyed as Isildur kept it for himself. Isildur was slain soon afterward in the Battle of the Gladden Fields, and the Ring was lost in Great River Anduin. Thousands of years later, it was found by the hobbit Deagol; but Deagol was thereupon murdered by his friend Smeagol, who coveted the Ring for himself. Smeagol subsequently possessed the Ring for centuries, and under its influence he became the creature named Gollum. The Ring was found by Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit, and Bilbo leaves it to Frodo. Sauron has risen again and returned to his stronghold in Mordor, and is exerting all his power to find the Ring. Read the book to know what happens next.
Plot: 10/10- Because I have already seen the movie many times (extended edition as well), there were very few plot twists that I did not expect, although there are a good deal of changes from the book to movie, which I will go into more detail in the later post. The writing style is good, although the meanings of some words have changed over the years and Tolkien goes into much detail in describing the people and places.
By far, this is the best book ever written (including the other entries in the series), there is so much mythos and history in the fictional world of Middle Earth. In the copy I own, which contains all three books, it includes the Eleven and Dwarven languages as well as maps of Middle Earth.
Audiobook: 8.9/10- The audiobook was fan made and it got progressively better as the creator improved his quality. Although there might be a few minor errors, it is well worth listening to it compared to the other Lord of the Rings audiobooks out there. Howard Shore's epic score is used very well and adds to the feel of the book just as it did in the film. Also the sound effects and background sounds helps to add the proper atmosphere to the scenes. Some of the words might not be expressed exactly right and there are a few choppy cuts but that does not diminish the experience.
Overall: 10/10- Without any doubt The Fellowship of the Ring deserves a perfect ten, it is one of my all-time favorite books.
Closing Comments: It is hard to truly give this masterpiece of literature justice in my review, however if you like books or movies you must watch/read The Lord of the Rings.
Some might want me to answer the question: Which is better, the book or the movie? There is no real answer; both are the best in each respective media.
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