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Despite being written nearly 7 decades ago, the first book in the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy still remains just as powerful and its impact on the fantasy genre remains unrivaled.
In the ancient land of Middle-Earth, Tolkien introduces a familiar cast of characters from The Hobbit, including dwarves, elves, and hobbits. Bilbo Baggins, the central character of the prequel, makes his appearance and transfers the ring he found to his nephew, Frodo Baggins. After being taught more on the lore of the ring by the wizard Gandalf, Frodo decides to leave on an unlikely quest to destroy the ring against the odds.
Although The Fellowship of the Ring is written in much older English and weaves in intricate details that can be hard to absorb and understand, I would recommend this book for anyone who wants an immersion experience and what I consider to be one of the greatest books written.
I couldn't get past this being the most boring travel log ever--sorry devoted fans.
Where to even begin with this? Tolkien might be my favourite author of all time. Few books have made me so emotional, even after reading them several times each beat is no less powerful for it. The whole world has a quality of scale and age that I don't think any story did before, and I don't think any story has really done to the same degree since. He has such a wonderful way of just immediately putting you there, in Middle-Earth, walking under starlit forests with the elves or listening to the bustle of Shire life or the empty horror of Khazad-Dum. I love this series to no end.
Part One of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, this story follows Frodo Baggins and his companions on an adventure as big as Middle Earth - that's the land this fantasy takes place in - itself. Frodo is in possession of a ring that in the wrong hands would enable an evil ruler to destroy Good. Ultimately, this tale boils down to individual liberty versus big bad organized (crime, business, government) evil.
As a lifelong fan of the movies, I came into the Lord of the Rings' book series with high expectations, and boy did it deliver. It's certainly different from the movies (especially different from the controversial, action-filled, overly-franchising Hobbit trilogy from 2012). As soon as you start reading, you can wholly understand why Tolkien's last name became an adjective. It's akin to the way J. K. Rowling's (tweets aside) writing style became so iconic, with her whimsy and creative world-building. The Fellowship of the Ring isn't necessarily timeless in the conventional sense, as it is very different from modern literature, but it has timeless themes and well-recognized brilliance, regardless of its publication date of 1954. Tolkien's work was most definitely affected by the events of this time period: the Cold War, the maintaining of the Civil Rights movement, and the economic shift of power from Europe to America, Japan, and Russia (then the USSR). Themes of the Cold War can be found in the orcs serving an industrial powerhouse headed by Sauron that only aims to destroy its enemies. Themes of the Civil Rights movement can be found in the racial discrimination between the hobbits/dwarves and elves/men. This book is reflective of Tolkien's time, but is also a reflection of a talented man with some groundbreaking ideas.
The Fellowship of the Ring is a good book, but long, kind of boring, and only for the devoted reader.
For me, Fellowship of the Rings gets better with time. Your mileage will vary with this, and it will likely change depending upon what you bring to the book and where you are in your life; but it's that sort of book, too. It obviously does not change, yet I have as I've interacted with it over the years. Growing up, I loved the opening sections of the book in Hobbiton of the Shire, where life was simple and peaceful and folk lived in holes in the ground on the west side of the Brandywine; the old forest loomed over Buckland; and the big folk kept to themselves over in Breeland, but for the most part had no issues with their Hobbit neighbors. As I've grown up, I've loved the middle section of the book: the quest upon which Frodo and his three friends embark, eventually to meet Strider ("all that is gold does not glitter..."), a wandering and elusive ranger from the north; they carry with them a dark secret and are pursued by dangerous enemies into the wilds.
But now I find myself most enjoying the latter part of the book, after the party comes to Rivendell, when the fellowship proper is formed, and they embark upon their great quest. I enjoy the delve into Moria, and the escape across the Bridge; the stay in Lothlorien where time is different even if the days feel the same; and finally the slow journey down Anduin the Great, toward the falls, and toward the moment when the fellowship faces a difficult choice. It's such a sad ending to book, and the beginning of the next book is no less sad.
Some critique the book for a lack of "depth," but I think that is in part because of what they bring to the book. They bring with them ideas of what a story, narrative, and characters should be like. But this book is of another time and place; perhaps even a bit antiquated when it first released, it feels much older than it is, and this is especially true once the party leaves Rivendell. This is a book not about adventure, although there is adventure in it, but a book about lamenting things that have been lost or shall be. Every character throughout talks of things they or their people have lost because of the growing shadow in the east: the elves their connection to the world, men their great kingdom, the dwarves their mighty halls, and the halflings their peaceable lives. Because the magic of the world is fading, no one can win, or at least it seems as much; yet the characters push on because they must do what's right. This heroic impulse in the narrative is also perhaps off-putting for modern readers because we see how foolish it is. In a world where everything seems to be waning, the only thing waiting for Frodo is death; yet he goes forward anyway.
A fantastic start to Tolkien's epic. There are several scenes to readers may notice were not included in Peter Jackson's movies.
I thought I would like it. Boy was I wrong. As a lover of the films and The Hobbit (the novel), I prepared myself to finally delve into the brilliant and deep Lord of the Rings trilogy, almost buying the complete set because I was SURE I would love all three of them. The beginning is fabulous. Bilbo and Gandalf and Frodo and Sam. Seeing what life is like in the Shire and enjoying the simple but rich lifestyles of these affable halflings (except those dastardly Sackville-Baggins'). But as soon as the traveling begins, and as soon as the fellowship is assembled, it becomes a slog of "traveling, eating, resting, repeat." If the Silmarillion is the wordy academic deep-dive into Middle Earth history, then The Fellowship of the Rings is an exhaustively-detailed travelogue with little nuanced character motivation other than "evil bad, kill ring" or "evil bad, use ring." Unfortunately I will not be continuing my campaign to read the entirety of the Lord of the Rings. I will have to settle for Wikipedia summaries.
I just realized that though I've become such a Middle-earth nerd that I've read the History of Middle Earth, I have never reviewed the books that began my Middle-earth obsession.
Well, no more!
The Fellowship of the Ring is a wonderful beginning to the trilogy, starting out as a very light tale, and gradually growing heavier as Frodo's journey continues. I really enjoy all the backstory and little touches that give it so much depth.
Every time I read this, I am more impressed with the world that J. R. R. Tolkien created. (And every time I read it, I confuse my best friend more.)
This is a wonderful book, and I am really glad to have read it.
I really loved this book. It was really well written, and definitely worth being made into the movie trilogy. Since its a book that was written quite a while ago, the language is slightly difficult to understand, and it's made an even harder read by all the long and confusing names and backstories. Overall though, it's definitely worth reading.
I first read this when I was in middle school, and it has only gotten better now that I am an adult. The magic that Tolkien brought to us via the characters and tales of Middle Earth isn’t lost with my growing up. In fact, I can now see more of the magic than I could as a child.
With deep storylines, beautiful descriptions, and vivid, multilayered characters, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ is a wonderful beginning of a story that changed the genre of fantasy forever. Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and Men each have their part in a tale much bigger than themselves, and the interwoven plot and character development is fascinating to read.
If you have a love for fantasy and lore, you’ll find a world that’s as varied as our own. I recommend it to anybody and everybody who enjoys fantasy.
Specifically on the audio book: Listening to someone else reading it is a different experience. Rob Inglis was the right age and with the right vocal quality to make you feel that the great author himself is reading it to you. In any book you read to yourself, you can skip over places that get a little tedious for you, especially when re-reading. But with an audiobook, you are forced to listen to every word – which means you hear the story in new ways and get reminded of how you felt when you read it for the first time.
The book is not perfect, even in Inglis’s reading. There are a lot of masculine voices and if I didn’t know the story so well, it might be difficult sometimes to know if Aragorn or Gandalf or Boromir is speaking. And Tom Bombadil’s singing is still irritating. But after so many times through the book, by now I see even that as a “feature”, not a problem. Even with flaws, the great scope of *The Lord of Rings* makes it one of the major books of the 20th Century and a permanent classic. It will be popular 100 years from now.
Describing this book is quite simply impossible. The story itself was written as six novels, with depth given to even the trees and shrubs so that the reader could really imagine what Tolkien himself was. I highly recommend this book. It is a high fantasy classic for a reason. Character development is first rate among all genres. No clear use of deus ex machina like in most fantasy stories. Every step feels full and heavy. Many parts of the story really have you believing you can no longer read another line (in a good way) while a certain character feels he can't take another step. It is filled with wisdom. Do yourself and those around you a favor and read this book. If you hate fantasy, you will love this. If you love fantasy, you will be bewildered at the amount of thought that is placed at each step, and the connection you feel with the story. ...no, the movies are not better, but they could not have been done any better to represent such a masterpiece.
Just finished my second reading of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of this epic trilogy.
I dream of living in a place like Lothlorien. I told my kids that if I ever named my house I would call it Lothlorien. My daughter thought that was funny. I still think it a fine name for a home; a place of peace, safety, healing, unity, and beauty. What else should a home be?
Tolkien summed up so much of human desires (both good and bad) in his works.
I found the beginning of the story slow and with multiple offshoots that are somewhat distracting, but from Rivendell onwards, the story is excellent.
One of my favourite quotes:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
This is the book I would want on a desert island. I first read this at age 11 and it had a profound impact on me. The writing, the sense of wonder and loss that permeates every page, the vividness of the landscape are all brilliant. Every cat I have ever had has been named after characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Super Good. Frodo does not die (note for those who over think). Loved every part of it!
A classic of Fantasy Fiction and a must read for all who have seen the Peter Jackson film adaptation. The book tells a gripping story and while it does have some sections that could have been omitted, the entirety of the book speaks to the whole of the world that Tolkien strove to create and which stands as his greatest achievement. Tolkien continues a great story here and following Frodo through Middle Earth as he gains and loses much is worth reading at least once.
I read quite a bit of speculative and creative fiction: that is, fiction that takes place in worlds that look like our own, but are markedly different in terms of events, characters, and places. Tolkien’s invented world of Middle-earth is one example of such creative fiction that I enjoy, and have enjoyed for quite some time. My introduction to the Lord of the Rings came when a friend introduced me to the Peter Jackson films. I was awestruck with the ability to creature worlds and stories. I’ve attempted to read the books before, but have never been able to do so. Now, much older than I was then, I find myself breezing through Fellowship of the Ring, discovering myself as even more awestruck at what Tolkien accomplished with his writing.
In this book we have a world that lives and breathes, grows and changes, and of which we learn only a small portion of its history. At every turn I find myself reading about some new facet of lore, never fully explained, but only referenced, and I always want more. It seems one of the biggest complaint many readers have against this book is Tolkien’s use of poetry/song, but I find this one of the most fascinating and enchanting elements of the book. This is a part of what makes the world of Middle-earth feel so lived in and alive.
The story of hobbits, of these little and seemingly unimportant folk from the Shire, and how they meet elves, dwarves, men, and monsters, is the central theme to the story. Unlike Tolkien’s similar book, The Hobbit, the joy quickly drains from this work, and we find ourselves in the midst of war. Tolkien, however, never turns his narrative completely bleak, always managing to dangle hope in front of us; reminding us that not all things in the world are wicked and evil. There is goodness in the hearts of men, after all, even if it is easily buried and manipulated.
Fellowship of the Ring is a work of beauty and creative energy unlike any other. Part II of the book is especially engaging, drawing the reader into the events and travels of the fellowship as they attempt to unmake the dangerous Ring of Power. Many people have tried to make the One Ring a metaphor for the atomic bomb or other such things, but this seems to miss the spirit of the work itself. At its heart, The Lord of the Rings is a story about good overcoming evil. The ring itself is a small trifle, little more than a simple ring. Its danger lies in its ability to corrupt the minds of those who carry it (they need not even use it), and this, I think, is the key to the story. The ring is a thing of pure evil, no one can stand against it, but someone must destroy it. It is as though Tolkien is saying, “evil can and will corrupt the hearts of men, but we must do something to stop it!”
THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!! My family has read this book and they all said it was good, so I read it. Also if you've seen the movie, but haven't read the book, you need to read it. While the movie is good, the book is better. 5 STARS.
'The Fellowship of the Ring' was probably the best instalment in the three-book series of 'The Lord of the Rings'. It is by far not as depressing, complicated, monotonous, and gruesome as the third book. I enjoyed reading this immensely. Legolas is my favourite character, followed by Gimli and Sam.