The only "unabridged" audio recording of FOTR, my aunt Lobelia! WHERE IS THE PROLOGUE?!!!! That is not only a part of the book but contains some important information for the story you're about to read. Why the fiddlesticks would you leave that out and then call it unabridged? Tricksy, filthy editorses. We hates them, precious.
Ok, I don't hate them, but the point still stands. No tea for them!
It's been too long since I've reread LOTR, and Fellowship is still as awesome as I remember. I really don't get why people think this book is slow or too wordy or hard to read. Black riders, the Conspiracy, Old Man Willow, the barrow-downs, "A Knife in the Dark" and "The Flight to the Ford," the forming of the Fellowship, Caradhras, Moria, the balrog, the breaking of the Fellowship, and of course the scariest creature of them all: Tom Bombadil. :D It's got it all: fun, good times to kick off the adventure, suspense, horror, action, FRIENDSHIP.
"But it does not seem I can trust anyone," said Frodo.
Sam looked at him unhappily. "It all depends on what you want," put in Merry. "You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin - to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours - closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo."
Is it any wonder that I, introverted and socially awkward, fell for the hobbits so hard? I could only dream about having friends like that, and the hobbits had them in spades. And is it any wonder why Sam would become my favorite character of all time, not just of this book but of anything ever? He's the only one of the company who isn't any form of nobility or influence, and yet he'll go on to play one of the most crucial parts of the War of the Ring, and he's just super loyal and awesome and squishable. He totally fanboys over the Elves when he finally meets them and comes away with a new understanding of them and his purpose, and literally grows up overnight.
"Do you like them still, now you have had a closer view?"
"They seem a bit above my likes and dislikes, so to speak," answered Sam slowly. "It don't seem to matter what I think about them. They are quite different from what I expected - so old and young, and so gay and sad, as it were." ... "I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way. I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can't turn back. It isn't to see Elves now, nor dragons, nor mountains, that I want - I don't rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire. I must see it through, sir, if you understand me."
SAM YOU BEAUTIFUL SOUL!
I adore everything this book chooses to be (minus that whackadoo in yellow boots). Tolkien does so much in such a short space of time, setting up all their characters, all their relationships with each other, constantly raising the stakes and the tension. The Mines of Moria - that chapter is insane. Every time you think things can't possibly get worse - THEY DO. The writing in LOTR is levels above that in The Hobbit, and the characterizations are instantly deep and complex.
This is my favorite book, and favorite movie because I would never have read the books if the movie hadn't been so awesome. I had very few issues with the movie - Frodo being reduced a dude who falls down a lot and Arwen stealing his thunder at the Ford of Bruinen being most of the list. (The lists get longer as the movies go on.) I'm not sorry about losing Bombadil, but I was super bummed about losing the barrow-downs as a result because that chapter is nightmare fuel personified, and it's the first time that Frodo gets to show that seed of courage at the heart of all hobbits, and it was really important that this happened before they met Strider because it gives him a chance to be tested before they have their big bad bodyguard around to help them. And considering PJ gave his moment at the Ford of Bruinen to Arwen, all we get to see him do in the movie before the breaking of the Fellowship is react to things. It's the Hermoine-effect - building up one character to the detriment of another. I love that they gave Arwen screen time, but they could've done that and let Frodo have his moment of awesome.
Anyway, before I write an entire essay:
Rob Inglis's narration is great again. I love being able to hear the songs, and he has a pleasant singing voice. Some of his pronunciations of the names and places are off, but that will only bother the nitpicks. ... Which is so not me. *whistles innocently and strolls away*
But yeah, missing prologue. 1/2 star off.