The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings #1-3)

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  280,376 ratings  ·  6,886 reviews
Classics in 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 eve...more
Paperback, Box Set
Published September 1st 2003 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1954)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Help by Kathryn StockettWater for Elephants by Sara GruenThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Best for Book Clubs
199th out of 3,287 books — 8,630 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienOliver Twist by Charles DickensThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Good books with good movie adaptations
1st out of 50 books — 11 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
mark monday
not a review and there probably won't be one any time soon. i also won't be climbing Mount Everest in the near future. but here are some cool illustrations that i found and want to share.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

World of the Ring by Jian Guo
Brad
Twenty-five years ago I'd have given The Lord of the Rings my highest possible praise. I came to Tolkien's masterpiece on my own, and that meant much to me at twelve. The only books that had been reached by me alone were books on mythology and horror. Everything else I read, from DH Lawrence to Hemingway to Dickens to Shakespeare (and this also included Dracula and Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde because they were "true" classics), was suggested and sanctioned by my mother (for which I will always owe...more
Manny
Considering that The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books of the last century, it's surprising to see how few reviews there are here. I get the impression that many people feel guilty about liking it. It's a phase you go through, and the less said about it, the better. I think this is unfair to the book, which, I am prepared to argue, is a whole lot better than it's generally made out to be; I don't think its huge success is just evidence that people have no taste. It's something t...more
Keely
Authors who inspire a movement are usually misunderstood, especially by those they have inspired, and Tolkien is no exception, but one of the biggest misconceptions about Tolkien is the idea that he is somehow an 'innovator of fantasy'. He did add a number of techniques to the repertoire of epic fantasy writers, and these have been dutifully followed by his many imitators, but for the most part, these techniques are little more than bad habits.

Many have called Tolkien by such epithets as 'The Fa...more
N
Everything that people like about these books is pretty much what I dislike.

There's a cool story here, it's just a chore to actually get to it. I personally find Tolkien's writing to be agonizingly bland, and he is terrible at exposition -- he's always just dumping history lessons in the middle of things where they serve little purpose. Good fantasy writers drop these in unobtrusively. I don't mean to discount Tolkien's contribution to the fantasy genre -- although to be honest, I have never lik...more
Manny
Books

Look at thisss, hobbitses! Not bought at flea market for ten francses. Catalogue says worth seven hundred dollarses. Oh yes, Not knows about bookses, gollum. But can't touch, can't read, she says too valuable. Going to eat fish instead, but nice birthday present, oh yes precious.
Dolly
Jul 18, 2008 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who read fantasy and/or philosophy
I read Lord of the Rings first when I was about eleven or so, and then stayed up all night at a hip boy/girl party in the bathroom with Nathan O. ... talking about ents and elves and whether Tom Bombadil was God. Yes, I was a geeky child. However, all these years later, the story has stuck with me.

First a warning: Don't read Tolkien if you don't appreciate true-omnicient-narrator-style epics. Tolkien isn't a master character builder: he leaves all that to the reader's imagination. The agony in...more
Shovelmonkey1
Mar 28, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who feels like their journey to work is too long
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: millions of LARPers and fans can't be wrong

I became horrifically lazy towards the end of the LOTR re-read which was undertaken as part of my "month of the kitten squisher" and neglected to review the final two books which together make up The Return of the King. Not so much resting on my laurels as stretching out full length and having a big old snooze right on top of them. But you've all seen the film by now right? So no need to continue...

Kidding, kidding.
(and I've now put this review in the correct order so the newest bits are at the...more
Aubrey
Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I clutched at books…

-Richard Wright, Black Boy
If you want a purely enraptured detailing all of and only of love provoked by these pages, look elsewhere. If you desire an analysis of the fundamental roots of fantasy and how this book fits in within the wider scope of the literary genre, it is not here. If you crave a complete and utter breakdown of all the faults this novel begets on the larger realm of reality, you will be unsatisfied...more
Szplug
Out of the wreck rose the Black Rider, tall and threatening, towering above her. With a cry of hatred that stung the very ears like venom he let fall his mace. Her shield was shivered in many pieces, and her arm was broken; she stumbled to her knees. He bent over her like a cloud, and his eyes glittered; he raised his mace to kill.

One of the best books ever. Stirred the embers of more imaginations than can be measured. Found a way to reach something vital but ineffable inside millions of differe...more
Kristin Little
May 27, 2007 Kristin Little rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like walking and indecipherable poetry.
Save time... watch the movies. This book can appeal only to a linguist. The underlying story is great, but it is buried under an avalance of horribly annoying songs and poems that do nothing to advance the story. They just take up space. I diligently read every last one, hoping that they held some deep meaning in relation to the story, but if there is one, it is so obscure that it serves no purpose. Also, the book is all about walking. Yes, I know they are on an epic quest, and there has to be s...more
MJ Nicholls
Nov 16, 2012 MJ Nicholls marked it as getting-even  ·  review of another edition
Those books that balloon into virulent, lethal pop-culture viruses that feast on disinterested bystanders. You try to flee them by hiding in a disused warehouse under a soiled mattress in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but Frodo and his friends will find you eventually and pull you into their lair of medieval gimps called Bilbo and Bongo on an implausibly long and homoerotic quest for a misplaced ring. Did they look behind the sofa? Under the fridge? This whole quest could have been avoided!...more
Kanova
I was forced to read this book. Each member of my first book club had an opportunity to choose the book we read. When one of the members chose The Lord of the Rings I was not happy. Fantasy is not my genre! But I was a good book club member and read it anyway.

I loved it! There were times when I did not want to sleep because I wanted to finish just one more page or chapter. Tolkien creates whole worlds, languages, species, and histories. It is epic in its scope. Somehow he manages to entertain, m...more
Sakura87
Concedetemi un po' di autobiografismo, perché Tolkien non può essere recensito.

Era il gennaio del 2002 quando gli amici del liceo mi invitarono a vedere un film d'avventura. Il Signore degli anelli, questo il titolo della pellicola, e per le mie conoscenze letterarie d'allora poteva benissimo essere la biografia di un gioielliere. Andai tuttavia a vederlo con loro, entrando in sala senza alcuna idea di ciò che avrei dovuto aspettarmi.
Due ore e mezza dopo, uscii dalla sala con la bocca ancora ape...more
Werner
Apr 26, 2008 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who appreciates fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, classics
Actually, I read Tolkien's masterful Middle Earth fantasy corpus, beginning with The Hobbit in the early 70's and finishing the Lord of the Rings trilogy almost a decade later, before this anniversary edition came out. (I also read all four books to my wife in the early 80's; she loved them too!)

This body of work is, of course, the genre-defining classic of modern fantasy --especially epic, or "high" fantasy -- which popularized the genre as the publishing market force it is today, exerted enorm...more
Old-Barbarossa
OK, first of all I know some folk love this and I'm not saying they shouldn't. Everyone has different tastes.
I read this on my second attempt. I tried first when I was in my teens and found it dull, I gave up around page 100 or so. I finally read it years back in my early 30s, but although it was still dull I gave it the benefit of the doubt and finished it. My opinion changed from dull to dull and not that big a deal.
It seems to be full of: long descriptions of folk walking about (dull); elf po...more
Mike (the Paladin)
The epic fantasy against which all other epic fantasies are measured. And there is reason. Beautiful, lyrical, depth, enthralling. I love these books. I've read them many many times. Really they are not to be missed. Highly, highly, highly recommended.

'Nuff said!
Jonathan

A Reflection Upon an Influential Work of Fiction

How does one set about writing a review for a book that has so influenced their reading history? If you are by any means a wide reader or even a student of popular western culture then you would understand the essential impact that The Lord of the Rings has had upon fiction as a whole across film and written literature. The film versions are some of the finest films in existence and the book itself remains a ground-breaking fantasy epic, rivalled...more
Geoff
This buch was wreckomeaned HIGHLY to me by MJ NICHOLLS. He is an writer to who wrote a buch called The Postmortem Blech which I havenot read bycause I haven’t solved the maize puzzle on the coover yet. (Spoiler it’s hard!) But I sure likked this Ring trilogism. There was short people with big feet and weird people who lived in the woods and I knew who all the evil people were because they looked the least like beautiful Caucasians. What else to say? MJ Nicholls has opened my reading lifes up to...more
William
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Callista
I managed to avoid reading this until the first film came out. After the credits rolled on The Fellowship of the Ring, I wanted to know what happened next, and so I read the book. It took me quite a while. I'm not naturally a fan of the peculiar writing style that characterises High Fantasy, and at the risk of angering Tolkienites everywhere, I have to say there are number of things about the book I'm not wild about.
I don't like Tom Bombadil, the way orcs and uruk-hai sound like gangs of Victor...more
Jonathan
I do not believe in removing a work of passion or care from existence, no matter how sloppy it may be. For this reason I have allowed this review to continue to exist, as an example of one of my first reviewing efforts when I joined this site. However, a far superior (to me) review now exists and you can find it here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I believe that The Lord of the Rings is one of the most brilliant stories created by a man who truly understood language, myth and legend....more
Alex
Jul 04, 2013 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: reviews
THE Epic Fantasy

It is a grand achievement how Tolkien has created a world so different to our own with elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs, wizards, and men, where we still feel so much at home with the characters. The depth of the characters really makes the book, with a real emphasis on friendship and companionship along the truly epic journey of the Fellowship of The Ring.

"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...more
Wes
Jan 19, 2008 Wes rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody
Recommended to Wes by: my Dad
It's nice to have favorites. When you have a favorite -- a favorite menu item, a favorite car, a favorite shirt -- you can enter at least one corner of the maelstrom of subjective choices that life presents to you and evaluate the choices in that corner not with respect to some external criteria, but rather with respect to one specific thing.

For example, when asking oneself what the greatest book of all time is, one might first have to ask, "what makes a book great?" -- which is a question that...more
Brandon
The lore and mythology that rests under the surface of the vast geography of Middle Earth is astounding. The story itself is simple, but the magnitude of the setting and the richness of the characters make this a book you will treasure forever. Did I mention the beautiful prose?
Jocelyn
Whatever Tolkien's flaws may be, the staggering scope of his creation has always been compelling to me. The effort he puts into describing his world isn't just pointless detail, it's what ultimately defines the Lord of the Rings, and I've never seen any author ambitious enough to push their level of research and detail to the extent Tolkien has. The world of this book is fully realized, so much that simply thinking about it seems to bring it alive.

Several people have labeled this book as stodgy...more
Jon
Jun 29, 2007 Jon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
LOTR has its faults, yes: it can be excessively descriptive; female characters (even the important ones) aren't as fully fleshed-out and realized as male characters (Arwen spends most of the books making a flag); Gandalf annoyingly and constantly points out how everyone else's decisions are wrong; the refusal to interweave chapter-by-chapter the stories of Frodo & Sam with the stories of everyone else results in literally hundreds of pages going by without mention of the majority of the main...more
Paul
Wow - I have just stumbled on this fantastic quote about Tolkien from China Mieville (via GR friends Traveller and Cecily!) and it absolutely sums up the problem with Tolkien - even though I read him many years ago and even though I was enthralled and read him all over again, every word here is true :


"Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious - you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And th...more
Gyst
These books were vastly influential, very interesting, but they are ultimately very boring to read.
Scurra
To even attempt to review Tolkien's epic is like measuring the coastline - the deeper you go, the more there is to find (or, as the more cynical might put it, the longer it gets.)

And it's because it is so many different stories and, indeed, types of story, all melded together into one (at times unwieldy) whole. So, for example, you can read it as a poetry book. Skip all the narrative sections and just read the verse. You'll be surprised at how much of the narrative structure remains intact, and...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Do you have a favourite Lord of the Rings character? 13 34 Jul 21, 2014 09:25AM  
What is your favorite movie based off of a book? 59 128 Jul 21, 2014 09:09AM  
Lord of the Rings...: The Soundtrack... 43 35 Jul 12, 2014 08:57AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Tolkien reveals meaning of LOTR 8 158 Jul 09, 2014 02:06AM  
Too many names of places?? 5 53 Jul 07, 2014 01:43PM  
Which is your fav. place on Middle Earth? 32 125 Jul 03, 2014 04:14PM  
Books Written by fictional characters that you would (or wouldn't) read 24 160 Jun 27, 2014 08:10AM  
  • Dragonlance Chronicles (Dragonlance #1-3)
  • The Earthsea Quartet
  • Il portale delle tenebre (Le Cronache del Ghiaccio e del Fuoco, #7)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7)
  • The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
  • Riddle-Master: The Complete Trilogy (Riddle-Master, #1-3)
  • The Gormenghast Novels (Gormenghast, #1-3)
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth
  • His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3)
  • Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3)
  • The Illearth War (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #2)
  • The Belgariad, volume 2: Castle of Wizardry, Enchanters' End Game
  • Pani jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #7)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, #2)
  • Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2)
  • Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia
  • Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
656983
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet,WWI veteran (British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English language and literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a cl...more
More about J.R.R. Tolkien...
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe) The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) The Hobbit: Graphic Novel

Share This Book

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 2916 likes
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in 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.”
2713 likes
More quotes…