The story of Frodo Baggins and his quest to destroy the evil One Ring of Sauron, the minion of the great Morgoth. Tolkien's gift is his ability to create a world that is more fully realized than our own. The characters and at times the plot can be archaic and two-dimensional, but he uses words like a poet, describing the landscape and kingdoms fallen into dust with a magic that defies the written word. If you're looking for action you won't necessarily get it--the power is in the world. When reading Tolkien, you are fully aware that a pebble kicked off the path by a character will come to rest in a completely different story, just as complex as the one you are reading. It's an amazing thing, but not for those unwilling to put 110% of their brainpower into the read.