Who can resist the charm of J. R. R. Tolkien's brave little hairy toed Hobbits, awesome Gandalf the Grey, Aragorn, Tom Bombadil, Elf-lord Glorfindel, Half-elven lord Elrond, beautiful Arwen, Boromir, Lady Galadriel, Gimli the Dwarf, and Legolas the Elf.Tolkien describes Hobbits: "I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of fairy rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf)." Even Hobbit names are whimsical and bring on a smile. Bilbo Baggins Frodo Baggins Samwise "Sam" Gamgee Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck Peregrin "Pippin" Took Fredegar "Fatty" BolgerRecipe for IRREPRESSIBLE, SPELL-BINDING literary entertainment:Find featured, always hungry Hobbits in hobbit-holes in a Shire and/or at Birthday celebration. Mix with good & bad Wizards, Elves, Dwarves, a magical gold ring everyone wants, Orcs, terrifying Ringwraiths, a once "of hobbit-kind" creature called Gollum, a demon Balrog, a giant spider named Shelob, tree-like Ents, Humans, huge elephant-like Oliphaunts and Trolls. Then throw in lots of adventures, battles, magic, love, death, humor, loyalty, friendship, tears and fear. Arrange all ingredients to make the reader stay up for days... unwilling to do anything but read the next sentence, next paragraph, next page, next chapter, then next book until you finally wave goodbye to Bilbo, Frodo, Gandolph and the elves as they ... read the books and find out!!Linda Edmondson
My favoritestest series ever!!! I could lose myself in Middle Earth forever. I have read this series cover to cover during every life changing, painful period of my life. Yes, I have read it seven times.Grace
Again, I can't do epics. I will watch the movie rather than read this again any day of the week. The writing's very dense, and it's clear that Tolkien was a major history buff. He's created a world that is fully, fully fleshed-out. He probably could have written you a tome that details every moment of Middle Earth for 5000 years (which may be "The Simarillion", actually -- I don't know, I only made it fifty pages into that one). But I just don't have the patience for it. After reading these as a teenager, I've not really been tempted to go back. And each time I try, I'm quickly dissuaded; I'd rather read a new adventure than re-read an adventure I remember quite well. It's different with someone like Philip Pullman, whose writing is some sort of catnip to me. Tolkien just doesn't strike the same chord, so all hail Peter Jackson, and I'm afraid the books have largely been relegated to display-only on my bookshelf.M.H.S. Pourri
Again, amazing book. I actually had to read it through several timesRose
This series was fantastic. The artwork by Alan Lee was beautiful too. That Tolkien imagined this wonderful world so long ago is amazing! He was ahead of his time in creativity & imagination. Seems to me he paved the way for other writers to embrace & run with their imaginations & creativity & even bogus ideas. My beloved Harry Potter series for example is a definite distant relative to Lord of the Rings. They always compare Harry Potter to the Twilight saga but they aren't similar in the least. It is however evident to me that J.K. Rowling has definitely read, & most definitely enjoyed, LOTR. & since Harry Potter is my favorite series ever I also enjoyed LOTR. I recommend this series to anyone wanting to defy reality for a while & enter a magical world full of brave souls full of heart & wonderful senses of humor that will bring a smile to your face every few pages. I shall now give the movies a chance & see how well they fared in comparison to these wonderful books.Riju Ganguly
This is not the first edition of this book that I had read. I had LOTR & The Hobbit long-back, in different editions, at different stages of mind. Before the movies had been released, LOTR/H used to be our own secret garden where we could have escaped any time we liked, but now oue own images have been replaced or landscaped by Peter Jackson. Nevertheless, if you think that G.R.R. martin is the last word in terms of writing fantastically entertaining fantasy, then read this book, and change your opinion, for ever. Highly recommended (esp. this version, since it brings together everything in a rather convenient and yet pleasant manner).J.C.
Well, I don't really have this boxed set, but of course I've read all the books. I get more out of them with each re-reading. Tolkien would be one of those guys who, if I could invite any 3 people to have dinner with, would get a seat at the table.Amanda
I first read The Hobbit at the ripe old age of 12, and remember having to really concentrate to finish it. (I was probably still emerging from a really heavy Judy Blume phase at the time.) Even then I already had a true sense of loyalty of Tolkien, thanks to that great animated cartoon I watched as a little kid. When I later read the trilogy in high school, it was far easier to immerse myself in Tolkien's writing. Though I love all of the books, by far my favorite is The Two Towers. I think it shows the most interesting character development (especially in Frodo, Samwise, and Gollum) and Tolkien's tactic of writing two separate storylines in one book is always exciting. Just when you finish one storyline and are left jonesing for the next installment, you realize there is an entire other half to the story you forgot about. Everyone knows the dramatic impact Tolkien's writing has had on modern literature (can you say Harry Potter?) but no one does it better.Elise Stokes
Tolkien's imagination astounds me. I was thoroughly pulled into the mythical world he creates, and appreciated how he masterfully wove his personal faith throughout, especially in Frodo's quest. A must read for all ages.Tevin Johnson
The book The Hobbit was AWESOME. J.R.R Tolkien did an excellent job of action and suspense he even wrote his own LANGUAGE for the dwarfs and the orcs and the elves and any other creature. I like how he wrote it to be before the Lord of the Rings so it goes right into the next three books. I like how he described Bilbo to be a curious and exiting character. Every single time i read about the orcs I could imagine what they look like and what they sound like. There adventure to go to smaug was crazy it kept me reading like a mad man. His cliff hangers made me so mad i could hardly stand it. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS.Pushkar Kulkarni
One of the best FantasyMadelene Shepherd
It might be a classic, but there are many who have stern reservations about reading this series, partially I suspect due to its length... Well my answer to this is simply: DON'T BE LAZY!My journey within Middle Earth stated as young teenager - my parents gave me 'The Hobbit' as a Christmas present one year and my father and I decided we'd enjoy it together. I think it was the last book he ever read me as a 'bedtime story', but we embarked on the adventures of Bilbo Baggins together and absolutely loved every minute of it! The Hobbit was a stunning example of fantasy and adventure writing at its best. One event after another, crisis after epic excitement, wonder at the enormity of the main character's daring and courage.I am only sorry it took me so long to pursue the ongoing tale of the hobbits at Bagend. The Lord of the Rings was definitely a further step up the scale though. I will not deny that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a difficult read in terms of perseverance (hence 4 stars). I have always been an avid reader and there were a couple of times as I went through my teens that I picked up the Fellowship of the Ring and gave up before I could really get my teeth into it. Indeed, I didn't finish the trilogy until I was in my early 20s and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was actually quite proud of myself for having finally completed this mammoth journey with Frodo and his companions. I read about 2/3rds of the trilogy in one block in the end as I decided to forbid myself to watch the epic films again until I was done with the books because I knew that every time I grew impatient for the story to continue without wanting to spend the time or the energy reading it, I'd watch the films and that would result in me not feeling the need to continue the book for a good while. I say all this to illustrate a point - don't give up! It's totally worth it!The Lord of the Rings is filled with new troubles and adventures. At first the idea of following several characters quite separately may be quite unusual, even a little daunting. But it truly brings the world of Middle Earth to life! You get a true feel for the scale and even the politics of such a creation by journeying through it with different companions, each with a different purpose. The struggles and hardships are of such importance and value to both the reader and the characters by the end of the journey, Tolkien has spoken volumes about friendship, love, bravery, honour, loyalty, deceit...you name it, its all there.These books are a must read, wherever you are in your lifetime.Jd Ferries-rowe
Just went through the trilogy plus hobbit on audiobook. Great narration and even singing! Interesting to visualize and made me want to watch the movies again to see some of those epic battles.Tom
My third time to read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read all the poetry and verse this time. I loved these books. They are so different from the typical fiction of this genre. These were so well written, so well thought through. I love how they teach loyalty, fidelity, duty, and love of things more than self. They connect back to the greatness of the past. One other thing, we see that evil gets nervous also and that it will eventually collapse in on itself. In many pieces that show good and evil, good win almost by luck and by "tricking" evil in some way. Good will always win as long as there are good men and women willing to give of self for the better good.Arthur Graham
See my review of Narnia, yo.