On My
Bookshelf

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. TOLKIEN
SYNOPSIS

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

This new edition includes the fiftieth-anniversary fully corrected text setting and, for the first time, an extensive new index.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but while he studied classic works of the past, he was creating a set of his own.

 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

We all know The Lord of the Rings as a crowning triumph of modern fantasy. It made fantasy cool and opened the door for so many writers to take a crack at their own stories. But I’m always disappointed by how few of my peers have read it. We were spoiled by living in an age when the movie adaptations dropped just as we exited childhood. I began reading The Lord of the Rings before the movies debuted, and finished reading it not long after I saw The Fellowship of the Ring on opening weekend with my father. As striking and beautiful as the films are (they are still my favorite movies to this day), there’s nothing quite like experiencing the story on the page and allowing one’s imagination to construct this vibrant—and simultaneously, desolate—world that Tolkien describes with so much love and care.

The Lord of the Rings provides a richly layered experience. A hero’s journey. An epic world. A cast of memorable characters and unforgettable moments. Terrifying and spectacular creatures (the Balrog, anyone?). Deeply introspective forays into the human condition. And a powerful story of love and friendship.

There’s a reason Tolkien is one of my idols and favorite writers. The things he created stick with you indefinitely. They become part of you.