May 2000 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Book Review

The Lord of the Rings By J.R.R. Tolkien
The Millenium Edition published in seven hardback volumes in special slipcase with accompanying CD of Tolkien reading excerpts.
Harper Collins ISBN 0 261 10393 8
Purchase from:  Amazon UK  

Arguably the book of the 20th century, The Lord of the Rings is now being filmed so here is a chance for all those who have read it and loved it - particularly all those undergraduates of the 1950s and 1960s, who regarded it as compulsory cult reading – and so many new readers, to reacquaint or acquaint themselves with this glorious epic story.

Chance to meet the Hobbits, Frodo, Bilbo Baggins, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin; to meet Gandalf the wizard, slimy Golum, the heroes Strider and Boromir; and Legolas, Aragorn, the Ents, Treebeard, the Riders of Rohan and all the epic’s other unforgettable characters.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their 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.

The CD has great historical and literary interest for it comprises readings from The Lord of the Rings by its author J.R.R. Tolkien in 1952 before he had found a publisher to accept his masterpiece. Understandably then he does sound a little dispirited as he reads these excerpts - mainly verses. Without seeming to be uncharitable, because this is an immensely valuable recording, Tolkien does tend to gabble at times and his diction is not always clear, proving once again that authors are not always the best readers of their own works – that’s why the job is traditionally left to actors.

Harper Collins tell me that another edition of The Lord of the Rings is imminent in the Autumn, we will bring you news of that when it is published.

A rating for this well-loved work would be as insolent as it would be superfluous


Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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