January 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Book Reviews

The Fellowship of the Ring The Fellowship of the Ring  Visual Companion

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring : The Official Movie Guide By Brian Sibley; Harper Collins Entertainment Paperback large format, 120 pages; ISBN 0-00-711908-9; UK 10:99

Featuring one hundred and twenty pages of stills and interviews with cast and crew, this rather attractive tome will no doubt have great appeal for both fans of the movie and Tolkien's famous novel. There's no doubting it's a desirable publication and it's certainly well written and illustrated, but if there's a fault to be found it would be that it doesn't offer anything particularly new to the already initiated. For those of us who have been following the production over the past couple of years, almost everything stated here is old news and it would have been nice to hear some more in-depth stories regarding the development of the project. Even so, as a companion piece for the fans, this book serves its purpose well and is a generally fascinating record of a truly epic undertaking. If you weren't already persuaded, the reader will unquestionably come away convinced of the sincere devotion of the film-makers to make what I personally believe will become a historic cinematic trilogy.

Mark Hockley

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring Visual Companion By Jude Fisher; Harper Collins; hardback; large format; 72-pages ISBN 0-00-711624-1 UK: 14:99

Described as 'The ultimate movie companion to the people's and places of Middle-Earth, this slim coffee-table volume is really just a superficial introduction to the main characters and locations of the first part of Tolkien's epic. The worrying thing is that Tolkien is not mentioned at all on the dust jacket just 'Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring. It is noticeable that this book 'is not published with the approval of the estate of the late J.R.R. Tolkien' and that 'Dialogue quotations are from the film, not the novel.'

So, bearing all that in mind, this book should be regarded as another memento of the film. In this context, it is perfectly satisfactory. It is a sumptuous production and beautifully illustrated with scenes from Peter Jackson's film. I only hope youngsters (and others), unfamiliar with Tolkien's work, will not get the wrong impression about its derivation. I would also like to think that they might be encouraged to go on to read Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings but there is no link from this book except in the publishers' notices on the last page which I guess will get very minimal attention.

Ian Lace

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