A Reader posted a review at 2007-06-23 06:32:56.
The first time I read this book was 15 years ago, and since I've read it once every couple of years. It is a book that almost singlehandedly brought the genre of fantasy to the attention of people in a way no book has before or since.
Unlike most fantasy books, this was a life's work for a man immensely educated and well read - in contrast to much of the fantasy genre where i feel producing books quickly to make money seems more important than the actual content. As he felt the english lacked a mythological tradition in the way of many old civilisations, he created one that was rich and diverse in detail, and gripping in its tales of tragedy and hope. The Lord of the Rings is not an easy read. It's nearly a thousand pages, and is far easier to understand and experience if you also read the Silmarillion - because the Silmarillion sets the scene and mythological background to how this saga plays out. At the same time, it can be appreciated as a standalone saga, because Tolkien sets the scene very well with enough detail to appreciate what is going on while still keeping the story flowing.
To sum it up - this is a book (or six, really) without parallel. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but I'd recommend anyone who values attention to detail, gripping storytelling and an epic tale.