Lord of the Rings Trilogy Audio Books

Discussion in 'DVD' started by jeff lam, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Jeff Lam
    After seeing all the LOTR films I was interested in reading the books but as I don't have much time and I'm not big on reading so I was thinking about getting the audio books on CD. I did get this set (Tolkien Gift Set) for Christmas but found out it wasn't the full (unabridged) reading. After doing research on the audiobooks I found that the unabridged readings are available but at a much higher cost. I really just wanted input on this gift set and if it is any good. I checked Amazon for reviews of this set but there weren't any (I guess this set is fairly new?).

    It seems like a pretty cool set and includes the Hobbit as well as the Rings trilogy. Also a Map of Middle Earth and some cool packaging. I also heard it has sound effects but have not yet listened to the set as I may want to exchange it for the unabridged version. If anyone has listened to this set I would appreciate your feedback. It is called "J.R.R Tolkien Gift Set" and is presented by BBC Radio and I guess is a production of Random House Audio. It is 17 discs in all. 5 discs for the Hobbit and 4 for each of the trilogy.
     
  2. Nick Senger

    Nick Senger Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    From the link you provided, it looks like you have the BBC recordings. I have the BBC recordings of LOTR and the Hobbit as well as the unabridged audio reading by Rob Inglis. The unabridged audio is hands down the best way to experience LOTR orally, but the BBC recordings aren't too bad. In fact, I think Peter Jackson's vision of LOTR is based somewhat on those recordings. The sound effects are decent and the acting is very good. But I think the movies really make the BBC audio recordings obsolete. In many ways, the BBC recordings are like the movie without the images. In both cases you lose the beauty of Tolkien's writing (though they both retain the power of his story).

    If it's at all possible, I would try to get the unabridged narration by Rob Inglis. He is superb--every fan of LOTR should own this set. Not only does he do all the voices, but he even sings all the songs. I absolutely love listening to these CDs and I can't recommend them enough. The complete set contains 52 hours of narration on 46 CDs and is divided into 3-minute tracks.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    talk about a marathon session of 1,5 days compared to the eventual 11 hours of the movies.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Greg_C_T

    Greg_C_T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2001
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    [​IMG] 46 CDs?? What's the cost for a set like that? Never mind, I found it on amazon. $130--amazingly reasonable for that many discs.
     
  5. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1998
    Messages:
    3,632
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Nonsense preciousss! The dialogue is massively more detailed in the radio play and there are many scenes and situations that are not present in the films at all. There is a much greater emphasis in the films on the action, but the radio play concentrates on the characters, as it should do.

    Plus, Peter Woodthorpe's performance of Gollum trounces Andy Serkis' by a league.
     
  6. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Couldn't disagree more.
     
  7. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1998
    Messages:
    3,632
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sue me! [​IMG]
     
  8. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    how about if i just pelt you with tomatoes?
     
  9. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1998
    Messages:
    3,632
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Do your worst.

    Serkis is good, but he just sounds too much like Donald Duck at times.
     
  10. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    [​IMG]

    This is what I have been listening to on the commute to and from work lately. Good stuff.
     
  11. Nick Senger

    Nick Senger Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    I understand what you're saying, and maybe I exaggerated a little, but what I meant was, they both provide a short, dramatized introduction to the books. IMHO, both the radio show and the movie (as great as they are and as much as I love them) are merely shadows of the books and I think one will do just as well as the other to bring someone to the books.

    That being said, if someone doesn't have the time or inclination to read the books (or the cash to buy the unabridged audio), then the BBC recordings are probably the next best thing, and very enjoyable.
     
  12. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Nah. I don't care to fight over it, hehe, it comes down to a matter of preference. I've seen the Bakshi movie and I thought the voice of Gollum, and most of the other characters for that matter, was terrible.

    (BTW, I realize we are not talking about the Bakshi movie, but the BBC radio play, but it's the same actor playing Gollum in both)
     
  13. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I loaned the BBC radio version to my best friend - oh - about a year and a half ago. I haven't seen them since.

    I think some of the scenes from the BBC version of Return of the King worked better than Jackson's movie. Shelob's lair, in particular, is scary as all hell (especially if you're listening to it in the dark with headphones). For some odd reason, I wasn't scared at all during the Shelob scenes in the Jackson movie. I was also missing the scene where Frodo freaked out on Sam at the top of Cirith Ungol when he learns Sam has the ring. That scene was incredibly powerful in the BBC radio version, and it was nowhere to be found in the movie.
     
  14. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Couldn't agree more! [​IMG]

    Comparing the BBC radio version to the PJ films is like comparing Shakespeare to Sesame Street.
     
  15. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My favorite "Gollum" performer is still Brother Theodore, who did the voice for Gollum in the Rankin/Bass TV movie version of The Hobbit and The Return of the King.
     
  16. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I did a reading of the entire LOTR on tape some years ago (recently transferred to CD) that runs about 41 CDs. Quite the monumental task, especially keeping straight all the voices. [​IMG] Listening to it now I wish I'd made more of a difference between Merry and Pippin. [​IMG] The Hobbit was even worse though (7 CDs) with all the dwarves to differentiate. Fili and Kili tend to blur together.... [​IMG]
     
  17. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They should have gotten Brother Theadore back from the Hobbit animated film to do the Gollum voice.
     
  18. Dustin James

    Dustin James Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    .
     
  19. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    3,884
    Likes Received:
    841
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Sean


    Yep, because the BBC version has a singing Eagle (barf!)

    But seriously, I like the BBC radio dramatization a great deal. I've listened to it three times (most recently just a few weeks ago).

    As a radio drama, of course it will be able to focus on more character/story stuff. However it also has the advantage of being able to "cheat" by using a narrator who can simply spell out lots of story/plot/background. That kind of exposition fits with radio drama but is difficult in films. So, the films don't have the luxury of a narrator "cheat".

    I have to say, the weakest thing about the radio adaptation is the battles. This, of course, is more of a limitation of the medium. But in the radio adaptation, I find that I really dislike the battle parts (the singing that tells you about the battles is just plain bad).

    The films, being a visual medium, have the advantage in doing battles. And, while PJ couldn't devote as much time to smaller story elements and character stuff, he still managed to do a fantastic job at telling the story and giving us characters to care about. I'm ultimately much more moved by the films than I am by the radio play. Neither can be exactly like the book. Both are adaptations. The radio play is closer to the book. However, the film works much better for me. I do get moved by the radio play. It IS well done. But I find the films a much more satisfying experience.

    I really LIKE the radio adaptation. I LOVE the book. I LOVE the films.

    For someone who liked the films and is looking for more of the story but doesn't want to read the books, the radio adaptation is a great way to get the fantastic story in the films fleshed out a bit more while also telling it closer to the original novel.

    The radio drama is definitely worth checking out for anyone who enjoys this story.
     
  20. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    The BBC radio production (with Ian Holm as Frodo, btw) has been a favorite of mine since the early 80's when it played on NPR. Granted, it may lose some of its luster next to the film trilogy, but it is still a great adaptation with great production value and a talented cast. I plan on listening to it again soon.

    Ric
     

Share This Page