Lord of the Rings Audiobook

audiobookTitleJ.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Narrator: Rob Inglis Year Published: 1990


The Lord of the Rings audiobook, unabridged, is read by Rob Inglis. The audiobook includes all of the poems and songs–even those in Quenya or Sindarin. The songs are actually sung, which is a nice touch. Being unabridged, of course it’s quite long–nearly 55 hours on 46 CDs (if you have anything as archaic as CDs still in your life).

Good and Bad

It’s The Lord of the Rings unabridged, so you can’t really go too far wrong.

Inglis certainly has a pleasing voice (with obligatory British accent, of course). With certain characters, he does an excellent job of giving them distinct voices–particularly for the four hobbits. If you pay close attention, you’ll know which one is speaking before he says which one is speaking.

As I mentioned, Inglis actually sings the songs. It’s nice at first, but then it all of the songs start to sound the same. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m practically tone deaf or not, but I’m pretty sure he has 2-3 tunes that he uses for all of the songs in the book–so you can imagine how repetitive is it by the end.

I’m far from an expert in pronunciation, but I’m not sure that everything is correct. Of course, there aren’t any Bakshi-level mispronunciations (Seleborn, indeed!), so unless you’re a real stickler you probably won’t notice.

Should You Buy It?

It’s wonderful to listen to in the car, whether during your daily commute (as I did) or a long road trip. I’m not sure how enjoyable it would be for a first experience of the books, but it’s excellent for those who have read them many times.

If you’re an Audible.com member and a Tolkien fan, definitely get this. If you’re a Tolkien fan with a long commute or a road trip ahead, go for it! If you aren’t a fan of audioboooks, then I wouldn’t bother. The experience isn’t enthralling enough to make you enjoy someone reading to you if you don’t already.

Photo Credit: Taylor Leopold

  4 comments for “Lord of the Rings Audiobook

  1. June 2, 2015 at 2:06 am

    “if you have anything as archaic as CDs still in your life”

    I shall confess my ignorance and admit that I didn’t realise this reading had in fact been released on CD. I have it on cassette! I don’t know whether the tapes are still playable, it’s been so long since I last listened; but, so far as I recall, I agree that Rob Inglis gives a sustained, professional performance.

    • Emily
      July 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      I still have a few things on cassette, too, but it’s been so long since I’ve had any way to play them. My favorite is The Screwtape Letters, read by John Cleese. I honestly can’t imagine any audio book ever being better than that one.

  2. July 24, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I adore these audiobooks; my personal obsession is “The Hobbit” so after listening to that about a thousand times (I used to work in a cubicle so I loved having the familiar story as my drown-out noise), I expanded to the LOTR books and I adore them. You’re right, his ability to change is voice according to character is amazing. I must say, he does it even better in “The Hobbit” with the 13 dwarves. Loved your review & totally agree!

    • Emily
      July 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Oh, I didn’t know he did The Hobbit too! I’ll have to track that one down. I really want to listen to The Children of Húrin read by Christopher Lee, too. I’m sure that’s wonderful

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