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