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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Dramatised)

Written by: J. R. R Tolkien
Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the greatest epic fantasies of our time, The Fellowship of the Ring has inspired generations of fans, thanks to Tolkien's unparalleled skill for crafting intricately woven narratives. In audiobook form, the story is taken to a whole new level.

A BBC radio full-cast dramatisation of the first book in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Brian Sibley's famous 1981 adaptation, starring Ian Holm and Michael Hordern, has been divided into three corresponding parts, with newly recorded beginning and end narration by Ian Holm.

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd trading as BBC Studios (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd trading as BBC Studios
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ruined the masterpiece

This is an “adapted” version. It’s not true to the book (word-for-word). Plus the dramatisation sucks. The volume was too low for me to listen to while running.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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ruined it

the dramatised version is terrible. better read it. gandalf was traumatising. don't waste your credits.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not the original version

It's not the original version but rather a summarised version is the original book. Would have liked the full story.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Justice for The famous LOTR by JRRT

Loved it, especially the drama part of it. Might lack a clarity in narrative here and there.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

IT'S OKAY, but lacks something.

it's not justice to the book the audio is good, the drama is simply not writing out

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great experience

Wonderful to listen to the book after watching the movie. the experience is breathtaking. good job

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Unique and evergreen!!

One my favorite books and movies ... In yet another best version of itself 💖💖.

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  • Lene
  • 06-10-13

Great dramatization, but read the book first!

I read The Lord of the Rings twice as a teenager, and watched the movies more than once. When I found this dramatization I thought it would be nice to experience the story again, but in a new way. I was a bit sceptical as I read the reviews, but decided to buy it anyway. And I'm glad I did! I spent most of yesterday with my headphones on, and the story made my Saturday cleaning and laundry quite enjoyable this week.

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and wasn't sure if I'd enjoy a dramatization, but I really did. My boyfriend listened to the beginning of the story with me and was annoyed with how the story wasn't exactly as it is in the book, but I didn't mind. It's a very short version of the story, and they do skip a lot of things that are hard to fit in the "story-told-by-dialogue-and-sounds" style of a dramatization, and for the same reason you miss a lot of details because you can't see anything and no one is explaining what's going on in the action-sequences (but the result of the action is mentioned after by the characters). I still enjoyed it as I could imagine everything based on my memory of the story from the book. I think they did a great job making this, and the narrators/cast are really good.

DON'T buy this if you want the whole book and the whole detailed story, because then you will be disappointed (there are audiobooks available...). Buy this book if you love the story and want to experience it again, but don't mind if it's a short version or that Tom Bombadil is still missing. I loved it, and have already bought Two Towers:-)

68 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jill
  • 22-09-12

Wonderful

All three of the titles in the trilogy are most excellently performed as a radio drama for the BBC. The actors do a splendid job, the effects are realistic. I felt as is I were watching the performance in my mind. Highly recommend this audio program.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Erin
  • 23-03-10

Dramitization

For what it is, it is brilliantly done. I'm just too fond of this story (the whole story) to be fully content with an abridged rendition.

That said, I take less exception to what was cut/changed (text and content-wise) in this version than some of the things done in the 2001 film. One of my favourite moments is the Fords of Bruinen as it was written, and that spirit is kept in this dramatization.

Five stars for dramatization, but only four as 'The Fellowship of the Ring' since it is missing so very much. It seems 'Fellowship' is usually the part of the trilogy that is cut down the most for dramatization.

54 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 22-10-12

Worth buying a second time

I already have this dramatisation on CD, but I bought it from Audible so I could listen on my mobile device. It has been welll worth the extra money. The acting is credible, drawing you into the story. Not all the incidents from the books are included, so the plot moves along faster. The songs embedded in the story enrich the performance. Having listened to the whole trilogy on CD, I can thoroughly recommend all three books, though I haven't bought the other two from Audible yet.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline
  • 23-05-11

Great adaptation for a fan of the book to have

I was nervous about this title when I downloaded it from Audible. As a fan of the books who reads them at least once a year, I can say that this dramatized version was very well done. Yes parts of the books have been removed and certain lines were changed but the performances from the actors help you to forget this. This dramatization is a great way to introduce the story to younger kids who may not want to 'read' a book this long. Worth every penny.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sooan
  • 11-02-09

The LOTR dramatisation

i love this adaptation of the LOTR. all the actors do justice to the characters in this beloved classic. i especially enjoyed the voice of ian holm (who plays bilbo in the movies) giving life to frodo. i highly recommend all three (TLOTR, TTT, and TROTK) dramatisations from BBC.

12 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bob Nine
  • 06-02-08

Well done but lacking

I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings series. I have read the books, seen the movies, and bought the T-Shirt. THis audiobook was professionally made, and was an easy listen. It is nice to hear distinct characters in the dramatized versions.

I am disappointed in the this version in the following ways. It is missing a full section with Tom Bombadil. Well, the Movie was missing him too. I guess I was expecting something a little less abridged. There are several specific things lacking in this version that to me, caused me to not buy the remaining books.

91 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • heyheymama
  • 18-11-10

At last, for young kids

My 8 yr-old has bugged me about LoTR, the movies (too scary) and books (high school reading level). Enter the BBC radio plays: an abridged version of the books, chock full of adventure enhanced by the full cast, music, and effects. We listened to all three in the series.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • hannah
  • 05-03-10

LOTR

I found listening to this a great way to wind down at the end of the day. Hearing the dramatisation made me have mental pictures of the movies in my head, so it was a great way to feel like I was watching it without having to stay up and watch it in the Dvd player. It has all the major plot lines of the movies, so is very familiar, without being long winded like the books can be.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Water Lily
  • 25-02-15

As wonderful as I remember...

I loved it. I listened to it every night as I was going to bed and finished it in less than a week. Starting. The Two Towers tonight. Happy Reading.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-16

Should have been published on Audible as a whole!

I loved the original radio series so much that I had it on cassette - not terribly useful these days.

I'm pretty sure this has been edited from the original broadcast, some of the classic lines I remember don't seem to be there and I can't have dreamt them all. At one time I could recite entire episodes of this dramatization by heart.

That brings me to my main bugbear. This was a 13 part radio dramatization of the whole trilogy. There is no reason (other than making 2 extra sales) for it to have been divided into three.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Matt St P
  • 09-11-16

I'd have been preferred it in 13 parts

I would have give it 5 stars if it were the original radio drama 'prepared for radio in 13 parts, by Brian Sibley' but it's not.
I grew up listening to the cassette tapes of this play and there are some changes. 99% of it is the same, but it's been re-edited. There are alternate takes and extended scenes that I just find so jarring as they weren't in the original version. At first I thought I was losing my memory.
The title music is sped up with a new voiceover, but as it's only at the front of the play it's not too distracting. The pacing has suffered, because now it's no longer in 13 parts, the end of each episode is now a chapter. There is no longer a little cliffhanger and as a result it feels a tad less exciting. I liked the music and used to look forward to hearing it again. The score is excellent and some of the score was woven into the end title music on some episodes, which is now sadly lost.

it's still a brilliant drama with some of the best voice acting on Audible, but it's not quite the version I grew up with.

If you aren't over familiar with the original broadcasts you'll probably think I'm nitpicking. You're probably right.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David Ian
  • 05-12-08

A Great Listen

I have just listened to this again after a gap of 10 years and it is even better than I remember. I thought after having seen the films that it would have lost some of the magic. But, this is not the case. One of the great things about audio is that you still get to fill in the gaps using your own imagination and this BBC Radio 4 version gives you plenty of opportunity to that. The new start to each of the books is a good addition, as is the linking together of the individual episodes. Sam is still my favourite character, with Gandalf a close second. If you have not listened to this yet then don't wait too long before you do!

25 people found this helpful

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  • Nancy Cunliffe
  • 05-03-18

wonderful

adored all three books. But it's a bit annoying that you have to buy it in 3 separate sections - using 3 credits! but it's worth it.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 18-11-18

A travesty of the original BBC original.

I have the cassettes of the original BBC radio series, that was a masterpiece. Peter Jackson has credited them with more influence over his films then anything other then the original books.
This version still has much to commend it, primarily the casts fine performances, but the changes made to transform the 26 half hour episodes in to three audio books has killed the rhythm of the piece, robbing it of half of its magic.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sally
  • 20-07-09

Enjoyable Tolkien

This is a wonderful dramatisation of Tolkien. For me travelling long distances in NZ it turns a great drive into a fantastic experience. The charaters are wonderfully portrayed and I loved it about to play the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-08-18

Much Easier to Get Through Than the Book

I read the books a long while ago and really struggled to get through them. I think that the radio play format works well for this story and has a much better story flow. It doesn't feel too cut down, like some radio productions based on books can. I think it has just the right balence of including things and leaving things out.

The performances were pretty good. Ian Holm really steals the show a bit. Frodo, Sam and Aragorn are all done well. Some of the other characters could be done better, and Merry and Pippin sound a bit too posh for hobbits, but once you get used to it, they're alright.

My biggest critisim is that sometimes the editing can be a bit odd. They might cut from a dramatic moment to the narrator saying what happens the next day, followed by casual chatter. It can be a bit jarring sometimes. Also, sometimes it's as if Frodo is telling the story years later, but most of the time it's a different narrator. I have to say that I don't think the main narrator is that great.

Also, I'm sure anyone who has seen the films can't help but imagine Ian Holm as Bilbo. It's weird to hear him play Frodo, though I know this came before the films. At first I had to keep reminding myself that it was Frodo everytime I heard his voice.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Simon T
  • 18-04-20

Excellent - but thank the BBC, not Audible

This is a superb radio drama, recorded about 40 years ago, by the BBC, and played over 13 episodes. Audible have released it as 3 audiobooks. It may well be the finest adaptation you hear on Audible - highly recommended....

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nephrite
  • 18-02-20

A tale that began long years ago

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring(1981) Adapted for BBC Radio 4 by Brian Sibley and Michael Bakewell

“So many pages left blank! Almost as though Bilbo knew that the story which he began would one day have to be finished by someone else. ‘I’ve left them for you Frodo my lad.’ He used to say! But I never really supposed that the task would fall to me. Yes a great many pages but barely enough to tell the tale in full. Its’ dramas, terrors and sadnesses. Nevertheless it must be told. Shall be told! However long the telling may take. And always supposing that I am permitted the time to tell it. But where to begin? Where did it all really begin? Not with my journey. No long before. With Bilbo’s adventures? There And Back Again? No not even there. It began with a tale told before our time. Before Hobbits had any part to play in it. A tale told by other voices. Recorded by other hands. A tale that began long years ago...”

This adaptation of Lord of the Rings is one very close to me personally. This is the version of Lord Of The Rings in my mind. I see the actors from Peter Jackson’s famous film version but I hear Ian Holm as Frodo instead of Elijah Wood or Michael Horden as Gandalf instead of Ian Mckellen as marvellous as they may be.

Quite literally I can remember using this and Stephen Fry’s audio version of the earlier Harry Potter to help me sleep as a youngster to prevent insomnia. I mean that in the best way possible. This version made me fall in love with the story. Even now I could sing The Road Goes Ever On and On or The Ballad of Gil-Galad to the tunes from this radio version. This is so close to me that I don’t think I can do it justice. But I have to try.

Brian Sibley and company are masters of the craft. They know exactly how to take Tolkien’s epic and all the language idiosyncrasies that come with his elaborate and incredibly specific word choice and make the dialogues sound natural. You can often see yourself lost in the flow of it. The mayhem at The Prancing Pony and The Council of Elrond seem especially noteworthy as believable moments. You can see yourself reacting exactly the same as those patrons of the Pony or feeling just as lost as the Council if you were asked what to do.

Of course that’s not even taking battles like Moria into account. I feel that they do a good job of displaying the panic of being caught in the crush of battle. After all what is a group of nine, several of whom’s members are a lot shorter than your average man and possibly not even carrying weapons going to do against orcs or Uruk-Hai!?

I must congratulate the cast. As I mentioned Ian Holm as Frodo and Michael Horden as Gandalf are personal favourites of mine alongside Robert Stevens as Aragorn, Marian Diamond as Galadriel and Douglas Livingstone as Gimli.

They all perfectly allow the listener to understand their thoughts and feelings both spoken and unsaid without it feeling forced. You get caught up in the story thanks to them and hoping they’ll make it through even when you know how the story ends! In fact I’m not the only one congratulating them! Peter Jackson has admitted previously in many interviews over the years that this version had the most influence over his films out of any other adaptation. He wouldn’t have gotten Ian Holm to be his older Bilbo in Lord Of The Rings or The Hobbit trilogy otherwise. Every cast member clearly throws themselves into it with both feet and it shows.

But don’t forget Stephen Oliver’s musical compositions or the contributions from the Radiophonic Workshop in the person of Elizabeth Parker – as a side note the Radiophonic Workshop had a long history of doing both music and sound effects for classic Doctor Who all the way from 1963 to 1989. Both Oliver and Parker are at their best here. There’s a reason I remember this version and a good junk of it is to do with the music. These tunes have been buried and burned into my brain since I was a child. When I heard The Ballad of Gil-Galad again listening to this for the review, I sang the entire thing along with Sam.

In conclusion I genuinely consider all three parts of this a masterpiece of radio and a magnum opus worthy of the source material. I implore all my readers to find either a physical CD copy or digital download as per your preference of all three parts and lose yourself in the magic of it as I do.

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to Rule Them All, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Sayonara!

Nephrite

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben Whyte
  • 03-02-20

Amazing Audio Drama embracing Tolkein's world

I am finding this audio drama very exciting. I know it varies from Movies & Books to a certain degree - but I'm OK with that.
Thoroughly enjoying this so far (about half way through this part) and am really excited to get into the next!

Also... a lot of people are upset that the 13 part drama has been split down into 3 parts.
What's the problem?! Do you REALLY want to pay 13 times to have each individual part? I certainly don't: 3 Books, 3 Parts sounds fine to me.

Thanks for taking the time to put this masterpiece online, Audible - this is great!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-10-17

It isn't lord of the rings

I bought this book expecting it to be the classic Lord of the Rings story, but with added music, different voices and maybe sound effects. I was wrong. They have rewritten the entire story which completely loses the magic of the book. Along with this, some of the voice acting is terrible, such as the voice for Gollum. The actual audiobook is terribly mixed, with the loud parts being too loud and the soft parts being far too quiet. If you want to hear Lord of the Rings, don't buy this audiobook.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-04-16

Sensational

Very compelling to listen to, I was enthralled and actually in Middle-earth the whole book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 23-08-19

Fun, vivid immersion but does drift from the book slightly

Thoroughly enjoying this! Love all the voice acting and background sounds. Full of atmosphere.

Be aware that this is not 100% faithful to the book and the order in which you learn of events has been tweaked here and there.

However, I don’t think that a one-to-one match was ever the goal of this. I read these as a kid and am currently re-reading on kindle and in that sense it’s a very complimentary experience.

If you’ve read LOTR already, then I recommend this

If you haven’t read LOTR, then it depends on if you want the 100% authentic experience. Personally I wouldn’t ever say this could replace the book.

In the book, there are questions intentionally left unanswered unanswered that the reader does not learn of until Frodo finds out. You’re kind of on the journey with him.

Where as here it’s more of a higher level narrative, but very well crafted. If you don’t mind that, or are not much of a reader then sure go for this.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-12-17

Good but audio volume annoying

loved it. The volume was annoyingly too quiet then too loud. W couldn't hear people often.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-06-20

Shame

Over the top not what I was hoping for
Was expecting to enjoy it but unfortunately I was greatly disappointed
And I love tlotr

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  • Simon Hart
  • 31-05-20

The AMAZING BBC dramatisation. A classic for ever.

I first heard this adaption on Radio 4 when I was a child, and immediately grabbed the nearest cassette tape to start recording it. I've cherished the show ever since and listened to it hundreds of times. Every voice in it was a superstar actor at the time. It's nice to see this Audible version - the only change is the original superb opening music is slightly altered (not sure why they did this, but I'm sure they had their reasons). Also includes some new introductory dialogue which I had never heard before until now by Ian Holm.

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  • Gudiya
  • 25-04-16

A classic with some annoying innovations

This is a great dramatization with great actors and amusingly old-school folio sound effects. However, it has been updated to include Frodo reflecting on the events of the story - a device used in the films that only seems to reduce the immediacy and impact of the story. Overall it's great and well worth purchasing.

2 people found this helpful