Newest Review: ... and drawn out, so it's going to take you weeks to listen to the whole thing. The version of this I listened to is read by Rob Inglis. I l... more
Best radio adaption ever?
Lord of the Rings (Audio CD)
Member Name: somersetsaint
Lord of the Rings (Audio CD)
Date: 29/06/01, updated on 29/06/01 (448 review reads)
Advantages: Probably the best radio dramatisation ever, Superb Cast, Great script and music
When Brian Sibley was given the opportunity to write a radio play of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings his reaction must have been one of - in equal measure - excitement and panic. The three volume epic is without doubt one of the classic fantasy novels of all time but, well, it's a three volume epic! Even with thirteen hours of Radio 4 airtime to play with, a lot was going to have to be cut.
Some diehards will be miffed by the dropping of 'minor' characters such as Tom Bombadil, but it must be remembered that to dramatise the entire book 'uncut' would have been totally impractical; it will be interesting to see how the three upcoming films deal with the problem.
So leaving that aside, what do we have? Firstly, probably one of the most impressive casts ever assembled for a radio play: Ian Holm as Frodo, Michael Hordern's Gandalf, Peter Woodthorpe's slimy, creepy Gollum/Smeagol, and the wonderfully talented late John Le Mesurier as Bilbo are just some of the excellent actors involved.
The language of Middle Earth is complex, and there are probably as many pronunciations of names especially as there are readers of LotR. Christopher Tolkien, son of JRR, assisted with this and indeed this dramatisation has probably played a big part in 'defining' the dialect. Music also plays a big part, and is especially well composed and sung.
It cannot be denied that a complex plot such as that found in LotR can be tricky to follow, even in a cut down format. This is not light listening, especially if you haven't read the book. Also, the nature of a fantasy beast is the contrast in sound levels - from soft whispers to crashes and screams. My advice, therefore, is to put time aside especially to listen, rather than doing other things simultaneously as you might with other audio books or the radio. You won't regret it!
So, what's the catch? There's only one: the price. At £50 for the
tapes or 75 big ones for a CD version, this doesn't come cheap, but there are far worse places to put your hard earned cash - I've lost count of the number of times I've listened all the way through.
More reviews in the field of Audio Book
- Twilight Zone The Lonely
- Valley of the Shadow - Charles Beaumont
- Bulging Barrell of Laughs - Rhod Gilbert
- In His Image - Charles Baeumont
- The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life (Audio CD)
- Earworms Rapid Greek: Volume 1
- Oxford Take Off In Japanese: Complete Language Learning Pack (Audio CD)
- The "Mighty Boosh" (Audio CD)
- Collins Easy Learning Portuguese (Audio CD)
- Overcome Fears & Phoboas - Glenn Harrold (Audio CD)