The Return of the King Audiobook, by J. R. R. Tolkien Play Audiobook Sample

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Author: J. R. R. Tolkien Narrator: Rob Inglis Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc. Audio Length: Series:The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Release Date: September 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781470337612

Plot Summary

The saga of The Lord of the Rings concludes. In The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Minas Tirith, the greatest city of Gondor, the land of free men and only defense against the evil of Mordor, is under siege. The Steward of Gondor, Denethor, has been driven mad by the death of his son Boromir and the doom he perceives in the marauding armies of evil. Gandalf and Merry try desperately to rally him and his forces, to await the aid of Aragorn and the Riders of Rohan, but to no avail. Will Aragorn arrive in time, and will he accept his mantle as King of Gondor to save his people?

Meanwhile, the journey of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee in Mordor draws to an end as well. Sam, having saved Frodo from becoming a meal at the hands of the great spider Shelob, must rescue his friend from the clutches of the orcs who have captured him. Once freed, they disguise themselves as orcs and make their way to Mount Doom, as only there can the One Ring be destroyed and the peril of Sauron defeated. But in their way lies the scheming Gollum, who will rest at nothing to be rejoined with his "Precious."

J.R.R. Tolkien, considered by many to be the progenitor of the high fantasy genre, was an English writer and university professor. Indeed, as a professor he esteemed himself as well; his lecture on Beowulf had a lasting influence on research in that field, and his production of A Middle English Vocabulary and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with E.V. Gordon became academic standards for decades. He wrote The Hobbit, released in 1937, which was popular enough to request a sequel, and thus the epic trilogy of The Lord of the Rings was published in 1954-55. For his literary and academic works, Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on March 28, 1972.

Publisher Summary

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. As the Shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escaped into Fangorn Forest and there encountered the Ents. Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam has left his master for dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob; but Frodo is still alive -- now in the foul hands of the Orcs. And all the while the armies of the Dark Lord are massing as the One Ring draws ever nearer to the Cracks of Doom.

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Quotes

  • “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron.”

    - C. S. Lewis
  • “If, as I believe, Mr. Tolkien has succeeded more completely than any previous writer in this genre…while at the same time satisfying our sense of historical and social reality, it should be possible to show how he has succeeded. To begin with, no previous writer has, to my knowledge, created an imaginary world and a feigned history in such detail. By the time the reader has finished the trilogy…he knows as much about Tolkien's Middle-earth, its landscape, its fauna and flora, its peoples, their languages, their history, their cultural habits, as, outside his special field, he knows about the actual world…The demands made on the writer’s powers in an epic as long as The Lord of the Rings are enormous and increase as the tale proceeds—the battles have to get more spectacular, the situations more critical, the adventures more thrilling—but I can only say that Mr. Tolkien has proved equal to them.”

    - New York Times
  • “One of the great fairy-tale quests in modern literature.”

    - Time
  • “Tolkien’s stories take place against a background of measureless depth…That background is ever-present in the creator’s mind and it gives Frodo and company a three-dimensional reality that is seldom found in this kind of writing.”

    - Washington Post
  • “A masterful story—an epic in its own way—with elements of high adventure, suspense, mystery, poetry, and fantasy.”

    - Boston Herald
  • “A remarkable book.”

    - Newsweek
  • “A work of immense narrative power that can sweep the reader up and hold him enthralled for days and weeks.”

    - The Nation
  • “Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century.”

    - Sunday Telegraph (London)

Customer Reviews

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  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " My whole family (kids 11, 13, 16 & 17) loved it! Will listen again and much better than the movies! "

    - Kream, 11/9/2020
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Once again, listening to Rob Inglis narrate this book is such an enjoyable experience. As in his other readings, he really brings the characters to life. I felt like each character was well represented as an individual that was easy to imagine in real life. A must read! "

    - April, 11/23/2018
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Excellent book loved listening to it! "

    - Julia, 11/18/2016
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Probably the best work of fantasy ever written. "

    - Joshua, 2/9/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I love, love, love this series! "

    - Kerrigan, 2/9/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I'd never been a fan of the movies and thought I hated LOTR but these books totally made me change my mind. I love Tolkien's descriptive writing and fell in love with the rich characters. "

    - Liz, 2/9/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " The iconic fantasy novel... what can I said that hasn't been said before? Well, just that is not an easy reading and that I read it before seeing the movies. There are many things that I didn't catch until somebody else mentioned them to me. "

    - G.P., 2/7/2014
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Awesome, if you like trudging through unnecessary, long winded prose. It's like a swamp made of words. Extremely boring, even the action is dulled by a text book like feel. "

    - Tiberius, 2/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " In my top 10 book series! Love it! "

    - Bev, 1/31/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " For those who love fantasy, this is a must read. This is fantasy to another level! "

    - Nuraan, 1/30/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I loved the whole story - beginning to end, and am thinking I'll go back and read it a third time! "

    - Alison, 1/20/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " If you haven't read this book, don't even try and talk to me. "

    - Eira, 1/20/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " If you can get past the over use of details (although intricate and necessary in some cases), you'll find the story to be just as compelling and beautiful as the movies. "

    - Aaron, 1/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I found the Lord of the Rings and the rest of the "Ring" chronicles much harder to enjoy than the hobbit, although they are all good reads and continue on the original story well. "

    - Cecile, 1/5/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I am so sad that this adventure is over. Such an amazing book. Great ideas and great adventures. Wow. "

    - Ashley, 12/29/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is the book that defined the modern fantasy genre. READ IT. "

    - Amethyst, 12/26/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Favourite book of all time. Hands down. "

    - Christy, 12/24/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Excellent book by Tolkien! It was my first serious read and i couldn't hold myself to read day and night. Just perfect ! "

    - А.Д., 12/9/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " May I just say, I have read 100s of books in my time, best three ever, getting better as they go this is a masterpiece, you don't read it, you don't live, no but seriously, this series is a must read! "

    - David, 12/4/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I'm not usually a fan of Fantasy books but I really liked these books and I am glad I read them before seeing the movies. While the movies are well made in my opinion, the books are even better. "

    - Audiene, 12/2/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A bit long, but a great book "

    - Jose, 11/22/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " You just cant get past this books if you like fantasy. They are the beginning, but after reading a series of newer fantasy books, I might agree that they are a bit outdated. But hey, I still read them again and again! "

    - Lene, 11/6/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Tolken is just amazing. "

    - Nickki, 10/19/2013
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " As much as I wanted to like this, I couldn't finish it. It was such a struggle to read for me. "

    - Sarah, 9/20/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " how much more epic can a series get? "

    - Benjamin, 9/18/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " One of the best fantasy series of all time. Enough said! "

    - Aneela, 8/29/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Lord of the Rings is truly an amazing piece of literature. "

    - Jeremy, 6/23/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I just finished Book 1 Fellowship of the Ring. I found it is very similar to the movie and the parts they did cut out were interesting to read, but may have been slow going on the big screen. It is nice to know they tried to make it as close as possible to the book. "

    - Lena, 3/26/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Tolkien's masterpiece, published in 1954. I am completely in love with it! "

    - Jime, 3/24/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Took dogged determination to keep reading for the first 40 odd pages. then it got me, and time flew! "

    - Kamalika, 2/5/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A bit of a chore but worth it! "

    - Kim, 1/10/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I can keep reading this year after year and still enjoy it. "

    - Matthew, 12/1/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " The books that started it all - wonderful depth and character colour, amazing detail, and a cool look at what makes a hero. "

    - Blythe, 11/28/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " a fantastic adventure that you will never forget! "

    - Jonah, 10/16/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " You can't really go wrong here. Even if you can't stand to watch the movies anymore, you will love these. "

    - Ryan, 9/23/2012

About the Author

J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and other tales of Middle-earth, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

About the Narrator

Rob Inglis has appeared with the Royal Shakespeare and Royal Court Theatre companies. He has played such roles as the Ghost and Claudius in Hamlet and Mr. Bumble in Oliver. He regularly tours Europe and the US with his repertoire of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Dickens, Orwell, and Stevenson dramatizations.