I read this book about 3-Oct-2001. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1965. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:07:38 PDT.
This is book 2 of the "Lord of the Rings" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Couldn't find my mass-market paperback up in the library, so I'm reading Lydy's. Fifty-ninth printing, November 1977. (And note that the listed copyright is the American revised edition; these books date to the mid 1950s really). Oh, and a cover price of $2.50 instead of my $0.95.
This is the nearly monochrome covers, from paintings by Tolkien. Trees, with wide spreading roots. Probably Fangorn? My set is also from paintings by Tolkien, I believe, but different ones. Interesting that they went through at least two sets of three covers based on the author's own paintings. That's so unusual as to be quite incredible. I wonder if Tolkien badly wanted to use those paintings (I'd imagine he'd have had the weight to swing it by then, if he'd wanted to exercise it that way)? I quite like them, both sets, myself. They don't embarrass or misrepresent the books that I can see.
And it's just barely October, so insert obligatory reference to the title of this book bouncing in an annoyingly skew fashion off the World Trade Center attack. I wonder what they'll call the second movie now?
Annoyance: when they come out of Moria, and are hurrying away, Gimli warns them not to drink out of a particular spring because it is so cold. Huh? Makes no sense. (Remember, the English even drink beer warm.)
Impressed: I hadn't thought about Orthanc (the tower at Isengard) (and it is, after all, one of The Two Towers). He just said it's 500 feet tall. I'm not used to thinking in vertical distances much, and I had to stop and think about this one—500 feet is pretty much the height of a 50-story skyscraper. Those look colossal to us; to people in Middle Earth, that's unimaginably huge.
In the end, I skimmed the slog through the Dead Marshes pretty lightly. I just didn't need that kind of depression right now.
Finishing was also very delayed because of a system crunch that took most of my time for several days to repair.