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The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2 | [J.R.R. Tolkien]

The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2

Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
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Publisher's Summary

Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in the battle with an evil spirit in the Mines of Moria; and at the falls of Rauros, Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company were attacked by Orcs.

Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin; alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy has touched the hearts of young and old alike. Nearly 100 million copies of its many editions have been sold around the world, and occasional collector's editions become prized and valuable items of publishing. Now it is available for the first time on digital download, complete and unabridged.

This is the first book of The Two Towers.

©1954, 1966 The Trustees of the J.R.R. Tolkien 1967 Settlement; (P)1991 Recorded Books, LLC; This edition published 2001 by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd., London, UK

What the Critics Say

"An extraordinary book. It deals with a stupendous theme. It leads us through a succession of strange and astonishing episodes, some of them magnificent." (The Observer)
"Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the twentieth century." (Sunday Telegraph)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (581 )
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4.8 (306 )
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4.7 (301 )
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4 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    DJ Morpheus 23/01/2010
    DJ Morpheus 23/01/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    "One 'Book' To Rule Them All!"

    WOW!! Absolutely superb! A truly amazing book, from start to finish. The Lord of the Rings movies, really don't even scratch the surface. This is, without doubt, a masterpiece. Excellently written, and narrated with style.

    If you've watched the movies, and think you know what Lord of the Rings is about, think again. Get this book, and you will understand what I mean.

    Absolutely brilliant!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chappers 23/04/2013
    Chappers 23/04/2013

    chappers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
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    39
    36
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    "Great story but flawed narrator"

    Rob Inglis has quite a mellow voice so it's easy enough to listen to, but I didn't find his narration to be top-class. Too often he puts an incongruous emphasis on characters' words or feelings which kept pulling me up short. It's as though he sometimes forgot the context and just read the words any-old-how. I've listened to the complete set of LoTR and Hobbit audiobooks narrated by him, and it's the same in all of them. Quite an irritating flaw, and one which marks them down from a full 5-star listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Slug 14/04/2015
    Slug 14/04/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    10
    8
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    "Brilliant"

    Really enjoying these audiobooks can't wait till I can start The Return of the King Pt1 just need to wait for my credit to come :) haha!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 27/03/2015
    Dean 27/03/2015
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    "An enthralling story"

    fantastic in every aspect. characters are developed in an engaging way and the scenes are described with amazing fullness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KathrynS Beijing, China 31/01/2015
    KathrynS Beijing, China 31/01/2015 Member Since 2014

    I read so much for my job that it's nice to listen for a change :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How can I review this?"
    What did you like most about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1?

    The Two Towers is darker and more exciting than The Fellowship of the Ring. Equally well written, it is part of a modern great.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1?

    It is all brilliant!


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Rob Inglis?

    Yes, as long as he didn't sing. The songs were a little painfully cringe inducing to me.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I always love this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish that I had never read it so that I could discover it all over again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Telford, United Kingdom 26/09/2014
    Christopher Telford, United Kingdom 26/09/2014 Member Since 2015

    I am a 28 year old man who likes to make use of a long commute by listening to sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
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    96
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    "Action Packed!"

    Story – 5/5

    If you have been waiting for the action, this is the book where a lot of it starts happening – epic battles, minor scouting skirmishes, chases – it will keep you hooked from start to finish. We establish new races and army factions from middle earth, all as detailed as the last. The story is also split now amongst 3 different story arcs, each just as interesting as the next, which allows us to see the bigger picture of the war in midde-earth

    As usual, Tolkien’s prose is superb. He creates such a complex and detailed world without it being taxing for the reader. As the godfather of modern fantasy, this series is a must for all fantasy fans, and far superior to the films if you have already enjoyed those. There is so much more to learn and understand that the films had to skip over. A well deserved 5/5 stars – for it’s influence on the genre alone if nothing else.


    Performance – 4/5

    Rob Inglis does a very good job with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He describes a detailed and complex world so well, making it an incredibly easy listen. I did feel that his character voices could have been a little more distinguishable, but his acting of them was done extremely well.


    Overall – 4.5/5

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Liverpool, United Kingdom 10/06/2013
    Robert Liverpool, United Kingdom 10/06/2013
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    1
    1
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    "This is audible"

    No Chapters. No info - not even the narrator's name. Dreadful artwork. Will cancel free trial as soon as possible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Cumbernauld, United Kingdom 13/04/2013
    Barry Cumbernauld, United Kingdom 13/04/2013 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Loved this book"

    Couldn't find the time to read the series & I decided to listen while running. Initially it feels slightly dated however I found myself griped after a while & found myself running more just to hear the stories through. Even the singing parts were ok albeit didn't add much to the story. I'd say if you like fantasy at all you have to read tolkeins work, or like me listen if you don't have the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jakob 13/04/2013
    Jakob 13/04/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Timeless classic"

    Marvelously done, perfect voice for the story and brings to life everything I loved about the books the first time I read them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antti Finland 08/01/2015
    Antti Finland 08/01/2015 Member Since 2013

    Sometimes listens to too many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dealings With Wizards"

    I really like Peter Jackson's films, and they offer an invaluable point of comparison in terms of narrative flow and dynamics of the story, and how those narrative goals of the author or director are achieved in two different media. Sure, the films deviate from the books, but I'm not interested in fidelity in itself – only when it makes for good cinema. The same goes with books based on films.

    It's a simple question of translation, really. Howard Goldblatt, who has translated many Chinese works into English, among them Mo Yan, once said in an interview that when one is reading Mo Yan in English, one is really reading Goldblatt. I think it saves me many a night's sleep to see this difference between one medium and another, and the problems of translation inherent in each.

    The crossroads of "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" is a very meaty moment for comparisons. Jackson decided to include the first chapter of this book in the first film despite also dwelling more on the Uruk-hai attack and Boromir's role in it. Tolkien on the other hand lets Frodo and Sam get away and end there. The very beginning is brilliant, the remaining members of the fellowship doing some detective work tracing the tracks.

    Both solutions work, I think, since they are the two grand climaxes at the intersection of the two books. On one hand, it is Frodo's escape, Sam's loyalty and their friendship that will face almost certain death, just the two of them; on the other, it's the tragic effect the ring has to the world of men, their dominions pestered by orc attacks, and the growing influence of dark creatures in the land. Here again the two worlds, that of hobbits and of men, meet. Jackson's solution works in filmic terms because it sets in motion the two escapades that dominate the following films, but Tolkien's is more intimate to my mind, and the opening of "The Two Towers" is very powerful indeed.

    As for the rest of the book, the highlight for me has always been the confrontation with Saruman. Although I understand the reasoning behind the film version in introducing Saruman so early in "The Fellowship of the Ring", in Tolkien it's dramatically a very powerful moment when we arrive at Isengard to confront him, since we've been hearing so much about him already. He's a compelling character more than anything else, and considering that his army has already been defeated and his Isengard is in ruins, he remains a threatening presence to the very end. It is, in some ways, an anticlimax, sure, to see him already in the jaws of defeat, and I remember longing to have seen him at the peak of his powers.

    Other nice moments is especially the heist of the orcs, and the hobbits' sojourn through Fangorn, but I'm finding it very difficult to get fired up by the Rohan storyline, including the battle of Helm's Deep, which, thankfully, is not as detailed as in the films.

    The story revolving around the Palantír is also brilliant, evocative literature. This is where Tolkien's route of keeping Saruman from us so far pays off doubly, since he hasn't had to reveal the Palantír's function to at all, not even mention the whole thing. It's a wonderful, mysterious object, and Pippin's descent into incurable and mad curiosity becomes deeper and so much more dangerous because we are not quite sure what the thing does.

    The last paragraph is, as usual, devoted to Inglis. It's an admirable feat to keep such a narrative together with such a multitude of different characters. He makes it all sound so easy and natural, which itself is a task unimaginably difficult to pull off properly. A great narrator.

    Off to Book IV!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Catherine
    HampshireUnited Kingdom
    18/10/05
    Overall
    "third book of the series"

    Audible have divided LOTR into six separate audiobooks. They aren't really separate books, but sections of the same book, so you need to read them in order, they won't make sense otherwise. This is the third book. (Start with "Fellowship of the Ring book 1")

    Rob Inglis has a very traditional english voice and reads in a very measured way. I am a fan of Tolkien, and enjoy this reading, but if you have only seen the films, you may find it a bit slow.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jessica trusler
    10/04/15
    Overall
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    "The two towers, part I"

    Superb rendition of one of my favorite tales, excellent narration, the Ents came alive for me here -performance well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sivitrii
    Zillmere, Australia
    01/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ents FTW !!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's a classic and epic tale that everyone should enjoy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lord of the Rings?

    The meeting of Rohan's riders and the remaining members of the 9 Walkers.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every scene with Treebeard, including those being described by Pippin and Merry.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Many sections needed to be listened to in one sitting, but the story overall is far too long for that to be an option.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • no
    09/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fool of a Took!"
    If you could sum up The Lord of the Rings in three words, what would they be?

    Greatest book ever.


    What other book might you compare The Lord of the Rings to and why?

    No other book can compare. George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series comes closest, followed by Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. The Lord of the Rings stands far above them all.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Merry and Pippin escape from the Orcs into Fangorn forest and meet Treebeard. The dialogue that takes place in this chapter is full of humour and is one of most memorable moments. The Hobbits grow taller as a result of drinking the draught given to them and their hair becomes curlier. Treebeard and the ents decide to attack Isengard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Siri
    Tromsø, Norway
    25/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic"

    I remember reading this when I was younger I used a year to read the hole thing and I am a better person for it. It is a grate book that all should read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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