A.L. Sirois writes: It’s tempting to say that this boxed set does as much for the Lord of the Rings saga as Peter Jackson’s movies. That would be wrong. What Jackson did was to re-envision (and in some cases edit) the trilogy in order to smooth out the dramatic flow and, of course, simplify the story. The degree of his success is arguable, and beyond the scope of this column. One thing, however, is obvious: In seeking to trim the action down into manageable chunks, Jackson saw fit to omit certain things, including most of the songs and poems. This four-CD set breathes new life into the poetic and lyrical material, not by re-purposing it but by bringing it to literal life as Tolkein wrote it. The release represents a most impressive achievement. [More]

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