The Two Towers Audiobook
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The Two Towers audiobook free
Another classic tackled. After reading The Fellowship of the Ring, I didn’t think I’d stick with this series despite its indelible mark on the fantasy genre and literature in general. I found The Fellowship unnecessarily long, slow-moving, and incredibly hard to get through. At the end of each chapter, I felt frustrated with how little had happened.
But then, days and weeks after I finished, I kept thinking about the characters and their journey. I stand by my initial critiques — too much world-building (see: way too many names of things and people) + poor pacing (see: the first three chapters — the movie does this better) — but I was still curious about the goings-on of Middle-earth and could begrudgingly admit the journey is the destination, or however that quote goes.
So I ordered The Two Towers, thinking I’d probably do better with a physical copy over an ebook. I can confirm this was the right move. I can also confirm the second book moves along much more quickly than the first with plenty of exciting plot points. That said, I drastically preferred the first half (Book Three) over the second (Book Four). Book Three picks up with the fellowship companions that Frodo and Sam abandoned at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring while Book Four again resumes the journey with Frodo and Sam.
What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t like Frodo. Fair warning, many spoilers ahead.
Hear me out! Literally everyone else is so much more interesting (yeah, yeah, that’s probably the point or something). I know Gandalf is always saying Aragorn is the best tracker ever, but this book really proves it. Aragorn’s like, “See that single broken blade of grass in a huge trampled field? Yeah, the Orcs went that way and they carried two hobbits.” I mean, this guy could actually find a needle in a haystack. And he’s a talented composer of songs and poems alike?! Is there anything he can’t do???
Meanwhile, Legolas and Gimli SHINE. Legolas already served as my primary source of comedic relief with his prancing all over snow mounds and confusion with the slow progress of his group. The bromance between the Elf and Dwarf takes flight, culminating in the battle at Helm’s Deep, where every time they find each other again, they compare kill counts (a little dark, sure) and support one another like no one’s business. And anytime another character’s prejudice keeps them from inviting Gimli to their homes, Legolas is like, “Oh, nuh-uh. I’m not coming without my brave FRIEND, Gimli, for whom I would DIE.” I live for it.
Plus, y’know, Gandalf is resurrected (or never died?) so that’s kind of a big deal. Although he’s still hoarding secrets and off doing who-knows-what most of the time, hand-waving his aliveness away with vague explanations. How can an author be so verbose when describing every hill, hole, and river in any five-mile radius and yet leave the twist of a Wizard’s non-death to the imagination?
So yeah, Book Three — I’m here for it. This is the story I want to read. It’s most interesting when all the different characters are playing off each other. Then we get to Book Four, which has drastically fewer characters and, for the most part, straight traveling. It reminds me of my least favorite parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Honestly, traveling isn’t actually so bad, but we got so much of it in Books One and Two.
Let’s get to the root of my problems. First, I tend to get lost in Tolkien’s long descriptions. Second, I’m so tired of being told that Frodo is kind and pure and perfect. He acts fairly entitled and superior with Sam — who admittedly leans into the servant role — content to boss Sam around, criticize him (see: knot-tying), and never truly listen to his suggestions or concerns. Oddly, Frodo seems to have way more empathy for Smeagol than he does for long-time friend Sam, probably because he wants to look good to Gandalf. Meanwhile, Sam is literally out here sacrificing his life for Frodo but whatevs.
The last two chapters in particular drag. The fight scene with the spider feels drawn out, Frodo’s capture even more so. Why do we have to sit through so much unimportant Orc dialogue just to learn Frodo lives but they’re going to lock him up? I’m ranting now.
I wish Books Three and Four had been combined and the chapters alternated between both groups of characters — that would’ve kept the story moving. And I wish there were more (read: any) prominent female characters. Tolkien can introduce beings and societies like the Ents, but not strong female characters? We even get a quasi-explanation for the lack of female Ents and, y’all, buckle in. The Entwives and Entmaidens are missing. The men left them alone for a bit and now they’re gone. Just gone. Please tell me we pick this thread back up in the next book because what?!
Like, this is an extensive fantasy world and we can have entirely male populations (see: Orcs), but not any entirely non-male groups? I mean, Eowyn is introduced and she even gets to hold a position of power, but she’s there and gone again in the blink of an eye. Fingers-crossed we see her again. I’ll even take Galadriel again in all her beauty = perfection glory.
Sorry, look at me, ranting again. I did actually like this book, I swear! The prose is lyrical and timeless. The included poems and songs hit all the right notes. Boromir’s farewell is heart wrenching, affecting each of the characters in different yet profound ways. And we get to meet Faramir, who I found to be an absolute baller — decisive and intimidating, yet genuine and kind. Standout moments are meeting the Ents, the battle at Helm’s Deep, and Sam’s fumble in the end zone with Faramir. Oh also Smeagol is surprisingly sympathetic? Like I get where Frodo is coming from, but c’mon, just please also send a little of that understanding Sam’s way. He’s way less annoying than Pippin, at the very least!
So if like me, you finished the first book in the series and aren’t sure if you want to keep going, I’d recommend sticking with it! This is a series that only keeps getting better.
The Two Towers series The Lord of the Rings
I joined a book club which was reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy and should only be reading the second book of The Fellowship of the Rings(which is the first book in the trilogy), but I am so hooked on this story that I’ve just finished the second book. The suspense is killing me! I’ve got to find out what happens! I recommend this book to everyone!
Audiobook The Two Towers by j. R. R. Tolkien
This is flawless! What Andy Serkis began in Fellowship of the Ring, he continues here. His vocal talents are astonishing. Over the course of the three volumes (Fellowship, Towers, Return) he triumphantly produces something like 132 different voices (AND he sings). Mesmerizing performance. Best narration EVER!
Audio The Two Towers narrated by Martin Shaw
Tolkien continues his epic tale as he follows the fellowship of the ring on their separate paths as they gather allies and fight the growing forces of Mordor. Epic events at a the defense of Helms Deep and the assault on Isengard help position our heroes on the board for a satisfying endgame in “The Return of the King.” Once again Tolkien’s wartime experiences shape his tale while also providing valuable perspectives on conflict.
Free audio The Two Towers – in the audio player below
Book was well written but could do with a little more diversity. There was now queer or trans representation. The author could have explored the sexual relationship between Sam and Frodo a little more too.
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