My Review (Caution-Spoilers!):
This story is one that I have heard so much about for many years but, for various reasons, had never gotten around to reading it. So, I guess the main question is, did it live up to my expectations? In a word, yes!
Though in the end, I think that The Hobbit was a more pleasant read (less complicated plot, fewer characters, faster pace, etc.), The Lord of the Rings certainly deserves much of the praise that it gets from critics and readers alike. One of the most amazing things about this book is that Tolkein didn't just make up a story, he created a world. His attention to detail shows forth in his meticulous creation of thousands of years of Middle-earth history as well as various languages, especially that of the elves. It was a little hard to pay attention to it all at first, but in the end, it is this detail that gives the story its richness.