Argh! I finally did it! I restarted this trilogy this Spring while house-hunting in Iowa, and finally finished it on a long caching drive to/from the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Ultimately, since I don't commute any more, I just don't have time to complete audiobooks...let alone enormously-long trilogies like this! I even had it up to 1.5x speed (normally I do 1.2 or 1.3).

Anyway, it was an enjoyable listen. It probably would have been nice had I read these years before the movies came out. As it was, my mind was constantly playing the movie in my head, and I was comparing how closely it followed the books (really well for the most part!). Some scenes were, of course, slightly different, and the omission of Tom Bombadil is pretty well-known. But I was surprised that the entire plight / battle back at the shire was omitted. Granted, The Return of the King was so painfully long and had plenty of content after the final climax that I often fall asleep watching it (of course, the first time I saw it was at a midnight showing, so it was 3am at this point... and almost every other time has been as part of a 12-hour maratho...). I wonder if anyone would ever make that into its own movie. There's not a lot of content there, but filmmakers typically seem to find ways of filling out stories...

I don't know if I'll make this an annual (or even decennial) tradition as some do, but I wouldn't completely count out the possibility of reading this again. Heck, I'm technically reading the Hobbit to the kids at bedtime... but that's taking several months and stops / starts. We'll see.