The greatest piece of literary fiction ever, the Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien during the 30's and 40's and published in the 50's. People often mistakenly refer to it as a trilogy. IT IS NOT A TRILOGY. It is one novel divided into six books and appendices. It was however released in three volumes because the publisher wanted more money.
The Lord of the Rings takes place in Tolkien's "Middle-earth" and focuses on the hobbit Frodo Baggins, who is tasked with destroying the One Ring of Power forged by the Dark Lord Sauron (the titular Lord of the Rings) many years ago. The novel also focuses on many other heroes and villians. The Lord of the Rings has served as an example for countless other fantasy works to emulate in story, characters, and setting.
The Lord of the Rings has been adapted into a movie trilogy by director Peter Jackson. Although they are of course inferior to the original book, they are still very good. Many people like to compare The Lord of the Rings to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, most likely because the first Lord of the Rings movie and the first Harry Potter movie both came out in 2001. However, there is really no comparison. Harry Potter is good, but The Lord of the Rings is a pure literary masterpiece.
The Lord of the Rings is a must read for pretty much anyone.