Monday, January 24, 2011

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Um, I'm gonna say 5 stars

Okay, I have a serious love/hate relationship with these books.  Last week I talked about how I found The Hobbit, right?  So naturally, after reading that, I picked up this.  Yeah, so did NOT work.  I don't think I got more than 60 pages in.

I couldn't stand it!  The paragraphs went on for ages, the descriptions were mind-boggling and it was all just too much.

So fast forward a few years.  The movies are coming out and I MUST read the book first.  Because I'm neurotic that way.

I FORCED myself through the book.  Ugh.  Great story, can't stand the writing.  The paragraphs and descriptions are still ridiculous and it feels like there is NO direct dialogue.  Shoot me now.

This time through was better.  It's been almost 10 years, and as we watched the movies a couple weeks ago, I found that I'd lost a lot of the details from the book.  And since I'm neurotic, that drove me nuts.  So I read it again.

And it was better.  The paragraphs didn't seem as long, I realized there was more dialogue than I'd thought, and frankly, I read differently than I did last time I read it.  For one, I give myself permission to skim.  Which makes a HUGE difference in the ridiculously long descriptions.

And honestly, the movies helped too.  Nevermind all the stuff that was cut and all the crazy things that were changed, the movies at least make me better able to picture the setting and the characters-- and to hear how they might talk.

(Hugo Weaving was a dreadful casting choice, by the way.  Holy cow.)

Anyway, so it was better.  And I'm kind of excited to dive into The Two Towers.

(Not the least because I know I won't have to deal with the butchery of Faramir that happens in the movie.  "The ring will go to Gondor" indeed.)
(I <3 Faramir and Eomer.)

Counts for the Support Your Local Library Challenge.


  1. I'm enjoying your personal take on books. I think it REALLY helped that my mom read these aloud to me the first time. (I was nine, I think.) Of course, the first 100 or so pages were very boring, and I remember asking my mom if it would get better, and it did.
    While I love the movies, there are so many places that I think they slaughtered the story and/or characters. I'm with you on Hugo Weaving not capturing Elrond; and I hate the way they had Arwen (who plays no major role in the books) rescue Frodo. I think it seriously took away his strength of character.

  2. Blogger at my comment! Blah.

    I could see that helping, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to read it aloud to my kids!

    I do think putting Arwen in Glorfindel's role and then expanding it was weird, but I see them wanting/needing to give her a bigger role.
    (Let's face it, writing women was NOT Tolkien's strong point.)