The Lord of the Rings [en]

I have just finished reading The Lord of the Rings. If I remember correctly, this must be my fourth or fifth attempt to read the books. The furthest I have reached seems to be the very first pages of the third book, if my bookmark does not lie. My memory of those pages read many years ago has dimmed to near to nothingness.

I am one of the many people for whom the film saved the books. I had given up on reading them.

I am coming to the conclusion that The Lord of the Rings is not a book most enjoyed when first read. On the first reading, one is swamped with strange names and places, riddles and comments on the unfamiliar lore and history of Middle-earth. (Information overload, anyone?) The story unfolds slowly, too slowly, and one loses track of the complex plot and dozes off to sleep amidst poetic descriptions of beautiful land or fair deeds.

The Lord of the Rings seems written for those already familiar with a marvellously complex world Tolkien created. In any case, some familiarity with the world in question seems required to thoroughly enjoy the epic.

The film did not put me to sleep. They gave me a reasonably clear view of the plot, allowing me to dive into the books and enjoy the tale being told without feeling too lost. I am looking forward to reading the books again. But counting my previous attempts, it really took me hundreds of pages to learn to enjoy Tolkien.

5 thoughts on “The Lord of the Rings [en]

  1. I hear ya, and as a matter of fact, a fair familiarity with “classic” heroic-fantasy is a
    helpful prerequisite before diving to LOTR. I achieved it back in junior high by playing
    role-playing games a lot. Ever since then, I’ve read the book about once every couple of
    years, skipping long descriptions and poetry at first. Only progressively did I incorporate
    non plot-essential sections into my reading… Ok, I admit it, I still skip the poetry!
    Sheesh, happy now?

  2. I just bought the book for Christmas, I should start reading it soon. It was part of the list
    of books “I will read one day because they’re classics”, but its length and the fact that it’s
    full of strange names kept it at the bottom of that list…
    Seeing the movies made me want to know what was the real thing behind it, now I hope I will
    not give up , and enjoy it like you did!

  3. When I saw the first movie picture, I was however very disappointed by the differences between
    the books and it. I mean, the main plot is here, but many of points have been missed that,
    eventually, lead to important issues in the book (e.g., why Pippin and Merry join Frodo, how
    fast Frodo leaves Hobbiton, etc).
    But OK, the movie is already 3hours and I guess this is part of an Hollywood adaptation. I
    agree with you Stephanie that reading the book is a pain. You’ve got to want to finish it to
    do it!

  4. only a genuine walk in a forest of depth and charm first will allow the person(s) to access
    the intimate mindflow reality that is necessary for understanding without the socially
    attendant urge to finish in order to be able to talk about the Work. there is no hurry in
    decent life and the living of it, the breathing of it, and what results are intuition and
    insight and the caring of inner strength. a walk in the quiet of an hour’s length will not
    only amaze you physically, but also open the door to your own sense of poetry that sleeps,
    unless cared for. being very busy is not the time to be reading. i hope you find the time. and
    the time will find you.

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