The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
Frodo Baggins knew the Ringwraiths were searching for him—and the Ring of Power he bore that would enable Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where it could be destroyed—in the very center of Sauron's dark kingdom.

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) Details

TitleThe Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 5th, 2003
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN0618346252
ISBN-139780618346257
Number of pages398 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Classics, Fiction, Adventure, Science Fiction Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic, Novels

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) Review

  • Lyndz
    June 8, 2011
    I refuse to write a review for one of the best books ever written. Asking a serious fantasy fan to write a review for Lord of the Rings is like asking a Christian to write a review for The Bible. So instead I will supply you with this graph:
  • Khanh (the Grinch)
    May 31, 2015
    Never have I been so sad to give a low rating to such a revered book. I'm so sorry. I can't tell you how sorry I am.Again, I'm so sorry, but I found this book unbelievably dull. I really am so, so sorry. I'm desperately sad about this. This series has been such a foundation for modern-day fantasy that I'm incredibly disappointed in myself for not liking this. I have always wanted to be a Tolkien fangirl. I've always wanted to learn Elvish and get completely offended à la Stephen Colbert but I ca Never have I been so sad to give a low rating to such a revered book. I'm so sorry. I can't tell you how sorry I am.Again, I'm so sorry, but I found this book unbelievably dull. I really am so, so sorry. I'm desperately sad about this. This series has been such a foundation for modern-day fantasy that I'm incredibly disappointed in myself for not liking this. I have always wanted to be a Tolkien fangirl. I've always wanted to learn Elvish and get completely offended à la Stephen Colbert but I can't. I just can't. I want so desperately to love Tolkien, but it just ain't happening. I've been trying this book for 17 years. Tolkien and I have a sad history. I've always been a book lover, when I was young, I would persist through any book, no matter how trying. The Hobbit was the first book that made me fall asleep. It's memorable to me because that's the first time, and only the second time it's ever happened. The other book that made me fall asleep? You guessed it. The Fellowship of the Ring. I tried The Fellowship in 10th grade. I couldn't get past Bilbo's birthday party. I tried it again almost 10 years ago when I was stuck in bed for several days due to, oh, a giant surgical wound in my neck. My doctor said I had to stay in bed for a few days. So, I reasoned, what better way than to resume my attempt at reading one of the greatest literary classics of all time than whole having no other option?Audiobook it was! I didn't last past Tom Bombadil before I decided, fuck this, I'm going to head to the gym with a bloody bandage on my neck. True story. I got a lot of really weird looks. My doctor gave me a prescription for Vicodin because he was concerned the pain would be too much to bear. Apparently, I didn't even need the Vicodin because that pedophile Tom Bombadil put me right to sleep.Seriously, were it not for the fact that it is written by Tolkien, I would have hated this book. It was so unbelievably dull. There were parts, that to a Tolkien amateur like me, didn't have a whit of relevance or anything interesting to add to the plot (namely, say, the first 700 pages of the book). Seriously, what the fuck is up with the farmer and Tom Bombadil?The plot was all sorts of disjointed. Some parts just didn't make any sense. Tolkien is a linguist at heart, and it shows, because all the famous quotes we know from him are just sound bytes. In context, sometimes they don't really make any sense. All the poems and songs are in there to sound pretty, and frankly, they bored the fuck out of me.For instance, in the middle of a serious dinner party where the company is just trying to decide what to do about the ring (surely a simple task), all of a sudden little Frodo stands up and solemnly announces. All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither,Deep roots are not reached by the frost.From the ashes a fire shall be woken,A light from the shadows shall spring;Renewed shall be blade that was broken,The crownless again shall be king I was like what the fuck, man?! Where did that come from? It makes absolutely no sense in the context of the scene. Oh, sure, it's an inside thing on how Aragorn was the secret king, but nobody knew that! Everyone, elf, hobbit, dwarf, (and me) would have thought he was completely high on some elven grass.Let me make this clear: I do not, for an instance, doubt Tolkien's literary value. I think he has been an inspiration to generations of writers, artists, hell, gamers. My beloved World of Warcraft game featured elves, pretty much every fantasy book we have these days have been inspired in one way or another by Tolkien. Again, he was an amazing linguist, his work developing the Elvish tongue, among others, as well as his efforts in developing the rich, fantastic history of the world within his books is not to be disregarded by any means.But again, he is a linguist. He is a scholar. He may be the most brilliant one of those in the world, an inspiration to generations, but for me, personally, his writing is not to my tastes.But damn, the movies were amazing!
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  • J.G. Keely
    May 28, 2009
    Authors who inspire a movement are usually misunderstood, especially by those they have inspired, and Tolkien is no exception, but one of the biggest misconceptions about Tolkien is the idea that he is somehow an 'innovator of fantasy'. He did add a number of techniques to the repertoire of epic fantasy writers, and these have been dutifully followed by his many imitators, but for the most part, these techniques are little more than bad habits.Many have called Tolkien by such epithets as 'The Fa Authors who inspire a movement are usually misunderstood, especially by those they have inspired, and Tolkien is no exception, but one of the biggest misconceptions about Tolkien is the idea that he is somehow an 'innovator of fantasy'. He did add a number of techniques to the repertoire of epic fantasy writers, and these have been dutifully followed by his many imitators, but for the most part, these techniques are little more than bad habits.Many have called Tolkien by such epithets as 'The Father of Fantasy', but anyone who makes this claim simply does not know of the depth and history of the fantasy genre. For those who are familiar with the great and influential fantastical authors, from Ovid and Ariosto to Eddison and Dunsany to R.E. Howard and Fritz Leiber, it is clear that, long before Tolkien, fantasy was already a complex, well-established, and even a respected literary genre.Eddison's work contains an invented world, a carefully-constructed (and well-researched) archaic language, a powerful and unearthly queen, and a central character who is conflicted and lost between the forces of nobility and darkness. Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword , which came out the same year as The Fellowship of the Ring, has distant, haughty elves, deep-delving dwarves, a broken sword which must be reforged, an epic war between the armies of light and darkness, another central character trapped between those extremes, and an interweaving of Christian and Pagan worldviews.So, if these aspects are not unique to Tolkien, then what does set him apart? Though Dunsany, Eddison, and Anderson all present worlds where light and dark come into conflict, they present these conflicts with a subtle and often ironic touch, recognizing that morality is a dangerous thing to present in absolutes. Tolkien (or C.S. Lewis), on the other hand, has no problem in depicting evil as evil, good as good, and the only place they meet is in the temptation of an honest heart, as in Gollum's case--and even then, he is not like Eddison's Lord Gro or Anderson's Scafloc, characters who live under an alternative view of the world, but instead fluctuates between the highs and lows of Tolkien's dualistic morality.It is a dangerous message to make evil an external, irrational thing, to define it as 'the unknown that opposes us', because it invites the reader to overlay their own morality upon the world, which is precisely what most modern fantasy authors tend to do, following Tolkien's example. Whether it's Goodkind's Libertarianism or John Norman's sex slave fetish, its very easy to simply create a magical allegory to make one side 'right' and the other side 'wrong', and you never have to develop a dramatic narrative that actually explores the soundness of those ideas. Make the good guys dress in bright robes or silvery maile and the bad guys in black, spiky armor, and a lot of people will never notice that all the 'good guys' are White, upper class men, while all the 'bad guys' are 'brutish foreigners', and that both sides are killing each other and trying to rule their little corner of the world.In Tolkien's case, his moral view was a very specific evocation of the ideal of 'Merrie England', which is an attempt by certain stodgy old Tories (like Tolkien) to rewrite history so that the nobility were all good and righteous leaders, the farmers were all happy in their 'proper place' (working a simple patch of dirt), while both industrialized cultures and the 'primitives' who resided to the South and East were 'the enemy' bent on despoiling the 'natural beauty of England' (despite the fact that the isles had been flattened, deforested, and partitioned a thousand years before).Though Tom Bombadil remains as a strangely incoherent reminder of the moral and social complexity of the fantasy tradition upon which Tolkien draws, he did his best to scrub the rest clean, spending years of his life trying to fit Catholic philosophy more wholly into his Pagan adventure realm. But then, that's often how we think of Tolkien: bent over his desk, spending long hours researching, note-taking, compiling, and playing with language. Even those who admit that Tolkien demonstrates certain racist, sexist, and classicist leanings (as, indeed, do many great authors) still praise the complexity of his 'world building'.And any student of the great Epics, like the Norse Eddas, the Bible, or the Shahnameh can see what Tolkien is trying to achieve with his worldbuilding: those books presented grand stories, but were also about depicting a vast world of philosophy, history, myth, geography, morality and culture. They were encyclopedic texts, intended to instruct their people on everything important in life, and they are extraordinarily valuable to students of anthropology and history, because even the smallest detail can reveal something about the world which the book describes.So, Tolkien fills his books with troop movements, dull songs, lines of lineage, and references to his own made-up history, mythology, and language. He has numerous briefly-mentioned side characters and events because organic texts like the epics, which were formed slowly, over time and compiled from many sources often contained such digressions. He creates characters who have similar names--which is normally a stupid thing to do, as an author, because it is so confusing--but he’s trying to represent a hereditary tradition of prefixes and suffixes and shared names, which many great families of history had. So Tolkien certainly had a purpose in what he did, but was it a purpose that served the story he was trying to tell?Simply copying the form of reality is not what makes good art. Art is meaningful--it is directed. It is not just a list of details--everything within is carefully chosen by the author to make up a good story. The addition of detail is not the same as adding depth, especially since Tolkien’s world is not based on some outside system--it is whatever he says it is. It’s all arbitrary, which is why the only thing that grants a character, scene, or detail purpose is the meaning behind it. Without that meaning, then what Tolkien is doing is just a very elaborate thought exercise. Now, it’s certainly true that many people have been fascinated with studying it, but that’s equally true of many thought exercises, such as the rules and background of the Pokemon card game, or crossword puzzles.Ostensibly, Scrabble supposedly is a game for people who love words--and yet, top Scrabble players sit an memorize lists of words whose meaning they will never learn. Likewise, many literary fandom games become little more than word searches: find this reference, connect that name to this character--but which have no meaning or purpose outside of that. The point of literary criticism is always to lead us back to human thought and ideas, to looking at how we think and express ourselves. If a detail in a work cannot lead us back to ourselves, then it is no more than an arbitrary piece of chaff.The popularity of Tolkien’s work made it acceptable for other authors to do the same thing, to the point that whenever I hear a book lauded for the ‘depth of its world building’, I expect to find a mess of obsessive detailing, of piling on so many inconsequential facts and figures that the characters and stories get buried under the scree, as if the author secretly hopes that by spending most of the chapter describing the hero’s cuirass, we'll forget that he’s a bland archetype who only succeeds through happy coincidence and deus ex machina against an enemy with no internal structure or motivation.When Quiller-Couch said authors should ‘murder their darlings’, this is what he meant: just because you have hobbies and opinions does not mean you should fill your novel with them. Anything which does not materially contribute to the story, characters, and artistry of a work can safely be left out. Tolkien's embarrassment of detail also produced a huge inflation in the acceptable length of fantasy books, leading to the meandering, unending series that fill bookstore shelves today.Now, there are several notable critics who have lamented the unfortunate effect that Tolkien’s work has had on the genre, such as in Moorcock’s Epic Pooh and Mieville’s diatribe about every modern fantasy author being forced to come to terms with the old don's influence. I agree with their deconstructions, but for me, Tolkien isn’t some special author, some ‘fantasy granddad’ looming over all. He’s just a bump in the road, one author amongst many in a genre that stretches back thousands of years into our very ideas of myth and identity, and not one of the more interesting onesHis ideas weren’t unique, and while his approach may have been unusual, it was only because he spent a lifetime trying obsessively to make something artificial seem more natural, despite the fact that the point of fantasy (and fiction in general) is to explore the artificial, the human side of the equation, to look at the world through the biased lens of our eye and to represent some odd facet of the human condition. Unfortunately, Tolkien’s characters, structure, and morality are all too flat to suggest much, no matter how many faux-organic details he surrounds them with.My Fantasy Book Suggestions
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  • Ana
    October 22, 2012
    No words need be said. (Whoever made this gif should be knighted).
  • Kane
    February 7, 2011
    A review of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, by SauronHello. You may remember me as the title character of the Lord of Rings. I go by a lot of names: Dark Lord of Mordor, Sorcerer, Red Eye, Dark Power, Lord of Barad-dûr, Ring-maker and Base Master of Treachery (I use that one in my band). I actually object to Tolkien's chosen name of Sauron, which I understand originates from an adjective that means "foul, putrid" in his crappy invented language. What can I say, the showers in Mordor a A review of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, by SauronHello. You may remember me as the title character of the Lord of Rings. I go by a lot of names: Dark Lord of Mordor, Sorcerer, Red Eye, Dark Power, Lord of Barad-dûr, Ring-maker and Base Master of Treachery (I use that one in my band). I actually object to Tolkien's chosen name of Sauron, which I understand originates from an adjective that means "foul, putrid" in his crappy invented language. What can I say, the showers in Mordor are sketchy at best. On weekends, my poker buddies call me Sauron the Destroyer of Nacho Platters. Because Tolkien intentionally failed to give a proper description of me in his books, allow me to give you an idea. I have a bit of a dark look. My quest for world domination having been thwarted, I watch a lot of TV these days. My body is roughly equivalent to the "The Situation" on Jersey Shore. Oh, no I don't watch that, but the Witch-king of Angmar is obsessed. He won't shut up about Snowcone or some bimbo on that show. I'm missing a finger, which while preventing me from raining down carnage on Middle Earth, allows me to collect decent EI. Plus the best lawyer in Mordor got me covered under the dismemberment clause on my insurance, so I'm riding the double dip gravy train. Much has been written about my terrible Lidless Red Eye, blah blah blah. It freaked out that little twat Frodo pretty good. I'll have you know that conjunctivitis is no laughing matter. Having to keep it open 24/7 to look for hoodlums skulking around Mordor is murder on my hydration. The Nazgul have enough lift and aim to get up there to toss a bucket of Visine at it, but it's just temporary relief. Regardless, I'm still more of a looker than your precious King Elessar or Aragorn or whatever he's calling himself these days. He's never met a brooding look he didn't like. Buy a razor. Get a real job.Someone sent me Peter Jackson's movies in the mail. The package had no return address but it was postmarked "Hobbiton", where ever the hell that is. As I watch these movies over and over (I never even finished the books) I was reminded of all my mistakes...Perhaps a ring was not a good choice. Some buddies have suggested that maybe I shouldn't have tied all of my terrible powers to something as easy to misplace as the One Ring. In retrospect, I should have forged The One Gas Station Bathroom Key Chain of Power. It would have been a lot harder to tief. I even could have pimped it out by making it from an Ent branch or Saruman's foot, for all the good that old fart did me. Maybe a ring would have been just fine if it had been a toe ring. Then it wouldn't glow in the dark like a target for every freaking Man on the battlefield. I heard that the guy who beat me was named "Isildur"!!?? WTF. Maybe I could have worn tougher gloves, I don't know. Perhaps the door to the Fires of Mount Doom should have had a better lock. ADT could have hooked me up with motion detectors but I hear that even cats can set those off. They claim they can calibrate them but I'm not so sure. The Uruk-hai are always jumping up on the table, so they would set it off for sure. Maybe just the alarm that goes off if something hits the lava, like pool alarms for kid. Although I guess it would have been too late by then. "My preccciioouussss!". Learn some balance a-hole.Frodo. That little prick. I'd rather not discuss how my quest for utter dominion was defeated by something I could poop out unnoticed.I'm getting off track. I'm supposed to discuss the events of the first book, the Fellowship of the Ring. Good times! I was on a comeback! Then the withered up senior citizen Gandalf had to go to the library and do a little research and figure out that my Ring was not some cracker jack prize. My Ringwraiths tried to track down the Ring but apparently taking it away from children was too difficult. If I had put the Nazgûl on fell beasts rather than bloody horses from the start I might have tracked down Frodo (prick) and his three buddies in the bloody woods. Don't horses have a good sense of smell!? Anyways, the fell beasts would have at least avoided drowning in a river. Sweet Mary. Then those Elves suggest a damn "fellowship". Could you have come up with a lamer group name?? Why not call it the "Loose Association of People Who Share Common Beliefs or Activities…of the Ring". That Balrog almost did me the biggest favour, he was always one of my peeps. "You shall not pass!!" What a line Gandy! How cow. I heard that one took like 15 takes because Pippin kept making everyone laugh by adding in the word "gas". Fool of a Took!Anyways, by the end of the Fellowship of the Ring, I still had a fighting chance. Great book. Anyways, The Two Towers won't be as fun to review. Sh*t hits the fan. (A note from Sauron's agent: full credit for the idea of this review goes to Kemper and his awesome review of Drood)
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  • Matt
    June 1, 2010
    I wasn't really "cool" back in high school. I never made out with girls under the bleachers, or smoked under the bleachers, or did any of the other things under the bleachers that - I am lead to believe - the popular kids did. Instead, I maintained a low profile and waited for the teenage years - that wilderness of strangled thinking - to end.In high school, as today, I harbored geekish obsessions, had a wandering imagination, and nurtured an appreciation for minutiate. In other words, I should I wasn't really "cool" back in high school. I never made out with girls under the bleachers, or smoked under the bleachers, or did any of the other things under the bleachers that - I am lead to believe - the popular kids did. Instead, I maintained a low profile and waited for the teenage years - that wilderness of strangled thinking - to end.In high school, as today, I harbored geekish obsessions, had a wandering imagination, and nurtured an appreciation for minutiate. In other words, I should have been J.R.R. Tolkien's core audience. For whatever reason - perhaps intuition that I didn't need to dig my social hole any deeper - I never read The Lord of the Rings when most people first come upon The Lord of the Rings. Actually, I was barely cognizant of LOTR until college, when the movies were released. I absolutely loved Peter Jackson's film trilogy. During law school, I left a legal writing final halfway through in order to see Return of the King on opening day. Despite this, I never desired to read the source material. From talking to my friends, who were Tolkien enthusiasts ("nerds"), I assumed I wouldn't like the books. They seemed too talky, dense, and plodding. Finally, one fair summer night on my patio, my friend Jon and I were drinking beer and talking about The Lord of the Rings and how it was funny we could do this openly and still have significant others of the opposite sex. (I believe my wife was inside at the time, deciding what she would take in the divorce). Somehow, in a Miller Light and bratwurst haze, Jon got me to commit to giving LOTR a try. Then, I did a keg stand with Jon's homemade beer. This is how I read. Now, having finished Fellowship of the Ring, I have new appreciation for what Peter Jackson accomplished. Yeah, he made it into an action film, but that's the medium of film; there needs to be action. He did a fine job of taking Tolkien's essence and goosing it. (Sometimes he goosed the action too much, but we can discuss Legolas surfing on his shield at Helm's Deep another day). It was this love of the film that, interestingly, made me hesitant to read the books. Folks who love Tolkien love Tolkien with a vengeance. If it isn't obvious already, I don't have that underlying feeling. I understand, theoretically, Tolkien's achievement, but I'm not going to pretend to know all the references - religious, mythic, and linguistic - used as ingredients. What I do know is that, at its heart, LOTR is an archetypal hero's journey. It begins with an orphan of average abilities, who has a task thrust upon him. This forces the hero to leave home and enter the wider world. In the world he must pass tests, learn lessons, and eventually accomplish his task. Once that is done, the hero can return home; however, he is forever changed, and the home to which he returns is different.The hero in LOTR is Frodo Baggins, a hobbit. Now, a hobbit is - well, they're short, but they're not dwarves. That's the important thing to remember. Hobbits are like pot-smoking liberal arts majors. They like to hang around, eat, smoke, drink, and talk. Frodo's uncle, Bilbo, is a rare hobbit who has gone out and had adventures. He also has a magic ring, which he gives to Frodo. This ring...well it's evil. I could explain more, and Tolkien certainly does, but suffice it to say the ring is a Macguffin. It's like Marcellus Wallace's suitcase in Pulp Fiction: it drives the plot, and that's all you need to know. (This being Tolkien, though, you are certainly able to learn much, much, much more). Bilbo and Frodo's friend, the wizard Gandalf, tells Frodo that he must take the ring to the Cracks of Doom to destroy it, lest the Dark Shadow Sauron get his figurative hands upon it. With this, the journey starts. Frodo is joined by three other hobbits: Sam (the loyal one); Pippin (the scared one); and Merry (the one portrayed by Lost's Dominic Monaghan). After some brushes with the Nine Riders/the Nazgul/the Ring Wraiths (Tolkien has a very Russian way of making up a name, and then making up two or three or four synonyms, which makes things a little confusing), the hobbits meet up with Aragorn/Strider who leads them to Rivendell, where the elves live under Elrond. There is a counsel, the Fellowship is joined by Boromir (a man), Legolas (an elf) and Gimli (a dwarf). It all sounds like the set-up for a very complicated joke. But rest assured, the fate of Middle-Earth is at stake. (Though that does not stop the characters from stopping repeatedly for long meals; apparently, the Fellowship is comprised of foodies and gourmands). It's important to note what this book is not: it is not an action-packed adventure. Mostly, it is people walking through this make-believe world, talking about the past, and worrying about the future. There is a battle in the mountains of Moria that lasts for two pages; other than that, there are only scattered paragraphs when people are running, swords are unsheathed, and the stakes are raised. If swords and arrows are what you seek, just stick to the films. Moreover, you aren't going to find complex characterizations. The good guys are varing shades of good, and the bad guys are really bad. About the only conflicted characters are Boromir, who is conflicted for five sentences or so, and Gollum, the strung-out ring-addict. So what is the book? Well, it's a place you visit. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Nyquill connoisseur (or addict, take your pick). I often need something to calm my overactive mind before I can get to sleep. Instead of the Quill, for the past weeks, I used Fellowship. This is a compliment. Tolkien's world is so immersive, so fully realized - with its varied races, songs, languages, and lore - that whenever you open the covers it's a sublime escape. You are in an ancient land filled with a rich and ancient history, and a wonderfully described topography. Sure, the shadow of war hangs over Middle-Earth, but there is no tension. If you feel like Frodo is in mortal danger, and might not accomplish his task, you're probably six years old and having the story read aloud. Reading Fellowship was simply comforting. I wouldn't mind a kindly wizard giving me sage advice: Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.And I also wouldn't mind going on a little hike through the forest, and maybe hanging out with some elves:Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. Then by some shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky, Menelvagor with his shining belt. The Elves burst into song. Suddenly, under teh trees a fire sprang with light. 'Come!' the Elves called to the hobbits. 'Come! Now is the time for speech and merriment!'...At the south end of the greensward there was an opening. There the greenfloor ran on into the wood, and formed a wide space like a hall, roofed by the boughs of trees. Their great trunks ran like pillars down each side. In the middle there was a wood-fire blazing, and upon the tree-pillars torches with lights of gold and silver were burning steadily. The Elves sat round the fire upon the grass or upon the sawn rings of old trunks. Some went to and fro bearing cups and pouring drink; others brought food on heaped plates and dishes.Frodo's journey is secondary to Tolkien's creation of Middle-Earth. And the genius of Middle-Earth is that it goes beyond the pages. With its allusions to a long history filled with famous leaders and famous events and famous battles, your imagination is ignited. Upon finishing the first book, I saw how LOTR became a place of refuge for the outcasts and iconoclasts of our world. Like comic books, it is a place of escape, where the everyday order is turned upside down: the stakes are high, the heroes short, the beer is plentiful, and girls a distant afterthought.
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  • Alejandro
    July 31, 2014
    The Journey begins!!! THE EVOLUTION OF A RING’S STORY Courage is found in unlikely places. What started up as an adventure oriented for children turned into an epic fantasy......THE epic fantasy book, anything else in the genre after this, born here, any other author writing in this field, began here, and even impacted in many other genres and formats.Certainly, in The Hobbit, there are dangers, there is death, so thinking about it as a children’s tale is a much debated issue, but it’s clear The Journey begins!!! THE EVOLUTION OF A RING’S STORY Courage is found in unlikely places. What started up as an adventure oriented for children turned into an epic fantasy......THE epic fantasy book, anything else in the genre after this, born here, any other author writing in this field, began here, and even impacted in many other genres and formats.Certainly, in The Hobbit, there are dangers, there is death, so thinking about it as a children’s tale is a much debated issue, but it’s clear that Tolkien’s intention was to present a light-hearted adventure. Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. However, due some communication’s troubles between Tolkien and the publishing house, making him to think that they weren’t enjoying the proposed sequel to The Hobbit, the story got bigger, larger, darker......and redefined the conception of epic fantasy in literarure.Even Tolkien needed to re-write the chapter in The Hobbit involving Bilbo, Gollum and the One Ring, since the story known as The Lord of the Rings became something that even the very Tolkien didn’t foreseen before.So, what began as a small hobbit living in a hole that found a tiny ring in his journey, turned into a visceral war involving the whole Middle-Earth. MY THEORY ABOUT THE RING For nothing is evil in the beginning. I have a theory about the One Ring. And don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler.As I quoted (in this part of the review) Tolkien, may nothing is evil in the beginning, not even Sauron was evil in his own beginning, but......there is one thing in the Middle-Earth that it was evil since its own beginning......the One Ring!The One Ring was evil in its own beginning.The One Ring was in the hand of Sauron, then it passed to Isildur, a man, but it was soon lost and ended in the hands of Déagol, a hobbit, to fall right away in the possession of Sméagol, another hobbit, having it for so many time that Sméagol lost his own identity turning to be Gollum, scary, nasty, treacherous and dangerous but still a hobbit, then enter Bilbo, yet another hobbit, and finally gets into the picture, Frodo, yes, another hobbit.Do you see the pattern? (Because to me it wasn’t that hard!)Hobbit, hobbit, hobbit, hobbit.It’s said that people (all kind of people: Elves, Dwarves, Men, etc...) are obsessed with the One Ring.But to me, it’s clear that the One Ring is “obsessed” with the Hobbits!!!Sauron may be the Lord of the Rings, but it has been stated that the One Ring has a mind-like on its own. It’s not like a Green Lantern’s Power Ring able to talk and having a computer-like library to access inside, even the feature to fly on its own to search the next suitable user. The One Ring can’t talk, can’t move or fly on its own, but still is a magic ring alright (or “alwrong” since it’s unquestionable wicked (hey! No only Tolkien can invent words!) and it’s clear that its purpose is to bind all people into darkness, into evil.Sauron may have plans for the One Ring, but it’s likely that the One Ring has its own plans, its own designs, not to rebel, not to stand against its master, but to fulfill its basic purpose since it may notice a small flaw in Sauron’s plans.Sauron wants to turn into evil the whole Middle-Earth’s population: Elves are wise and powerful but still they have already fell into darkness in some numbers (no wonder why they’re starting an exodus from the Middle-Earth). Dwarves are greedy and violent, they’re easy targets for darkness. Men? Don’t make me laugh! We are the most susceptible species for darkness of all, nothing to worry about for the One Ring.However, Sauron didn’t even know the existence (for not saying clearly not knowing the location) of the Shire. Therefore, it’s evident that the hobbits aren’t in the plans of Sauron. You can say that it’s because he didn’t know about them or simply because he didn’t consider them worthy to send any troops there.But the One Ring knows. In some way, it knows about the Hobbits.And the One Ring has ONE purpose... One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. The One Ring is thorough about its purpose. It is obsessed about its one single purpose in the Middle-Earth. It has to bind ALL people into darkness, into evil. Not matter how tactically valuable or how ridiculous irrelevant. The One Ring isn’t in position to question the one single purpose that it was imprinted downright on its metal, its whole body, its entire “soul”. All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. You may think that the One Ring was lost, that it was wandering, but no......the One Ring was precisely where it wants to be! It found the Hobbits!Yes, the Hobbits in a quick glance, they aren’t something to be worry about when you’re planning to dominate Middle-Earth. Clearly, it was Sauron’s point of view. You can’t blame him. I don’t think any military leader in his position would consider relevant to invest time and effort with the Shire.BUT the One Ring thinks otherwise.If the other races have to fall into darkness, into evil, then the Hobbits must be as well.The Shire is an oasis of peace, of light, of goodwill, of laughing, of dancing, of enjoying the basic pleasures of a more simple life......and the One Ring can’t tolerate that!!! It’s revolted by the very existence of such a good place inhabited by such merry species. Everybody, everywhere and everything must fall into its dark bind, into evil!!!If Hobbits fall into darkness, into evil, then and only then, Sauron’s plans would be truly accomplished and the One Ring’s purpose, fulfilled. RING ANY BELLS? Books ought to have good endings. I am not a rookie with The Lords of the Rings since I watched all the movies, but certainly I knew that eventually I will read the books. While I am aware of what would happen here and in the next books, I still enjoyed plenty enough the reading, since I was able to notice the “little differences” here and there, between the original writing and the modern film adaptations. Some time ago, I read The Hobbit and now I have read the first book, Fellowship of the Ring, but an important thing to have in mind is that hardly it’s a “first” book per se, but the first part of one single book titled: The Lord of the Rings, since I can’t blame other readers if they weren’t satisfied with the development made in this first part.Characters took an “eternity” to begin a journey, to take a decision, to do anything. The few action moments are overly seldom spread and too quick developed, so you don’t get a real sense of being reading something in the epic fantasy genre. Even some scenes aren’t presented in “real time” but they are told after the things happened, stealing almost all thrill from them. Some random characters without any real utility in the story. An overwhelming telling of the vast background history of the Middle-Earth. And “finally”, you won’t get an ending here, this isn’t really a whole book, but the first part of a novel.So, if you can have all that in mind, knowing that you will have to read other two parts to get the whole story, and trusting that you will get ample amounts of actions later, maybe, just maybe, you would be forgiving enough to enjoy the wonderful writing using words in such clever way, along with the majesty of the expansion of such rich literary universe.Keep up, my fellow readers! The journey is just beginning!
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  • Bookdragon Sean
    January 17, 2014
    I’m not going to write a normal review; it’s almost impossible for a fantasy fan to do so in this case. Instead I’m going to give you a series of ten points to explain exactly why I love this particular book. Take from it what you will. There will be spoilers. Here goes: 1. The wizards! "“Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.” Now I do love wizards. Who doesn’t? The wisdom of Gandalf is unmatched. He is, in effect, the leader of the forces of light. He I’m not going to write a normal review; it’s almost impossible for a fantasy fan to do so in this case. Instead I’m going to give you a series of ten points to explain exactly why I love this particular book. Take from it what you will. There will be spoilers. Here goes: 1. The wizards! "“Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.” Now I do love wizards. Who doesn’t? The wisdom of Gandalf is unmatched. He is, in effect, the leader of the forces of light. He is the commander in chief, the battle general and the tactician. He organises everything. From Aragorn’s coming, to the hobbits bearing the ring, Gandalf is behind it all. He has walked middle earth for thousands of years. He has seen it all. And he understands the perilous nature of the quest better than most. He is the grand optimist, the man who sees the best in people. He should have been the leader of the Isatri. He was the most pure. He is nothing like the changeable leader of his order. Contrastingly, Saruman is the realist. He is neither light nor dark, but a being who can adapt to the circumstance. He saw only defeat for man, so he turned his cloak and helped to usher in the doom of middle earth. His mind was poisoned by the palantir, Sauron fed of his ambition and bent him to his will. Something Saruman didn’t fully conceive. He considered himself the equal of Sauron. In reality, if Sauron had regained the ring, he would have crushed Saruman like a bug. And if Saruman had gained the ring first, things would have become much different. It would have been a war between the two, one that would have unforeseen circumstances. 2. A desperate quest The quest itself, the sending of just nine people to destroy the conduit of darkness, speaks of desperation. The elves are not what they once were in the first age. Their power has diminished: their people are leaving these lands. They do not have the power to stand against the tide. The Dwarves are shattered and broken. Their leadership in Erabor has their own problems to deal with. They, too, face invasion. And men, men, are weak. Well at least according to Elrond. So sending of a small party of mighty heroes, and a few untested hobbits, is a back door attempt of destroying the evil that infests middle earth. And I love it. Have you ever read about a quest so unlikely and so improbable? “I will take the Ring", he said, "though I do not know the way.” 3. A Hidden KingOther than the obvious wizard, the agile elvish prince, the stalwart dwarf lord, the fellowship has a secret weapon. Aragorn, the heir to Isildur, has finally come forth. “All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither,Deep roots are not reached by the frost.From the ashes a fire shall be woken,A light from the shadows shall spring;Renewed shall be blade that was broken,The crownless again shall be king.”He alone has the power to unite the failing world of men. Only he can save the white tree of Gondor and insure that men do not fall into darkness. And the darkness, it genuinely fears him. He is the last hope of men: he is their salvation. His ancient ancestor Isildur struck the ring from the hand of evil; thus, Sauron fears his coming. However, he is more powerful than Isildur. He has lived amongst the elves, and he has learnt how his ancestor failed to crush the darkness in his vain weakness. Aragorn will not make the same mistake. He will do better. 4.Loyalty The party itself, the Fellowship of the Ring, are bound together with a mutual goal. But it’s more than that; they are dependent on each other. Each has skills the others could never possess. And each brings with him the hope of a people. Simply put, these heroes cannot fail. Middle earth depends on them. They are the best of their races, the most representative of their cultures, and their participation speaks of a will to conquer the shadow that approaches. It speaks of commitment. 5.Finding your courageNot all the party have been fully tested. With them travel four young hobbits, the most unlikely of companions for such a journey. They are the overlooked, the forgotten about, the race that is casually discarded and considered insignificant in the wider world. And perhaps this has been the downfall of society in middle earth previously. The forces of darkness exploit everything they can get their hands on, from giant spiders to rampaging trolls, from dragons to orcs, from men of the east to the undead, Sauron tries to wield it all. This is something the forces of good have not fully considered until recently. Within the bosom of the hobbit beats a strong heart of fortitude and resilience. “My dear Frodo!’ exclaimed Gandalf. ‘Hobbits really are amazing creatures, as I have said before. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch.” They carry with them the key to destroying the dark. Bilbo showed them how he could resist the ring. The hobbits are an almost incorruptible race, and because of this they are Sauron’s doom. It is something he has overlooked. “It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam," said Frodo, "and I could not have borne that.""Not as certain as being left behind," said Sam."But I am going to Mordor.""I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you.” 6.The Rich History Middle earth didn’t pop up overnight. This word has been around for thousands of years. Such can be seen from the ruined statues and monuments that dot the landscape, to mentions of historic battles and finally to kings long since departed. This is a world that has seen a lot. This moment in the third age, which is arguable the most important series of events this world will ever see, is merely the surface. Go read The Silmarillion. Go see how old and beautiful this world is. I could lose myself in Middle-earth. And this book carries with it all the baggage of what came before. It’s extraordinary. 7.The Diverse Languages and RacesAnd with this history comes the language of the people. The elves, the men, the dwarves and Sauron’s creatures of darkness all come with their own developed languages. This isn’t some random phrases stuck in the book, which you may see with other fantasy novels, but actually fully developed languages. They have their own grammatical forms, syntax styles and sound qualities that reflect the speaker. The languages are real. Naturally, the elvish language is a personal favourite of mine: 8.The Power of RedemptionIt is easy to judge Boromir of Gondor. He tried to take the ring from Frodo, though for all his misguidedness, he was trying to do right by his people. He naively believed, due to his farther Denethor, that the ring could be wielded against the evil. So when a young hobbit is trying to destroy his people’s supposed salvation, he strikes.Until that moment he doesn’t fully understand the evil it holds, until his desire for it twists his heart and turns him violent. But, afterwards, after he sees what he has become, his willpower does prevail: he understands. He later dies defending the Fellowship of the Ring, a bloody end, but one that saves his honour. 9. The Forces of Darkness One evil binds them all. Sauron tried to make himself the ultimate tyrant, and claim dominion over all lands: he wanted to be the de facto ruler of middle earth. He failed. Those that followed his initial claim are forever left in the dark. Their souls are black, their hearts corrupt: their bodies no more. The Nazgul have become the living dead; they are complex figure, driven by hate and a will no longer their own. These men have become something else. Do they wish to rest? I do not know. Do they wish to carry out their master’s work or are they driven by his domination? I do not know. Orcs are mere tools for the darkness, the Nazgul are something much darker. They are the perfect harbingers of their lord. 10. The Elves The elves are my favourite part of middle earth. I should have been born an elf. I would love to spend a few years in Rivendell, especially in Elrond’s library relaxing by the waterfalls reading the histories of middle earth. Doesn’t that just sound like so much fun? The best thing about reading fantasy like this is the pure escapism it provides, the worse thing is realising how shit the “real world” is in comparison. To quote another fine author of fantasy, and to conclude this review, I will simply repeat these words: "They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth."
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  • Voldemort
    July 29, 2016
    As a single lady myself, I also love to put a ring on it. And shoutout to my homegurl Sauron!!! you go girl take over middle earth! Reach for the stars! With that balrog on your side you can do anything!That main dude Frodo tho... reminds me of dat boi Harry... besides what does he need the ring for??Anyways I gotta give it a low rating cuz theres 2 much frodo, not enough orcs
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  • Jason Koivu
    November 22, 2008
    Give me a few friends,a stretch of pleasant hills and an ominous wood.Let us romp in the remnants of innocence,free of the fear coursing through the veins of the greater world.Give me the first half dozen chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring and I will gladly make a little heaven on earth out of it.After finishing The Hobbit as a young boy, I needed something else, something a little more mature to meet my growing needs. Lucky for me, Tolkien had done just that in the form of his epic trilogy Give me a few friends,a stretch of pleasant hills and an ominous wood.Let us romp in the remnants of innocence,free of the fear coursing through the veins of the greater world.Give me the first half dozen chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring and I will gladly make a little heaven on earth out of it.After finishing The Hobbit as a young boy, I needed something else, something a little more mature to meet my growing needs. Lucky for me, Tolkien had done just that in the form of his epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Fellowship..., the first book in the trilogy, is my favorite of the three. I fell in love with the four little friends striking out on their own, having adventures and misadventures that, within the context of the beginning of this first book, haven't yet taken on the worldly importance they will later on. My two favorite chapters are "The Old Forest" and "Fog on the Barrow-Downs" and it's probably because both contain a genuinely scary, Halloween-when-you-still-believe-in-boogiemen atmosphere. In fact, atmosphere is a particularly operative term here. Tolkien made me feel the suffocation of the ancient forest with it's mysterious gnarled trees. The ghosty fog upon the eerie downs evoked apparitions, the stuff of nightmare. The challenges and foes the four little hobbits face in these chapters are not on a grand scale - they're not even germane to the book's overall plot - but jeez louise, there's some scary-ass moments in there. Watching the boys handle these situations is just good, fun adventure material.Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin skip along having a merry old time, stumbling into relatively minor troubles, all the while clueless that they possess the world's most powerful evil magic. I love that innocence. It reminds me of past days when my friends and I would grab stick-swords and hike through the woods, slashing at the trees that had become our goblin and ogre enemies. I could relate to the sense of foreboding Frodo and friends felt when finding themselves lost in a cold, eerie hallow with a creeping mist swirling about them. Growing up in the country, I knew exactly what it was like to run afoul of a truculent farmer and his vicious dogs. I could relate entirely to the first half of the first book, before the lords and wizards entered and it all became alien. Enjoyable as the journey to Mordor was, nothing could compare, no, nothing could even come close to touching my heart the way those first few chapters did.However, we must all eventually move on from the safety of home. (More review to come!)Appendixy type reviews of Fellowship…-related items:Peter Jackson's film version: I waited sooooo long for this. It was like waiting for the Red Sox to finally win the World Series. And when it finally happened, boy was it sweet! Back in the mid-to-late 90s I was working in Hollywood and so I would get the lowdown on what movies were in production and even pre-production. It must have been about '96 or '97 when I heard there was an interest in making a film version of The Lord of the Rings. I promptly went SQUEEEEE!!! and wet myself. Then I heard Jackson was the one who'd potentially be directing it. My glee was tempered. I'd seen and much admired his haunting Heavenly Creatures, but I also new him as more of a Heavy Metal Magazine, comic gore, sci-fi kinda guy, and I feared such a person getting their sticky mitts all over my precious. But anyway, so now recall that this was '97ish and that the first installment didn't come out until 2001. That is a loooong time to wait for something you want in the worst way. I'd grown up watching Ralph Bakshi's partially finished version and longed for a completed one. And now it was coming, but it was being delivered by an unreliable messenger. Tingling with mixed nerves, I sat in the theater waiting for Fellowship to begin, my heart still somber after 9/11. I wanted to feel good again. I really wanted this to be good. Cate Blanchett's androgynously husky voice rumbled through the darkness…."ooooh, this is going to be good" muttered my soul. And it was. From start to finish, I love this movie. Certainly it has its faults. I felt like Jackson, with all the money and technology at his disposal, still managed to make a scene or two here and there look like it was shot on a VHS camcorder. I'll never be completely happy with the casting. Some of the scenes that were cut from the book were my favorite (the Old Forest deletion is a crying shame) and that's unfortunate, but expected. All in all, my complaints are far outweighed by the laurels I could lay upon this…considering the grand scope, let's call it, this achievement.
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  • Doc Opp
    April 29, 2007
    Tolkein's masterpiece is notable primarily for its historical significance. He basically invented the fantasy genre, and because of that all fantasy readers owe him a debt of gratitude. Many things in his books will seem somewhat cliche nowadays, but that's because they have been used so often since he wrote this book - almost all of them were original when this book was written.That said, Tolkein is not a terribly good writer. He tends to go on in excruciating detail about trivial concepts. Par Tolkein's masterpiece is notable primarily for its historical significance. He basically invented the fantasy genre, and because of that all fantasy readers owe him a debt of gratitude. Many things in his books will seem somewhat cliche nowadays, but that's because they have been used so often since he wrote this book - almost all of them were original when this book was written.That said, Tolkein is not a terribly good writer. He tends to go on in excruciating detail about trivial concepts. Parts of the book, such as Ent poetry, are downright painful to read. And his leaf by leaf descriptions of forests can get fairly trivial. Since he wrote this series, several other fantasy writers have basically stolen the story and rewritten it with higher quality prose. Terry Brooks Shannara series, for example, is more or less identical in plot and characters, but Brooks is a notably better writer. So depending on whether you prefer the authentic text, or the better written text, you should choose accordingly. The notion of heroism in Tolkein is particularly worth noting. It is, so far as I can tell, the first set of novels that defines heroism entirely by internal features. The protagonist has no ability to fight, or to use magic, or basically do anything except to doing his best to do the right thing. This conception of heroism, which is what is what most people think of nowadays, is quite different than it was historically conceived (where heroism was synonymous with strength or ability, sometimes in conjunction with morality, but sometimes not). So, in this way, like so many others, Tolkein has had tremendous effect on popular culture.
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  • Lyn
    July 30, 2011
    Tonight on Anderson Cooper 360, we find ourselves in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and at The Green Dragon Public House, a Tolkien inspired pub. Our special guest tonight is none other than THE Hobbit, Mr. Bilbo Baggins, formerly of the Shire. We’ll have a moment to get to know the individual that has meant so much to generations of literary fans and then to a new generation of movie going fans in this last decade. Bilbo, how are you tonight?Bilbo Baggins: I’m well; thank you, Anderson, and how about Tonight on Anderson Cooper 360, we find ourselves in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and at The Green Dragon Public House, a Tolkien inspired pub. Our special guest tonight is none other than THE Hobbit, Mr. Bilbo Baggins, formerly of the Shire. We’ll have a moment to get to know the individual that has meant so much to generations of literary fans and then to a new generation of movie going fans in this last decade. Bilbo, how are you tonight?Bilbo Baggins: I’m well; thank you, Anderson, and how about yourself?Anderson Cooper: I’m fine, thanks. Tell me, what was it like working with Peter Jackson?BB: What’s not to like? He’s a consummate professional, with great attention to detail and a heart for our story.AC: How was he different than working with J.R.R Tolkien?BB: Ronald was a wonder, a finer man this world has ever known. He was sensitive, but not in the way this generation uses the term; he was a real man, he could chop wood and build a fire, but he had in mind the celestial, he was a Godly man. Peter is more worldly, but spiritual in his own way.AC: Was Hollywood different than England in the 1950s?BB: My word, yes! But mostly in the scale of things, not so much the substance. When Ronald first published our story in your time of 1954, there was some fuss and attention but nowadays there is another level of fame and fortune altogether, I cannot wrap my mind around it! I wanted to pay for a breakfast of some eggs and sausages and the innkeeper said, “your money is no good here, Master Hobbit” but I’ve never had so much coin as I have now and no one will take it! The world has gone topsy-turvy.AC: And your nemesis, Sauron, how has he changed over the years?BB: Well! Now there is a query, yes sir! Let me just say that he was a pain the arse in the distant past and remains so today. His kind will always be a ticklish spot on the mattress if you get my meaning; I was not at all surprised to see him get involved with your politics.AC: What about that, Bilbo – is it alright if I call you Bilbo?BB: Please do.AC: Thank you, what about Sauron’s entry into local politics?BB: Let me speak candidly, Anderson, Sauron is a self-serving lot. His foray into your politics is all about what is best for him.AC: Were you surprised that he has adapted so well to our political climate?BB: Not at all! Oh my goodness, no! He was made for the arena, as your Mr. Nixon would say.AC: Bilbo, has fame changed you at all?BB: Anderson, I’d like to think not, but maybe in some small ways.AC: Example.BB: Fair enough, I like to get the top of my feet waxed. Back in the Shire, forget about it, but around here, it’s just a matter of getting it done and who to do it.AC: The top of you feet waxed?BB: A mild vanity, I assure you, a simple pleasure for me to preen and pleasure.AC: Well deserved, I’m sure.BB: Well, there are the simple ways to be enjoyed.AC: Bilbo, what would you like to convey to our audience before we sign off?BB: Thank you, Anderson. I’d just like to say to our audience, to our fans, both of the books and the more recent films, I think our story is about decency and doing what is right. It’s not always about slaying dragons or defeating an evil tyrant – more often it is the small things – paying a fair wage to your gardener or the village grocer, and observing the common courtesies. If we can win the small battles at home, then the larger wars will take care of themselves.AC: Thank you, Bilbo, it has been a pleasure.BB: The pleasure is all mine, Anderson, and won’t you enjoy some fine craft ales while we’re here?AC: Why not? Thanks again to Mr. Bilbo Baggins, this is Anderson Cooper reporting from Murfreesboro, Tennessee with the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. Take care, America.2015 reread: My first impressions after rereading this wonderful story is that at its heart it is a travel book, from the departure from the Shire , through Bree, and all the way along the dangerous paths, down through Moria and visiting Lorien this is a story about a journey.This also made me even more appreciate the fine work of director Peter Jackson and his crew for a magnificent job filming Tolkien’s great vision. However, I do miss the exclusion of Tom Bombadil from the films as he is a testament to how, as good as the films are, lacking they are when it comes to the fullness of Tolkien’s story, the films are martial and about armed conflict. Jackson must sell tickets, I understand that. But Bombadil, poetry and song are also an integral part of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and part of this template for high fantasy.One thing Jackson got right was the importance of Sam Gamgee, his simple straightforward approach to life perhaps mirrored Tolkien’s own English countryside manner.Finally, the scene between Boromir and Frodo is classic in literature. Well done, Professor Tolkien.
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  • Matthew
    January 8, 2013
    Raise your hand if you remember the awesome book fairs or Scholastic book order forms from back when you were a kid? Well, in middle school I picked up this sweet read in a box set with the rest of the trilogy and The Hobbit. Unfortunately, while I have always been enthusiastic about reading, I did not find the motivation to complete it for almost 15 years.In the early 90s I read the Hobbit. Then I followed it up by starting this one but lost interest shortly after Tom Bombadil. Tolkien is great Raise your hand if you remember the awesome book fairs or Scholastic book order forms from back when you were a kid? Well, in middle school I picked up this sweet read in a box set with the rest of the trilogy and The Hobbit. Unfortunately, while I have always been enthusiastic about reading, I did not find the motivation to complete it for almost 15 years.In the early 90s I read the Hobbit. Then I followed it up by starting this one but lost interest shortly after Tom Bombadil. Tolkien is great, but can be a bit much for a middle schooler. Even when I finally did finish it around 2001 (just in time for the movie), it was still a bit of a labor of love.In the end, though - no doubt, 5 stars all the way! This is a classic! This is one of the grandfather's of high fantasy - I doubt you can find a single fantasy author that was not influenced by this book/series. Even if you find some of the parts slow, battle your way through, I guarantee you won't regret it!
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  • adam
    May 3, 2007
    Read the review by Doc Opp; I think he covers it quite nicely. He explains how Tolkien was the forefather of fantasy writing, and why that makes his books important. He also shares his opinion that the historical importance sort of causes people to overlook that Tolkien couldn't write worth beans.Opp posits that perhaps it has something to do with the concept of heroism being different in Tolkien's days than it is now. I'm not sure I agree with that. I mean I agree that his characters are a stud Read the review by Doc Opp; I think he covers it quite nicely. He explains how Tolkien was the forefather of fantasy writing, and why that makes his books important. He also shares his opinion that the historical importance sort of causes people to overlook that Tolkien couldn't write worth beans.Opp posits that perhaps it has something to do with the concept of heroism being different in Tolkien's days than it is now. I'm not sure I agree with that. I mean I agree that his characters are a study in perserverance without being able to really fight or do anything but perservere, I just don't know that I buy that it's a sign of the times. I think Tolkien was just boring.I don't disagree, also, that the Shannara series is essentially the same storyline with a better writer at the helm.My venom towards Tolkien is greater than Opp's perhaps because we read for different reasons. I have very little patience with writers who have great ideas or imaginations when it comes to the physical world, but can't get inside the head of a person to save their lives and thus can't tell a story. This sort of writer is often found in sci-fi/fantasy, because the genre is geared to reward the most innovative and plausible inventing of a future or past timescape.If guys like Opp were always doing the commentating I might not hate Tolkien with such a passion, but unfortunately the world is filled with people who don't read sci-fi but who recalled their lit teacher spoke Tolkien's name once and probably said something about how he was the father of modern fantasy, and those people went on to shout Tolkien's name from the rooftops to the extent that a movie even got made out of it. Now the movie I could actually stomach (a little) because Hollywood realized they couldn't completely bore the pants off of people and still make money. But I digress.I cannot conceive of any reason one would read these novels unless they were forced e.g. for a class. And even then, it'd better be a history class and not a writing class, unless the objective was to teach how not to write. There's no pace, no character development, the focus shifts between groups of characters ala Robert Jordan without any of Jordan's redeeming qualities (although Jordan certainly has faults as well).The most compelling reason to read these novels is so that you can rip someone a new one when they bring up Tolkien by making a point by point case where you describe all the things he does wrong.Let me put it this way, I have read some of the most God-awful books in my time. I mean when I was younger I would read a phone book if it was handy. But I could not finish the Fellowship of the Rings.Comparing Tolkien to Asimov is just...I mean that's like comparing me to Asimov. I have an imagination and so does Asimov, comparison ended. Asimov came up with a plausible future that was interesting, and then he wrote characters within that adventure that were compelling. Caves of Steel is brilliant because whatshisface the detective is sort of an everyman and Asimov deals with things such as embarrassment because your Dad's job doesn't rate you high enough to eat at the right hydroponics diner. I'm mangling things, but you get the point. Asimov may have been the best ever at having really cool ideas and not wasting them by forgetting to write about people.I hate Tolkien, I blame him for his vacuous and enraging fan base, I blame him for every author that followed him that spent 5 hours describing a blade of grass, I hate him for taking a genre that I like and making me want to vomit on it, even if he was the first. It makes me want to burn my entire fantasy bookshelf down to the ground.That's my review.
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  • Linda
    October 27, 2007
    (Update: Want to read the complete review? Visit the article in Counterpunch!)I'll admit this: the only reason why I read the LOTR Trilogy was because I was jealous. The year: 1972. It was a time of ridiculously insane fashion: hot pants, maxi-coats (and pads) and rough-woven cotton shirts, so scratchy they felt like the sartorial equivalent of surgical gauze with chunks of wood stuck between the weave. It was not for the faint-hearted.And of course, who was the most faint-hearted? Me. I was ent (Update: Want to read the complete review? Visit the article in Counterpunch!)I'll admit this: the only reason why I read the LOTR Trilogy was because I was jealous. The year: 1972. It was a time of ridiculously insane fashion: hot pants, maxi-coats (and pads) and rough-woven cotton shirts, so scratchy they felt like the sartorial equivalent of surgical gauze with chunks of wood stuck between the weave. It was not for the faint-hearted.And of course, who was the most faint-hearted? Me. I was entering a new high school in a new town in a country I hadn't live in since I was eight. And since I didn't fit in (or so I thought) I was desperate for a new identity. Since my sister had squatter's rights on the cute/adorable/PYT persona, I was left with the one that I later discovered would make high school life a living hell: The Smart One.The only problem was, I wasn't that smart. Sure, I could work in references to Betty Friedan with only the vaguest notion about who she was, but when you're surrounded with a peer group who thinks the face of feminism is Marlo Thomas, it was easy, except for the one person who was the true intellectual: Colleen. Colleen represented everything I wasn't: a polite, wise-beyond-her-years semi-adolescent with perfect skin and hair, who sported a near genius-level intellect. Think of an Asian Susan Dey with actual musical talent and the potential to enter Berkeley at fifteen. And it didn't help to have a mother whose daily mantra was "why can't you be like Colleen?"So I was in love/hate over Colleen. If Colleen wore culottes, I wore culottes, only mine were eight sizes larger. If Colleen cut her bangs, so did I. The problem was, she had straight Japanese hair that tumbled dutifully back into place whenever she tossed her sylph-like neck. Me? Picture the hair of a young, chubby and half-Japanese Phyllis Diller but without the wigline.But the one thing that stood out most about Colleen was her and her equally intellectually superior friends' obsession with LOTR. She told me stories of their endless discussions of Middle Earth, Gandolf and the rest of the lot. Images of Colleen and her friends, looking semi-elvish, slipping from class to class, dodging dull students, dogged me in English class. They were ninth-grade gods. It wasn't until Colleen told me they left an inside joke about their instructor on the blackboard in *Elvish* in one of their gifted classes that I decided to take action: I got on my bike, went to the local K-Mart and bought the Trilogy. I started out strong: the hobbits I was comfortable with. Then came the Elves. Then the dwarfs, the Orcs, the whatevers. After the parade of names like Bombadil, Elendil, Everclear, I had the horrible realization that I was hopelessly lost. And it wasn't going to be easy to find my way back.But I was undeterred. I sloughed my way through Fellowship, then Two Towers and Return. I played little tricks to keep me interested: pretending I was one of the plucky hobbits, fantasizing myself as an Elven goddess--anything to keep me reading. It must have worked because I finished the damned set. But my plan didn't work. I was still me: I couldn't muster witticisms about Boromir to clueless classmates. I was still plump and my hair was as unruly as ever. Worse, my mother not only kept comparing me to Colleen, she started pulling out photos to illustrate her point. I shoved the books on the top shelf and tried not to think about being a Smart Kid ever again.But it was too late. I knew enough to be dangerous. I realized that even if I didn't like the books, I was familiar enough to make knowing comments about them to the right (i.e., AP-bound) clique. So I was accepted. Kinda.I still have the books. They're still sitting on my bookshelf, surviving countless moves and weedings. Still can't remember who Arwen is, though.
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  • Celeste
    March 17, 2015
    Where would the fantasy genre be without Tolkien? He gave us the first deeply developed fantasy world, and character and plot tropes that are still go-tos for fantasy writers. Are these tropes now overused? Yes, as are tropes in other genres. As King Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” We are constantly reusing the ideas of others while trying to improve upon them and make them our own. And we have Tolkien to thank for many of those ideas. I respect him and the Middle-Earth he cre Where would the fantasy genre be without Tolkien? He gave us the first deeply developed fantasy world, and character and plot tropes that are still go-tos for fantasy writers. Are these tropes now overused? Yes, as are tropes in other genres. As King Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” We are constantly reusing the ideas of others while trying to improve upon them and make them our own. And we have Tolkien to thank for many of those ideas. I respect him and the Middle-Earth he created immensely.All that being said, I have always struggled with The Lord of the Rings. There’s something about Tolkien’s style of writing (excepting his style in The Hobbit, which is radically different and more easily accessible, in my opinion) that bogs me down instead of sucking me in. His scenery is beautiful, his characters interesting, his plot intriguing. I should be engrossed, but I’m not. It’s a classic of the genre, and one that I hate I can’t seem to get through. I know this is blasphemy, but I think that Peter Jackson’s movies did a better job of presenting Tolkien’s story and engaging an audience than Tolkien managed himself.This is my second reading of The Fellowship of the Ring. It was just as difficult as the first reading. There were sections that were wonderful, but those were sprinkled throughout sections that I had to trudge through. A couple of things that the book has over the movie: First, Frodo is so much cooler. He’s not whiny and helpless, as he’s portrayed by Elijah Wood. In the novel, Frodo is funny and sturdy and dependable. Not as dependable as Sam, perhaps, but he isn’t the burden the film makes him out to be. Second, the book has Tom Bombadil! He’s one of the most interesting, mysterious characters in fiction, and I hate that he was cut from the films. But other than those two aspects, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the movie more. I give this book four stars simply because I respect so much the legacy it left behind.
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  • Lizzy
    April 23, 2016
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” I expect that that if anyone thinks or says the word fantasy, the first thing that comes to mind is Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings right along with it. I relish a good fantasy, but after watching and loving the movies, I was reluctant to read the book. Perhaps pure stubbornness on my part, biased by a crooked idea that the book couldn’t be as good. I was so wrong!I loved everything about The Fellowship of the Ring. J.R.R. Tolkien 's book is not a “Not all those who wander are lost.” I expect that that if anyone thinks or says the word fantasy, the first thing that comes to mind is Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings right along with it. I relish a good fantasy, but after watching and loving the movies, I was reluctant to read the book. Perhaps pure stubbornness on my part, biased by a crooked idea that the book couldn’t be as good. I was so wrong!I loved everything about The Fellowship of the Ring. J.R.R. Tolkien 's book is not an action or even an adventure story (Peter Jackson made it an action-packed movies, and it couldn’t have been different or better). It’s much more, or not it at all. It’s a road trip of the hero Frodo Baggins and his out of this world companions: his three Hobbit friends, the wizard Gandalf, Aragorn/Strider, the elf Legolas, the dwarf Gimli and the anguished man Boromir. Of course, there is Sauron (or the allusion of him through his minions), the Nine Riders or Nazguls and the Ring! As you go along with Frodo and his comrades on their meanderings (that I didn't feel were hurried, but seemed kind of languid!), you live in a make-believe world hearing of its past and worrying about a likely dreadful future. But there are also songs and poems: “All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither,Deep roots are not reached by the frost.From the ashes a fire shall be woken,A light from the shadows shall spring;Renewed shall be blade that was broken,The crownless again shall be king.” Further incredible characters only enrich the overall great feeling that reaches you of Middle-Earth . It’s a place of escape, it’s even more for me: it’s a paramount experience. “I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo."So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Simply marvelous!
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  • Alex Farrand
    November 18, 2016
    I am going to say 4.5 stars. In the beginning I thought it was a little dull. It was making me weary and sleepy reading it. I actually stopped in the middle of chapters because I couldn't read anymore. I hate that! I kept moving, though. I am determined to finish this trilogy. I should have known this book would have taken me longer to read than expected. The movies took me nine days to finish. Don't judge. I was pregnant during that time and very sleepy. I am very glad I kept going, because the I am going to say 4.5 stars. In the beginning I thought it was a little dull. It was making me weary and sleepy reading it. I actually stopped in the middle of chapters because I couldn't read anymore. I hate that! I kept moving, though. I am determined to finish this trilogy. I should have known this book would have taken me longer to read than expected. The movies took me nine days to finish. Don't judge. I was pregnant during that time and very sleepy. I am very glad I kept going, because the last half of the book was amazing. My heart still hurts for the company. The book was written very well. It was beautiful. The world that Tolkien created amazes me. The scenery was so beautiful that the imagery I thought up stung my eyes. How did he come up with the places and people? How/where did he get the imagery? It was so detailed that it simply baffles me. I can't even describe a place that is real, let alone imagine a whole tree city. I could imagine all the scenes. All the travels. Sometimes it was information overload, but it was great. Even in the first half of the book there was that looming evil presence of the Riders that kept me enticed to know what happened. Sometimes I looked over my shoulder to see if I was being watched. You can't get any better than that.So, I don't think I can trust shadows anymore. Thanks Tolkien! Can't wait to start the next part of the journey.
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  • Foad
    May 25, 2016
    من از سيزده چهارده سالگى رؤياى ارباب حلقه ها را داشتم. اولين بار بخش هاى پراكنده اى از فيلمش را در تلويزيون ديدم: موجوداتى كوتوله ساكن روستايى زيبا، با جادوگرى پير كه آتش بازى راه مى اندازد، و حلقه اى شيطانى كه آرامش دنياى داستان را بر هم مى زند، و سواران تاريك، و چشم آتشينى كه همواره ناظر است.هر چند هيچ وقت نتوانستم تمام سه گانه را ببينم، ولى همين عناصر به قدرى تخيل نوجوانانه ام را تهييج كرد، كه هميشه سر در آوردن از ماجراى كامل كوتوله ها و حلقه ى شيطانى، يكى از حسرت هايم باقى ماند.گذشت تا اين ك من از سيزده چهارده سالگى رؤياى ارباب حلقه ها را داشتم. اولين بار بخش هاى پراكنده اى از فيلمش را در تلويزيون ديدم: موجوداتى كوتوله ساكن روستايى زيبا، با جادوگرى پير كه آتش بازى راه مى اندازد، و حلقه اى شيطانى كه آرامش دنياى داستان را بر هم مى زند، و سواران تاريك، و چشم آتشينى كه همواره ناظر است.هر چند هيچ وقت نتوانستم تمام سه گانه را ببينم، ولى همين عناصر به قدرى تخيل نوجوانانه ام را تهييج كرد، كه هميشه سر در آوردن از ماجراى كامل كوتوله ها و حلقه ى شيطانى، يكى از حسرت هايم باقى ماند.گذشت تا اين كه در دوره ى دبيرستان، يكى از رفقايم كتاب را مى خواند و با هم راجع به آن صحبت مى كرديم. صحبت كه نمى كرديم. بيشتر او تعريف مى كرد و من مجذوب و مجذوب تر مى شدم. كتاب دم دستم بود، و من هم خوره ى كتاب بودم، نمى دانم، نمى دانم چرا هيچ وقت كتاب را از او نگرفتم تا بخوانم. شده از كارهايى كه در كودكى كرده ايد تعجب كنيد كه آخر چرا من اين كار را كردم؟؟قطعاً قطعاً اگر همان موقع فيلم را مى ديدم يا داستانش را مى خواندم، "ارباب حلقه ها" در كنار "هرى پاتر" تبديل مى شد به غنى ترين خاطره ى نوجوانى ام. حتى در اين سن، مثل كاشفان سرزمين هاى ناشناخته، ذوق مى كردم از يافتن فلان منطقه و ارتباطش با فلان رود، روى نقشه ى "خطّه ى ميانه"، يا كسب اطلاع از تواريخ و اسطوره هاى اقوام مختلف و تطبيق تمام اين يافته ها، با وقايع داستان.
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  • Whitney Atkinson
    January 30, 2017
    Oh geez. This book fell victim to "It was really great at first but then I had 7 chapters to read in one night so I started skimming it and cramming it was making it less enjoyable and now reading this book feels like a task even though if I was given more time I could enjoy it to its full extent but now after being bored for so many chapters I have no interest in picking it up again outside of class."Genuinely, I like the world. I love the characterization of Sam and Frodo. I like Gandalf, and Oh geez. This book fell victim to "It was really great at first but then I had 7 chapters to read in one night so I started skimming it and cramming it was making it less enjoyable and now reading this book feels like a task even though if I was given more time I could enjoy it to its full extent but now after being bored for so many chapters I have no interest in picking it up again outside of class."Genuinely, I like the world. I love the characterization of Sam and Frodo. I like Gandalf, and the action, and the compelling danger of the Ring. But all of the elven info dumps and the politics of "so and so had the ring and so and so can't get the ring" got very tiresome. I listened to a huge chunk of this book on audiobook at 2X speed while cleaning my room, and I only absorbed about half of it, so i'm not entirely sure what's been going on, and that makes me sad. I feel like I need to read a summary of this or watch the movie just because I feel like I really only read half of this book. Hopefully the next two in the trilogy will focus on more action rather than lengthy dialogue scenes talking about ~~how powerful!!!~~ the ring is.
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    June 19, 2010
    494. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of The Rings, #1), J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkienارباب حلقه ها - جی.آر.آر. تالکین (نگاه، روزنه، ...) جلد اول یاران حلقهعنوان: خداوندگار حلقه ها؛ قرمانروای حلقه ها؛ ارباب حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر. تالکین؛مترجم: رضا علیزاده؛ تهران، روزنه 1381؛ بخش نخست: یاران حلقه؛ بخش دوم: دو برج؛ بخش سوم: بازگشت شاه؛ چاپ ششم 1391؛ شابک: جلد نخست: 9789643343224؛ کتاب حاضر بخش نخست از مجموعه سه گانه «ارباب حلقه ها» ست. در این کتاب « فرودو بگینز » هابیت جوانی ست که به 494. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of The Rings, #1), J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkienارباب حلقه‌ ها - جی.آر.آر. تالکین (نگاه، روزنه، ...) جلد اول یاران حلقهعنوان: خداوندگار حلقه ها؛ قرمانروای حلقه ها؛ ارباب حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر. تالکین؛مترجم: رضا علیزاده؛ تهران، روزنه 1381؛ بخش نخست: یاران حلقه؛ بخش دوم: دو برج؛ بخش سوم: بازگشت شاه؛ چاپ ششم 1391؛ شابک: جلد نخست: 9789643343224؛ کتاب حاضر بخش نخست از مجموعه سه گانه «ارباب حلقه ها» ست. در این کتاب « فرودو بگینز » هابیت جوانی ست که به همراهی یارانی از اقوام دیگر سرزمینهای افسانه ای هابیتها؛ سفرش را برای نابودی حلقه شیطانی آغاز میکند. فیلمی خیال‌پردازانه و حماسی نیز به کارگردانی پیتر جکسون؛ بر اساس جلد نخست رمان ارباب حلقه‌ ها به قلم جی.آر.آر. تالکین ساخته شده است. یاران حلقه بخش نخست سه‌ گانه ی سینمایی ارباب حلقه‌ ها به شمار می‌رود، که دنباله‌ های آن شامل ارباب حلقه‌ها: دو برج؛ و ارباب حلقه‌ ها: بازگشت پادشاه؛ می‌شوند. این فیلم توسط نیولاین سینما در 19 دسامبر 2001 در ایالات متحده نمایش داده شد، و یکی از موفقیت‌های باکس آفیس با درآمد 871 میلیون دلار در سراسر جهان محسوب می‌شود. فیلم همچنین برنده ی چهار جایزه اسکار شد. ارباب حلقه‌ها: یاران حلقه؛ آغازی بود بر طوفانی که جکسون با سه‌ گانه ی ارباب حلقه‌ ها در جهان سینما آغاز کرد، طوفانی که پس از ده سال همچنان قابل بحث است؛ که او چطور به عنوان یک کارگردان تازه‌ کار، این چنین حماسه ی بی‌نظیری را پدید آورد. فیلم در دوازده رشته در اسکار نامزد شد؛ و در چهار رشته پیروز شد. جکسون با این فیلم آغازگر سبک فانتزی معناگرا شناخته می‌شودعنوان فیلم: ارباب حلقه‌ ها: یاران حلقه؛ کارگردان: پیتر جکسون؛ تهیه‌ کننده: پیتر جکسون؛ باری ام آزبرن؛ تیم سندرز؛ فرن والش؛ جیمی سلکرک؛ نویسنده: فرن والش؛ فیلیپا بوینس؛ پیتر جکسون؛ براساس کتاب: ارباب حلقه‌ ها: یاران حلقه؛ اثر: جی. آر. آر. تالکین؛ بازیگران: الیجاه وود؛ ایان مک‌کلن؛ ویگو مورتنسن؛ لیو تایلر؛ شان آستین؛ کیت بلانشت؛ اورلاندو بلوم؛ جان ریس-دیویس؛ بیلی بوید؛ شان بین؛ هوگو ویوینگ؛ کریستوفر لی؛ دامینیک مانهن؛ موسیقی: هاوارد شور؛ فیلم‌برداری: اندرو لزنی؛ تدوین: جان گیلبرت؛ توزیع‌کننده: نیو لاین سینما؛ تاریخ‌های انتشار در بریتانیا و آمریکای شمالی: 19 دسامبر 2001؛ زلاند نو: 20 دسامبر 2001؛ استرالیا: 26 دسامبر 2001؛ مدت زمان نسخهٔ سینمایی: 178 دقیقه؛ نسخهٔ طولانی‌تر: 208 دقیقه؛ نسخهٔ کامل: 235 دقیقه؛ کشور: نیوزیلند؛ ایالات متحده آمریکا؛ زبان: انگلیسی؛ هزینهٔ فیلم: 93 میلیون دلار؛ فروش گیشه: 871.5 میلیون دلار؛ا. شربیانی
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  • Bryce
    October 12, 2007
    I consider the Lord of the Rings trilogy the best fantasy, and perhaps the best fiction, ever written. Middle Earth is a beautiful, rich, complete land to which Narnia pales by comparison (don't get me wrong, I very much like Narnia, too).The beginning of the quest, which starts innocently but dives into a much larger, darker world than its protagonist, Frodo Baggins, could have ever imagined, is absolutely spellbinding. A small portion of the near-infinite background is revealed and armed with I consider the Lord of the Rings trilogy the best fantasy, and perhaps the best fiction, ever written. Middle Earth is a beautiful, rich, complete land to which Narnia pales by comparison (don't get me wrong, I very much like Narnia, too).The beginning of the quest, which starts innocently but dives into a much larger, darker world than its protagonist, Frodo Baggins, could have ever imagined, is absolutely spellbinding. A small portion of the near-infinite background is revealed and armed with a shallow knowledge of the lore of the One Ring, Frodo embarks on a mission deeper and more dangerous and impactful than he could ever possibly have fathomed.The depth and beauty of Tolkien's work stems from his obsession with language and how world events impact its evolution. To create this book and its wealth, Tolkien developed 14 complete languages, all of which can be learned and spoken, written, and read. He created the lore and legend that each population clung to for their heritage. The relationships, distrusts, friendships, and animosities between the races stem from ancient and powerful roots. The detail of the world before the series lends it a believability that is virtually unparalleled even in many nonfiction works.I've read this series 4 or 5 times, which is something I have not done with any other work, aside from formative Christian religious texts. No one book is complete without the other two, so I consider them all to be the same book, divided into several parts--so as to allow for the faint of heart to enter Middle Earth in safer, smaller pieces.
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  • Anne
    January 4, 2016
    CONTENT DISCLAIMER: I was feeling very muppet-y when I wrote this. Please bear with me :DThis book is not for the faint-hearted.I've never known a book to come with so much baggage, I swear. So first things first. YOU &YOUR BOOK In situations where you find yourself entangled with a book like this, the things you have to ask yourself are:☑ Am I ready for this?☑ Do I have the time and strength for this?☑ Am I ready to accept the outcome of this? Because chances are things won't work out at CONTENT DISCLAIMER: I was feeling very muppet-y when I wrote this. Please bear with me :DThis book is not for the faint-hearted.I've never known a book to come with so much baggage, I swear. So first things first. YOU &YOUR BOOK In situations where you find yourself entangled with a book like this, the things you have to ask yourself are:☑ Am I ready for this?☑ Do I have the time and strength for this?☑ Am I ready to accept the outcome of this? Because chances are things won't work out at all.▶ I'VE GOT A MUPPET A LOT LIKE KERMIT LIVING IN MY HEAD SHYLOCK: And this is starting to sound like a dating column. Let's stick to what we know, shall we Annie?ME: Yes. Yes, let's do that. RAMBLING REVIEWING ▶ WELCOME TO MIDDLE EARTH Home to Hobbits, elves, dwarfs, orcs, and creatures of a darker and grotesquely, nefarious nature.Throughout the land of shire, it's a known fact among the hobbits that old Bilbo Baggins is queer, and well preserved-as some would say(a rumor facilitated by his perpetual youth). It was also said that the tunnels of Bilbo's home were stacked full with treasures and riches amassed over time from his many adventures. To Bilbo, there was only one true treasure-a shiny golden ring. On his 111th birthday, Bilbo passes on his treasured ring and fortune to his younger cousin, Frodo, who happens to share the same birthday with him. But the ring holds more power than neither Frodo nor Bilbo could ever have imagined. Soon Frodo, along with his very loyal friends(Sam, Pippin and Merry) are on the run from dark riders sent by the rising dark lord, Sauron, who covets the ring's power. Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. To those who enjoyed this book as much as I did, I know like me you just had to try it once, didn't you? Don't tell me after reading this, you didn't hug your copy to your chest and sayDon't lie! I won't accept such blasphemy. Admit it, I just know ▶ NOT ALL RELATIONSHIPS START OUT ROSY AND BRIGHT The writing was exquisite. Exquisitely painful and difficult to get through at first. And the truth is, I did get used to the writing style, it did grow on me- but, that feeling never ceased. That I-love-you-but-I-hate-you-for-all-the-misery-you-put-me-through feeling never went away.The prologue alone gives a heavy download of information, basically about the history of the hobbits: Their background information, geographical and regional distribution, their way of life. For those, like me, who haven't read the preceding novel The hobbit, this introduction-though tedious to read-proves ultimately helpful. You know what I loved most of all, was how Tolkien took moral themes such as greed, over ambition, thirst for power-some of the easiest downfalls of man-and wove them into a magnificent story of great mythology and fantasy. I can't help but feel wonder.▶ A word of caution to the wise: please don't start out reading this novel while lying in bed, lest you wake up 2 hours later asking yourself how. Believe the testimonies of those who have walked that road.▶ I CRIED ADVENTURE!!! Yes. You know me, adventure is like crack to me(not that I would know what crack feels like O.o). This book is fantastical! It's epic! Just brilliant! Follow Frodo and his gang as they travel across different lands, through the Old forest, Barrows-downs, The town of Bree and Prancing Pony, as they try to make their way to Rivendell. Experience their many adventures and trials, and dangers they encounter -all the while being pursued by the dark riders, and fall in love with the various characters they meet along the way(Tom Bombadil was the character that I, personally, view as the most spirited and endearing, I think.) I loved the scenes where they were in mortal peril the most, I could feel my pulse quicken everytime they were in danger. I and shylock were just like The whole time.▶ MY. FAVORITE CHARACTER : Hmph. I am not Frodo's biggest fan. To be honest, I really expected him to...I don't know, dazzle me? I grew up with the names: Frodo, Smeagol, Gollum and Gandalf. My older brother used to sing them like songs. He loved Frodo. So I guess I expected someone extremely valiant and strong and daring when I set out to read this book. Frodo is so ordinary he makes my nose crinkle in disapproval. But no, I'm not disappointed, if that's what your thinking. I'm only disillusioned and I'm in mourning, so never mind me. My favorite character is Sam. He is loyal. So freaking loyal and lovable. I like Pippin too though, he tickled all my funny bones and had me laughing right out loud. Aaaaand I really love Gandalf too, he reminds me so much of Gaius from the Merlin series. So in the end I loved a lot of characters. Guess I'm capable of spreading the love. Now this is going to sound funny, but, I didn't know Merry was a Man until I had gotten towards the end. I'm not joking. I don't know how, I just thought Merry was a she. I can only say that sometimes we choose to be blind to the way things really are because we wish them a certain way. ▶ THE TERROR NEVER ENDS To be honest, reading this never got easier, per se. Throughout the book we're fed lots of historical facts about the events which highlighted the previous ages of Middle-earth, information which relates significantly to the tale of the ring of power. We only get little breaks now and then from this bombardment of information. But I'd say it's all worth it. The world building is PHENOMENAL. ▶ Soooooo there are some who would chicken out because they're afraid of the complexity and gravity of this book, and so consequently, they end up missing out on one of the best relationships they could ever have because they're too scared to commit. No. But seriously though, this book is not for everyone. I honestly believe it's something of an acquired taste. It requires a good amount of patience and time investment. At the end of the day, after all the time spent, it still might not be your cup of tea and you'll end up pouring it all down the sink, you might even want to throw the tea cup at me. Please don't.I, myself, wasn't truly captivated by the story until the history of the ring and all it's allure started to come to light. And then I found it hard to drop the book. I read meticulously and quite sluggishly-a consequence which should be expected from a combo which uses the two words: read and meticulously. I took notes, I played trace the dots and draw the story with the notes I made, drawing lines from character to character/event to event, just so I wouldn't lose important information I might need later on. I think I'll frame my notes and hang my suffering on the wall next to my bed so I'll never forget.WHY FOUR STARS? I THINK YOU ALREADY KNOW. AND RIGHT YOU ARE. END OF REVIEW THIS NEXT PART CONTAINS QUOTES I LIKED AND THOSE WHO QUOTED THEM But it does not seem that I can trust anyone - Frodo BagginsWhat has it got in its pocketses?-GollumThe wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out-GildorThe Road goes ever on and onDown from the door where it began.Now far ahead the Road has gone,And I must follow, if I can,Pursuing it with eager feet,Until it joins some larger wayWhere many paths and errands meet.And whither then? I cannot say-Originally quoted by Bilbo Baggins.Quoted again by Frodo Baggins. It all depends on what you want, put in Merry. You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thinto the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo. Anyway: there it is. -Merry Clothes are but little loss, if you escape from drowning. Be glad, my merry friends, and let the warm sunlight heal now heart and limb! Cast off these cold rags! Run naked on the grass, while Tom goes a-hunting!-Tom BombadilAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring;Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.-Gandalf.All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.-GandalfMany that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement-Gandalf May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go outA part of his tale was known to some there, but the full tale to none, and many eyes were turned to Elrond in fear and wonder as he told of the Elven-smiths of Eregion and their friendship with Moria, and their eagerness for knowledge, by which Sauron ensnared them. NOW I'M OFF TO WATCH THE MOVIE! I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH I'VE GROWN. MY BROTHER WILL BE SO PROUD. I WILL NO LONGER BE AN OUTSIDER. **SNIFFS**
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  • Chris
    October 10, 2008
    Do you have an old, worn piece of clothing? Perhaps that sweat shirt that you can’t wear anywhere except to bed or walking your dog? Perhaps it is an old blanket, a pair of shoes, maybe it’s a stuff animal. Regardless of what it is, every time you touch it or smell it, you feel peace, warmth, or perhaps, even home.Know what I’m talking about? Good, that’s how The Lord of the Rings feels to me. I don’t how many times I’ve read the trilogy itself, let alone each book. I do know that I had to buy a Do you have an old, worn piece of clothing? Perhaps that sweat shirt that you can’t wear anywhere except to bed or walking your dog? Perhaps it is an old blanket, a pair of shoes, maybe it’s a stuff animal. Regardless of what it is, every time you touch it or smell it, you feel peace, warmth, or perhaps, even home.Know what I’m talking about? Good, that’s how The Lord of the Rings feels to me. I don’t how many times I’ve read the trilogy itself, let alone each book. I do know that I had to buy another edition after I wore out my first. (Technically, if you count my borrowing my mother’s copies when I was kid, I’ve had three editions). To me the whole story is like that worn out piece of clothing.The Lord of the Rings starts with this book The Fellowship of the Ring. Even today, after I must have read the series at least twenty times, I opened the book, and I’m there. I’m in Middle Earth with Frodo and crew.This is strange because I know, on an intellectual level, that LOTR is not a perfect book or series. In fact, all the flaws are on heavy display in this first part. It’s true, that the story does meander. That the pacing at times is slow. It is also true that Terry Pratchett is correct when he says if you believe the LOTR is the best written book ever, you haven’t read enough (I’m paraphrasing that).And yet, it is one of three works I return to year after year.Because it is the THE LORD OF THE RINGS!At the very least, if you like fantasy literature, you should attempt to read this. Regardless of how one feels about Tolkien’s style, he is highly influential in fantasy literature. Some writers, such as Brooks and McKiernan, have “ripped off” the series. Other writers, such as Tad Williams and Marion Zimmer Bradley, have written in reaction to him.But influence doesn’t explain entirely the attraction of this work. And this is supposed to be a review of The Fellowship of the Ring, so I best start (and finish at this point) with it.The Fellowship sets the stage and is told in two parts. The first part of the book deals with the flight of Frodo and his friends to Rivendell. The second tells the story of the Nine Walkers as they set out to destroy the one Ring, a device of evil, a power that corrupts. The destruction of the Ring will stop the Dark Lord (No, not Voldemort. This is where Rowling got the idea), and save the land of Middle EarthThe heart of the story, the bulk of this book, is the friendship and courage of the Hobbits. It is the Hobbits that in many ways allow the reader access to the story. There is a very simple reason why.Hobbits are normal. True, they are normal in a big hairy feet kind of a way, but they are far closer to those of us in the real world then elves, dwarfs, wizards, or even, the men that inhabit Middle Earth.It is from Tolkien that most fantasy derives its treatment of elves. In The Fellowship the reader is introduced to a great many elves (most of who seem to have names starting with the later G). The reader is told a great many things about elves, like the fact that they can run on top of snow and have good eyesight, as well as living forever. Dwarves too have they strangeness, being long lived and short. Even the men, such as Strider and Boromir are different. Boromir is far closer to your everyday human than Strider, who lives long and has a rather interesting family tree. But even Boromir isn’t quite real.The Hobbits, despite their age and hairy feet, are. Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Samwise are all templates of people the reader might know. I watched Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood at an extremely young age. Therefore, any being that uses a bow is the most awesome creature ever. I like elves. I could marry Legolas, even in his Orlando Bloom incarnation. Yet, I identify more with the Hobbits because they are not warriors. Because, outside of Frodo, they go on the quest for friendship. Not for glory or because the quest is the right thing to do, but because the quest is the right thing to do because of their friendship with Frodo. That is something wonderful. Too often in modern novels the quest is undertaken for an encompassing reason, a save the earth reason. And this is true of everyone who takes it up (outside of the odd twit who goes to get the guy to notice her), but Sam, Merry, and Pippin do it out of loyalty. A friend is in trouble and they want to help. It is this desire, this trait that makes people human. It is one of our most basic instincts, and it is not a bad one.The Hobbits are also attractive because they are little people in a big world and who doesn’t feel like that sometimes? Unlike The Hobbit, the superior tone of the narrator is not present. The Hobbits could quite easily be overwhelmed by what they encounter, but they are not. They plug away and keep going. There is something human about that. Not a Cunclucian against the waves type of feel, but a life feeling that one does get from the other characters. They are the everyday people in the quest. The everyday solider in the war.It is also important to remember that The Fellowship is in the tradition of a saga. While The Hobbit seems to be designed to be read aloud, LOTR seems to beg to be told over a fire with a tankard of ale in hand. The style resembles that of the Old Norse sagas and tales that Tolkien draws upon. There is no large of amount of hand wringing, or deep discussions of feelings. It is a quest, and it reads like one. While it is not necessary to have read these old sagas before starting The Fellowship, it does help, at least for older readers, to keep in mind this influence. Like the Old Norse legends, Tolkien seems to be dealing with the concept of Raganork. While the quest is one to save Middle Earth, it is also a quest with a coast. As the reader reads the book, sentences appear about how so and so will never be in X again. There is the leave taking of the elves. The idea seems not only to be the coming of the Age of Men, but also the presentation of a quieter, gentler end of the world. In some ways, The Fellowship prepares the reader for death in all its raiment’s.Despite this fading, the world seems real. Not only do the Hobbits, Strider, and Gimli believe in their world, but so does Tolkien, and he paints it so that the reader sees it as well. It is true that the beginning of The Fellowship is little more than a description of Hobbits, but after this, Tolkien world builds and does it extremely well. There are references that the characters know, but the reader doesn’t. Yet, this is done in such a way that the reader doesn’t feel stupid or left out. It is done as it would occur in reality. There is much to be said for this level of description. It’s more than Tolkien’s world building. In parts of the book there are wonderful sentences that convey want, loss, truth, and love – all in one sentence. Not only that, but in a sentence that works wonderfully well, that doesn’t bang itself over the head of the reader.It’s also true that in this book, there are not many women. In fact, there are two. And one of them doesn’t say anything. But the one who does. Galadriel rocks! And she has more than one of those wonderful sentences.The overwhelming theme of The Fellowship is, in fact, Fellowship. At the heart of this book is a wonderful portrait of friendship and sacrifice that moves the reader. It is a rebuke against the idea of a man or a people as an island.Amended 12/7/12 - Butterburr is the best barkeep!
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  • Becky
    November 1, 2015
    I've read this series many, many times, though it's been years since the last time. There was a period between 2001 and 2008 in which this trilogy was in the rotation of several series that I would read again and again and again. So it's pretty safe to say that this was a favorite. But then in 2008 I joined Goodreads, and my reading habits have changed. I think about books differently, more critically, because now I review them all. And that has not been great news for this read through. I can s I've read this series many, many times, though it's been years since the last time. There was a period between 2001 and 2008 in which this trilogy was in the rotation of several series that I would read again and again and again. So it's pretty safe to say that this was a favorite. But then in 2008 I joined Goodreads, and my reading habits have changed. I think about books differently, more critically, because now I review them all. And that has not been great news for this read through. I can still say that I love it. The world-building, the quest, the adventure, the characters - but mainly the story - they are all just so epic and engraved in my mind, and I can't NOT love them. But the actual reading of the book has not held up as well for me. The descriptions are very, very detailed, and there are so many of them, that the pacing is just slower than molasses. It takes ages to have a discussion to decide that a decision about leaving is needed, let alone actually doing anything. The first book of Fellowship (because it is separated that way) is very slow going, not as dangerous, not as dire. From the time that Gandalf is aware that the ring is THE RING, and that it is being sought, it takes MONTHS for Frodo to actually leave. Like, "Oh, you know, no rush." But the second book starts getting more dangerous, and then they STILL take their sweet time about doing anything. Orcs are patrolling the shore? We better watch for that tomorrow. It'll be fine tonight, I'm sure. *sigh* I have watched the movies many times, and though there's a lot that is left out or changed, I think that one of the biggest things that they did better than the original is the pacing. The book is like "What's the rush? We haven't even had second breakfast yet!". The movie is all "SHIT JUST GOT REAL. GTFO THE SHIRE, FRODO!"Another thing that they got very right is the greater role of Arwen in Fellowship, and made clear the relationship between Arwen and Aragorn. It's in the book - though vaguely, and you have to know to look for it. Aragorn mentions a few times that his heart lies in Rivendell, and Galadriel actually passes along the token from Arwen to Aragorn - but if you don't know Arwen's geneology, you could literally blink and miss it. Compared to the detailed everything else, this is something of a disappointment. I love her expanded role in the movie. She actually is someone to admire and respect. She's badass, and fearless, and saves Frodo just in time. In the book, a male elf (Glorfindel) meets them on the road, and they WALK to Rivendell... Well, everyone but Frodo, who got to ride Glorfindel's horse while the rest walked. *yawn*And considering that Arwen is one of only four named female characters in the book (not counting those we meet only through lore and lay), it's even more disappointing for her character to be so shallow and slight in this book. It's clear, again, if you know what you're looking for, that Arwen is dear to Aragorn, and that she is part of the reason he fights - but the only thing that we know about her from the book is that she is beautiful, she's Elrond's daughter, and Galadriel's grand-daughter. There is more about her in the index and appendices, but it's disappointing to see so little of her in the story itself, especially considering how LONG we hung around Rivendell. The other three named female characters were Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, Goldberry (Tom Bombadil's wife), and Galadriel. Lobelia is a greedy, nasty woman. Goldberry is beautiful and loves to dance and sing, and is the River's daughter. And Galadriel is beautiful, wise, and powerful, but for good. She is by far the best developed, and most active, female character in Fellowship, but it's unfortunate that so much of her screen time, so to speak, goes to how lovely she is. One area I think that the movies do a disservice is in Frodo. The movies make him out to be much more of a wimp than he really is. He's definitely not a lion, but he's not nearly as mousy as he's portrayed in the movies either. He actually USES his sword in the book, not just dropping it everywhere and then standing around like a dumbass waiting to be attacked. He's definitely got more backbone in the book. He just takes a long time to get around to showing it. For the right kind of reader, this book will be everything they could dream of. Beautiful, detailed descriptions of lands and peoples and languages and skills and histories and lore, and presented in beautiful prose, and (I'm guessing) equally beautiful verse. I don't enjoy verse at all. In fact, I pretty much hate it. So all of the lays and songs and poems are completely lost on me. Because I'm the wrong type of reader for those things. I fully and willingly admit this. I skip the shit out of them, blasphemous as it may be. And yet, I still love this story. The story is what keeps me coming back, despite the slowness, the over-descriptiveness, the verse. The story, and the quest. It's exciting to me, and lovely, and it speaks to me. I don't come to see the trees, or the forest - I see all the stuff that lives inside it. I'm excited to crack open The Two Towers, because that's historically been my favorite of the series. So... here's hoping that I still love it as much as ever. :)
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  • Kaitlin
    January 21, 2017
    This book is one I have been meaning to read for a long, long time and this is the first time I've ever read the whole thing (although I have seen the films and read sections of it many times). I do really like parts of LotR, but I also think it's a story I have a bit too much familiarity with and so it never feels 'exciting' to me. It rather feels a little stale at times. With that said, there's a lot of enjoyment to be had from the story and the characters, and my favourite character is always This book is one I have been meaning to read for a long, long time and this is the first time I've ever read the whole thing (although I have seen the films and read sections of it many times). I do really like parts of LotR, but I also think it's a story I have a bit too much familiarity with and so it never feels 'exciting' to me. It rather feels a little stale at times. With that said, there's a lot of enjoyment to be had from the story and the characters, and my favourite character is always poor old Sam.This is the story of a little hobbit named Frodo who has a magical ring. That's pretty much all you need to know to be honest becuase after that it's a whole lot of journeying. I really really liked the section of the Hobbits living in the Shire. I think for me, even though it's a slow start to the story, it's actually a lot of fun. I definitely find the relationships and ways of Hobbits to be thoroughly British, highly amusing, and filled with character and originality. Another element I always enjoy is the story of Gollum, the poor chap! His tale is one of woe and sadness that really does touch me and I feel such empathy for him (although he's also a rather creepy chap!)The sections I don't so much care for so far all involve Tom Bombadil... I kind of hate Tom. The interesting part of Tom is how powerful he is and how unaffected he is by the woes of the ring and the dangers of Mordor, but he's also totally nuts, and (for me at least) not in a fun way. Tom comes across to me as incessantly annoying. I guess to some that's part of his charm, but not to me!Overall I think the way this book and J. R. R. Tolkien changed the face of fantasy literature and film (much later on of course) is truly admirable. He crafted a world that inspired so many other stories all over the world and this is the beginning of an epic adventure. However, I also think it's sometimes a bit of a boring adventure and there are some moments I just think weren't great at all. It's a solid book, probably too long for what actually happens, but it's a cornerstone of fantasy and I'm glad I've finally read at least part 1! 3*s
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  • Emily
    March 13, 2013
    You know how they sayThat'sThe Fellowship of the Ring is proof of that! It takes the rule of show-don't-tell and flushes it down the toilet, because who would rather experience all the kick-ass action scenes themselves when they could just hear someone discussing them over dinner tables like they were discussing rice vs. potatoes? Pffft, no one ofc.... Right?I mean, who likes action anyway. Why don't we just drop all the action in general and add pages of pages of scenery descriptions instead?He You know how they sayThat'sThe Fellowship of the Ring is proof of that! It takes the rule of show-don't-tell and flushes it down the toilet, because who would rather experience all the kick-ass action scenes themselves when they could just hear someone discussing them over dinner tables like they were discussing rice vs. potatoes? Pffft, no one ofc.... Right?I mean, who likes action anyway. Why don't we just drop all the action in general and add pages of pages of scenery descriptions instead?Hearing about the gorgeous colors of the trees is so much more fun than hearing about how PEOPLE ALMOST GET KILLED BY HORRIBLE CREATURES OF EVIL TRYING TO DESTROY THE WORLD AND RUIN ALL THINGS GOOD!I'd say go watch the movie.
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  • Glenn Sumi
    February 25, 2016
    Herewith Follow Notes On The Fellowship Of The Ring From A First-Time Lord Of The Rings Reader Who Was Enchanted By The Peter Jackson Movies: •I wish I had read these books when I was younger! Tolkien creates an entire world, and it would have been so cool to have been swept up in this tale of hobbits, dwarves, elves, wizards, Orcs and goblins when I was a young lad. Then again, I’m sure it would have got me to play Dungeons & Dragons, which likely would have made me even more geeky than I Herewith Follow Notes On The Fellowship Of The Ring From A First-Time Lord Of The Rings Reader Who Was Enchanted By The Peter Jackson Movies: •I wish I had read these books when I was younger! Tolkien creates an entire world, and it would have been so cool to have been swept up in this tale of hobbits, dwarves, elves, wizards, Orcs and goblins when I was a young lad. Then again, I’m sure it would have got me to play Dungeons & Dragons, which likely would have made me even more geeky than I already was.•Wow. Frodo is in his 50s when he sets off on his journey! Who knew?•Pippin is the youngest of the hobbits, younger than Merry, who’s in his 30s, and much younger than Frodo! That kind of explains all the mischief he gets into. •Tolkien has many skills, but writing comedy is not one of them. A lot of the hijinks in the Shire feel forced. Bilbo’s gossiping, grasping relatives: these scenes really go on too long. So I was quite glad when Frodo & Co. finally left.•Gandalf the Grey: total, utter coolness. Ian McKellan was great casting. •The Old Forest: Wow. Stunning descriptions, really creepy and atmospheric.• Tom Bombadil! Fantastic, jolly character who speaks entirely in rhyme (and who resists the eponymous ring!)! And he’s with a woman (who are pretty rare in Book One), the River Daughter! But I understand why Jackson cut him from the movies; he'd have seriously affected the momentum.•The songs and poems: So many! I suppose they are there to lend a feeling of authenticity – Tolkien showing off his knowledge of Old English ballads and narratives. But I can’t be the only one whose eyes sort of glazed over when yet another character put down his pipe to recite something, right?•The Council of Elrond: Such an inspiring and stirring scene in the movie! Such a baggy bit of monologues and backstory in the book!•Saruman turning bad: nice bit of exposition! But why didn’t Jackson show us his multi-coloured robe? That would have been great on film.•Strange that we’re not shown Strider/Aragorn reforging his broken sword in the book. The idea of heroes forging swords is a staple in myth and legend, and it was such a powerful scene in the movie. It’s merely told matter-of-factly in the book: missed opportunity for a bit of patriarchal, phallic symbolism.•Gimli, son of Gloin. Adorable dwarf, but not nearly the jokey dispenser of one-liners he is in the films. •Boromir comes across quite clearly in the book (impulsive, quick-to-anger, powerful), whereas I felt he seemed more generic in the film (perhaps because he and Aragorn had the same straggly-haired look?) I love that Boromir calls the Hobbits “Halflings.”•Moria: some of Tolkien’s best descriptions. He managed to make me see all the levels of those caves, even in near darkness. And the drumbeats and sounds of Tap-tom, Tom-tap and then Doom-doom were very effective.•Lothlorien: I loved everything about the scenes here, from the Fellowship sleeping in the trees before they arrive, to the whole business of blindfolding everyone – after Gimli refuses to be the only one blindfolded.•Galadriel’s gifts: Just awesome. Silver belts. Three strands of hair for Gimli (a hair fetishist?). A box for Sam with the letter “G” on it. Oprah (“A new car for everyone!”) Winfrey has nothing on the Lady G.•Gollum: I really like the way his sad story is gradually revealed through this book, from the opening prologue to the business with his relative Déagol, how he lost the ring, tried to get it back, was imprisoned, tortured for information, escaped, and then follows the fellowship, ever so creepily, in the final third. And this description late in the book, when Gollum is pursuing Frodo and friends on the Anduin River, is eerie (I love the “lamplike eyes” and “hiss of intaken breath”):A long whitish hand could be dimly seen as it shot out and grabbed the gunwale; two pale lamplike eyes shone coldly as they peered inside, and then they lifted and gazed up at Frodo on the eyot. They were not more than a yard or two away, and Frodo heard the soft hiss of intaken breath. He stood up, drawing Sting [his sword] from its sheath, and faced the eyes. Immediately their light was shut off. There was another hiss and a splash, and the dark log-shape shot away down-stream into the night.•Sam Gamgee: Probably my favourite character in the book. His devotion to Frodo is total and sweet. I’m not sure why he keeps calling Frodo “sir” or “master.” He’s just his gardener, right? But his forthright personality, his love of nature and animals (I didn’t know their pony had a name: Bill!), his shyness around Galadriel, his good common sense – all of this is completely endearing.***Some final thoughts: There’s a LOT of geography in this book, especially name-checking places the fellowship passes or is thinking of journeying to. Occasionally I’d look at the map at the back of the book, but just as often I’d keep reading, thinking, “Well, if it’s important it’ll come up later.”I also got tired of the “Behold, I am X, son of Y” construction. And I’ve already mentioned the songs and poems. But this is justifiably a fantasy classic: exciting, (mostly) well-written, carefully plotted.I think all great books have deeper meanings, perhaps symbolic ones, and in reading this one I sense Tolkien’s love of England’s people and countryside, with fears about encroaching industrialization.I also think that the idea of a group of people from disparate races working together for a common goal is inspiring to read about – at any age. Will I read Book Two: The Two Towers? What are you, high on pipe-weed? Of course!
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  • K.D. Absolutely
    December 18, 2010
    No debate: This is monumental!Tolkien created a whole new world called Middle-earth. When Peter Jackson's movie adaptation came out in 2001, I thought that Middle-earth was some kind of an ancient city that was submerged somewhere beneath the earth just like Atlantis was a fictional city in the bottom of the sea. Well, that was before I attempted to read this book. When that movie came out in 2001, I bought a copy of the book with Elijah Wood on the cover but I did not get past page 50. I found No debate: This is monumental!Tolkien created a whole new world called Middle-earth. When Peter Jackson's movie adaptation came out in 2001, I thought that Middle-earth was some kind of an ancient city that was submerged somewhere beneath the earth just like Atlantis was a fictional city in the bottom of the sea. Well, that was before I attempted to read this book. When that movie came out in 2001, I bought a copy of the book with Elijah Wood on the cover but I did not get past page 50. I found it too archaic. So I just watched all the movies and applauded Peter Jackson and his gang when they went up the stage during the Oscars. In 2009, when I started my 1001 Book quest, I tried picking up that same edition again but I again did not last beyong page 50.Until I got this edition last month: LARGE PRINT PRESS for only P99 (US$2). I did not know that small prints can turn the book into archaic. Try reading this edition and I am sure that this book, which some of my Goodreads friends say as not a children's book, a joy and easy to read just like the Harry Potter series.What is it about British authors? There was LOTR in 1950's and HP in the 1990's. They seem to have the ability to create new fictional worlds - Middle-earth and Hogwart's respectively - beyond many writers' imagination. Try checking any of the Best Ever Books list and you will surely see these two. Well, because of being seen already as a classic, LOTR appears more than HP but wait for more decades.I read The Hobbit last month and I liked it but I enjoyed this first part of LOTR more. The Hobbit is truly light compared to the darker "Fellowship." I think the darker shade is due to the added characters and the fact that the story behind the ring has been put into the open. It is also in this reading that I realized that the evil Sauron is the actually the title of this book. The big villain boss being the banner header of this epic monumental book. How about that for a change huh?Above all, the message of friendship, love and personal sacrifice is what I liked about this book. Frodo and Sam. The members of the fellowship. Frodo leaving the fellowship as he thinks the quest of returning the ring will be easier if he does it alone. I am looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. Must read soon!
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  • Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
    October 5, 2016
    Now before anyone decides to curse me to Mordor, let me explain:I've seen the films more times than there are pages in this book (alright, alright, probably a bit less than that) and they are my absolute favorite thing in the world next to Harry Potter, BUT—Mr. Tolkien here has birthed a work of sheer literary mastery, but even he cannot overcome my greatest flaw: a distaste for copious amounts of detail. (pls forgive me)
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