I kicked this year off with a book I really should have read years ago. Let it be known (and I say this with no shame) I did NOT want to read The Lord of the Rings.
For many years I tried to get through The Hobbit, but I just couldn’t move past Tolkien’s sing-song, simplified, “Suddenly!” style of writing.
In 2015 I tried to read it for the last time. I really couldn’t take his overrated writing and swore to myself that enough was enough- I will never attempt to read The Hobbit again. I just don’t like it. I have tried and tried and tried, and every experience was painful boredom.
So, when I decided that as a sworn fantasy fanatic I just had to bite the bullet and read the book that started it all, I was not looking forward to it.
To put things in perspective; I read Imajica by Clive Barker, a mammoth 1131 page book in 3 and a half days. It took most of January to get through The Lord of the Rings. It has never, ever, ever taken me that long to finish a single book. That is how tedious it was.
Now before you send a lynch mob to my house: tedious in this case is not bad. It’s confusing, I know, but I both love and loathe The Lord of the Rings with a raging passion.
Here is what I did not like about it:
It’s… Just… SO… Long
Time slowed down in January, I swear it. Everytime I opened up this book, minutes felt like years.
That sing-song tone I mentioned earlier… It still doesn’t do it for me. I understand that Tolkien wrote this in a different time, but by today’s standards J. R. R Tolkien is a terrible, terrible writer.
Keep in mind: Writers and storytellers are 2 different things in my world. His storytelling cannot be matched, but I could shout it from the rooftops; thanks to Tolkien, I never want to read another song, or see the word “suddenly” ever again!
So… Much… History
I just don’t care about Middle Earth to the extent Tolkien thought his readers would. If one subtracted all the unnecessary lessons from this here book, we would have one that did not distort time and space when reading it. The book is a black hole. Light cannot escape from it.
Frodo Baggins is Useless
He really, really is.
And what I loved:
It’s Tolkien, Please!
It is, quite simply, the most epic adventure my eyes have ever beheld. No one, and I mean NO ONE writes adventure like Tolkien did.
It’s the Original and it Shows
Yes, we can argue until the sun comes up about whether or not Tolkien created fantasy. The fact still remains that every fantasy novel published after The Lord of the Rings is a product of it. It was truly refreshing to read the source of all the magic in my bookish life.
It is Simple.
It is rare these days to find good fantasy adventures that don’t aspire to be soap operas. There just has to be a love triangle, or it has to challenge the system, or be a feminist statement, or in the case of my own writing; a rebellious love story.
Tolkien didn’t need sex, drugs and rock n’ roll to wake my mind up. The Lord of the Rings might just be the cleanest, most innocent story I have ever read. It is fantasy in its purest form. I will love it forever for that. (Note: I have no problems with obscene, dramatic stories. I just read too many of them har har!)
It’s SO Much Better than the Movies!
Treebeard in the movies is lame. Treebeard in the books is the most fascinating character of them all.
Faramir in the movies is an asshole. In the book he is the most genuine hero I have ever met, and I ended the story with he as my favourite (I love him and he is MINE).
It’s Magical and Legendary
It has a charm to it that I doubt we will ever find again in our lifetime. Harry Potter has come the closest in my opinion but two side notes to this:
- Harry Potter would not exist if Tolkien did not precede it.
- Rowling has not and most likely will never change the world the way Tolkien did. The Lord of the Rings is a one-of-a-kind story, and its status as the most legendary of them all is entirely justified.
So look folks… I am not going to learn to speak Elvish, or motivate others to read this epic tale of the endless battle between good and evil. It is definitely one of the most boring books I have ever read. I felt my soul turning to dust with every turn of the page.
Still, I am glad that I suffered through it. It was worth every soporific second of it.
That’s another thing; the book is so powerful it is boring as all fuck, yet still somehow managed to captivate me. What a contradiction! I wish I could explain it, but words can’t describe it. Just trust me- That’s the way it is!
I understand now why the world of fantasy is so Tolkien obsessed. The world he created, and the characters he placed in it, are second to none. It’s just so vast that sometimes my mind hurts thinking about how a single writer created an entire universe so intricately.
Like I said, I did not want to read the Lord of the Rings, and I think it’s safe to say that I will never read it again. It was a challenge, but one that I am proud to have overcome.
Because I am on the fence, right between wanting to kiss the book and watch it burn, I will rate it 3/5. Not great, not bad.
Although, it gets a bonus point.
It’s the greatest bedtime story I ever did read!
Ja, ja, go ahead and complain that I am not a true fan of fantasy because I said the LOTR was one of the most boring books I have ever read. It’s not my fault, okay? How do you rate this story? If you haven’t read it, how come?