For this week, I read Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
I had dreaded attempting this one again, as I had already tried to read this several times and never made it past the first chapter. It just seemed so…boring. It actually made me a little sad, as I adore all three movies (though I’ve only seen them all like 3 times as watching them involves a major time commitment LOL). This time though, since I was reading it to report back on it, I persevered. And found past the first chapter, a treasure.
For all of you following along with what authors like what books when Dave and I write about them, Lord of the Rings was listed in the top ten for Chitra Divakaruni and Richard Powers.
As most people are familiar with the movies by now, I won’t go into too much plot recounting.
Basically, in The Hobbit (which I have yet to see the first one released in theaters), Bilbo Baggins lays hold of a ring. He carries it back to the Shire, where all the Hobbits live (well most of them, LOTR goes into detail about where hobbits live, and let’s say that all the “normal” and “socially acceptable” ones live in the Shire). Life is peaceful for oh, around 60 years or so. Then it all begins to go dark. Bilbo leaves the Shire and leaves the ring to his nephew Frodo. And still things go on quietly for awhile longer. Then all hell breaks loose. It comes about that the ring is the one thing that can make Sauron victorious completely over the world again. Frodo and others (The Fellowship) set off to attempt destruction of the ring. Through it all, wars, battles, elves, Gollum, humans wanting the ring etc etc, Frodo carries on towards Mordor to destroy the ring.
The Lord of the Rings has so many things in it. I think that explains it’s constant appeal throughout the decades. There are heroes. There are clear cut villains. There are people who are neither good or bad. There are people that are mostly good but do bad things and mostly bad but do good things. It’s a tale not only about good triumphing evil, but about redemption. There are battles, which Tolkien manages to suffuse with adrenaline, so that people don’t feel they are just reading a history account of some long ago battle. There are elves, oh the elves, with their endless fascination not only for men in the series but for all of us that aren’t in the series.
I’m really not going into this very much, because Jackson’s movies have made the stories of LOTR so universal and so many others have commented countless times on the stories in the last decade that I don’t find much left to say.
I find it endlessly fascinating that the stories sprung out of Tolkien’s just wanting to make up a language, and writing stories about this world he just created. It took him years and years to finish the book, and while people repeatedly attempted to find parallels between it and World War II which had just recently ended, Tolkien repeatedly denied that any one character represented any figure from the War (i.e. Saruman or Sauron representing Hitler). Parts of it were written before the war, parts were written during the war.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Dave & I started this blog in May. In May, we both each read one book, making 2. In June, we both read 2 books each, so 4. In July, Dave read 2 books and I read one, so 3. In August, I read 3, and Dave 2, so 5. In September, I read 1, Dave 3. In October, I read 3 and Dave 1, so 4. In November, Dave read 3 and I read Genesis, the beginning of the Bible, so um..we’ll say 3 🙂 In December, Dave read 2 and I finished Genesis and wrote about non book stuff, so 2. We’ve read 27 books so far (which I might have gotten the math wrong so Dave can correct haha). I remain very happy to have begun this project and can’t wait to see which books I discover that I really should have read before in my life in 2013.