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The Lord Of The Rings

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I'm sure this topic has been discussed a hundred times before, but it's my fav book of all time so I thought I'd start a thread :D

 

Has anyone else read any of Tolkein's books....? ... Or even seen the films..

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I've seen the films, several times. I've read Fellowship of the Ring twice, Two Towers twice, bu I've read the first half of Return of the King twice. I keep getting bored of it halfway and stopping reading it - it's just too long-winded. Tolkein describes EVERYTHING in too much detail it's kinda annoying and hard to speed read 'cos all the detail is vital.

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I know, I found some bits really boring, but if you just keep reading, then you get into the story more and I found that I enjoyed them more.

 

I've read RoTK a few times, the 2nd and 3rd time I read them, the bits I found boring I didn't find so any more, it was wierd. It's a really good story though, with an ending that doesn't quite match that of the film.... so try and finish it. It's like the best book ever :D

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I first read them when I was about 12 or 13. By the time I was 20 I pretty much had them memorised. :rolleyes: While Tolkien's prose may be a bit overpowering at times, his vision has been so overwhelming it's hard to find fantasy that hasn't been influenced in some way by him.

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I know it's just amazing the way he almost devoted his whole life to the writings of his books.

I've read about half of the Sil and I'm not really going to well with it. It's not like a normaal book, it reads more like a historical volume! So I'm finding some of the chapters very dull. Has nyone else read it ?

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I've only flicked through your copy of The Silmarillion Nats, and I see what you mean about it being like a historical volume, and I know I'd find that incredibly boring, because those are the parts of LOTR that I want to skip!

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Ok, this will make me seem a little sad, but I read Lord of the Rings roughly once a year, plus The Silmarillion. I find these books can come across differently every time I read them, which is not something I can say for a lot of other books. I love the films aswell.

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Hi Fred, it usually takes me about 1-2 weeks to read LotR and the Silmarillion. However, i do spend two hours a day travelling to and from work, so i can get a lot of reading done. I much prefer the trilogy to The Hobbit, but then i didn't read any of them until i was about 17, and The Hobbit really is a children's book. Strangely though, when I made my first attempt to read Fellowship..., I got about fifty pages in and gave-up declaring it a load of boring rubbish!

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I work in Cambridge and travel in on the Fenland Express. You tend to get more chatty friends to wig into on that line. When I was writing more it was a good source of dialogue. Now that my creative spurt seems to have er..spurted, I'm not taking quite so much notice.

 

On the original question, no-one has convinced me that reading LoTR would be a better option than reading a newly published book. I just can't get motivated to read the 'classics' just to see if they're worth the hype.

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I think LotR is a book you'll either love or hate, and it's the kinda book you'd know if you'd like before you read it,(if that makes any sense).

 

I'm the opposite Fred, i rarely read modern literature, as they always disappoint. For instance, The Da Vinci Code, which i relented and read, was utter trash from beginning to end. I really hated Brown's writing. Though i'm currently reading a modern book; Vernon God Little, so i'll see how i fare with that one.

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I have read the books,some years ago, and have a boxed set of (I think13) audio tapes of a BBC radio version, also dating back some years, plus, somewhere a pirated video of the animated version of the first book.

My mental images of the characters and landscape are so firmly fixed by these influences and the passage of time that I have not dared to see the films. My sons have loved both the books and the movies, and think I'm mad.

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Aah, the BBC radio version! I remember it well - I used to tape it on Sunday lunchtimes from Radio 4, then listen to it on Sunday evenings during my weekly commute back to Somerset. This would have been late 1980 and / or early 1981. Probably "and" as it was done over 26 half-hour episodes. I bought the CD version several years ago, but have somehow never found the time to listen to it the whole way through. Mind you, I have the 12-hour DVD version, and haven't watched that, either. And I've never managed to finish the books, so perhaps I should take the hint and stick to Stephen King!

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I **lerve** Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I have read the books several times, listened to the unabridged tapes several times, and I can watch the movies everyday for the rest of my life!! I always always wanted someone to make a movie of the books. I am still hoping that they will do The Hobbit, which I think has one of the MOST wonderful openings of any book I have ever read.

 

The movies are NOT the books but they are wonderful! I do not think that Peter Jackson made a wrong choice. I love getting the extended version because I can't get enough of the Toliken created world. What Jackson's movies are is a tribute and a **darn** fine one I might add. OH! I would tell anyone who **lerves** these books to definitely see the movies. Of course, it isn't ALL there, but what is there is way FINE! It is a joy to watch them. I can watch a movie more than once, but I have never found a movie that I can literally watch everyday from the beginning or pick it up in the middle with or without the sound - I think that Peter Jackson MUST have loved the books as much as any fan.

 

Not that I have an opinion or anything...... :rolleyes:

 

GO SEE THE MOVIES then buy the extended versions on DVD and NEVER NEVER miss them when they show up on cable.

 

Trudy

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---------------------------------------------------7th July 2006, 07:25 PM

 

cummycummins

Member

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I have a very expensive illustrated version of the hobit. It cost me 40Euro. It is a very enjoyable read. I liked it. As for the lord of the rings. I enjoyed FotR and TTT but I gave up mid way through TRotK for some unknown reason. I think I just wanted to read "The grapes of wrath" much more. That was an awful decision. Maybe I will get back to finishing LOTR soemday but I don't think I will. The TBR pile is too long!

 

 

----------------------------------------------2nd January 2007, 02:47 PM

 

My Friend Jack

Moderator

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My first attempt at reading LOTR was back in 1977. I always remember sitting in the garden, hearing Newsbeat on Radio One talking about Jonathan Richman who was in the charts with Roadrunner, whilst reading about Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday. I didn’t get beyond the first book. Should’ve switched the radio off, maybe!

 

I had another go sometime in the ‘80s. Again, I didn’t get to the end of the Fellowship.

 

For some reason, I decided to have another crack in 2006. I reckoned that, if I could successfully tackle the 7 Thomas Covenant books and the 7 Dark Tower books, then surely LOTR should be a breeze!

 

Although I haven’t finished yet, I can confidently state that I’m on the home run – less than 200 pages of Return of The King to go. Throughout all 3 books, I have found the BBC’s radio version from 1980 has helped bring certain characters to life in my mind. The voices of Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, Sam and Gollum have remained, in my head, those from the BBC production. The only slight problem I’ve had is that, occasionally, Gollum has started sounding like Marge Simpson – I kid you not!

 

Once I’ve finished, I will watch the DVDs (which I have had in my TBW pile for 2 years!). I’ll probably remember to come back and either edit this post, or add a new one. All I can say right now is that I am thoroughly enjoying the saga and really don’t know why it’s taken me more than a quarter of a century to read it – particularly as the Covenant books are a much more difficult read, which I happily began devouring circa 1978.

 

As for whether this should now figure in my Top 10 books… I’ll decide once I’ve finished.

 

*

----------------------------------------------2nd January 2007, 05:18 PM

 

David

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

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I've long been a fan of LOTR. First read it when I was about 13, I suppose, and it took my breath away - I hadn't experienced anything like it before. It is not only the classic aspects of good versus evil; the underdog overcoming the powerful; the personal story set against the epic sweep of huge events etc., it is the sheer scale of the idea. Tolkien said he wanted to create a mythology for England, since it lacked one, and this is a book that carries exactly that sense of weight and significance. All the interwoven detail of races, songs, legends and history gives LOTR a scope way beyond its pages that appeals to something deep and atavistic within.

 

The characters are engaging and I love Gollum, who is given an impressive depth, I think, and a suitably tragic edge. From a rather light and frothy beginning, which leads us on from The Hobbit (more obviously a children's book), I love its gradual descent into darker territory, as well as the move from the small-scale, parochial Shire into the huge and varied landscapes of Middle Earth. For me, this is all part of how we are drawn into the world.

 

The films are indeed superb and very true to the spirit of the book, although as has been mentioned above, they are also different. Ramping up the role of Arwen, for instance, didn't seem unreasonable given the problems of marketing to a modern audience with material that was a little female-light. The only aspect I disliked was turning Gimli almost exclusively into comic relief, which rather sold the character short (if you'll excuse the pun). It's a shame Jackson won't be helming the forthcoming film version of The Hobbit.

 

It's easy to forget how ground-breaking Tolkien was with this book, so hackneyed have a lot of the concepts become now through excessive use. It is a great read and I warmly recommend it.

*

---------------------------------------------2nd January 2007, 08:07 PM

 

megustaleer

Moderator

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My sons desperately tried to persuade me to go and see the films as they were issued.

I wouldn't as I had my own mental pictures of the characters and episodes from the books, based on my reading, back in the late sixties, and on the BBC radio serial (I have the whole thing on audio casettes).

 

All three films have been on TV over the weeks leading up to Christmas, and again I didn't watch them...but I did video them.

 

The question is, should I watch the videos, or retain the version in my head?

 

 

(I do have, on video somewhere, and have watched, the Bashiki animated, truncated version)

 

---------------------------------------------2nd January 2007, 08:38 PM

 

David

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by megustaleer

(I do have, on video somewhere, and have watched, the Bashiki animated, truncated version)

---------------------------------------------

 

Well, if you've watched that then you really ought to watch Jackson's films. I feel it's the same with any film version of a book I love: it might be good or it might be bad, but it's never going to supplant the original experience in my mind, just add another room to the building, as it were.

 

I've long treasured my memories of LOTR, Meg, but these films have only added to the pleasure - Jackson really knew what he was doing. Bakshi's version had its moments but is a very pale shadow in comparison. I don't think you'll regret it!

 

---------------------------------------------3rd January 2007, 07:23 AM

 

Jane Nadia

Senior Member

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I love these books. I first read 'The Hobbit' when I was 9 or 10, and remember very clearly reading 'Lord of the Rings' as a distraction from waiting for my O-level results.

 

Like Meg, we have the BBC cassette tapes - for both books - and we have a tradition of listening to both stories in full each year in the run up to Christmas whilst we are making the Christmas cards...

 

---------------------------------------------17th January 2007, 01:06 PM

 

My Friend Jack

Moderator

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At last! It only took me 30 years, but at 11.30 last night I finished LOTR. I said I'd post some thoughts, so here are a couple that spring to mind:-

 

1. Why did the narrative style change to an almost biblical type of prose on a couple of occasions? I found that very odd.

 

2. What a very, very good ending! With 60 pages left, I began to get a little irritated that there was seemingly nothing left to tell, but there was plenty, and very well presented it was.

 

---------------------------------------------17th January 2007, 01:27 PM

 

David

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by My Friend Jack

Why did the narrative style change to an almost biblical type of prose on a couple of occasions? I found that very odd.

---------------------------------------------

 

I'm really glad you enjoyed it, MFJ! One of my all-time favourites.

 

As for the style, well, Tolkien often gets slated about his written style (I well remember my tutor's disdain when I wrote a 'fun' end of term essay about it, since we could all choose a 'lighter' book!) In answer to your question, Tolkien explained that part of his motivation for writing LOTR was to create a mythology for England, because we didn't have anything like the Norse legends of which he was so enamoured. Consequently, some passages are going to have that more 'portentous' feel to convey the weight and power of myth.

 

---------------------------------------------17th January 2007, 02:21 PM

 

Krey20

Subscriber

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Quote:

Originally Posted by My Friend Jack

Why did the narrative style change to an almost biblical type of prose on a couple of occasions? I found that very odd.

---------------------------------------------

 

I alway imagine that it was very easy for Tolkein to do this because he had so much story and history in reserve (see The Silmarillion ). Some of his endless mythology creeps through into the story, and a lot of this is criticised by some readers because it slows the narrative.

 

LOTR is my favourite book because it's very rare to find a story with such depth and, for me, resonance.

*

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---------------------------------------------17th January 2007, 04:45 PM

 

My Friend Jack

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Thanks for your comments, guys.

 

I've been trying to decide where LOTR fits in into my "all-time favourites." Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it, I don't think I'd put it in my Top 10 - partly because I've several fantasy sagas in there already, sagas which I have to say I enjoyed more than LOTR. It hasn't escaped my notice that I am probably a lot older than the average person reading LOTR for the first time, and I think that may have affected my perception of the story.

 

It's unusual for me to have read 3 books by the same author in sequence without anything else in between (I am counting LOTR as 3 books, of course). I am now trying to decide what to turn to next - my TBR pile is bigger than ever, and I have a delivery due from Amazon next week. It needs to be a complete contrast - there's a couple of Jack Higgins novels as well as two by Andy McNab...

 

---------------------------------------------17th January 2007, 05:52 PM

 

Grammath

Subscriber and Founder Member

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Krey20

I alway imagine that it was very easy for Tolkein to do this because he had so much story and history in reserve (see The Silmarillion ). Some of his endless mythology creeps through into the story, and a lot of this is criticised by some readers because it slows the narrative.

---------------------------------------------

 

This certainly summarises my problem with LOTR, which I found terribly pompous and self-important in parts. In fact, a lot of fantasy writing takes itself much too seriously if you ask me, and part of that can be attributed to the fact that LOTR is the model on which the modern fantasy saga is based. It is largely for this reason that Terry Pratchett is so successful.

 

---------------------------------------------17th January 2007, 06:11 PM

 

David

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

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Quote:

Originally Posted by My Friend Jack

It hasn't escaped my notice that I am probably a lot older than the average person reading LOTR for the first time, and I think that may have affected my perception of the story.

---------------------------------------------

 

I think that's probably true. I read it first when I was about 13/14 and so it proved to be very influential and stuck itself in a treasured niche in my mind, never to be dislodged! Perhaps it's also true that since you've read a lot of fantasy the impact of Tolkien's world (so influential on later writers) will have been diminished.

 

Still, I reckon that was 30 years well spent!

 

---------------------------------------------18th January 2007, 02:26 PM

 

Samg

Member

*

Quote:

Originally Posted by megustaleer

The question is, should I watch the videos, or retain the version in my head?

---------------------------------------------

 

For me the film of the Fellowship was a perfect adaptation - I absolutely loved it. It was brilliantly cast and Rivendell was exactly how I imagined it.

 

But while I still really like The Two Towers, I had problems with the casting of Eowyn, who just wasn't strong and steely enough, and by the end of ROTK, she was really getting on my nerves. Faramir was also very different from how I imagined him, though I actually really like David Wenham as an actor.

 

Having said all that, I still bought the extended DVD's of all three films and have watched them over and over. (Make sure you see the extended versions - they are sooo much better than the theatrical releases, particularly ROTK). Overall, I think Peter Jackson did a brilliant job, and these are only minor quibbles - watching the films hasn't detracted at all from my pleasure in the books.

 

---------------------------------------------19th January 2007, 01:01 PM

 

elfstar

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

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Quote:

Originally Posted by David

I think that's probably true. I read it first when I was about 13/14 and so it proved to be very influential and stuck itself in a treasured niche in my mind, never to be dislodged! Perhaps it's also true that since you've read a lot of fantasy the impact of Tolkien's world (so influential on later writers) will have been diminished.

 

Still, I reckon that was 30 years well spent!

---------------------------------------------

 

I agree David I read it in my mid teens and it remains the standard by which I judge all other fantasy books. I have read (fantasy) books that are more fun, ones that are not as involved, ones that are scarier but the Tolkien remains as one of my all time favourites. The breadth of the story and the details are what makes it so special. I've never got on with the Silmarillion tho.

 

I still can't quite remember if it was the first fantasy I read (unless you count Morte D'Arthur) or just one of the early ones. I was a big sci-fi fan in those days too.

 

Do watch the films Meg, they are truly amazing. The detail and care that went into them shows, there are a few omissions (Tom Bombadil), a few tweaks to the story (Arwen's role) and as far as I am concerned one character that isn't right (Faramir should be much stronger). However the overall thing is superb...I never dreamed Legolas could be SO perfect!!

And the extended editions are the ones to watch.

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I thought it was important to recover this thread as a testament to MFJ's thirty year struggle and ultimate enjoyment of this book.

 

The last part is still missing though, including some great comments from crystalwizard, speaking against Jackson's film versions. Although I didn't concur with the comments, it spiced up the discussion.

 

So, Crystalwizard, if you're still out there...

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The Lord of the Rings has to be for me the most amazing trilogy (well book I consider it to be one) I have ever read in my short life of 16 years! The imagery and history of it is amazing! The characters are so well created you could imagine seeing them and what they would say and how they would say it!

I found it the most refreshing book Ive ever read because simply enough...no one writes like that no more!

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I too thought the trilogy and the hobbit were superb. No one seems to have created such a seamless world where everything interlinks correctly (I'm looking at you George Lucas!).

 

I recently read the Children of Hurin and was pretty disappointed with it. Turin wasn't a particularly likeable character for a start.

 

I've tried to read the Silmarillion a couple of times and have struggled with it. I should really have another crack at it.

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The Silmarrillionis indeed a tough book but some of the stories in it are fantastic.

I have yet to read the newbook that's been released but I am looking forward to be able to read it!

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I recently read the Children of Hurin and was pretty disappointed with it. Turin wasn't a particularly likeable character for a start.

I'm a longtime fan of the Lort of The Rings and have always loved the books.

 

I too recently read the children of Húrin and must admit that it is obvious that the book is put together from various scripts. In fairness to Christopher Tolkien he does explain at the beginning of the book that this is an amalgamation of numerous pieces of material so ther is no way it was ever going to feel like a true JRR Tolkien work.

 

I agree that Turin was not a particularly likeable character as he had flaws innumerable but this may be as a result of poor character development. An interesting read overall and very sad but more worth reading for further insight into Tolkiens vision than as a standalone book in my opinion.

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I quite liked The Children of Hurin, but I was already familiar with the story, having read The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. I liked that the narrative flowed so smoothly, which in the story's earlier forms had been somewhat lacking. This is one of the more complete stories that Tolkien ever wrote, so it was nice to see it in such a complete form.

 

As for The Lord of the Rings, it's probably my all-time favorite book! I'm not a fan of fantasy at all, so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I think that Tolkien accomplished something amazing when he wrote this book.

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