Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Review: Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien

 At long last, I have finished this book!  I have been trying for... probably in the ball park of 10 years, and it's thwarted me every time, until now!  I think I read up to page 130 about a year ago, and after reading a whole bunch of other books, I figured I'd try Lord of the Rings (LOTR) out one more time.

Such a good call.

Okay, so the first thing you guys need to know, this book is AMAZING!  The only two books that compare to this in my opinion are Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.  For those of you who don't know, I LOVE both of those books.  Putting LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring in the same category is saying A LOT!

But what makes it good?  Well, first of all, the DEPTH was a major factor that helped Lord of the Rings to shine.  There are languages that were created just for this book and can be learned, and there is a wonderful amount of history to the world of  Middle Earth.  The book begins by taking about 20 pages to introduce you to this race called "hobbits".  To quote, "Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love pace and quiet and good tilled earth..." - Prologue page 1.  I think you can kind of get the grasp in that first sentence of the depth that this book provides.  When it says "more numerous formerly than they are today" I can't help but get lost in this world where hobbits always existed.  It's this organization and language that really helps to emerge you into the world.  This whole introduction is used to introduce Frodo and Bilbo.  Bilbo has a whole book about his adventure, again, more depth.  And then you get to meet Frodo for about 60 pages (Which, I'll admit, reads pretty slowly), but it's worth it.  Because when Frodo finally sets off, you really understand who is setting off.

I also love that this story creates such an epic and dark quest.  It starts out innocently enough, but before you know it you're dealing with the lord of all evil, and his mysterious hunters of the ring.  The movie doesn't really convey just how secret and terrifying this adventure is.  They travel almost exclusively by night, often times with no fire, they sleep very little, and constantly have someone on watch duty.  And, especially in the beginning, it's just a bunch of hobbits who really have no idea what they're doing, against 9 of the most powerful ring hunters the world has ever seen.  Despite these desperate odds however, the protagonists fight with every thing they've got! The amount of courage they display is really remarkable, and the friendships they form make you feel like part of their journey.

Again, depth.  Through this journey you go to all kinds of different sanctuaries for the different races, and experience every kind of adversity you could imagine.  Whether you are singing with the Elves in Rivendell, or traveling through the dark mines of Moria, you will always feel like part of a world that is over 3000 years old.

Suffice to say, I am very grateful that I have two more books to read.  Also, the first book does end on a note that you can put it down, but you won't want to wait too long before you start the next one. I say this because I know some people can be intimidated by the page count, but all you need to focus on for the first book is 398.  It's not short, but it's very manageable. 

Oh, and one last thing...

If you've watched the movie too many times to count (like me), it is definitely worth your time to read this book.  I would say the main reason to read it is that it explains why things happen, and provides much more depth to the story and characters.

Also, very importantly, what happens in the movie is not neceessarily what happened in the book.  The gist of the book is still there, but there are a lot of little changes, and when you add them all up, it's almost like you're reading a completely different story.


PS - If you guys have any comments about the reviews, things you liked, things you didn't like, please comment so I can make them better!

PSS - I'm trying out advertisements, but I'm gonna try not to make them just stupid stuff you don't want.  Here is a link to a site where you can order the Fellowship of the Ring if you're interested in reading it!

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