Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien [1954]

...Well! Wasn't this book so awesome? Dialogue, Prose, Characters, Plot, practically everything about this book is terrific. :)
I know the stories inside out, or at least I thought I did. Random little things are different, so there were still surprises and what not around every corner! Uh, page turn! Like Frodo singing on a table at the Prancing Pony to distract the bar attendees from Pippin blabbing about their quest! Or Frodo actually having a sense of humor... Reading this book totally ruined Movie Frodo for me. XD
Anyway, I'm not sure where to start. I suppose the writing would be a good place to start. Tolkien's writing is descriptive (especially the landscapes) and so poetic. There are a lot of songs and poems, and they're very pretty. Especially the one about Luthien Tinuviel. It's a writing style I hadn't really had experience with before, and it kind of cast a spell on me. ;)
I really liked the characters, especially Gandalf! He's a little quick-tempered and maybe a little mean, but never in a serious way. Sure, he yells at poor little Pippin, but it's not like he really did want him to throw himself into that well. Or did he? I think this verse from a song the elves sang about him sums up Gandalf the Gray quite well.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
Swift in anger, quick to laugh;
An old man in a battered hat
Who leaned upon a throny staff.
Sam Gamgee too, is a terrific character. He's brave, loyal, and emotional but not excessively so. And Gimli. Such a sweetheart. A very gruff one. ;)
A lot of people talk about the allegorical qualities of this book, but because I'm not perceptive at all, I wasn't able to isolate a whole lot of examples. Maybe when I'm finished with the whole series I'll be able to ramble at length about the Christian imagery. I did really like this bit that's in the first half, where Gandalf and Frodo are talking about Gollum (in the movie this scene takes place in Moria). I think that the whole Gollum storyline is tragic and at the same time a little mysterious, I don't know how to explain it. It's like one of those things that you think is really unfortunate, but turns out to be exactly how things were meant to be. How many times do we ask God to lift some misfortune from us, only to find that this 'misfortune' is exactly what helped us along the right path. As Gandalf said, that is an encouraging thought! Man, I did not do a good job at all of explaining that, but I'm sure its a very obvious reflection that you noticed already. :)
I'm trying to find something to nitpick so that I don't sound like a starry-eyed fangirl (though I kind of am one. Sorry. Okay, no I'm not.), so um... well, the pacing might be a little slow to readers used to modern fiction. The last book I read before starting this was The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which is very fast paced, so for a little while it felt a tad slow.
There are some books that you read fast, in one day. And there are other books that you read slowly and savor, and I think that LOTR is one of those kinds of books. :)

The Verdict: A+
I um... not sure what exactly to say here. I mean, this wasn't really a review so much as a rant. I really enjoyed this book, and it's definitely one of my favorites. :)


  1. Tolkien said that this is not an allegory, but that you certainly could draw parallels between historical events and things that happen here. So don't worry too much if you're not finding lots of symbolism and stuff!

    I noticed you've started following one of my blogs, so just wanted to drop by and say "Hi!" And to let you know that even though my LOTR read-along is almost over, you are absolutely welcome to go back through the chapters posts and join in the discussions. You can find them listed individually here right now, though I may move them to a blog post at some future date.

    Also, I'll be holding a giveaway of LOTR-related things as soon as the read-along is over, so be sure to check that out! It'll probably start later this coming week.

    1. Oh your welcome! Would it be weird if I followed your other blog too? Because I'd kind of like to. :)
      The read-along looks interesting, I'll check it out!


I have enabled comment moderation, but you have nothing to worry about unless your comment has swearing, vulgar language, or is rude and uncourteous.
Feel free to subscribe to follow-up comments, since I'll probably respond sooner or later.
Oh, and if you're commenting with the anonymous setting, please leave a name or alias at the end of your comment, so that I can have something to call you. :)