The Big Read

No. 1 – The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien Read 22/7/14

Affiliate Link:The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 3 books, RRP £26.97 (The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King).

This is another book that is going to be very hard to review. All I can do is be honest, I don’t care if I have nothing new to add to the conversation on The Lord of the Rings or if my opinion isn’t cool enough or whatever. I can only say how I truly feel.

I grew up with the Peter Jackson film trilogy and although it never grabbed me as a child as Harry Potter did I have many fond memories involving, LOTR Top Trumps and actions figures. Now I was defiantly too young to love Lord of the Rings when it first came out and as with most things from my childhood I rediscovered them as a teenager with renewed vigour. And yet despite the fact aged 18 Lord of  the Rings overtook Harry Potter and even Star Wars as my favourite fantasy series I couldn’t bring myself to read the books.

This is because everyone, literally everyone I knew told me that they were impossibly hard to read and completely inaccessible. Even my English Literature teacher told me that they were so difficult she only succeeded in reading them on the third attempt. And this made me dread the experience. I knew I was going to have to tackle them at some point for my BBC challenge but I waited until the summer holidays when I had nothing to do but read, so I could focus all my energy on beating this insurmountable force.

I will tell you now, everything that everyone ever told me about The Lord of the Rings was a lie. I could hardly believe it! What was all this fuss about it being so challenging? Wuthering Heights is harder to read than The Lord of the Rings and I read that when I was 15! I was furious I had been denied the immeasurable pleasure of reading the greatest fantasy adventure ever written because of a load of rubbish about how hard it was.

In reality The Lord of the Rings is wonderful to read. The language is utterly absorbing and transports you to Middle Earth so completely you forget about the book and the words and you just live the story. It doesn’t have the detail of the films, nor the emotion but I don’t mind that. The beauty of The Lord of the Rings is in the complex structure of that universe and its peoples. There is less focus on characters and more on plot and it has the feeling of a Medieval epic, a Shakespeare play and The Canterbury Tales all rolled into one.

I know I shall read it again and again throughout my life. In fact I intend to buy a beautiful edition to sit on my bookshelf so that I can just admire it that is how powerfully the experience of reading this book has remained with me. I am not embarrassed to love The Lord of the Rings and I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea and many people think it nerdy but I couldn’t care less.

Rating: 5/5

Would recommend to: read before you die even if you don’t think you’ll like it. It will enrich your life.


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