Fellowship keeps your attention so well. Then TT: Sam is hungry Frodo is hungry. Return of the King: Sam is very hungry, Frodo is starving to death. They are shivering cold (Ginsberg: starving, hysterical, naked). I think one of the hardest things about reading the second two books is how well Tolkien communicates the discomfort of his characters. It's almost like you are going through it yourself.