I have a dark and horrible truth I must admit...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by sidious618, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    Both of those views are a trifle simplistic, and the past is more complex than either. Tolkein certainly has an excellent sense for it, though, which is nice.

    That said I'd substantially agree with the more negative appraisal, because I never pine for a past world (this one is I think a whole lot better), and to me the forests being cleared for an industrial revolution is progress!
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    I too am not all that into Lord of the Rings. My history with LOTR is this:

    In 2001 I saw Fellowship of the Ring when it cam out in theatres simply because it's what everyone was seeing. I was bored to fuck by it.

    Christmas 2002 I got the box set of the three books. So I decided to sit down and plow through them. It took me three months, and by the time I got half way through The Two Towers I was completely confused and had no idea what the hell was going on.

    In Spring 2003, shortly after I finished reading the three books I went with my family to the theatres. They all had movies they wanted to see, and with nothing else playing that I was interested in, I saw The Two Towers. By the time it was done I asked myself "why am I bothering with this?" I never have seen Return of the King, and since I couldn't understand the book when I read it, I have no real idea how this story ends. Not that I care.

    In fact, all I do remember these days is that in the books Frodo and Sam said they loved each other a bit too often for supposedly straight guys...
  3. Orintho

    Orintho Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 13, 2003
    I never said he was not entertaining. I emphasized that its all about the details, the journey for Tolkien. And not everyone has patience or interest in this kind of writing, as one of the other responders here show when they mentioned 'skimming' through later chapters.
  4. Fist McStrongpunch

    Fist McStrongpunch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 21, 2003
    I too hate the books. Tolkien had a great story that he ruined with shitty writing. And yes, I know there are many reasons he wrote that way, but that doesn't make it not shitty writing; it just makes it intentionally shitty writing.

    Love the films though.
  5. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

    Jul 11, 2009
    I just couldn't concentrate on the books, I tired but no avail, but that's not to say I think his writing sucks, I just couldn't get into it. The movies rocked though, I can't watch them all at once, but I loved going to see them in the big screen.
  6. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Commodore Commodore

    Jun 14, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    I always thought the neatest thing about it was, it describes the past as these glorious romantic adventures, and the present as these grimy, horrid, bug-infested, weary, dirty, exhausting trips that are just alternately boring or stressful, but never fun or glorious. Someone above made comparison to WWI and I think that is exactly where it comes from.

    Of course now we have shelves and shelves of books that deconstruct the heroic epic and show how nasty and awful life was, but Tolkien was writing in an era where fantasy was a little more fantastic than life. Tolkien wrote about the dirt as much as the jewels and scantily clad dancing girls.
  7. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 19, 2007
    Space Massachusetts
    Me too, and the movies.
  8. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 14, 2004
    IMO, LOTR is not an easy read at times, but definitely a worthwhile one.

    The Hobbit, on the other hand, is more user friendly.
  9. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 16, 2009
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    I will admit the books are a bit difficult to get into, especially if one is looking for a read 'that moves'. (There is a 'Silmarillion' thread I started sometime ago; that particular book has it's own 'unique' writing style as well).

    As stonestar1 said, 'The Hobbit' is a more tighter story.
  10. Immolatus

    Immolatus Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2005
    I only read them once and I really don't think I'll try again
  11. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2001
    Burlington, VT, USA
    The first time I tried reading LotR I crashed-and-burned shortly after the encounter with Shelob. I just put it down and couldn't pick it up again.

    The second time I made it through the book, but I was reading it during my lunch-breaks at work. Having a routine helped a great deal...plus it wasn't late at night. I couldn't bring myself to read the appendices, but I did skim them.

    For me the major issue is pacing. I hit the same problem I hit with Anne Rice books, notably QotD, where I put the book down after the part with Daniel and never picked it up again. These books (and certain entire swaths of literature) involve a style where a great deal of writing is devoted to description, and I just don't have the patience for it. Unless the candlestick the author's describing is going to play a major role in the book later on, I don't care to read its entire backstory. It's a candlestick, I get it. Woo hoo. Note that the issue of pacing is, to me, completely unrelated to the quality of the writing itself. It's a matter of style, not quality.

    I greatly enjoy the LotR films, particularly the extended editions (though parts of the EE of RotK seem a bit gratutious and almost campy), but again, pacing becomes a problem for me. They're some of the few movies I've ever seen that actually -feel- epic, and after having seen each of them more than once, I can't sit through them without taking a few breaks, particularly FotR.

    I think the people calling the writing bad are incorrect, but I'll be the first to say it's not for everyone.
  12. Training

    Training Commander

    Sep 12, 2005
    I read the book when I was 13. I find it long and a lot of the parts were very boring. I sometimes I had to force my self to read it. But that was more then made up for by the storyline and the exciting parts.

    The films were amazing but the books were better in my opinion.
  13. Rowan Sjet

    Rowan Sjet Commodore Commodore

    Jul 15, 2005
    I first read the books after going to see the FOTR at the cinema and I don't remember having any particular problem with reading them. But when I tried again a few years later, I couldn't get halfway through Fellowship before giving up.