JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Yep, one post for all three books: I've made it back through JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings cycle. (And then last night I saw on the Munro's Books sale table the new Children of Hurin that Christopher Tolkien put together, but I resisted.)

I'm not sure now how I didn't read this until I was an undergraduate, especially since I read CS Lewis' Narnia series several times in my teens. Maybe that explains it, actually; maybe one can be either a Lewisite or a Tolkienian, but not both. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed each novel in the series -- Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King -- when I first read them all, and I enjoyed them again. I'm still not sure how, though, they've attained their cultish status. Tolkien's imagined world is enormously detailed and varied, certainly, but I'm not sure that explains it. I mean, the two heroes of the story are basically gardeners. From this root a mighty oak wouldn't normally be expected to grow (the Peter Sellers film of Being There notwithstanding, of course -- a film everyone should see at least a few times).

A delight, these books, genuinely, even if to me the delight is rather lighter than the heft of the pages....


fiona-h said…
I'm a fan of both Narnia and Middle Earth, altho with the former, my enthusiasm fades slightly with each subsequent story in the chronology. My preferences follow the order of Narnia time rather than publishing date: My two faves are The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, followed by The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, and Voyage of the Dawn Treader (the last that I can even say I really like). I'm much less fond of The Silver Chair and The Last Battle.
richard said…
I was going to open with "One post to rule them all," but it seemed a tad obvious.

Dawn Treader I liked a lot, but mostly because that's the one I first owned for some reason. The swanky green cover was a hit. And yeah, I'm with you on the two you don't like much, especially The Last Battle, which almost feels like it's from a different series.

Popular Posts