19 June 2011

The Lord of The Rings - J.R.R Tolkien

As some of you may have noticed, there has been rather a big lack of book reviewing going on recently on this blog. Why? Because I have been undertaking the momentous task of finally reading The Lord of The Rings.

I would like to say first off that many people find this book difficult to read, and I agree, it is rather like wading through a thick and rather sticky marsh in places. It was written way back in a time when authors had such a fixed idea about who there characters are and what their world is like that every minute detail of the landscape and the thoughts of the characters are meticulously written down. So, for those of you who think they can't handle that type of writing, I would ask you  to leave this one to the book worms and the hardcore fantasy fanatics.

I am one such fanatic though. And so I have to say that even though it took me 3 months to complete my reading of this book, it was time well spent. The movie, which the book MUST be compared to at some point, does extremely well at showing the reader the main story, and making it as compelling and exciting as they possibly can.

But they miss so much. The absolute terror that the Black Riders induce in people is never really shown, and many characters and scenes are missed out whilst others are put in. For example, Frodo never sends Sam away at any point, and there is a large section in the first book, concerning Forests and a strange, ancient being by the name of Tom Bombadil, that is missing entirely from the story. However, I think that had this part been in the film, it would have almost stopped it dead, so it may be for the best.

Back to the book, my favourite character by far was Sam Gamgee. Probably because we get to know him much more than any other character in the entire book. The books are written from the viewpoints of the hobbits, rather than from the men, which proves very interesting.

When we are following Frodo into Mordor, Sam's point of view is the one that we have, and we learn that he is a loyal and caring companion who only wishes to help. Not only that, but he is in fact quite brave and clever, despite not looking that way. He is really the only character that has been opened up to us in his entirety, with even Merry and Pippin's thoughts not showing quite as much depth.

The book is extremely well written, with a superb plot that is well thought through. We follow a great journey in a land that is so unlike our own, sometimes it is easy to become lost in it. The beginning can take a while to get into, as a great deal of the book is actually still in the Shire.

The end can also be a little long winded, but hold on, because there is a very interesting part that was never put in to the films. As I said, it can be a difficult read at times, but I implore anyone to give it a go at least once, if only to say that they have read one of the greats.

As for me, I give it a 9/10.