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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien

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  • Thoroughly repititve and characters mere cardboard cutouts.
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      04.06.2013 16:46
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      Wonderfully written, one of my favourites of all time

      I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." PLOT This is the Story of Frodo Baggins, a little Hobbit with a big heart, living in the Shire, Middle Earth. Frodo lives with his Uncle, Bilbo Baggins in their house under a hill in Hobbiton. Bilbo has a very treasured possession, a magic ring, that he found on his adventures many years ago. But he has no idea of its true power. After Bilbo's 111th Birthday, he leaves the Shire, in search of more adventure, and finally, somewhere quiet where he can finish writing the book about his adventures. Bilbo vows to leave the ring to Frodo, but Gandalf, a dear friend of Bilbo's, and a Wizard, has a hard time persuading him to part with it. Frodo takes responsibility for the ring, and for the rest of Bilbo's possessions, with no idea of the horror that is coming his way. He must flee the Shire, take the ring to Rivendell, the city of Elves, and seek advice on how to destroy it. With a fellowship with him including three more Hobbits, an Elf, a Dwarf, and three men;including Gandalf, Frodo must travel to the land of Mordor, and destroy the ring once and for all. MY OPINION Let me just begin by saying that Tolkien is a genius.I'll admit, I had this book on my bookcase for a few years and I didn't read it. I attempted to when I was younger, and I couldn't get into it. But as I've grown older, I could appreciate this book for what it is. And what it is is an incredibly well written novel, that has stood the test of time, and I'm certain people will read it for many more years to come. The characters have so much depth, they all come from very different backgrounds, and each one has a detailed history. THE AUTHOR Tolkien has created a world, not just a novel. He has created new languages, amazing settings, and has captured the imaginations and hearts of people all over the world.I'm so glad that I was able to get into this book, and enjoy it for the work of art that is truly is.

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        23.02.2011 22:18
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        A classic, if you haven't already you should give it a look

        The Fellowship of the Ring is the first volume of JRR Tolkien's epic story 'The Lord of the Rings'. Its one of the most popular and famous books of the twentieth century and inspired the incredibly popular recent trilogy of films. Its important to mention that LOTR is a sequel of sorts, to The Hobbit, a much shorter and more child friendly book about a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins who goes on an adventure with some dwarves and a wizard, fights a dragon and on the journey finds a magical ring that turns its wearer invisible. This ring is the starting point for the classic story that followed! In Fellowship, we catch up with Bilbo, now 111 years old. We learn he has adopted a young nephew to be his heir, Frodo Baggins, who will be our unlikely hero. Bilbo and Frodo live in The Shire, a rural haven where the hobbit population lives unmolested in blissful ignorance of the world outside its borders. This is about to change for Frodo though, when Gandalf the wizard appears to tell him that Bilbo's old ring is in fact an evil, magical object made by the dark lord Sauron, and must be destroyed. So Frodo sets out on a dangerous quest to rid the world of the evil ring... The fellowship of the title is the band of unlikely companions who accompany Frodo on his journey. We are introduced to interesting and diverse characters from various magical races including more hobbits, elves, dwarves, wizards and mysterious men. This book is the beginning of a truly classic and gripping story, however I will admit that there are times when the writing itself is somewhat less than gripping! Tolkien seems to have had a bit of a weakness for overly long and detailed passages of description, and for writing out in full the various songs and poems the characters recite to each other and which I feel are not really needed and don't add much to the plot. The description can be really lovely and useful at times, helping you to get a real feel for a character or location, but at other times its just a bit, well, dull! In my honest opinion I think this book could be cut down by at least a quarter and be just as enjoyable if not more so! The characters are well written, you really do warm to the plucky but naive little hobbits. Their wonder at all their new experiences and the sights and sounds they would never have dreamed of while living in the shire is a good guide for the reader who is also encountering it all for the first time. The other members of the fellowship are a diverse bunch, but their interactions are believable, and despite having magical powers, and being the subjects of ancient legends and so on, you actually do find yourself liking and even relating to them! There is a lot of action in the book, there are plenty of times where you'll be genuinely tense, even on a second or third reading. Parts of the book definitely qualify as un-put-down-able. Its a fairly long book in itself, but by the time you reach the end you will almost definitely want to carry on and read volumes two and three. You'll care about Frodo and his companions too much to forget about what happens to them! Fellowship, as with the other two books, are definitely of the fantasy genre. People who prefer other genres such as crime or chick lit may not be huge fans, especially if you prefer your novels to be set in a familiar, real world. But even if you aren't normally a fan of the fantasy genre I'd recommend giving LOTR a try. Its the original fantasy story, the one so many others are inspired by and try to emulate.

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          17.10.2010 19:16
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          Personally I think it is a wonderful story

          The fellowship of the ring is the first installement of J.R.R Tolkiens epic journey in which a Hobbit journeys across middle earth to destroy a powerful ring, which is seeked by evil forces who are slowly waging a war on the inhabitants of the world. Along the way meeting many mythical people and beings, as well as facing many challenges and losses alongside his freinds. Published in 1954, this book is set 60 years after The Hobbit and is made up of a prolouge (Concerning Hobbits, written by Bilbo Baggins) and book 1 and 2. The story was split into 3 main books when Tolkien origionally wanted it published due to the cost of paper after the war, the 2 story's being The Two Towers and Return of the King. The book begins with a prolouge which lets the reader know who the Hobbits are and what their life is like. This is the first taste of Tolkiens world and it shows immediatley how much detail and thought goes into the world he has created. The prolouge is not just a short note of who the Hobbits are , but it tells the lineage of the 3 main Hobbit groups and where they travelled from, their differences and where they now reside. As well as this we learn about the Shire, how it is divided and what festivles they celebrate. There is also a short section on the Hobbits discovery of pipe-weed, a tobacco which originates from the Shire. This does a good job of getting you into the world of middle earth and the intricacies of its working, it also works as a benchmark that if you don't like the amount of information in the prolouge then it may not be for you. The first book of the fellowship opens with Bilbo Baggins celebrating his 111th birthday, as well as his nephew Frodo's 33rd birthday. But soon things start going amiss and after some strange events at the party Bilbo vanishes , leaving only a golden ring behind to the wizard Gandalf for Frodo. This is no ordinary ring, it is a ring which was thought to be missing and would have been better if it still was. During The Hobbit, Bilbo steals a ring away from a horrible creature known as Gollum, this ring has the power to make its wearer invicible and seemingly giving eternal life. However with this comes a powerful feeling to protect and look after this magic ring, driving its beholder mad with paranoia. Far away the dark lord Sauron and his allies are growing and having the "one" ring will mean nothing in middle earth will be able to fight against their wrath. Here is where a major difference between the film and book occurs, Frodo leaves 15 years after that nights events to try and destroy the ring. From this point begins a journey along with 3 other hobbits, Sam, Merry and Pippin. It soon becomes obvious to them that something dark is after them as they continually run from a hooded rider but after making it through forests and to the town of Bree , where curious people reside, they meet up with a man called strider who may just help their cause. Of course the story contains meetings with the Elves, fighting horrible creatures called Orcs and perilious journeys through enchanted forests, across mountains and battling through mines. Due to the sheer size of the book and the depth of the story's it conatains the book can feel bogged down in places. Whilst their are sections where you are desperatley turning the page to see how the fellowship will survive, their are also sections based around the history of people or discussions of what the group plan to do. But this helps add to the feeling of a journey and makes you feel part of the narrative, you bond with the characters, you enjoy being in certain areas and it also makes you wonder what would of happend if they had taken the alternate route they discussed. Picking up this book you need to know that it isn't one you can pick up and flick through, you need to be interested in it and remember the wealth of characters. Because the feeling when it comes to an end is great, you look back at it and want to get the next book simply because you have come this far, much like the fellowship on their journey. The characters are vivid and no stone is left unturned when it comes to their personality , thoughts and actions. Every character is individual and causes a different responce from you as you read it, characters grow and change after time and you can see in their interactions that they have to support each other when one is feeling the strain. Frodo is a very well meaning character, and he knows that what he is doing is dangerous as from the beggining he tries to make the journey on his own because he doesn't want to risk his freinds lives. At times we see the full scale of the situation hit him and it's then that his freind Sam helps him through. Sam is a bit of a lapdog to begin with and he is almost to sickly sweet, everything he does is to make sure Mr Frodo gets to the end of the journey. But behind this it is because he feels he has nothing to live for in the Shire, he wants to explore the world and live out the tales he has heard since he was a child. Acompanying these two are Merry and Pippin , the source of comic relief and a real mischievous pair. Pippin is the youngest and doesn't always think things through so is quick to act without thinking about the consequences. As well as this their is Gandalf who is forever going walk about and can come across as a bit of an arse sometimes, he is in no way an angel and can be prone to some snidey remarks which catch you a little of balance and your never quite sure how he will act. One problem that many have when reading this book is the amount of characters, even during the first chapter you meet many of the inhabitants of the Shire and these only appear one during the book, you then have the fellowship which grows to 9 in places, as well as the people you meet along the way and the stories mentioning old kings. It can be overwhelming at times but it means that inside the one story there are hundreds of small bits which grow into their own in the appendices in the Return of the King, The silmarillion and Tolkiens other peices. The writing is not easy, it takes getting used to and feels more like a history than the rhyming lyrical feel of The Hobbit. But this is part and parcel of the way the story progresses, it would be extremely difficult to tell this story and its details in a simple way and unfortunatley it is another reason many don't read it. The Fellowship of the Ring is really worth reading, but it is more a book that you have to put time into and want to read. Otherwise the ability to bear with the writing, characters and lore can be too much and thats completely understandable. But it's also worth mentioning that if you have seen the film and enjoyed it , you will enjoy the book because their is a mass of whole elements of the story that were missed out and that make the story even better. Available on Amazon for £5 and is 531 pages long, it is a bargain of a book for the amount of hours and entertainment it will give, and if you buy the illustrated book by Alan lee their are some wonderful painted images spaced out throughout the story which aid the imagination of the world.

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            04.08.2010 17:54
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            This is the first instalment of the famous trilogy documenting the attempt to destroy the renowned evil ring. Plot: Prologue- about hobbits for those who haven't read 'The Hobbit' (aka There and Back Again) and the Shire. Book One 'The Return of the Shadow'- Starts with Bilbo and Frodo celebrating their joint birthday, then Bilbo disappearing. Bilbo leaves everything to Frodo, including a ring (after much persuasion of Gandalf's part). Gandalf the wizard warns Frodo to keep the ring safe. The book then jumps to almost twenty years later. Gandalf returns to Frodo and finally explains some of the ring's darker power which Bilbo had only used to make himself invisible. It is a very evil and powerful ring; 'one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them'. In a battle long in the past Sauron, the dark lord who made this evil ring himself, was overthrown by the Elves and then men of Gondor and Arnor, and then fled, allowing peace to return. But the shadow has returned; Sauron knows where the ring is and what unlikely creature has it; a hobbit. Frodo must get the ring to Rivendell, an elf-haven, so that its fate can be decided. He sets off with his friend Samwise (Sam) Gamgee, and cousins Peregrin (Pippin) Took and Meriadoc (Merry) Brandybuck, although he does not initially let them in on his secret, he should have left with Gandalf but he doesn't return in time. Frodo, Sam and Pippin take a less used road to Frodo's 'new house' in Crickhollow, but on their way have to avoid the Nazgûl. With some assistance they reach the village of Bree where they come across Strider, a friend of Gandalf and now their guide. Even with the help of Strider their journey isn't without hardships as they continue to be chased by the Nazgûl and Frodo is stabbed with a cursed blade, but Rivendell is soon nearby. Book Two 'The Fellowship of the Ring'- In this part of the first volume the news of Saruman (the previously white wizard) new allegiance with the dark side is spread, and it is decided that the ring must being thrown into the 'Crack of Doom' in Mordor, those that have come together to protect the ring bearer on his route to Mordor are met. The Fellowship consists of Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry, Strider (now discovered to be called Aragorn), Legolas, Gimli, Boromir and Gandalf the Grey. The nine must now undertake a treacherous journey through snow, over mountains, the mines of Moria which have been taken over by orcs and other deadly creatures. What remains of the fellowship make it to the next elf-haven; Lothlórien. It is after this that the rings power to corrupt beings to show. Frodo believes he must take this journey alone so save the rest of the fellowship. Will the fellowship remain intact? And is there any hope of the ring making it to Mordor without being noticed by the Dark Lord Sauron, or his ring-wraiths the Nazgûl. My Opinion: The first chapter still keeps some of the warmth that was in the style of storytelling of 'The Hobbit', however after then it turns darker. There is a lot to be learnt in this book, for the characters and the readers; just what is the power and history of this ring? This makes the book a little slower than 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King', however there is still plenty of action and excitement, but this is a little bit scarier than most fantasy adventure novels. The action in this book is lighter than that in the following two, it feels as if each book leads into the other until it reaches a long anticipated climax. This book takes the opportunity to introduce each character. I enjoyed getting to know each of the nine and their back stories. There is some humour in this book, although perhaps not quite a much as there is in the next two as it has to weigh out the drama. Some people may find that they get a little 'bogged down' reading the Lord of the Rings, so if you do find this book a bit heavy going then perhaps the rest of the trilogy isn't for you, but I found that the book moved on well. The fellowship is the lightest of the three to read as it still has some similarities with 'The Hobbit'. The best part of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' is seeing these friendships grow into the strong bonds of loyalty and love that will save them later in the trilogy Characters: Frodo Baggins In the beginning of this book Frodo is reluctant to leave the Shire, as doing so is a very un-hobbit thing, but he decides that he must go in order to save the Shire. Frodo chooses to step forward as the ring bearer for the chance of destroying the ring. This was his destiny as, being a hobbit, he was less susceptible to the rings power of corruption. Frodo shows great bravery in standing up to Boromir and deciding to take on the responsibility of the ring alone. Samwise Gamgey (Sam) Sam is a very endearing character and, unlike most hobbits, interested in myths and adventures; 'Me, sir!,' cried Sam, springing up like a dog invited for a walk. '"Me go and see elves and all! Hooray!" he shouted then burst into tears.' Sam is considered by some to be the real hero of the trilogy as he stands by his Master Frodo (he started out as Frodo's gardener) no matter what, and puts all his concern for his own welfare behind that of his concern for others. He is brave and able to keep up morale. Peregrin Took (Pippin) Probably my favourite character of the trilogy would have to be Pippin. He is the youngest of the four hobbits and hadn't yet 'come of age' (under 33) when they set out. He is incredibly cheery, but at times thoughtless and misses the Shire before the others. His thoughtlessness almost costs him and Merry the chance to accompany the fellowship but Gandalf finds their loyalty endearing and allows them to continue. Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) Merry is probably the most intelligent and perceptive of the four hobbits. He also has a teasing sense of humour; when one of the Sackville-Bagginses said that Frodo was a Brandybuck and no true Baggins, Merry told him that 'It was a compliment; and so, of course, not true.' Merry was always prepared; in Rivendell he was found reading maps and plotting their route. The rest of the fellowship was chosen so that all of the remaining free races in Middle Earth should be represented. Strider/Aragorn He is a ranger; someone who roams about and no one really knows what it is he gets up to. It is discovered by those who didn't already know, that Strider's real name is Aragorn and that he is the heir of Isildur, King of men, who cut the ring from Sauron's hand in battle. Aragorn is very fond of the hobbits and admires them, he is determined to protect them. Besides being an ancient heir to the throne of men, he also has another side story; Arwen. He is in love with an elf, the daughter of Elrond, who cannot allow it because men are mortal, she will either have to see him die or Elrond himself will have to let his daughter go and see her age and die. Boromir He is also of the mortal men; Gondor. He wishes to use the ring to save the people there, but the Council of Elrond explain that the ring cannot be used without corrupting it's user and alerting Sauron to its whereabouts. He initially accepts this and joins the fellowship, but he cannot resist the ring. Boromir is not a bad man, he just wants the power of the ring to save the people of his country and he is weak to the power that the ring wields. Gandalf Gandalf the Grey is a powerful and brave wizard with great knowledge. He believes in the strength of the little hobbits, shown particularly when he allows Pippin and Merry to join the fellowship. He is willing to put himself in mortal danger to save the hobbits so that they may continue their quest. Legolas Legolas the elf is one of the most cheerful of the group, at times even more so that Pippin. He is an unrivalled archer and a dangerous warrior. He is also very loyal to Aragorn, Gimli and Frodo. Gimli Gimli is a dwarf, and is the son of Gloin from 'The Hobbit'. He is very honourable and wise, also brave in battle. There is a tradition of hostility between elves and dwarves and initially Gimli and Legolas continue this custom, however they do become fond of each other and their rivalry and friendship makes for a very enjoyable read as it lightens some of the darkness of the book. About the Trilogy The Lord of the Rings is a story told in three volumes; 'The Fellowship of the Ring', 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King'. Each story follows the progress of a hobbit and his friends as they journey to Mordor to destroy the evil ring. The first volume documents the formation of the fellowship of nine. The second book tells the individual tales of those nine once they become separated but still continue on their quest to rid the world of evil corruption. The final book brings the trilogy to an end, for better or worse. About the Author J.R.R. Tolkien was a novelist, poet and professor from England. His most famous works are 'The Hobbit', 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Silmarillion'. A lot of his work was published posthumously, apparently because he didn't believe they were good enough. He was awarded with a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen in 1972. I would thoroughly recommend this book, it is well worth the read, particularly if you are into fantasy and like a good old-fashioned baddy. This is definitely one of the greatest fantasy books of all time.

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              16.06.2009 23:05
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              WICKED!

              This is a MUST READ book. You can't say you have read alot of books without reading this one. This is one magnificient book, with superb illustartions and detail. Describing every blade of grass, it gives you the clearest image a book can give you. The only thing is, that may be the reason people do not buy this book. Although its very good, it may have a bit too much detail in. You just have to stay focused and dont give up, it will be worth it in the end. You spend about 3/4 of the book travelling with Frodo and Co. to go destroy the ring. In the book, you find a bit about the history of the ring and follow the future journeys of the ring, of which is with Frodo. I am on "The Two Towers" at the moment, and that is also another book you have to read. You won't regret reading these books, even though your probably thinking... Oh My God this will never ******* end!! Get to the exciting bit! Well it does get to the exciting bit, and that bit is VERY good. Go on the big hide from the black riders who are rulers of the evil Enemy. Travel your way to Mordor to destroy the ring once and for all. And is it the end of our faithful Gandalf the Grey?? I really recommend you to read this book and dont give up what i felt like doing. This was only a short review, but thanks anyway for reading it, i really apprechiate it :D

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                06.06.2009 13:21
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                The epitomy of fantasy

                It amazes me that the Lord of the Rings films, games, and all kinds of other stuff have had more reviews than the actual books themselves. This seems like a bit of a disgrace really, as if it wern't for the actual books, we would not have all the other stuff! So here is me doing my little bit for the original books. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was written by J.R.R.Tolkien over a period of about twelve years, between 1937 and 1949. It was the follow up to his other book The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings has since gone on to be the most famous Fantasy series ever written. Whilst not everyone has read the books, pretty much everyone has heard of them. This is partly due to the massive success of the films in recent years. And whilst I do love the films, they are nothing compared to the actual books. The first book of the trilogy is 'The fellowship of the Ring'. The story tells of Sauron the dark lord, who needs 'the one ring' to gain power over middle earth. However a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, has found the ring. Bilbo however leaves the ring to his nephew Frodo. Then Frodo discovers what exactly this magic ring is. And he is sent on a quest to destroy the ring. So Frodo sets off on his epic journey. He first goes to Rivendell, home of the elves where a council is called to decide what to do with the ring. A fellowship is formed to take Frodo deep into Mordor to destroy the ring. So the story follows Frodo and his companions as they travel towards the evil Mordor. I think out of the three books, this is my favorite. It just has a really nice fairytale feel to it. The other two books become alot darker and more serious where as this one starts of quite light. The language Tolkien uses is spectacular. His attention to detail is second to none, he has created his own fantasy world in 'Middle Earth' and he uses this world to tell his story. The characters are excellent. I think my personnal favorite is Sam, he is so loyal to Frodo and would do anything for him. This book has a real epic feel to it, and as you start on the first book it feels like your setting of on a long journey. You become involved in the story and your emotions become entwined with the plot. If you have never read the books I recommend doing so. They are not for everyone, some people don't enjoy this kind of story. But if you enjoyed the films, you will love the book! Have a read!

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                  22.12.2008 17:37
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                  On to the second...

                  The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy of books written by the author J.R Tolkien, which were later made into films. There is a related book, The Hobbit. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in the trilogy. I had been putting off reading it as I did not think that I would enjoy it, but I did. There are different versions of the book and in the one I read there was an introductory section that explains the habits of Hobbits. I found this to be extremely tedious. It was about 25 pages as I remember, and I did not enjoy it at all. Of course, the book is fictional, but I felt that too much emphasis was made by the author in trying to bring these creatures to life and I would have preferred to imagine them for myself and not have to read about little things in their lives, like what they drink. The book proceeds with about 13 chapters, and I really enjoyed it initially, when Bilbo Baggins is celebrating an important birthday, with a much younger relatice, Frodo Baggins. Soon after the party, Bilbo goes off, possibly never to return and possibly never to be seen by Frodo again. At this point we meet Gandalf, a wizard, and see that wizards are not necessarily all good. This is also where we learn about the Ring, and about the effect that it had on Bilbo. Now it belongs to Frodo. The main part of the book involves Frodo leaving his town along with Sam to take the ring away from those who seek its power for evil. And so begins their quest. Along the way they meet Strider, and others who help them, and again they find Frodo, and Gandalf. I found the middle part of the book boring in places, as the journeys are described in the greatest of detail. I know that some people may enjoy reading such things but I don't really, and this is just my opinion. I found that the book became more exciting towards the end, as the group faces danger and Frodo and Sam set off alone. Overall I did enjoy this book and I will read the next one, but I thought that the section on Hobbits at the beginning did not add anything to it, and I found some of the book to be over-descriptive. The book is about 500 pages long.

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                  06.08.2004 22:15
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                  • "Thoroughly repititve and characters mere cardboard cutouts."

                  ~~A BRIEF INTRO~~ Laurelled and re-laurelled as the benchmark in English literature, hailed as the monarch of fantasies, the pinnacle of allegoric writing, I embarked upon reading this ?mytho-epic? much to the expense of some definitely comfy evenings and nights and the hangover after completion is so severe, that I really can?t be asked to sort out my notes and have simply typed them up below. However much I perceive this to be actually a set of three books, its honestly a single tale and this is the sole reason what kept this review a set of notes in my diary. But finally, after a verdict that has remained sealed in my notes for the better half of this year, by typing it I?ve helped it reach the actual audience (and not the moths). ~~THE NOTES IN MY DIARY~~ Day 1 5:30 pm The exquisite foreword has left me practically exasperated with the author?s level of honesty and modesty both for his own work and the readers. Was enlightening to note that there isn?t any hidden meaning or ?message? and the tale is just a story free of any allegorical significance or political reference. Immediately I am reminded of the umpteen interpretations starting from the decryption of Christian overtones to seeking links with the Second World War, the readers indeed gave new meanings to the phrase ?reading between the lines? Day 1 11:30 pm No, I just have to admit this. This is the third time I struggled to keep my eyelids from shutting in an attempt to read through the Prologue. The excruciating detail of the background of hobbits, pipe-weed, Shire records and the Ring is so bereft of any fluidity and reads so much like some dictionary, that I better get some nap to regain some sanity. More tomorrow. Day 2 4:00 pm The first chapter catalogues the introduction of Bilbo, his eleventy-first birthday and his bequeathing the Ring to Frodo, his young cousin. Though the drama reeks of pretentiousness, Bilbo?s queer obsession with the Ri ng and his final departure save the day. Dialogues reek with formality with hordes of exclamations and it?ll take some time to get used to hilarious cognomens like Bracegirdles, Sackville-Bagginses, Brandybucks, Lobelia and the ilk. Day 3 7:30 pm Am now through the brief chronicle of the ring and its fairly captivating though the expression is downright pedestrian with the only relief coming from an exquisite verse about the Ruling Ring and the nineteen other rings. And yes, Gollum?s tale of yore is immensely appealing, but I can?t wait to get the actual journey started. Day 3 11:40 pm I am hooked. Finally Frodo?s journey commenced and what a pulsating start it is! One has to read the sentences to feel the ire of the sinister Black Riders, the strange grasp of the Ring on Frodo and the balmy council of Gildor. I have seldom read poetry that reeks with both tonal and emotional exactitude. The only gripe is an absolute dry conversation and clinically analysed geography. Am hoping that this would erase with the coming chapters. Day 4 2:00 am Still reading and the hobbits? journey is quite intriguing to Mr.Maggot and then to Crickhollow with the bondage between the four subtly sealed and treated with a feather-hand. Readable till now. Day 4 11:00 pm The kineticity suffers thanks to the thoroughly repetitive geography but the excitement survives with Pippin and Merry vanishing into the willow tree cracks. However the introduction of Tom Bombadil as the saviour simply fails to cut ice. The verse does the opposite now?replacing dialogue, it stabs any attempt to intrigue the reader page after page. What?s more?a full length chapter on Bombadil?s house would send even the most rock-ribbed insomniacs snoring! From good to pathetic, the experience so far is? err? ummm.. Day 6 11:30 pm Two days?can you imagine? From Bombadil?s house to the Prancing Pony, I?ve fought with my now-all-sore eyes and with my n ow-almost-dead brain to survive a petty 20 pages and hail! I have reached the shore! From the sickeningly repetitive geography (I half expected the author to give me distances correct to the quarter of a feet for every step of the hobbits, but then again there?s always the Supreme One for such nanomercies) to the formulaic turn of events to the maddeningly sleep-inducing verse, the following three chapters take the crown for giving me an experience of dozing inside the pages. Of course, the very occasional hiccup in the form of Barrow-wights was more than welcome. Are there any more such tortures in-store? Day 7 9:30 pm With the advent of the Strider (Aragorn), some pep re-enters but the scorched-dry dialogues and the forced tale (and poem again!) of Tinuviel dampen whatever little punch that surfaces. The author?s obsession with physiography and geography is thankfully put in good use or maybe heading to the final pages for a glimpse of the map time and again has lent me some patience. The graph reaches its peak with Frodo getting stabbed by the Lord of the Nazgul and continues to enthral, (albeit inconsistently) until the Riders are drowned in the flood of the Ford. Day 8 11:00 pm Its almost impossible to forgive the unceasing and forced sermons splashed on page after page in The Council of Elrond had it not been for the Saruman-Gandalf dialogue which uplifts the feel of unseen power of the seemingly dormant enemy manifold. Yet, Rivendell?s beauty comes as unstuck as Bilbo?s never-ending chant about a mariner which can replace all the lullabies and cradlesongs there are in the universe! Day 9 7:00 am The summoning of the Fellowship, though slow, grips the moment it sets afoot outside Rivendell. The snow-storm of the Caradhras is as wonderfully realised before the swelling darkness of the gates of Moria. Of course, I have begun to appreciate the author?s prolificacy in imagination when I see the elven characters and read abo ut the Elvish speech. The descriptive topographics don?t veil the hideous dour of the Mines of the Moria and the effect is amazingly consistent with chips of history wonderfully sewn in the dialogues. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum, the Balrog-Gandalf fight, Gandalf?s fall is probably the book?s first full-fledged fantasy escapade and a moderately gripping one at that. Day 9 7:00 pm The graph dips slightly but the relief from the balmy descriptions of Lothlorien can?t ever be denied with Galadriel?s careful speech, the amusing Mirror, the captivating dialogue and the soothing poetry. Almost spiritual in its aura, the rush indeed takes a back-seat for some pages with tid-bits of Tolkien?s much-acclaimed indulgence in the flesh of an Elven poem yet the arrival and the departure of the Fellowship into this elvish land is nail-biting. Day 9 11:00 pm A snippet of Gollum, a peek of the Orcs, and a sinister glint of the Eye is all that graces the remaining pages. The thrill is masterfully built up and the last chapter holds a menacingly attractive door for electrifying action in the next book. Strangely, the chink in the armour is the episode of Boromir succumbing to the lore of the Ring where the clichéd histrionics flow with surprising nonchalance. ~~SO EXACTLY WHAT'S WRONG?!~~ If you think fantasy fiction is all about a series of events in breakneck succession and adventure that keeps redefining the very meaning of the word ?exciting?, look elsewhere for the first instalment of this ponderous trilogy is decidedly sluggish (read dead) and in fact so serial, formulaic and long-winded, that one literally struggles to finish it. If at all, one attempts to connect with the ongoings and the weak characters, any such endeavour is obediently crushed by Tolkien?s tedious, almost comatose style of expression. There are some flashes apparent here and there, but the generous trepanning of the grey cells done by the gawdawful geograph y and blanched and pale characters is never really compensated for. There?s this complete indulgence into external detail, which might sum up to make a fantastic screenplay but for any book to be intriguing, the characters need to be drawn with honesty, with care so that they connect with the reader atleast somewhere. The moment an author accomplishes this task of reader-character adjunction, however real or surreal the tale?s background be, the reader travels then with the character, in the character?s world... the book! Sadly, Tolkien misses the point here and its the inclusion of excessive static detail (all those Elvish speeches and writings and dialogues in different languages) that kills the first part of the trilogy, atleast for me. Gasping to be edited, Fellowship of the Ring, as a book is simply not recommended. ~~JUST BEFORE I END~~ I must remind you that there?s always the cinematic interpretation to feast your senses upon. And you don?t lose any of the story as well! So catch up with the DVD and if you would love to cuddle up with some fantasy, you'll be better off starting with the second and the third LOTR books which excite you, scare you, and transport you! For those who can't be bothered anyways, get out those Pratchetts and Harry Potters and re-read them!

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                    19.05.2003 04:51
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                    I like many people read this for the first time after seeing the first part of the LOTR film trilogy. In fact, I saw the film on New Years Eve, spent New Years being stupidly merry with friends, at one point drooling over the Elf-playing actor Orlando Bloom in the internet, squealing with delight that he took his top off in an episode of Midsumer Murders, then recovered from the hangover and insisted on trailing round town trying to find a shop that was a)open and b)had the book, that day. But enough of my insane personal life. Anyway, before the first LOTR film was released, a critic said something along the lines of "the human race can be split into two grousp; those who have read Lord of the Rings and those who are going to". That could be a pretty vast overstatement. However, I gleefully clutched my copy of Part 1 of the trilogy and started reading it, and was immediately accosted with many different things. One is Tolkein's incredibly sound and creative fictional world - amazing to read, and it just gets better the more you read. Another thing I noticed straight away is Tolkein's love of the English language - now and then you'll stop yourself, realise you've read half a page and are none the wiser for what happened, and that applies also to the Silmarillion. This is not because he waffles, but because he delighted in the use of words, and did it well, and after "normal" books it can seem overwhelming at times. However, it is well worth persvering with through this sensory overload. Many people I know started reading this timeless story but got confused/bored/frustrated/overloaded with information (delete as appropriate). I'm not the type to quite a book until the end though, and I'm glad of that. All in, Tolkein's talent provides an incredibly effective descriptive tool combined with a inate gift for storytelling, and a fanatical attention to detail that is a massive c redit to his writing and imaginative ability. The fact that the characters are so strong, and stay so true to what they believe over such a long story, is a credit, and the portrayal of their personal quests alongside the main objective is flawless; from this, the first installment, their mindsets are all well defined and clear. It is easy to sympathise with all of the "good guys", even if you don't agree with them. With regards to the trilogy of books this is very much the one that gets you started, meet and greet the characters style. The action kicks off in the next book, which was my favourite of the books and transpired to surpass the first episode on film as well. There is one more thing that jumps out at you in the first few chapters - if you've decided to read this after watching the film, then beware. Most of the characters have an urge to burst into song at any notable event in their lives, and they generally bow to it and duly start tunefully belting out some verses. If I was one of the Fellowship, it would probably be a mediocre series of limericks, but thankfully Tolkein's characters seem to know their way around a rhyming couplet, so I'll let them get away with it.

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