Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - The Fellowship Ends

Lord of the Rings
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 978-0618574995

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They told me that if I liked Harry Potter, I would also like Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I thought they were mad... nothing could compare with Harry Potter. Yet, I bought the Lord of the Rings series box-set, only because it was available at less than 40% of its price (in some clearance sale perhaps, for it definitely didn't look pirated) in one of the big book shops in Delhi.

And so it sat in my almirah since the end of July 2009, for I was in no mood to read anything... ANYTHING... and definitely not something they claimed was in the same league as Harry Potter!

Ahh! But suddenly last weekend I was overcome with this strong urge to read again! And the Lord of The Rings novels were sitting right in the front of the shelf. So I pulled them out.

To be very honest, I found the story really boring initially. Couldn't relate with hobbits. All the names sounded so funny. Nothing seemed to be happening at all in the story. Laid back place, Shire. Laid back people, the Hobbits. And a laid back story, Lord of The Rings. I dragged through... 'coz I was in a fit of reading. I just had to read.

And I'm so glad I did. The plot becomes so engrossing even before the end of the first book (that is the first part of the first volume) that you find it hard to put it down. It's almost as if you become a member of their Fellowship -- an invisible member. And you journey with them through all their perils and adventures. You feel their fear, their moments of despair, the hanging gloom... and you cannot help but chuckle at the cheekiness of Merry and Pippin even amidst all this!

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Everything comes to life around you, so that when it's finally time for The Fellowship to end, it feels like you are parting from some very close friends... and you know you're probably never going to meet them again. That's how I've been feeling since yesterday evening. :(

My rating: 5 out of 5: Adiós... my friends from The Fellowship of the Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien! Will miss you for a long long time... (or at least until I find some other equally engrossing book! He he!) Next in my list is Gone With The Wind.

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32 comments:

pawan said...

Well,
I haven't dared to read those massive scriptures by JRR Tolkien, but I have in fact tried to sit through the movie series, which I feel is quite boring.

But anyways, check this video out, LOTR explained in three simple steps, one of my all time favourites!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0sc-gS9AqM

Roshmi Sinha said...

Well, I haven't read either HP or LOTR. I am happy with 'Thakumar Jhuli' and Sukumar Ray's 'Abol Tabol'. Infact, there are some parallels between these stories.

But then, hasn't Steven Spielburg 'lifted' Satyajit Ray's (Sukumar Ray's illustrous grandson) original script, tweaked it a bit and made: "ET"... which was a blockbuster... ???

Ray was supposed to direct that movie... but he was unaware of the way Hollywood functioned. Another American was paid all the money and given all the credit for the story while one of the production giants copyrighted it in their name.

And today they have the gall of pointing an accusing finger at Bollywood... and threatening to sue the latter, for copyright violation and over royalties... ?!!

soin said...

what????u thought hp can be even near lotr??if i knew in reality i would have stabbed you and vomited on ur shoes..i have read lotr for..lost count..anyways sort of mugged it...theres no better work..ever..the bard can suck it...and rowling just plagiarized.. only kids who started reading hp and related to kid stuff like it..the best part of lotr is the extended movie thats like 4.8 hours is as brilliant as a book adaptation can get.dont mind the length.free

tangerine said...

I have been thinking of reading 'LOTR' ever since I have seen the movies... guess I should give it a try too!!

Neha said...

you know na my love for Harry Potter...should i once again try this one? I read a few pages, then kept it aside...

Kaddu said...

Pawan:
I didn't like what they did to "Harry Potter" either in the movies. Especially the 5th part. I guess converting such huge masterpieces of creativity into a limited-duration movie is just not possible!

Kaddu said...

Roshmi:
LOL! Indians always keep coming crying after their work is stolen! Guess we need to have more foresight... or else stop cribbing.

Kaddu said...

soin:
Hellooooooooooooo! There is no plagiarism in HP! And if u say one word against HP, I will stab you and vomit over your feet!

The 2 are poles apart! In fact, I can't believe people actually have the galls to make any comparison between the two! Both are masterpieces in their own genre! And there's more to both than what is visible to the eyes! Lots of "in-between-the lines" in both. It would be really foolish to say one is better than the other... for they just can't be compared!

Kaddu said...

tang:
You should... though I don't have too much respect for movie adaptations of novels.

Kaddu said...

Neha:
Go on and read it... although don't even think of comparing it with HP. There's no similarity between the two! And if you start with the thought that it is like HP, you'll be disappointed and might not be able to complete it. Read it for itself... it's a masterpiece. I've just finished it and I already want to read it again!

amrit said...

You can also try Eragon.

Kaddu said...

amrit:
Ahhh! You tempt me! Now I'll have to go looking for this one! Just read the synopsis... sounds like just the kinda stuff I could lose myself again in! My Dad will probably kill you for this recommendation if he ever finds out about it! He he he! :D

pawan said...

True,
But in general the essence of the books can be gotten from the movies, and in case of the LOTR, I felt the hobbit and rabbit thingy is too tough for me to digest!

Kaddu said...

pawan:
I don't know abt that yaar! If I'd seen HP5 before I read the novel, I wud hv hated it! As for "the hobbit and rabbit thingy"... yeah even I was finding very difficult to relate to it initially... but eventually I found out they are just some names given to the species inhabiting the world at the time the story takes place... whether fictitious or real, I don't know. The story, however, holds true in all eras of time... just like our own great epic Mahabharat! There is a Sauron creating havoc in the minds of each one of us! Showing us a future full of doom and despair that hasn't yet happened! The news people, doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, politicians and miserable soap-opera makers constitute his army I guess. There is also a Gandalf amongst us at all times... in whatever shape or guise he may choose to come. And we are the Frodo, the Sam, the Merry and the Pippin... ordinary people... who get chances to do extraordinary things... but the choice remains ours... whether we want to take the chance or not.

It may be a fantasy world that seems to have been created for kids... but the lessons contained in it are those that even grown ups can do well revising! Of course, we'll need to look beyond senseless sounding names like hobbits! At least, that's what I figured! :D

ZB said...

i have tried reading Harry potter several times...but couldnt sit through more than 50 pages......i know i would be the rarest species, but i didnt find it interesting and still wonder why people find it so, and not me.Is it really so interesting as people make it out? I dont know, but i think i should give it a try. Reading some hard literature has made me stupid. :D

Kaddu said...

ZB:
LOL! Even my Dad refuses to hv anything to do with it... books or movie! In fact, he refuses to have anything to do with fantasy! :D

All I can say is... u'll never know whether to make a big deal out of it or not unless you read it urself! :D

ME ??? said...

Good writings... nice to read it... thanks for reading my blog.. www.mydiary555@blogspot.com .. appreciate ur comments...

evanescentthoughts said...

Welcome to the club..I have byhearted all the LOTR movies too :) the movies are also awesome (unlike Happy Potter movies which have been brutally murdered). LOTR will appeal to people of all ages (SIMPLY AWESOME!)

The Survivor said...

You should have seen the movie instead of reading the book

Kaddu said...

Me ???:
Thanks for visiting my blog. :) Hope to c u around again!

Kaddu said...

evan:
Yupp... have to download the movies now... making space in my HDD... it is full!

Kaddu said...

TS:
Well, after what they did to HP, I'm a little skeptical abt movie adaptations of massive books! That's why I decided to read first. Now I'll watch the movie. :)

♥ÐÅyÐяєÅмє®♥ said...

I didn't read the novel... but I watched the extended edition of the LOTR series.... and damn I agree theya re addcitive ..each is 3 and half hours and i watched from evening 5 to morning 6 with occassional breaks ...

and I never found harry potter interesting though I like the character of Hermoine more :D

Shilpa Garg said...

Cool! Good to see that you have entered the reading club again! As for me, I am just not able to get out of that farming business!! :O

Kaddu said...

DayDreamer:
Cool! That's what I would like to download and watch! Do u have a link for a torrent... for the extended edition of the movie?

Kaddu said...

Shilpa:
I finally managed to take a break... did u see my Farm today?

Motormouth. said...

LOTR is so hyped! I've tried reading it, and it makes absolutely no sense.. Maybe I'm too chicken brained for the Hobbits and the Elves :P

Kaddu said...

Sandhya:
Ha ha ha! Yupp... I know... that's exactly how I felt initially! Try and make it past the first book (ie the first part of the first volume) and you wouldn't be able to put it down! At least I wasn't! :p

soin said...

finish the whole thing.i meant all the books.most people agree hp is technically copied from lotr..most of the basics of the dark lord ,the ring,the will.. loads are figuratively copied..i accpet jrr characters are more relatable..and as much i know both come under magical fiction only..free

Kaddu said...

soin:
Dude! I can't believe u hv read all the 7 books of HP... completely! Because, except for occasional references to the term "Dark Lord", the 2 series are as different as the Sun & the Moon! And the Ring, well, LOTR is only about Rings... that's it's basic plot! Whereas in HP, there is only 1 mention of any ring, a family heirloom of Voldemort which he uses to make one of his horcruxes. It's just such a small part of the entire series! How can u even compare the 2 of them!

soin said...

as i said its not a word copy.. rather technical plagiarism..did u finish all the four lotr books or not..??then you might get what a talking of..free

Kaddu said...

Soin:
4 ??? As far as I know there are 3 volumes of LOTR... the first 2 volumes with 2 "books" each and the last one with the 5th book and some background material on the characters and stuff. I have only skipped that last Appendix.

And technical or non-technical... I don't see any plagiarism! They are 2 completely different series in the fantasy genre, I'd say... but so is Enid Blyton's "Enchanted Woods" series!

HP is totally abt Wizards, but LOTR has only 2 Wizards in the entire plot - Gandalf & Saruman! Folks in LOTR don't need wands or magical incantations or spells to do magic! Neither do they fly over brooms!

As for the theme... that there is a bad guy with his army of evil things... and there is a good guy, with his team... and their fight for power... well that happens in all such stories, doesn't it? Look at Ramayan for example - Raavan & Ram. And Mahabharat - isn't Krishna so very similar to Dumbledore and Gandalf... guiding the "good" team to emerge victorious over the "bad guys"! And our Bollywood movie Mr. India... isn't Mogambo looking for something too to make him invincible!

How can this be termed as plagiarism yaar?

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