Review by Alyssa
1999 by HarperCollins (org. 1954)
Amazon + Good Reads
"The first part of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS
In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil dominion.
Thus begins J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale, which continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King."
I have finally done it - I have started reading The Lord of the Rings. I recently saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and that movie revived my love for Middle Earth. Damn you, Peter Jackson, and damn your good movies. So, I did it. I mustered my courage and I girded my loins, and I read The Fellowship of the Ring. And I felt... completely underwhelmed by it.
But I won't cop out and say that my "meh" view of the story can be blamed on the movie because - okay, it can be. I think that Peter Jackson did a fantastic job with the story. He seemed to be completely respectful of Tolkien's work, and the cast were nothing short of fantastic. I also was totally okay with the cuts that he decided to make in adapting the book into film (cough, Tom Bombadill, cough).
Am I glad that I read The Fellowship of the Ring? Well, yeah. It wasn't the easiest read because Tolkien is the kind of author who demands that you take your time and pay attention to what he's telling you. I'm also able to cross off another classic title that I should have read years ago... but these are all very vain reasons for being glad that you read a book.
Truth be told, I was bored to tears up until the hobbits arrived in Rivendell. I am not at all interested in hobbit lore (I find dwarf lore much more interesting) and I just did not care to read pages upon pages about their race. I did not enjoy their adventures through the forest and just felt bored. I may or may not have squealed when I saw Strider's name pop up because I knew that finally their journey was getting underway.
But once they made it to the elves, everything changed for me. Tolkien seemed to pick up the pace by leaps and bounds, and I loved learning about the histories, stories, and lores outside of the hobbits (we get it - they don't like water)... and I'm pretty excited to see what The Two Towers has to offer.
Would I recommend The Fellowship of the Rings to other readers? Well, sure. But I don't think that everyone will necessarily love it. If you are not accustomed to "high" fantasy, I can't say for sure that this is an appropriate recommendation for you. But what the hell, give it a shot! The worst that can happen is that you put the book aside and pop in the movie instead.