Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
4 / 5
An excellent piece of literature that is must on anyone’s bucket list.
One of my resolutions for 2014, was to read more books that are deemed literary classics or books that are famous and are on everyone’s bucket list. Lord of the Rings is one of them. Having seen the films and have read The Hobbit quite a while ago, I have always wanted to pick up this book and bask in Tolkien’s awesome Middle-Earth.
As many of you may know, the story is an epic journey spanning three books, this is the opening of the journey and though it may not have the fast electric pace of a Dan Brown novel. It is the creation of something that can’t be told in 24 hours, this book spans many years and each of them told intricately. Whenever I read a book written by a person considered a literary great such as Tolkien, I sometimes feel that by writing a review of the book such as this, any remark I make against the author, it is as if I am criticising someone I am not allowed to. Despite that pressure, I do honestly feel that he does tend to go over board with the travelling and long descriptions of Middle-Earth history with names I have forgotten. Granted, I appreciate the meticulous detail he shows when he tries to create the scene and give the reader the best possible view of what is happening. But I felt that rather than reading hundreds of pages at a time and finishing the book in a few days, I was reading to the end of the chapter, putting it down and coming back to it later. The Fellowship of the Ring was not set out to be a gripping page turner, rather it was the introduction and mood setter for a colossal story which I know from the films becomes more exciting and enthralling as The Company gets nearer to its goal, but I still felt a little underwhelmed.
However, I did thoroughly enjoy reading it and I will continue on to read the next two instalments of this famous adventure that was to become one of the most successful film franchises ever. Though I may sound a little hypocritical here, I did find the attention to detail concerning Rivendell and Moria to be excellent, and while The Company were in Moria, I did not put the book down for anything. I think Gandalf could have walked through my door and shouted “Fly, you fools!” to me and I still wouldn’t have loosened my grip on this brilliant book.
The story includes many important and exciting parts including; the passing of the ring to Frodo, the growing threat of Sauron, the hobbits’ journey to Rivendell with the terrifying Black Riders in pursuit, the forming of the fellowship and their struggles to help the Ring-bearer on his mission, and their many trials and adventures along the way. It is essentially a journey or quest story, in which each new location brings new dangers and wonders, much like the adventure tales of older mythology and folklore
I may have had my concerns earlier on but before I receive a backlash for pointing out something I did not particularly enjoy about this book, you may wish to know that Tolkien has been the inspiration for me to try my hand at writing a novel. The time and the creativity he showed to create such a magnificently crafted world is incomprehensible and he has probably created the best fictitious world there has ever been. He has created a history, a culture, mythology and a language, added to this is a journey among friends as they pit themselves against evil, which is what most books are mostly about. With my particular edition, there were many various maps portraying Middle-Earth and for one person to create such a place is phenomenal and the idea of creating such a place was part of the reason I want to write a book. So like Tolkien, I hope I can create a magical world with a tale which can last for generations to come, because that is what he has achieved and not many authors can have a claim such as that.
I can’t wait to get stuck into the next book as the epic journey continues; it was an excellently crafted piece of literature and has turned out to be a cultural phenomenon with a fanbase spanning millions of people. I for one am much a part of said fanbase. I hope you have found this review informative and do not take offence to a personal preference that I had with this book, which when you take a step back, is a more sophisticated introduction of the epic tale rather than the thrilling and action packed tale itself.