View Poll Results: Do you like The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien?
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Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 02:14 AM #1
Guide (Lvl 11)
Do you enjoy The Lord of the Rings?
I came across this review of LotR from back when it was first published and it made me wonder if LotR love was universal in the RPG community. Since I don't have the money, time, or resources to do a scientific study, I'm posting a poll here.
As always, the answer choices mean whatever makes the most sense to you."This must be some new use of the word 'safe' I was previously unaware of."
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Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 02:17 AM #2
Ogremoch, Elemental Prince of Evil (Lvl 23)
I like it a lot overall, but I also recognize that there are things I did not like at all. I think it drags at times- and I understand why I react this way, why he wrote what he did the way he did- but still think it it could be tighter.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 02:37 AM #3
Lama (Lvl 13)
However, while I think his writing is often very descriptive, it's also pretty dry in places. With a few exceptions (Boromir, Gollum), the characters are generally almost 100% good or 100% evil (Sauron, Sarumon, orcs, goblins, Wormtongue, the Nazgul...) And, when I recently went through the books for the first time since the 80s, I noticed a lot of things that were really kind of superfluous - and I don't mean Tom Bombadil.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 03:36 AM #4
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
I put both, which is always hard for me to admit. The scope of the book, the pure fantasy, the greatness of what it is and what it means to literature, as well as the fantasy/sci-fi genre is akin to the Declaration of Independence to the whole of American History.
If it's taken at face value both LotR and TDoI are merely written documents. The LotR are simply an ego stroke for Dr Tolkien if looked at objectively and TDoI is simply a nasty-gram to the government (something that is done daily via the interwebs.) But at the same time, they are pivotal in what comes after. Without LotR it is likely that what we know as Fantasy literature would be much different and without TDoI the scope of American government would also be different, not that they wouldn't exist, or that they may not even exist as we know the, but it is doubtful. (Enough about American History)
The style of writing Dr Tolkien used in LotR sometimes makes my head hurt. The story is great, but often times I wonder, why it was written the way it was written, and if submitted to a modern editor what the large volume of red marks might look like. (especially concerning timeline and pacing.) And honestly, if they could ride giant eagles out of Mordor, couldn't they have just ridden them in and dropped it down the volcano? (Medieval bombing run?)
But the story that transcends time, at least for me, is the characterization. The little lessons that were drawn from his experience in WWI: The horrors of trench warfare (the depiction of battle as grim and gruesome versus glorified); The dangers of industrialization without forethought (the trees of Isengard); The contributions that one small individual can make to the greater whole (all over the books); and that special relationship versus and unit officer and his top enlisted (Frodo and Sam (and no it isn't a metaphor for homosexuality as some have tried to state)). He literally took the horrors of his combat experience and turned them in a positive light, something modern mental health personnel are trying to get PTSD sufferers to do.
So for all it isn't, it is still a great piece of literature. So yeah, there are parts that just plain suck eggs, but it doesn't kill the overall effect of a(the) great book(s). But that's just my opinion.
Headmaster of Metal School
"I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)
On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 03:41 AM #5
Defender (Lvl 8)
I like it. Every word, every page. I honestly wouldn't change a thing about it.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 04:40 AM #6
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
So. Much. Singing.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 07:50 AM #7
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I admire it on my levels - the world building, the story, the characters, the songs. I don't think many authors could create an in-depth world like that
But do I enjoy reading the books? No.
The first time I read it, which I guess was when I was 8 or so, I fell asleep during The Fellowship of the Ring.
I slogged my way through it, but clearly I missed a lot of stuff and didn't really enjoy it.
Not until I guess almost 30 years later, when I started playing LOTRO, did I re-read the novels again. Were they better this time around? Yes, much but I haven't had an urge to re-read them.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 08:45 AM #8
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Both. I really liked it when I knew no english and it was like only translated book of fantasy. Really, only one. There was scifi mostly Asinov's books but also some others, but fantasy was rare.
When I got older and started to understand and read in english I found other books. Which, though lacking I liked better. Writing style was not so good usually, but story wasn't so damn slow. Beginning of "first" book and half of second and 3/4 of third were painfully slow. I read it many times though. My brother, who was slow reader took it like 8 years to finnish, mainly because he didn't get out of hobbit village, it was so boring.
Tolkien puts up way too much background, but some of it is boring background, not something I want to read to slag down the story.
As to characters, I never was found of hobbits.
Also, since I've read some historical mythology before those books, I didn't felt story so special at all. Some songs were neat. Almost everything (thankfully mostly contained in Silmarillion) was horrible. I also started to hate elves that time. Not the fairy tale elves you leave soup outside, but these "shining proud elves". D&D made them storter but same story, terrible annoying.
Tolkien however wrote rather well. Even boring parts were sort of entertaining to read. Most people who nowdays write fantasy are second-rate. There are only few fantasy writers who can write so well I have trouble putting book down. Most of them make me yawn even middle of plot/action scene. Tolkiens style was very "flowery" compared to modern writing. That's not "the good part" imo, that is just style of period.
Tolkien's world is rather boring. This is mistake many (though not all) fantasy writers make. Too much realism is poison to fantasy. Unless you call it historical fantasy.
Nowdays if I try to read it even if I skip the beginning, I find story rather annoying. Characters are most of time boring. There are some parts I really like in story though. Most of them in second book.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 09:20 AM #9
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
World: Awesome. Story: Epic. Prose: Eeeeh.
I've read it in both Icelandic and English. It's actually better in Icelandic and I think it's because the translator is a better prose writer than Tolkien.
Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 09:37 AM #10
Ogremoch, Elemental Prince of Evil (Lvl 23)
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