View Poll Results: Do you like The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien?
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Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 10:50 PM #31
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
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Thursday, 8th March, 2012, 11:53 PM #32
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
I like LotR, though I always skip the Tom Bombadil chapter, and I don't think I've ever completely read any of the poems or songs.
I love The Hobbit, though.
"The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 01:20 AM #33
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 01:41 AM #34
Ogremoch, Elemental Prince of Evil (Lvl 23)
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 04:28 AM #35
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 01:45 PM #36
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
I definitely enjoy LotR. I find them a good read and re-read them every so often. I do admit to skipping over most of the songs, but I do that with nearly any book that includes songs. A quick skim to get the general idea, but that's it.
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 07:23 PM #37
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Love it. Great writing. In fact, Tolkien does all kinds of clever things with the writing that many of his critics are simply completely unaware of. I'm constantly astonished by how nuanced his writing is.
I've read it over a dozen times, and whenever anyone asks me what my favorite book is, I always say Lord of the Rings (and after the blockbuster movies, everybody now knows what I'm talking about.)
I certainly don't think you'll find that love of Tolkien is universal in gamer-dom. I hear complaints about Tolkien frequently in gaming discussions. And apparently Gary Gygax himself wasn't all that big a fan. And even I don't really care for all the poetry.
"I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 07:31 PM #38
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
I'm a lawful neutral human monk/druid level 2/1, strength 15, dexterity 13, constitution 14, intelligence 12, wisdom 13, charisma 11. Awesome.
I'm a Power Gamer (Power Gamer 100%, Tactician 92%, Storyteller 83%, Butt-Kicker 83%, Method Actor 50%, Specialist 42%, Casual Gamer 0%). And proud of it.
I'm a (bad) dm.
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 10:39 PM #39
Guide (Lvl 11)
My own experience with LotR is more complex. I got into D&D in the mid-90s when I was in the Navy and wanted to read LotR because I was given to believe that it's contents reflected the background info in AD&D books. I started with The Hobbit, and I enjoyed it. When I got to Fellowship, however, I found that I didn't like it. I stopped a little more than half way through Fellowship. Mostly, I didn't like the pacing. But I also felt like I was reading a scholarly work where I didn't know all the terms of art and was missing half the information I needed to enjoy it.
My experience with LotR kept me from reading more fantasy. I figured that since most fantasy was inspired by LotR, then I probably wouldn't like it. (I did read Liber's stories though) Recently, I started reading Howard's Conan stories (which, I recently learned, pre-date the Hobbit) and really enjoyed them. I remember working at a game store and a customer saying that Tolkin was the greatest fantasy writer ever I said I didn't think so. He asked me to name someone better. Since I didn't read a lot of fantasy though, I said I didn't have a better one in mind. But that's been pretty much my attitude, I can't really criticize someone's writing if I don't enjoy the genere they're writing in. Now that I've read more, I feel like I can revisit the books.
I actually haven't encountered a lot of strong criticism of LotR. I've seen gamers who acknowledge there are aspects of it they don't like, but few people actively dislike it. Mind you, I've seen non-gamers who don't like Tolkin at all.
Of course, The Thirty-Nine Steps isn't fantasy, but there's a difference between LotR and other fantasy stories is that a lot fantasy was published in pulp magazines first. This means that the dominate form was short stories or serialized novels or novellas. A novel meant to be serialized in a magazine is going to have different pacing than a novel meant to be published at once, but spread out in three novel-sized books. So, while I can claim out that Howard's Conan stories are better paced than LotR, we run into the problem that Howard was writing for a different outlet.
Certainly, most of the stuff I've read that was published before LotR or around the same time is paced, IMO, better. Certainly pulp novels like A Princess of Mars are paced very differently from LotR
"This must be some new use of the word 'safe' I was previously unaware of."
Friday, 9th March, 2012, 10:55 PM #40
Defender (Lvl 8)
On another note, since LotR is "epic" in the literary sense, look back to other epics like Beowulf and The Odyssey and more modern works like Les Miserables and War and Peace. LotR definitely falls in with them in length, pacing, scope of story, and even, to some extent, style of composition. Beowulf, in particular, is hardly the quickly-paced romp of a pulp novel, and I find that even many English professors have skipped through the "boring" bits.
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