Do you enjoy The Lord of the Rings? - Page 4

Poll: Do you like The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien?

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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    Well, here's something that might help consideration.

    I like the series. My wife tried to read them, but found they were just too slow for her...

    ...until we tried the trick of having me read them aloud to her, while she was crafting or the like. The effect is completely different, and she went from finding them too slow to be palatable to finding them fairly enjoyable.

    There is a cadence to the writing that lends itself to the oral storytelling tradition, it would seem.

  2. #32
    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.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    Well, here's something that might help consideration.

    I like the series. My wife tried to read them, but found they were just too slow for her...

    ...until we tried the trick of having me read them aloud to her, while she was crafting or the like. The effect is completely different, and she went from finding them too slow to be palatable to finding them fairly enjoyable.
    Huh... that's interesting.

    I wonder if it would work reading it aloud to oneself?

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    I wonder if we an get Samuel L. Jackson to make an audiobook of it.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cor Azer View Post
    Huh... that's interesting.

    I wonder if it would work reading it aloud to oneself?

    One of the voices in my head is my own.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    I wonder if we an get Samuel L. Jackson (. . .)

    And that's another one.

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    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.

  7. #37
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    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.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo View Post
    Tolkien does all kinds of clever things with the writing that many of his critics are simply completely unaware of.
    example?

  9. #39
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    My understanding is more that our thoughts and preferences on pacing have changed since Tolkien's day.
    It's been awhile since I've last checked the books out, but I think you're wrong. For example, The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan is very fast paced. It was published in the UK in 1915, several decades before LotR.

    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

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanboy2000 View Post
    It's been awhile since I've last checked the books out, but I think you're wrong. For example, The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan is very fast paced. It was published in the UK in 1915, several decades before LotR.

    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
    Look to the literature of the time that gets taught today as "good" literature. Writers like Faulkner, Joyce, and Wolfe. The pacing of those "literary" novels is more in line with Tolkien than the pulps were, for sure. Consider the narrative structure of the novels written before and in the early Modernist period and compare them to the works during middle Modernism and post-modernism. Look at Dickens and Tolstoy and then contrast them with Nabokov and William Burroughs.

    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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