Manny’s review of The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 01, 2009 06:15PM) (new)

It's just unbearable that you gave this five stars but gave Catcher in the Rye two, Manny. Unbearable. As in: "I refuse to bear it." I'm going elsewhere until this review fades away.

I want to agree with you about stuff, Manny, but you just make it so goshdarn difficult...



message 2: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W Great review, Manny. Read this in college when I should have been studying.


message 3: by Manny (new)

Manny David wrote: "It's just unbearable that you gave this five stars but gave Catcher in the Rye two, Manny. Unbearable. As in: "I refuse to bear it." I'm going elsewhere until this review fades away.

I want to ..."


Oh, I just read Catcher in the Rye when I was too young to appreciate it, and somehow never got back to it... need to do that sometime.


message 4: by Manny (new)

Manny Eric_W wrote: "Great review, Manny. Read this in college when I should have been studying."

Thank you!



message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Manny, I think the reason that there are so few reviews is that most members have rated/reviewed the 3 books separately. Just fyi.


message 6: by Lori (Hellian) (new)

Lori (Hellian) Or it could be that they (I) read it far enough in our pasts and it's all we can do to keep up with our newer reviews. All the posting at the various forums on GR gets in the way, ha!



message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Lori, That too. Many of the books I read (even reread such as LOTR) I read so long ago that I remember enough to rate them but not review them. Some, I've not added here because I don't remember them well enough to even rate.


message 8: by Alan (new)

Alan There is a lot to admire as you say, but my problem with LOTR is the fact that people get obsessed with it, and don't move on. It's like adults who read & rave about Harry Potter (OK I've had to read it for my daughters too). You can say it's wonderful because it gets people reading. True, but really let's get on with something else now.
It's also (I think) a bit boring. Sorry. I'm just not into epic fantasy any more.


message 9: by Manny (new)

Manny I was kind of obsessed with LOTR as a pre-teen. Then I didn't look at it for decades, until I read it again when I was about 40. That was when I was finally able to formulate explicitly for myself what I'd always intuitively thought was so great about the way the myths, languages and names came together.

As Abigail says, it also helps to know a Scandinavian language - Old Norse would be ideal, but Swedish is close enough. And I grew up in Wales, so Sindarin feels very natural.



message 10: by Alan (new)

Alan ah but you've moved on in the sense that you look at other books of different genres and types. I suppose I'm complaining about the fans rather than the book.
Yes I'm no linguist so don't appreciate much of it. It's like a blind spot, me and fantasy (now - although when I was a would-be hippy in the early 70s it was different).


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen I like Tolkien but there is a lot of travelogue.


message 12: by Manny (new)

Manny Jen wrote: " I like Tolkien but there is a lot of travelogue. "

I think he does that mostly as an excuse to introduce new place-names :)



message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen Likely you are right. And you should know, you've gone through this LOTR "phase" eight times?:) Impressive!




message 14: by Manny (new)

Manny Jen wrote: "Likely you are right. And you should know, you've gone through this LOTR "phase" eight times?:) Impressive!

"


Well, I think I read it six or seven times as an impressionable pre-teen, then once as an adult :)


message 15: by oriana (new)

oriana Manny, I think you'll like this, which serves as a corollary to your great observations here: One of my very favorite college courses was called something like 'Tolkein as Epic Fantasy.' We did a close linguistic reading of how the very language changes from the beginning of the trilogy to the end, how the first book starts out as a nice, pleasant fantasy tale, but by the end of the final volume, Tolkein has borrowed, in the very basics of his sentence structure and descriptive methods, from old Greek and Norse epics, mimicking their style in ways that most readers only pick up on subconsciously. Fascinating class! As if I needed help to love Tolkein more...


message 16: by Manny (last edited Apr 04, 2009 09:21AM) (new)

Manny Thank you Oriana, I do indeed like that observation! I hadn't quite managed to clarify it for myself... I had been vaguely thinking that it was a kind of linguistic journey, and that there were elements taken from the Norse sagas in The Return of the King, but you really bring it into focus.

I agree, I think you get a lot of this subconsciously if you are a fan of LOTR, but it's funny how few people take the trouble to analyze it seriously. Who gave the course? They haven't written a book based on it, by any chance?




message 17: by oriana (new)

oriana Thanks Manny! I wish I could take that class again, as all of the specifics have left me, and I'm only left with the general ideas advanced in it. The class was taught actually by my most favorite professor of all time ever, W.C. Dowling. As far as I know he has not published a book about any of his seminars, though he did put out A Reader's Companion to Infinite Jest.


message 18: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Hey
I forgot I told you I was going to comment. Like LOTR I had to read your review a second time to see everything going on in there. I have to admit, it was quite a lovely review : ) Even though I love LOTR I have to say I have not reviewed it yet, because it feels like such a large undertaking, and am I not sure I could do it justice.
I also enjoyed that you pointed about the slight obsession that Tolkien has when the Christian magical number 3, I found that intriguing when I was reading LOTR
I loved LOTR when I was a teenager, I really need to revisit them again not that I am older.
I think we need to create a option on GR that has books to reread! : )


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Jordan, On the create a review page for each book, we can show number of times we've read and in that book (or separate editions!) you can review more than once. If in the same edition, just put the (approximate) dates and write more than one review. Or you can review different editions, which will show up as duplicates in your records, but who would care if they know they've read each/them all.


message 20: by Bonnie (last edited Jun 19, 2009 02:47PM) (new)

Bonnie Even though I love LOTR I have to say I have not reviewed it yet, because it feels like such a large undertaking, and am I not sure I could do it justice.

I agree with Jordan. I read Brad's review before I read yours, Manny, and I commend you both for taking on the challenge. Both different takes, but both of you wrote excellent reviews.

And to add to Lisa's comment, I have added a shelf called "to reread" - books go there for a number of reasons.


message 21: by Alex (new)

Alex Thanks, I enjoyed your review.
I totally agree with you that no other fantasy novels come close to rivaling it.


message 22: by Abdullah (last edited Aug 12, 2009 05:45PM) (new)

Abdullah Alaukili I really liked your review (although i haven't finished the book yet I have some "ideas" I would like to share)

I believe that not so many people wrote reviews about LOTR is because they think that it wouldn't be fair to the book itself. I don't believe that I could give the book its RIGHT by writing a review because its such a long story and its very hard to cover in a single review.

I noticed the authors love for names in the story same way you did, almost every single character/object has its own unique name.

We can say that this book has influenced life in many ways; such as the books that came after it, the concepts and ideas in the story and it had some influence to music (referring to some Led Zeppelin songs)



message 23: by Pavel (new)

Pavel When I was about 12 I've read Fellowship of the Ring for the first time and as far as I remember I couldn't even finish it.
Second time I came across whole trilogy at about 16-17 and actually finished it because my gf was a tolkien role-player and basicaly I wanted to fit in. Finally when i was 23 or 24 I 've bought the trilogy in a very good edition and liked it so much, that after last page I just turn whole book back and started to read it again.
After a little research I learned that ONLY that third edition was translated FULLY according with Tolkien's "Guide to the names". Only that translation had all those invented names and words as he intended.
So my point is I'm a practical evidence that your review is great.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Although I have since broadened my spectrum and now am an omnivorous reader and critic, this novel (epic, really) remains my favourite of all time. Melville, Tolstoy, and Shakespeare may have been better artists, but no work of literature is dearer to my heart. I read LOTR more-than-annually, and last year completed it my fortieth time. But it is my ambition to liberate Tolkien from the bin of popular, non-literary trash that the scholarly community sits so proudly above and scoffs at. Tolkien inspired me to take up philology, linguistics, the study of literature, criticism, and historical studies of all kinds. I also owe all of the seven languages I can read or speak (aside from English), even Finnish, which is the language of my grandfathers.


message 25: by Allan (new)

Allan Fisher Watched the films again today and wanted to check out a review or two. Well as for yours, that's one of the best reviews I have ever read. Kudos...


message 26: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you Allan. I have really liked this book ever since I was a kid.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

You know, as much as I love these books, I have never really even tried to view them critically. Maybe I am afraid my education and cynicism will make these books less enjoyable to me now. But you do bring up some very interesting points that make me feel I shouldn't fear a re-read.


message 28: by Manny (new)

Manny It's tacitly agreed that any book which manages to sell fifty million copies can't possibly be any good. But I think there may be a few exceptions to this rule.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Manny wrote: "It's tacitly agreed that any book which manages to sell fifty million copies can't possibly be any good. But I think there may be a few exceptions to this rule."

Well, I don't really agree with the idea that popularity equals bad. I read and watch a lot of stuff for the sake of enjoyment. My thoughts were really more along the lines that I thought it was really cool because because I was young.


message 30: by Manny (new)

Manny Yes, maybe it's more that it's been labelled a teen book or something like that. But in a couple of hundred years time, academics will notice that it's still pretty popular, and then they'll invent a theory to explain it. Or, more likely, they'll wait until it finally stops being popular, and then they'll make their move.


message 31: by Allan (new)

Allan Fisher Interesting review by Keely on The Fellowship of the Rings edition. Don't wholly agree, but highly detailed and well presented.


message 32: by Rlotz (last edited Oct 14, 2014 11:34AM) (new)

Rlotz Great review, Manny. I just started the books today, and like what I've read so far. (Though it helps that much of my free time in college was spent drinking beer and watching the movies. By the by, what do you think of the movies?)


message 33: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you Rlotz! I started off kind of liking Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies, but my opinion has steadily gone downhill. My thoughts on the latest installment are posted here.


message 34: by Rlotz (last edited Oct 14, 2014 02:27PM) (new)

Rlotz Manny wrote: "Thank you Rlotz! I started off kind of liking Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies, but my opinion has steadily gone downhill. My thoughts on the latest installment are posted here."

Haha, very nice. I couldn't even sit through the two recent Hobbit movies, but the original trilogy has a certain adolescent charm that hasn't worn off. (It probably helps that I first watched them in high school. And, my word! isn't New Zealand lovely?)


message 35: by Manny (new)

Manny If you enjoy watching New Zealand scenery, you may want to check out Top of the Lake... saw it recently on DVD and thought it was quite interesting...


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