N’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 Summer (new)

Summer Bingo on the female characters being flat. I first read LOTR when I was 12, and though I couldn't have told you at the time, I think that hit me really hard. I loved these books and as a girl, I had no place in them. It hurt!

I didn't have anyone that could point me to Marion Bradley or Ursula LeGuin. As far as I knew, this was it. That was about when I quit reading in such a big way, and started writing. I'm still discontent that we've never had a heroine-centered fantasy make it quite as big as LOTR.

message 2: by James (new)

James I totally agree. I remember them making me read this in school and it was tedious and mind numbing. Good movies though.

message 3: by Mina (last edited Feb 16, 2009 04:21PM) (new)

Mina Time Lord What about Aowin? She is totally kick-ass. I don't think you guys get Tolken.

message 4: by N (new)

N People have differences of opinion. Why don't you accept that you like some things others do not, and vice versa? Why do you feel the need to insult others' intelligence with things like "I don't think you guys get Tolken?"

message 5: by Mina (new)

Mina Time Lord I'm not saying your not entitled to your opinion, because you totally are. I just don't think you are appreciating the poetic part of it. I'm not saying that your stupid which I don't think you are. However if I did that would still be an opinion.

message 6: by N (new)

N I'm confused. What does poeticism have to do with the female characters, and Aowin in particular?

message 7: by Mina (new)

Mina Time Lord Hmm? No, the bit about Aowin was referring to Summer's quote about the girl characters. They were different thoughts, which I probably should have specified.

message 8: by N (new)

N Ah, gotcha.

That's interesting. Usually when people tell me why they like Tolkien, it's because they admire the creativity of it: all the different creatures, races, cultures, places. It's cool to hear a different reason. I can't say I liked the prose at all, but it's heartening to be reminded that tastes vary so widely; I think sometimes, when writing, it's easy to get caught up in "should do this" or "shouldn't do that," when really, what one person dislikes might be the same thing someone else likes more than anything.

message 9: by Mina (new)

Mina Time Lord Yeah, that is true. I wonder if there could be a book that everyone in the world would enjoy. If it could be possible as a theory, I mean. I find it highly unlikely that someone could write such a manuscript.

message 10: by Mina (last edited Feb 17, 2009 02:27PM) (new)

Mina Time Lord And I also sort of like it for it's classical feel, rather than individuality. It reminds me of Homer's poetry, like
The Odyssey, and while I respect the uniqueness, I feel like it's a modern take on something very, very old, though, quite frankly, I prefer The Hobbit. You might, too, it is much easier to get into, and while just as poetic, is less descriptive.

message 11: by Elaine (new)

Elaine I was going to write a review of Lord of the Ring, but this one says everything I was going to say. And as far as Eowyn goes, she falls under the "bad ass" heading that Natalie mentioned. She is by far the most interesting female character in the story and she does have some semblance of a personality, but she is still far less interesting as a person than the male characters. She is only there to serve a very specific purpose and once that is done she becomes the damsal again.

message 12: by Pepijn (new)

Pepijn You see the thing is, many people (like me) like the Lord of the Rings so much that it's hard not to take it like a personal attack when somebody dares not to like it... ;-)

Having said that, many people I know who said they didn't like it turned out to have never given it a proper chance. They were turned off by the (frankly tedious) prologue, or gave up after a mere couple hundreds of pages... ;-)

It would be very presumptuous for me to say that you are one of these people. I'm just saying there's a chance that you really might like it if you read it under different circumstances.

One good example is Debbie Ohi, who didn't like the books at all (for similar reasons as you cite), but decided to give them one last chance, and write about the experience online. I followed it, and it was a lot of fun to see her being slowly converted from skeptic to fan. :-) You can still read it via the wayback machine: http://web.archive.org/web/2008021200... She's actually here on goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...

message 13: by Mina (new)

Mina Time Lord Wow, you really got the point i TRIED (and failed) to make. Thanks Pepijn!

message 14: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin The difference between Tolkien's writing and newer fantasy is that so much thought went into the setting. As one other review said, Middle-earth lives. The story maybe doesn't have as much action since he wants you to feel like you're really there. Lots of dialogue isn't everything. If you take the time to read the descriptions of the scenery, you'll be glad you did, since you can actually get more into the story if you know where it takes place really well.

message 15: by Penny (new)

Penny I completely agree. This are the only books I have ever had the audacity to say that I like the movie more.

message 16: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa You fail to see that the movie twisted the books. If it had followed the storyline of Orcs are bad-People are good, instead of Orcs are bad-People are not so bad, I would have loved the movie. However, They immediately start arguing over the ring in the Fellowship, Farimir drags The hobbits to Gondor before realizing that the ring must be destroyed, and Sam is not comfortable with handing the ring to frodo in the return of the king. In the books, Farimir gives them food and aid and says that if he found the ring at the side of the road he would not pick it up, The fight at rivendell never happened, and to quote the book, Sam would jump into a dragons mouth to save frodo, if he didn't trip over his own feet.

message 17: by Ilsa (last edited Jun 28, 2011 03:42PM) (new)

Ilsa And it's spelt Eowyn (thanks)

message 18: by Jacob (new)

Jacob *it's

message 19: by Alyse (new)

Alyse You lack the quality needed to read LOTR ... That is being an intellectual

message 20: by Hi I'm Bob (new)

Hi I'm Bob I agree with a lot of what was said in this review. The long history lessons were one thing. My real gripe was the long, tedious descriptions of landscapes. They made much of Sam and Frodo's journey unbelievably bland, since there was little going on aside from the change of landscape most of the time. I was pretty conflicted about the first two books for this reason. I loved the good parts and hated the bad parts. The Return of the King was pretty much all good though, in my opinion.

message 21: by Samantha (new)

Samantha I was afraid I was the only one who felt this way. The first book was extremely tedious. I would lose focus and my attention would wander during the extensive descriptions of the trees. I went back and looked once and three full pages were devoted to trees. The second and third books improved a lot and I finished them in half the time. Also Alyse I can assure you I am quite intelligent, enough so that I am able to state my opinion on the books and not make some random insulting comment about people who feel differently than I do.

message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca OMG, I am not alone!

For me, the problem was that several friends heavily oversold the books to me, so I went in with a, "Yeah, we'll just see about that," attitude.

I admire the craftsmanship of what Tolkein wrought, but I just can't get into it. Sometimes I wish I had stumbled upon all by my lonesome, because the result might have been very different.

message 23: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca OMG, I am not alone!

For me, the problem was that several friends heavily oversold the books to me, so I went in with a, "Yeah, we'll just see about that," attitude.

I admire the craftsmanship of what Tolkein wrought, but I just can't get into it. Sometimes I wish I had stumbled upon all by my lonesome, because the result might have been very different.

message 24: by Veronica (new)

Veronica I have to agree with you. I rather watch through the movies than to ensure the pain of going through the trilogy.

message 25: by Julia (new)

Julia Mina wrote: "What about Aowin? She is totally kick-ass. I don't think you guys get Tolken.

Umm... First of all you spelled it wrong. Second of all, Éowyn, (despite her awesomeness) is very one-dimensional--as stated in the review.

message 26: by Capitán (new)

Capitán Piluso To truly appreciate the book you must be a well-learned individual.

You show a kid a Circonia and a Diamond, and he will not be able to tell a difference.
Now show it to a gemologist and they will absolutely appreciate the diamond better.

You must have the knowledge to truly appreciate the outstanding legacy that Tolkien left to us.
The level of details, the perfeccionism with the languages he invented, etymologies, botanic that matches with the terrain, lunar phases that are coherent throughout the chapters... this is a masterpiece that still haven't been rivaled by any of the copycats wannabies out there.

message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Atchison Calling Tolkien a bad writer is horrible. He wrote one of the best series of all time you obviously are not literate enough to appreciate it.

message 28: by James (new)

James Hoyle Do you even Ring?

message 29: by Tiberius (new)

Tiberius Bones Ian and Capitan, you are wrong. A long winded, boring prose does not mean a book is well written. I am not saying that LOTR is awful, but it is a chore to read. It does not mean someone is uneducated because they do not wish to read lengthy, unnecessary descriptions in a novel that is meant to entertain. It is not a text book and should not be judged so. It's fine if you enjoyed it, but don't insult people who have legitimate reasons for not feeling the same.

In short, you sound like uneducated idiots yourselves.

message 30: by Kayla (new)

Kayla I personally don't think anyone has the right to knock one of the most successful fantasy books of all time. Keep in mind how books were written in his time, they were written similarly to this one. I agree it is lengthy and long winded, but saying it is written badly is just a crime.

message 31: by David (new)

David Taylor Are we reading the same book?

message 32: by Tanvi (new)

Tanvi To be fair, I did and still do find something profound in the loss that occurs throughout the book, the theme of fading. There's also a clear message of hope and renewal. Some people might class that under 'escapism', though, since it's nothing mind-blowing. Wrt female characters the Silmarillion, it must be said, is... better is probably not the word, but less neglectful of its female characters. I find Melian and Luthien a little more developed, myself. One of the few things I liked about Jackson's films was the role he gave to Arwen; it will never cease to irritate me that Tolkien simply had her waiting in the wings for the entire war and we heard nary a peep from her till RotK.

message 33: by Katherine Riggs (new)

Katherine Riggs I think what you people need to take into account is the Tolkien created an entire world. Like everything. The book was also written in a different time therefore their the book will be a little different then what we are used to now

message 34: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Tolkien was a philologist first and a writer second. His passion for history and language (in a linguistic sense) are always evident. You're right that he didn't have as great a gift for storytelling as many seem to think, but for most people what makes LOTR so enjoyable is it's thoroughness. Tolkien's stories began as little more than a justification for the various languages he created, but by building a world first - with all of its history, legend and theology stretching back literally to the beginning of time - he made his stories real. That immersiveness is the reason I love LOTR, the Hobbit, and even the Silmarillion.

Although LOTR holds a special place in my heart, I can't disagree with you. I'm sorry that you're finding yourself assaulted here, but I think that's a given and I doubt it bothers you.

message 35: by Julianne (new)

Julianne Albrecht Just because it's a long book doesn't mean it's bad

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