This book had a good premise, but it didn't live up to its potential. The plot creeps, and is weighed down by pages and pages of unnecessary inner dia...moreThis book had a good premise, but it didn't live up to its potential. The plot creeps, and is weighed down by pages and pages of unnecessary inner dialogue that just starts repeating itself after awhile. If the author had devoted this page space to filling in details about the interesting world she created, it would've been different. Instead we get pages and pages of Sunshine going on about cinnamon rolls or something. I gave up on trying to force my way through this about fifty pages from the end, hoping the action would pick up, but it never did.(less)
This book was entertaining and...that's about it. There were some nice themes, but ultimately that's all they ended up being. I think the author was t...moreThis book was entertaining and...that's about it. There were some nice themes, but ultimately that's all they ended up being. I think the author was trying to create a framework for some deeper, more profound thoughts, but they aren't fleshed out enough to really have an impact on the reader. I see the point the author was trying to make, but it's spelled out at the end in a rather point-blank way and isn't really carried through the rest of the novel.
Honestly, from page one I felt like I was reading someone's casual blog posts. Maybe that's how it was meant to sound, but it comes across feeling slapdash and unpolished. I felt like there was way too much name-dropping, and basically it reads as a giant ad for Google. There were a lot of geeky inside jokes that are going to be completely irrelevant in a year or two.
I highly doubt this book will manage to stand the test of time, once the initial buzz wears off. But as we all know, I'm a soulless book snob with a heart of stone, and apparently I'm also the only one in the world who wasn't enthralled here.(less)
I can see why this book isn't for everyone. It can be a challenging read. There were times when the density of the writing made my attention wander. B...moreI can see why this book isn't for everyone. It can be a challenging read. There were times when the density of the writing made my attention wander. But I still loved it. It's a classic. You just have to go into it with the right attitude. It's the same with many genre-creating works. You don't go into Dracula expecting Twilight, or into Brave New World or 1984 expecting The Hunger Games. But once you get used to Tolkien's writing style, this is a very rewarding book, with lots of food for thought. Unlike The Hobbit, this is a much darker-hued tale, about the end of the world as its inhabitants know it. The implication is that if and when Frodo and his companions do manage to destroy the Ring, the world itself may become safer, but it will never go back to the way it was before. I like that the quest itself is not a magic fix, because in real life there are no such things.
I think in that way, this book reflects a lot upon the author himself, and the circumstances that he found himself in when he was writing the series. In the preface of my edition, it states that World War Two was raging while this book was in the works, and it shows. The loss of innocence and peace in Middle Earth seems to mirror that of our own during that time period, and likewise, once the war was finished, things have never been the same in our world.
Once I realized that, the book took on a whole new layer of meaning for me, which made it all the more thought-provoking and enjoyable. But I'm sure my observations are far from unique.
Anyway, while I doubt I'll be learning Elvish or proclaiming this to be the best book ever written, I'm glad I decided to enter the world of Middle Earth again, and I look forward to reading the rest of the saga!(less)