'It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam,' said Frodo, 'and I could not have borne that.'
'Not as certain as being left behind,' said Sam.
'But I am going to Mordor.'
'I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you.'
There’s a problem with reviewing books like this – beloved, well-respected classics that have been popular and appreciated for years: I don’t feel I have a right to say anything critical. Who am I to critique someone like J. R. R. Tolkien? Quite fortunately in this case, I loved it. I may not feel I have the right to critique, but I surely have the right to gush.
The Fellowship of the Ring is undeniably a masterpiece. The very moment you begin (seriously – just the prologue could wow you), you know that an immense amount of dedication went into the creation of this work. It’s not just the descriptions of landscape and people that are inscrutable. The dates, languages, events, cultures… the entire land of Middle Earth has been created by a man who clearly loved what he was doing.
Some could argue that dedicating that much time and energy to a fictional world is foolish, when so many other things require attention. That “some” should pick up the book and read it. There is no question, in my opinion, that Tolkien was inspired to create this world, splendidly different yet so like our own.
This first installment begins in the Shire, where Bilbo Baggins has peacefully resided since the journey of The Hobbit, and where he has mentored his nephew, Frodo. And then Bilbo’s birthday comes. And then Gandalf reveals things to Frodo. And then Sam comes in. And then Frodo plans a celebration. And then it takes off.
Admittedly, it takes a while to get into the story. It’s laden with detail and not much happens until you’re a chunk of the way through. My advice to anyone struggling to pay attention is to keep in mind that The Lord of the Rings series is one of the most epic tales of all time. It’s beloved for a reason. So keep reading and find out why.
Frodo Baggins is everything I expected him to be (not a bad thing, either). I was more intrigued, however, by some of the other characters. Merry, Gandalf, and Sam were particularly nice surprises.
I saw the movies in fifth grade, so I had very vague impressions of who these characters were. However, the characters listed above were far more complex and interesting than I remember. Merry, for his intellect. Gandalf, for his humor. Sam for his brewing heroism. The Strider is one character I remember as being totally awesome, and he definitely delivers. Sam is possibly the most surprising of them all. Every event in the story brings with it a new side of Sam. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to watch him as he delivers surprise after surprise, and I believe his character is developing the most swiftly. He truly is magnificent.
Aside from the characters, I appreciated Middle Earth and its intricacies. Places like Rivendale and Lothlorien are absolutely fantastic. The beauty and mystery of them are mindboggling, and I loved encountering them for the first time just as the hobbits did.
If one thing can be said with absolute certainty of The Fellowship of the Ring, it is that there is no end to the marvelousness of the world Tolkien has created. The languages are beautiful, the cultures specific and unique, the characters complex and constantly developing, and the lands and history constructed to give the feel of an entire other world, just as real and important as our own.
I can’t say that I was constantly excited while reading, or that this was a page-turner, but I can promise you that there is never a moment during which I forgot what the characters were striving for or the inevitable chaos to come. The Fellowship of the Ring sets the stage for what I’m sure will be one of the most epic tales I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.(less)
COPIED FROM MY BLOG: MADELEINEREX.COM (FORMATTING WAS LOST)
There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay...more COPIED FROM MY BLOG: MADELEINEREX.COM (FORMATTING WAS LOST)
There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing."
I was astounded by this book. It gave my so much to ponder and wonder at. The very idea of a world where books are disgraceful is mind-boggling in and of itself. Could it be that these things that writers toil over and readers love and hate ardently, both emotions being enjoyable in this case, could be so feared, so despised that we would feel the need to eliminate them? To chase down every last page and burn it to a crisp. I found the philosophy behind such a decision quite fascinating.
Guy Montag is a fireman. He and his co-workers work diligently to set fire to entire homes that hold books, any type of book. Non-fiction and fiction alike. He finds pleasure in watching the snowflakes of pages fly into the air on a rampage and flutter slowly and languidly to the ground as the words die.
He's also satisfied with the half-life he lives in a city and world where happiness is forced upon people. Everything is normal until he runs into Clarisse, a 17-year-old girl who is crazy. She has ideas and thoughts that others wouldn't consider dreaming or thinking of. She sparks Montag's rebellious fire. Guy soon lusts after the truth, after a world that can think on its own.
The world Montag has inhabited all his life, is, in my opinion, one of the most screwed up and loopy worlds imaginable. The very concept of everyone "being happy" when so few can think seems illogical. I don't know about you, but I enjoy thinking. I enjoy the occasional argument. I enjoy knowing the full story, learning, and siphoning more and more knowledge. Really, the dystopian world's main problem is that it has virtually eliminated real growth. In addition, it has killed off all opposition. Anything that could cause unhappiness is rejected. Books, movies, and other material that could possibly cause someone to think and worry, or simply feel the need to fight back, is taken care of.
Ray Bradbury's style kept me reading,vehemently stuffing the words into my eyeballs. I loved his clear, strong, and ever-present voice. I'm eager to read Something Wicked this Way Comes, another one of his novels. The clarity of his writing spoke of truth in a remarkable way. I can easily imagine being convinced by anything he said.
I loved the idea of fighting for the books, the knowledge, and preserving them. You cannot help but admire people who are willing to give up much and enjoy so little in order to ensure that the people of the next generations would not go without the necessities of history and the pleasure of reading.
I read Fahrenheit 451 for book club this month. The girls are meeting today to discuss it, and although I know that some of them found the book "boring" (really?!), I'm certain that a very gripping discussion will be held. The topic of the book was so controversial and extremely odd that differing opinions will abound.
This book is one that a majority of the world has read. Many high schools consider it required reading. If, however, you have not read it, I recommend picking it up. You can find it anywhere. A book about the preservation of books should never go out of print.