Chris's Reviews > The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
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's review
Sep 11, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction
read count: 3

This is my favorite of the Lord of the Rings books, mostly because of the skill with which Tolkien sets up the contrast between Frodo's peaceful home life and the gathering threat that eventually forces him away from it. The threat is palpable and as believable as you could ever hope for orcs and wizards and the undead to be.

The most impressive aspect of the novel (and the trilogy in general) is the sheer richness of the fantasy world in which it takes place. Tolkien was confident enough and bold enough to have created a variety of cultures, mythologies, geographies, and histories that feel fully developed, but yet are only hinted at in the course of the books. The rest of it is left unused, but Middle-Earth feels real because of it.

Ironically, even though this novel takes place closer to "home" than the other two, or perhaps because of that fact, Middle-Earth feels bigger here. There is a powerful sense that the hobbits, and the story, could go anywhere, and it's a delight to re-experience that, even though I've read the series multiple times and know exactly what's going to happen.

The only real distraction is the whole Tom Bombadil episode, which just doesn't fit. It's a bad misstep in what is otherwise a very entertaining, compelling, and intelligent novel.
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