Celeste's Reviews > The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
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really liked it
bookshelves: classics-i-ve-read, fantasy
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Where would the fantasy genre be without Tolkien? He gave us the first deeply developed fantasy world, and character and plot tropes that are still go-tos for fantasy writers. Are these tropes now overused? Yes, as are tropes in other genres. As King Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” We are constantly reusing the ideas of others while trying to improve upon them and make them our own. And we have Tolkien to thank for many of those ideas. I respect him and the Middle-Earth he created immensely.

All that being said, I have always struggled with The Lord of the Rings. There’s something about Tolkien’s style of writing (excepting his style in The Hobbit, which is radically different and more easily accessible, in my opinion) that bogs me down instead of sucking me in. His scenery is beautiful, his characters interesting, his plot intriguing. I should be engrossed, but I’m not. It’s a classic of the genre, and one that I hate I can’t seem to get through. I know this is blasphemy, but I think that Peter Jackson’s movies did a better job of presenting Tolkien’s story and engaging an audience than Tolkien managed himself.

This is my second reading of The Fellowship of the Ring. It was just as difficult as the first reading. There were sections that were wonderful, but those were sprinkled throughout sections that I had to trudge through. A couple of things that the book has over the movie: First, Frodo is so much cooler. He’s not whiny and helpless, as he’s portrayed by Elijah Wood. In the novel, Frodo is funny and sturdy and dependable. Not as dependable as Sam, perhaps, but he isn’t the burden the film makes him out to be. Second, the book has Tom Bombadil! He’s one of the most interesting, mysterious characters in fiction, and I hate that he was cut from the films. But other than those two aspects, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the movie more. I give this book four stars simply because I respect so much the legacy it left behind.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
March 17, 2015 – Shelved
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: classics-i-ve-read
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Alex Great review. Totally agree about Frodo in the movie as I recall. Frodo was kind of whiny in the book, but at least tried to heroic sometimes.


Celeste Thanks, Alex!


Matt I agree with you here, Celeste. You have made a great deal of sense with it all and while we cannot all love the book (I am one of those people), I respect their majesty.


Celeste Thank you, Matt! Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. I do respect the book tremendously, and I still plan on (trying) to finish the trilogy, but I enjoy the story more in film format.


Matt Audio was the only way I could trudge through, and that battle was barely called a victory!


message 6: by Haïfa (new) - added it

Haïfa Great review Celeste! I totally relate!! I didn't finish this book (but couldn't bring myself to rate it because it has created such a unique and beautiful world) and I definitely loved the movies way more (minus Frodo of course)


Celeste Thanks Haifoun! I think that lovers of the fantasy genre tend to either love the LotR trilogy or trudge through them but still respect them. Very few actually hate them, I think.


Tosh Great review :) So glad that you pointed out the differences between Frodo in the book and the movie. He's great character and I think their depiction in the movie was horrible. I wish Tom would have been given a little screen time too :)


Celeste Thanks Tosh! Tom being cut and Frodo's portrayal are two of the only things about the movie that I don't get.


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