Joe's Reviews > The Return of the King

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
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's review
Dec 20, 2010

really liked it
Read in December, 2010

Having just re-experience The Lord of the Rings on audio book, I am struck again by how truly awesome these books are. Tolkien's fantasy has been copied endlessly yet remains so very unique.

Reading (hearing) it again, it is difficult not to compare it to the Peter Jackson films. I think Peter Jackson is to be commended for taking great pains to include much of the textual dialogue and faithfully attempting to recraft the books' scenes as much and whenever possible. I was surprised by the extent the films adhered as much as possible to the books. However, Tolkien obviously never wrote with film adaptation in mind. In the chapter "The Paths of the Dead" for example, (surely one of the scariest parts of the trilogy), Tolkien creates a scene of primarily psychological horror. His florid passages construct a scene of vague terror and, occurring in total darkness give no visual cues to future directors. Gimli senses, yet does not see or hear, the growing presence of dead souls following behind him and must draw upon every part of his will to marshal the courage needed not to flee in terror or rush to give himself up to the undead host in his unendurable terror. Jackson's rendering of this scene is not necessarily a failure, but has to be viewed as something else entirely.

As I intimated in my review of "The Fellowship of the Ring", Tolkien world is weirder, more counter-intuitive, and more wonderfully unique than I remembered.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon How true, and very nicely stated, too!

message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen You dare give Tolkien four stars, not five? I am disappointed in you, Joe! Okay, I forgive you. I'm over it.

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