J.R.R. Tolkien discussion

Lord of the Rings > LOTR in 30 Days

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message 1: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) I have started the Annual June Reading of LOTR.

This year I am again reading it aloud to my children (Jack who is 9 + Kate who is 7). Jack read the Hobbit on his own this year for school so he is seriously pumped up. Kate is more interested in staying up late and creating elaborate Tent's in mom and dads bed. Wife Lisa and two year old Cody are mostly ignoring this years event, but I expect that they will sit (or sleep) in for some of it.

Also, I am reading from the iPhone Kindle Edition this year--I thought that would be interesting because I can read with the lights out while the mac in the corner runs through middle earth screen shot images and other LotR themed stuff. One interesting side effect is that there are not "page numbers" rather "line numbers" I think which makes telling which I anticipate will make telling if I am staying on track with the required number of pages read each day difficult. Thanks, David S.

message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 9 comments I hadn't even thought of reading this to my children. While an old seminary professor of my husband's read it to his children (complete with voices!), it had just never occurred to me to read it to them. We have some tender-hearted children who would be scared by the movies, but hearing/reading the story is nothing like seeing it. Might have to do this.

I love that your son is captivated by the Hobbit! I read it for the first time also at the age of 9 and it quickly became my favorite book--and still is one of my favorites to this day.

I differ slightly from you in my timeline--I always read all four books in the fall, around September. This year will be my tenth reading of the books and I never fail to find something new in them to appreciate year after year.

Thanks for the suggestion and happy reading!

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I read The Hobbit when I was six, The Lord of the Rings when I was seven, and The Silmarillion when I was ten. Of course, I didn't understand a lick of it (at least not in any depth); but the power of finding something intangible and more intellectual than one's self at such a young age ensures that one will go on to read these books for ages to come.

message 4: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) We are falling behind our target pace, but still have a chance to finish on time.

I have started a blog here:

which discusses our reading environment (which is still evolving), the questions that are coming up ("why are the Black Riders sniffing", and our Word of the Day (yesterday the word was "tussocky").

I have also switched from the kindle edition to the one volume edition because it is easier for the kids to trace the elvish characters. Thanks, David S.

message 5: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) @jenny, yes my kids are have not seen the recent films, they have seen the animated version by Ralph Bakshi version, which is a lot of fun, but not really the way I would ever present it.

I have never ever even thought of reading LOTR in September--just feels wrong to me :) --in my opinion, it was clearly written to be read at the beginning of summer! Thanks, David S.

message 6: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) @logan "ensures that one will go on to read these books for ages to come."--yep! That is *exactly* the plan! Thanks, David S.

message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 9 comments I originally read them in November and December. But on the 3rd year I had nothing new to read and couldn't wait. So now it's September. Fits right in with Frodo & Bilbo's birthday, don't you think? ;-)

I've only seen the animated version of the Hobbit--never the LOTR. If it is anything like the other, I'm sure it's plenty cheesy.

I hadn't thought about which medium to use when reading them. I haven't actually had my Kindle that long, so although I've purchased all 4 books in Kindle format, I haven't actually read through them yet. So I'm not sure about the quality of the maps, etc. However, I do have a book with all the maps of Middle Earth in it, so they could look through that while I'm reading to get a visual.

message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura (thatlibrarianlady) This is a really beautiful tradition. I have every intention of reading to my children at night (whenever I have children, that is), just as I'll be eager to play them music while they're in the womb and sing to them when they're children. I think reading Lord of the Rings is a wonderful idea. I'll have to make sure it's on my list of books to read my kids.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Actually, Ralph Bakshi's unfinished animated epic is an excellent version. It is a bit cheesy, but only seldom, and has a lot of animation simply painted over real actors. I prefer it, in terms of a proper and just adaptation of Tolkien, to Peter Jackson's films by a long shot.

message 10: by Jay (new)

Jay (jayneale3) | 7 comments Well, I love Bakshi, and I love LOTR, but the two together nearly made me scream out in pain. The acting was nearly nonexistent, as was the plot. And no one could figure out how to pronounce "Saruman" so it kept changing through the movie... at one point it sounds as if they're referring to a rastafarian.

I was so excited when I heard this film was being released. And then I saw it.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Really? Well, I'm surprised. But you are entitled, I suppose. And yes, the audio- or pronunciation-problem of Arrowman vs. Sayrooman is puzzling. But I quite enjoy it.

message 12: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 11 comments Different opinions of the Jackson and Bakshi versions of LOTR should remind us of why we have vanilla, chocolate, & strawberry ice cream. One flavor won't please us all. I drove 40+ miles with my young family to see Bakshi's version because we had all read the books including The Hobbit. In a word, we were 'underwhelmed'. We all decided it was horrible and assumed that was the main reason it remained incomplete. Now all adults, my family enjoyed the imperfect version that Jackson gave us and concluded that it was about as close to Tolkien as a screenplay could get within budget and time restraints.

message 13: by Jay (new)

Jay (jayneale3) | 7 comments It was never completed because it was a net loss for the studio. That movie vanished in a week. I think I'd rather watch Heaven's Gate.

message 14: by Moon (new)

Moon | 20 comments I watched it to the point of Rivendell, but that's where I stopped. I keep thinking that I should go back and see the whole thing.

message 15: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) We are now at the half way point in our Month of Reading + again the absolute favorite is Tom Bombadil. All this talk of the films makes me wonder why he has never been in any of the film versions that I have seen--would have been SOOO cool if he had been included in the Directors Cut of ANY version! Thanks, David S.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I love the character of Bombadil. I think he is one of Tolkien's most creative adaptations of mythological figures. I myself am a Finn (or, I suppose, am descended of Finns), and translate the great Finnish epic The Kalevala; Tom Bombadil is a kind of composite of all the best aspects of the various Finnish heroes so prevalent in it (not to mention the memorable injections of nonsense-rhyme that define Tom for most readers). The Ring-scene in those chapters is also very interesting, as it reveals the different histories and layers of Tolkien's world. Bombadil was, before he was put in The Lord of the Rings, completely separate from the mythology Tolkien had created to explain the origins of his Elvish languages. The call-back to Bombadil at the Council of Elrond is also illuminating in the same way.

message 17: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 9 comments I heard or read (can't remember now) an interview with Philippa Boyens about why they didn't include Bombadil in the screenplay. As big of a fan as they all are (especially her, apparently), they just couldn't put EVERYTHING in for time and cost reasons. She said that the way they wrote it, a visit to Bombadil isn't out of the question, it's just not *included*. Viewers have to use their imaginations and fill in the gap between Frodo leaping onto the ferry to get away from the Black Rider and then seeing the hobbits emerge in the rain at the Bree gate. Her thought was, how do we know they didn't visit Bombadil during that time period? It's just not included. It might've been nice to shoot some scenes for the extended version, however. Oh well.

message 18: by L (new)

L | 132 comments Reading 'the lord of the rings' in 30 days...well i am a slow reader (who loves to take in every ounce of miniscule detail) hence i'm not sure that this target would be possible. Congratulations to those readers who achived it though, i am impressed!

message 19: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessika_56) Hi! I'm new to the group! I read The Hobbit this summer, and my goal is to finish the Trilogy before New Years. Right now, I'm about halfway through Fellowship. I'm not a fast reader, AND I don't have tons of free time right now, so this may be a stretch, but it's good to have goals!

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