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The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
This topic is about The Fellowship of the Ring
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Archived 2011 Group Reads > Lord of the Rings 01: The Fellowship of the Ring - Book One, Prologue-Chapter II

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Loretta (lorettalucia) I'm posting a little early, as I know some are probably eager to get started.

Share your thoughts here.


Samantha Leighanne (sleighanne) I've finished the first section. Its been snowy and icy in here, so I've been stuck indoors. Perfect time to read and get caught up on things :]

I didn't read The Hobbit, and I think for that reason it was difficult for me to get into at first. The Prologue was almost painful at points. But once I got into the first chapter, I was good to go.

I'm diggin it so far :]

Reading this, I'm kind of breaking my rule of reading books after the movies. I usually like to read first because I have a problem where I picture the actors from the film, rather than making up my own ideas of the characters. Anyone else feel this way too?


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I always try to read a book before seeing the movie if I can! I want to see my vision and not some directors!


Nathalie (natjen29) I used to read adapted novels, but I've quit that bad habit. It's one or the other, with a few exceptions, like Lord of the Rings.

I had seen the movie before too, but it doesn't hurt the book as much as other movies have hurt their origin.
It's not so important where it ends, but it's the journey that counts.

I have read the Hobbit before, but it doesn't make the beginning less difficult to read. I had to will myself to get through it, but as soon as Bilbo up and left, I found that the struggle was done with.

The thing I do caught myself to do, is compare the book to the novel. I'm surprised there are still so many differences. Peter Jackson did a good job, I suppose completely following a novel must be difficult.
Although, No Country for Old Men had no problem with that.


message 5: by Loretta (last edited Jan 14, 2011 07:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) I've read the Prologue (*snooze*) and Chapter I. I'll probably read Chapter II tonight.

My thoughts so far:

- I really, really wish it were possible to visit Bag End. It sounds so lovely. I really would not mind a vacation on some rolling hills, eating 6 meals a day, and lazing around.

- I forgot that Frodo was already 33 when this book starts. I know the Hobbits' life spans are very different from ours, but that seems like a fairly advanced age to finally reach adulthood, officially.

- It's funny. I tried reading this book about 7 years ago, shortly after seeing the movie several times (maybe 2 or 3). Now that it's been years since I've seen any of the movies (the last time I watched one was when the last one came out in 2003), I'm enjoying the book MUCH, MUCH more. I feel like Tolkien's ability to write dialogue improved greatley between writing The Hobbit and writing this. I also think he got a lot better at bringing his characters to life... we barely understood what Gandalf was like in The Hobbit, but here he seems a fully realized character. In other words, I'm enjoying this, and far more than I expected to, and stayed up WAY too late last night reading the chapters I did. I had to force myself not to read Chapter II.

- Yes, I agree that it's hard not to picture the actors who played the characters in the movies. But, that being said, there's more to the books, so even if I'm picture those actors saying the words, we're getting a better understanding of them here, I think. So, I'm okay with that, and it's not like I can travel back in time and tell my past self not to watch the movies. ;-)

- One thing that I was bothered by in The Hobbit, and that I imagine I'll continue to be bothered by here, is the lack of female characters. There were absolutely none in The Hobbit. I wonder why that is.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Finished Chapter II.

WOW, I am enjoying this a LOT more than The Hobbit (which I liked, but ended up being about a 3.5 star read, rounded up to 4 stars).

The sense of adventure is greater, the characters are much more fully realized, and the dialogue is more extensive and less wooden.

In Chapter II, we learned the history of the ring and its effect on its various--not owners, but--keepers, including Bilbo and Gollum.

I actually turned the page to keep reading more but stopped myself in time to remind myself that thats for next week. :)


message 7: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (kristina3880) I have finished chapter two and did go on a little bit more I will admit. I was a little worried because the Prologue was so boring, I almost said to myself, This is not going to be a possible read for me. Now it is getting better.


Trisha I had already read this first novel and plan to join in with the second in the trilogy, but I have to say that I LOVED this novel and found that there was soooo much more action and adventure that never even made it in to the movie! It really made it an enjoyable and exciting reading experience because I didn't know what to expect next.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Kristina, I honestly mostly ignored the Prologue. I don't think you have to read every single word in a book to consider yourself having read it. And having just read The Hobbit, I felt justified doing a thorough skim. I wanted to get to the real action, not hear about Hobbits' smoking habits. :)

Trisha, I'm glad you'll be joining us starting with Two Towers. Please chime in whenever you can.


Nathalie (natjen29) I admit.. I skipped the prologue! I almost always do. Some books (especially the Penguin series) have a tendency to reveal key moments and spill plot secrets. I rather discover it myself, and read the prologue in the end. :)


Loretta (lorettalucia) The Prologue for this wasn't about the book (i.e. written by someone else and describing the book's place in history).

Rather, it was written by Tolkien, describing hobbits and their habits, and doesn't contain any spoilers.

That being said, it's boring as heck, and you figure out most of it anyway just reading the book, so no problem skipping it.


Nathalie (natjen29) I've read the Hobbit, so I'm good :)
But I did read that prologue. The edition I'm reading had another foreword.. I skipped that!


Samantha Leighanne (sleighanne) I had to stop myself from continuing into next week, too Loretta!
I'm interested to see where its going to go from here! :]


message 14: by Lynne (last edited Jan 15, 2011 03:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynne (lmsindel) S.Leighanne wrote: "I've finished the first section. Its been snowy and icy in here, so I've been stuck indoors. Perfect time to read and get caught up on things :]

I didn't read The Hobbit, and I think for that re..."


I do almost the opposite. When I read a book and I haven't seen the movie I like to picture the people I would cast in the roles if I could. WHich is fun because an actor being dead is no problem. I could have Clark Gable and Gwyneth Paltrow starring in the same book if I want to!


Loretta (lorettalucia) Lynne, I'd probably cast Paul Newman in everything I could.


Lynne (lmsindel) Good Choice! How about for a female?


Loretta (lorettalucia) Oh gosh. I might go modern and say Kate Winslet?


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) I wasn't exactly sure when this read was starting, just that it was starting with my new semester of pre-med!

I will read this section today and tomorrow, in between studying, and hopefully be able to catch up during the week to week 3!

I'll post my thoughts on this section later <3


Loretta (lorettalucia) Yay, Xeni, glad you could join us. :)


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) I just finished this section!

It seems like it was the main introductory part. I really enjoyed how it recapped The Hobbit (since it's been 5 or so years since I read it). I also liked how I finally now understand the WHY of the stories... it never made sense for me that Frodo would leave the Shire before.

Also, now I understand more about the rings and such. Perhaps by the time we finish reading this, I'll actually be able to watch the movies. xd

Otherwise, the writing style is rather long-winded... which bugs me. There were a few times when I had to put my iphone aside and think of something else, because it was boring me a bit. I hope that's just because it's all necessary introduction, and it wont continue in such light.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Xeni, as I understand it, he remains long-winded, but I think that's okay because the action ramps up so much that you stop noticing it.

I personally kind of like his particular brand of long-windedness, but of course it's not for everyone.


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) Normally I don't mind it... but when I'm constantly thinking in the back of my head "you need to read your biology, chemistry and physics textbooks and take notes on them before you run out of time" it does rather spoil the experience!

Maybe if I did all (or just part) of my schoolwork first, it wouldn't feel like so much pressure!


Loretta (lorettalucia) LOL! I understand that feeling.

This first week was the longest chunk we have, at 65ish pages. They should be more manageable here on out. :)


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) Oh, that's actually a relief!

I think I will wait to read the next section until at least bedtime, though. Else I'll feel completely useless in school on Monday :(

I hope some more people join in with the reading!


Loretta (lorettalucia) I'm not sure they will. :-\ IIRC, only about 5 people voted for it.

But as long as everyone remains active, it should work out.

And I think Kathy said she'd join us in a couple weeks.


Nathalie (natjen29) We'll manage with as many as we are.

If I can go on the past experience with The Stand, the people partaking could increase the longer we're at it. :)


Loretta (lorettalucia) That is true. I should probably PM Kristi, too, and ask her to switch our featured book to LOTR, rather than the Stand.


Nathalie (natjen29) That could bring in more readers. Maybe broadcast it a little on our respective FB and twitter pages :)


Gwenyth Love (everythinggwenny) OK I finished section one. I am really enjoying this much more than I thought I would. After stalling out on The Hobbit I never thought I would be able to handle Tolkien's writing style, but it seems much better in LoTR. I actually managed the Prologue without too much difficulty and really enjoyed the flow of the first two chapters. Most people have told me the books are pretty close to the movies so I am amazed still at how many differences there are. But I am glad for them because so much more makes sense now, like why Frodo left the Shire, etc. It did shock me a bit that he was 33 when he started and then 50 before he finally left the Shire.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Yes, I know, thinking of Elijah Wood (who was, IIRC, about 19 or 20 when the filming actually occurred) playing a 50 year old seems a tad silly... though we are told that the ring preserved him well, as it does, so he was probably supposed to look young.

And yes, I agree that his style improved between The Hobbit and the LOTR. The Hobbit was a fun romp, but LOTR actually has some really interesting things to say about friendship and determination.

I'm glad you've joined us. :)


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) I liked his writing style better in The Hobbit... in LotR he is so long winded... and I don't remember that at all from The Hobbit!


Nathalie (natjen29) The movie does follow the book, but not necessarily in the right order of things.


Melissa I am going to jump in without starting to read it...I've read it several times already just so I can be conversant with my husband who is one of those people who've even read The Simarillion.

Last summer we listened to the unabridged audio book as a family. I've also read some background material for the books too - Ring of Words and Finding God in LOTR which have really enhanced my understanding.

Maybe I should join and read them again now that I have all the other experiences and information tucked away. :)


Loretta (lorettalucia) Melissa, I'm sure even if you don't join us for the read, we'd love to hear your (spoiler-free, of course) background info, i.e. from King of Words and Finding God in LOTR.

If I made a separate thread for this kind of info, would you be willing to share?


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) I would love to learn the background information. If the series really catches my love (like it has done for so many others) then perhaps I would read these books as well, but right now I'm just feeling rather so/so about the whole thing. So any input you have, Melissa, I would cherish :)


Melissa I would be happy to.


message 37: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 09, 2011 03:26AM) (new)

Just finished this section. Thanks people, it's good to see I'm not the only one that thought the Prologe is boring and dull to read! I enjoyed first chapter, with the descriptions of the birthday party, the hobbits' behaviour made me smile.
I read the book like ten years ago, shortly before the first film got released. I remember I was in college and my friends (Tolkien fans) were going insane about the films.. I just read the book to know what they were talking about :) I remember reading the book on fast pace to finish before watching the film, probably, too fast to enjoy it. I admit my memory of plot is more based now on the films, that I have watched several times since then. I thought now, ten years later it would be nice to re-visit Middle Earth.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I think the Prologue was just intended as a catch-up for those who had not read The Hobbit. It almost felt like reading an encyclopedia... necessary perhaps, but not enthralling.


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) Hey, don't dis the encyclopedia! I loved reading that as a kid...


Loretta (lorettalucia) LOL, Xeni, I used to do that too, and I still routinely get lost in the labyrinth that is Wikipedia.


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) hell yeah!!! one page takes you to like 50 more!!!! wiki is my savior for my chemistry class... that teacher is SO BAD!!!!


Melissa Okay so I've started reading LOTR again.

For those who find his style tedious - it might be a consolation to know it grows on you. The first two or three times I read these books (for my husband's sake) I found his writing dull.

Tonight as I was reading, it felt like a conversation with an old friend.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I found that it grew on me as I read the first hundred or so pages.

Personally, I think the prologue will almost always feel interminable, but as I continue to read, I see why certain things are drawn out the way they are. The journey wouldn't feel so arduous if the reader finished it in 20 pages.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Thanks for joining in, Ben!

We're up to Week 6, now, so about 300 pages in, but I'm sure you'll be caught up in no time.

Please read and comment on each week's thread as you do that week's "assignment." I know that I, and many others, check the older threads when folks comment on them, so the conversation continues moving, even when we're farther ahead.

This will be my first time reading the trilogy all the way through--I've finished Fellowship before, but never got to The Two Towers or Return of the King. I'm enjoying it much, much more this time around, so I'm sure I'll finish tis time. (Plus the added pressure of moderating the read doesn't hurt, LOL.)


Melissa Ben wrote: I totally agree! "

:) Good to meet you Ben.


message 46: by Delmy (new)

Delmy  (needfulreads) I could have done without the prologue, i understand why there is a prologue to give us background on the hobbits and such but i found it pretty boring and drags on. on to chapter 1!:)


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