I Give Up Book Review: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)

[Book #2 of Club Bibliodeca – 2015]

Perhaps the most classic book of the past century, and I toss it onto the “I Give Up” pile? What in the world’s wrong with me!? I hate to say it, but like many in our entertainment-driven culture, I’ve fallen victim to the classic blunder: “Movie-Before-Book.” I grew up with an active imagination, but wizards and fairies and dwarves were never my thing. I didn’t even see the epic film until it first came out on VHS! But now that I’ve tasted both, I can’t imagine why anyone would choose the original over the update. I get it: Peter Jackson wouldn’t be where he is without the books. That’s a great point. But while Jackson might have yanked the creative coattails of Tolkien until he reached his own perpetual stardom (and he might still be keeping that ride going now for 2 full decades), I argue that it only takes about 3 minutes with the book in one hand and the films in the other to figure out that Jackson’s vision is so far more breathtaking than Tolkien’s that the book seems insultingly childish by comparison. I enjoyed the extended and additional scenes in the book (like getting the “Writer’s Cut” after watching Jackson’s 3+ hour “Director’s Cut”), but I finally put the book down when I realized that I could be reading something that entertains or teaches me more. Continuing with the book would have only felt like fulfilling my responsibility to humanity, but I honestly don’t think humanity cares all that much about whether I finished it or not. So I simply didn’t. Perhaps my kids someday will, but only if I refuse to let them watch the movie first.

©2015 E.T.

[Current book list for Biblio-deca – 2015 (in no particular order):

1. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
2.The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Sharpe’s Tiger by Bernard Cornwell
Rat King by James Clavelle
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
War by Sebastian Junger
The Bridge at Toko-Ri by James Michener
• Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux]

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One Response to I Give Up Book Review: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)

  1. Pingback: Book Review: “Casino Royale” by Ian Fleming (1953) | Elliot's Blog

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