During The Classics Club Readathon a few weekends ago, I started reading The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings. I have watched the films on numerous occasions and have had this book on my shelf/in the wardrobe of books for months. I originally attempted to read this book when the first film came out. I was about 13/14 and reached roughly page 100 and I gave up (shocker!) The language was too dense for me and not what I anticipated. A few summers ago I picked up a copy of The Hobbit at a Vintage Fair and one hot summer’s day I sat on the sun lounger and barely moved until I finished it later that evening. I absolutely loved it and became entranced with the world of Middle Earth. After such a positive reading experience I was determined to give The Lord of the Rings Trilogy another chance.
You probably have to have been living under a rock not to have at least some awareness of Tolkien’s work and the storyline, but just in case I will give you a very brief summary. Frodo Baggins lives peacefully in The Shire until he is given a ring by his uncle, Bilbo. This ring is no ordinary ring, it is inscribed with the following:
‘One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them; One ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them’.
And so begins the biggest adventure of Frodo’s life; a journey that takes him to meet elves, dwarves and men; to the depths of Moria and to Elven lands; along great rivers and through dark and magical forests.
As I have mentioned I have seen the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings several times and I watched the trilogy recently. Luckily for me this enhanced my reading of the novel and I am pleased to say that not only did I get to the end oft he novel this time, but I actually really enjoyed it. I found it easy to visualise the different descriptions and environments and this in turn made the novel an easier read and also an enjoyable one. Although I knew the outcome of the novel, there were still many sections within it that surprised me, such as the character of Tom Bombadil. I fully understand that film makers cannot include everything within the film, so it is lovely to read the novel and experience the bits that didn’t quite make the cut.
I think it would be difficult to choose a favourite character from the novel; I liked Tom Bombadil for his cheerfulness and of course Gandalf is an infamous character synonymous with the mere mention of LOTR.
Overall, reading The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings was an enjoyable experience and I am very glad I picked it up again and also that I picked it up when I was a bit older and fully able to appreciate the mastery of Tolkien’s writing. For me it is not quite as engaging or easy to read as The Hobbit and I still think I prefer The Hobbit overall as it is a book I can imagine recommending to children, teenagers and adults alike, whereas I think you have to be a voracious reader to fully appreciate The Lord of the Rings.