I debated with myself about whether I should write a post about my thoughts on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books. I never read either as a child or when the first movies came out, so I'm quite late in the game. In fact, I just finished reading Lord of the Rings last week and The Hobbit was keeping me company while I was sick over the holidays. But, in speaking to some friends, I found that I'm not the only one whose never read these and that some people still are a little biased about these books, so I decided to go ahead and add my bit on these titles.
I loved both of these titles very much. It is hard for me to choose a favorite, but if pressed I will most likely say The Hobbit. It has the same amount of adventure and action in Lord of the Rings, but compressed into one volume. In reading The Hobbit my mind was full of joy. It made me excited to explore and gave me a bit of a kick in the pants to plan some mini-adventures with C. I also found myself more sucked into The Hobbit and staying up late to finish "just one more chapter." (You know how that is!)
With Lord of the Rings I was surprised as to how different it was to the movie. The main thing I was completely shocked about is how much they changed the characters of the hobbits. In the movie they make the four hobbits seem helpless and a bit daft. In the book, it is obvious they can hold their own and in a way, I found them more courageous than any of the other characters. Frodo is much less of a whiny b*tch in the book as well. (Come on, he is SO whiny in the movie.)
The main complaint I have with Lord of the Rings is that it can get terribly boring in parts. Here is what I will warn you about Lord of the Rings:
- The first two chapters of volume 1 are boring.
- The middle of volume 2 is a bit boring
- The boring bits are worth it because it picks up like crazy right after
- Read the preface after you read all three volumes. It will all make better sense and the preface contains some spoilers.
That being said, Lord of the Rings has something in it for everyone. In talking to friends who have already read the series, I found us disagreeing on what characters and scenes we enjoyed more or found boring. I personally found the parts that just focused on the men boring and really enjoyed the parts that followed the hobbits. Meanwhile Donovan thought Sam & Frodo's story was boring and really liked Merry & Pippin, and yet another friend thought all the battle scenes with the men were amazing. So, to each his own.
I feel a little silly writing a "review" of these titles, especially while The Hobbit movie is out (and I still haven't seen it). But, I very much enjoyed reading these books and look forward to rereading them sometime next year, so I thought I would share. For those of you who have been considering reading these books, do it. At a minimum, read The Hobbit. Though I doubt you'll just stop there.