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J.R.R Tolkien (1 Viewer)

S.Thomas

Member
What do you readers and fellow writers think of the author J.R.R Tolkien the author and creator of the Lord of the rings trilogy.
 

Gafgarian

Senior Member
I read The Hobbit and was very impressed by Tolkein's style and ability to make you feel like you are part of the story, even one so epic as the Hobbit. However, thinking that since the Hobbit was so impressive that the Lord of the Rings trilogy (this is pre-movies) had to be amazing I went straight from the Hobbit to Fellowship of the Ring. I was pleased to find that Tolkein had managed to carry over his unique way of grabbing your attention from the Hobbit to his next literary achievement. I thouroughly enjoyed the Fellowship and moved onto the Two Towers. At first the Two Towers possessed all of the magnificence that the previous two books had, yet as I neared the end I found that the story slowly became bland. And although I started reading Return of the King I couldn't finish it. Anyway those are my feelings.
 

S.Thomas

Member
ya,it makes you a part of the story ans did any of you aee the movies and did you guys read the lord of the rings novels?
 

demonic_harmonic

Senior Member
this is going to sound terrible, but i just dont like tolkien.

and i wish i did. ive tried to get myself to like his work. i love the movies, i think the story line and morals and ideas are just fascinating. but his writing style bores me to tears.


well, not literally to tears. its just not my thing. i also read the silmarillion, and i didnt care for that one, either. tolkien just isnt my thing.


but at the same time, i dont think it could be cut down and still be of quality. everything he wrote into those books had a point, whether it be to add to the story line, characters, or feelings of the worlds he created. so even though i dont like it, i still think its very good.


in that... you know... i dont like it but i should... sort of way...
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
I read The Hobbit back in elementary school and I absolutely loved it. Then I read The Lord of the Rings in 6th and 7th grade and it was so incredibly boring... I couldn't recall any of it. So now I'm re–reading it and I must say, Tolkien was a very good writer. His style can be difficult to get through if you don't read at a somewhat high level, but his descriptions are great and it really paints a picture in your mind.

I used to think the movies were pretty damn good, but now I know they don't do the books justice (except in the battle scenes, which were not the focus in the books).
 

Gafgarian

Senior Member
Actually I was quite happy with what Peter Jackson did with his visual interpretation of Tolkein's works. The theatrical versions were focused more on the battle sequences simply to draw in people who were not there to watch Tolkein's fantasy world unfold. However, Jackson actually filmed and edited almost two hours of extra footage for each movie, including many key elements of the book and storyline. If you get a chance, I definitely recommend the extended version DVD's. Peter Jackson and the entire LOTR crew realized that true fans of the LOTR trilogy would be disappointed with what was released in the theaters and took the time and money to shoot millions of dollars worth of extra scenes should be commended.

Gaf
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Actually, they originally intended to put all that extra footage in the movie. This happens with most movies, and some, like the trilogy in question and another one called Dogma, have to be cut—a lot—in order to be able to show it in theaters. Putting it altogether as an "extended edition" is unique (as far as I know), though, and pretty cool.

They're okay, but they seem like a bunch of scenes strung together without a lot of cohesion... The books described everything that happened to the characters as they travelled from place to place (and it REALLY irks me that they left Tom Bombadil out of the movie!), whereas the movie just changes from one point in time to another.

They also made Gollum less evil in the movie... Although that's the trend nowadays. They don't make characters who are "just evil" anymore; they always have some sort of social reason for being so (which actually reflects developments in sociology and psychology in determing what causes people to become sociopaths).
 

Gafgarian

Senior Member
That is true I completely forgot about Tom when I was watching the DVDs, huh?

As for the psychological world's decided concepts on a sociopath's development, wow, don't even get me started on those stubborn theories.
 

demonic_harmonic

Senior Member
His style can be difficult to get through if you don't read at a somewhat high level, but his descriptions are great and it really paints a picture in your mind.

i dont think you intended it to come out the way that sounds on the internet. atleast i hope you dont hehe. <3

i have a pretty high reading level. i just thought it was too elaborate, and it made it boring. i like the lord of the rings in 60 seconds version.
 

Bhauger

Senior Member
Hodge said:
His style can be difficult to get through if you don't read at a somewhat high level, but his descriptions are great and it really paints a picture in your mind.

No, I don't think that's it at all. It's just a lousy writing style, most of it is passive right?

I just don't see how you can come up with that gem right there, considering a lot of his fans are little kids.

I've read Dune and A Song of Ice and Fire, I'd say they're infinitely more complex than Lord of the Rings. I know, I know, EBUUUL VS GOOOOD can take you by surprise at least once, or almost once, a book!
 

Hakeem

Senior Member
J.R.R Tolkien is one damn brilliant guy!

You know the begining of the book is what makes me decide if I want to read it or not, when I first popped the LOTR open I read the first few pages and felt my soul was going to be out of my body! IT WAS SO BORING!

But, notice the but before you go "What does he know!", hearing many poeple talk about LOTR and reading news and articles in the net I have to agree that J.R.R Tolkien is a brilliant guy.

Also Peter Jackson created the the movie in a beautiful style! I loved the return of the kings really.
 

Hakeem

Senior Member
Ok, I have just one post to hit the 100... and wasn't going to wait for some topic to reply to, so you now.. I AM AN ADDICT NOW!
 

Kane

Senior Member
Bhauger said:
Hodge said:
His style can be difficult to get through if you don't read at a somewhat high level, but his descriptions are great and it really paints a picture in your mind.

No, I don't think that's it at all. It's just a lousy writing style, most of it is passive right?

I just don't see how you can come up with that gem right there, considering a lot of his fans are little kids.

I've read Dune and A Song of Ice and Fire, I'd say they're infinitely more complex than Lord of the Rings. I know, I know, EBUUUL VS GOOOOD can take you by surprise at least once, or almost once, a book!

I read the first two books of the LOTR in high school. I was enrapt at first but got pretty bored near the end of Two Towers. I went back and tried to read them after the Fellowship movie came out and couldn't bring myself to finish more than a couple chapters. My reading level is very high.

I haven't read Dune, but in regards to A Song of Ice and Fire: The story is definately complex, but his writing style didn't seem complex at all. In fact I bought all 3 of the first books at once, having the recommended to me by the bookseller. I read them in a bout a week and a half or less, they unfolded so quickly. Although, during the 3rd book I found myself wanting resolution. I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't read them, so I will just say that "lingering" suspense is only good for so long. after more than 2000 pages I wanted to be rewarded with resolution. =)
 

PaPa

Senior Member
The storyline and world is fantastic, in the the true meaning of the word, and that is, I feel, undeniable. However, Tolkien was a linguist, not an author, and thus his writing style is not what one would expect of a professional writer. It is entirely dependant on the reader whether they find his unrefined prose charming or boring - although for many once the pace of the story picks up it compensates for anything they feel lacking in the writing.

This idea of the story compensating for poor writing has become very prevalent in fantasy, and, untrained as he was, Tolkien's quality of prose still whups the shit out of many modern fantasy writers. The genre of fantasy seems predisposed to attract poor craftsmen, and I have seen a great many fantasy books where the writer makes the most appalling faux pas and yet their book is hugely successful simply due to the quality and pace of the plot.

For me, the classic example of a fantasy writer's blunder is when, halfway through a piece of dialogue in the first chapter of a sequel, they give a quick summary of what has happened in the previous books of the series. It's clumsy, its unnecessary and it jolts the reader out of the flow of the story, but they still do it. Repeatedly.
 

swisstony

Senior Member
I agree PaPa, so much modern fantasy is derivative of Tolkien, and less well written, never mind less fully realised. I hadn't realised myself the challenge of creating an alternative earth could be so monstrous, and it depends in the large part on creating languages and a detailed history, of which Tolkien is without equal.

Add to this some fantastic sequences such as Helm's Deep, along with some great description of landscapes and environments and there's a book which is to my mind a really absorbing trip to another world. However, his characterisation and dialogue blow chunks, they are bad and stilted.

Science fiction can, pound for pound, boast far more inventive and quality authors, though even there, some quite average writing technically passes for a 'masterpiece'.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Tolkien is the founder of modern fantasy. He created orcs, elves, trolls, goblins, and almost every other fantastical beast as we know them today. And of course, the whole dark lord thing (which has been overdone so much that it's now cliché).

I don't read much fantasy because of this. I read Wizard's First Rule by Robert Jordan and while it was okay, it didn't seem like anything special. I've also read some other stuff and really, there are only a handful of fantasy authors I can stand (like George R. R. Martin—he's not a Tolkien wannabe).
 
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Danny77

Tolkien is my literary hero!

First off, if it wasnt for peter jackson(and Tolkien) I wouldnt even be READING books. So...back in high school, i watched the LOTR movied and absolutely LOVED them. I liked them so much I decided to read the books(I never read anything cept for class) well I loved the books so much I started to read other books. Mostly other stuff by tolkien so far, but hey gotta start somewhere. And yes Peter jackson did do the LOTR justice, prolly the only directer who could.

JRR tolkien is the man. The silmarilion is absolutely amazing. Thats the only way to describe it. Also, if you want a good read, read the letters of JRR tolkien. It really lets you see what kind of person tolkien was and what his life was like. He was a great writer and a great person. I have the utmost respect for Tolkien, and everything he has written. I love the last line he had written in what was probably his last letter he ever wrote.

Four days before he died
"It is stuffy, sticky, and rainy here at present - but forecasts are more favourable."

Man that is so awesomely symbolic. Now maybe yee nonChristians out there would say its quite ironic, but being a Christian, I just think thats really cool. Dont want to start a religious flame post, but man I love the guy!
 

XandrilZaax

Senior Member
Tolkien is also my favorite author. The Lord of the Rings is probably the greatest literary work of the 20th century and now, and probably will be for a long time.

His other books, the Silmarillion for example, are harder to read, but incredibly good. Except for the Hobbit of course, which is good in its own right.

I dont think the movies quite lived up to the books, but they did an admirable job, even with the few things they messed up on.
 
I read the LotR trilogy a couple of years ago and loved it. Therefore, the natural progression was to move on to his stuff like the Silmarillion ( :roll: ). At the time I was really into it, or tried to be i spose :p At the time Tolkien was by far my favourite author, and the i loved whole LotR franchise (books and movies together).

I could still read the trilogy again now, and the Hobbit which i enjoyed, i just don't have the obsession factor anymore. I still appreciate Tolkien as a genius in literature and language, I guess I've just moved on to other stuff.
 
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dlloyd

Wow, my first visit to this forum and I find a Tolkien thread! :)

I'm a self-admitted Tolkien geek; The Silmarillion is my favorite book, and I've read through all the "Unfinished Tales", "History of Middle-Earth", "Tolkien Once Scribbled This On a Napkin", etc. sort of books.

At the same time I realize they're not for everyone, just odd people like me...

Hodge said:
Tolkien is the founder of modern fantasy. He created orcs, elves, trolls, goblins, and almost every other fantastical beast as we know them today. And of course, the whole dark lord thing (which has been overdone so much that it's now cliché).

Actually he didn't invent any of those things; they were borrowed (in some cases right down to the character names and storylines) from earlier myths, particularly the Eddas and the Mabinogion. What Tolkien did was bring them together in a believable, detailed world; he gave them languages and culture and wrapped it all in epic storylines.

Hodge said:
I don't read much fantasy because of this. I read Wizard's First Rule by Robert Jordan and while it was okay, it didn't seem like anything special.

Uh, that book was written by Terry Goodkind, if I recall correctly. Jordan is the author of the series known as "The Wheel of Time To Make Another Pile of Money Without Actually Advancing the Story".


Danny77 said:
Thats the only way to describe it. Also, if you want a good read, read the letters of JRR tolkien. It really lets you see what kind of person tolkien was and what his life was like. He was a great writer and a great person. I have the utmost respect for Tolkien, and everything he has written. I love the last line he had written in what was probably his last letter he ever wrote.


The two that stuck with me were the one relating to his wife's death (naming her "Luthien" after the character from his stories), and the one he wrote in response to a German (nazi-era) publishing company asking him to remove "certain undesirable racial elements" (something of that nature) from his books - Tolkien basically told them in a very polite way to go :shock: themselves.


There are hints at this in some of the letters, and his biographers have gone into it in more detail: for all his talent and (late in life) success, Tolkien lived in a sort of quiet despair over his work. He was obsessed with refining and rewriting it till it reached perfection, and he worried (rightly so) that there would never be time to do so. His frustrations effected his health and at times he would withdraw from writing for months at a time.
 
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