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Tolkien. Genius or Boring? (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Hi I was wondering what ever one thinks of Tolkien's writing. When I was a bit younger I read the Fellowship and found it boring and too wordy, but now I am really enjoying the reread of it and find it very interesting and really catches my attention.

What do you all think?


Senior Member
Absolutely boring, over written tripe. Ambitious, but severely flawed. Needlessly verbose and lacking in style.


Senior Member
Okay then, which type of fantasy writing do you enjoy most, overly detailed ones or action ones, *ie Tolkien v.s. R.A. Salvatore or other new age fantasy writers?


Senior Member
Both. You can actually be both.

What Tolkein created is just amazing, but stylistically he is wordy and a little self-indulgent.


Senior Member
Tolkein's writes portray organized thoughts and imaginations beyond my wildest dreams... I mean...the guy had a whole fantasy world going on inside his head...he must have lived, eaten and breathed this world...and he wrote it down so vivid...genius...pure genius.

Spherical Time

Senior Member
Talia_Brie said:
Both. You can actually be both.

What Tolkein created is just amazing, but stylistically he is wordy and a little self-indulgent.
I agree. Tolkien is both.

George R.R. Martin is an amazing writer.


Senior Member
I need to check out the books after watching the Lord of the Rings...

Something I came across today:
I was watching some rerun of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I saw the contestant using a lifeline to phone a friend and I was surprised to see the question(paraphrased):
What did the character Frodo Baggins have to destroy?
A. Necklace
B. Ring
C. Bracelet
D. Some accessory

The person on the line told him the answer and so the contestant went with B. Guess how much that question was worth. $32,000. (The title "Lord of the Ring" wasn't in the question obviously...)

I'm guessing (and hoping) this was aired before the Lord of the Rings was released in theaters.


Senior Member
Tolkien made his world believable. Like wisdomseeker said, he lived and breathed his world. It is a masterpiece of creation. But nobody said masterpieces were attention grabbers... much like how I find the Mona Lisa completely unattractive in any sense.


WF Veterans
Tolkein is like Shakespeare... We know he's genius but we just don't get why the hell he wrote what he did. Well... I think Shakespeare just wanted notoriety.


Absolutely both. I've tried on several different occasions to get through Fellowship, and I actually did once, but I think I sort of phased out for the last third of the book.

The way I look at it, there's nothing inherently wrong with his writing, and everything other than his writing - his plot and characters and consistency - is nothing short of amazing. The problem lies in that the book reads somewhat like a historical account, and even the most interesting scenes become a chore to read after a while. In the end, that's why they made such brilliant movies, when adapted without taking many liberties.


Genius. ;) At least on the L.O.T.R. series.

And even if someone can prove he wasn't, I loved the stories enough not to care.

The Simillarion(sp?) was a different matter. I couldn't get more than a few pages into it though I tried several times. :(


The way I look at is that Tolkien was the father of fantasy, pretty much. A little bland by some of today's standards for fantasy, but still a great author.


Senior Member
He was absolutely a genius. There are many that think otherwise, but I tend to believe that those who do not understand his writing or don't appreciate the work he put into it simply haven't studied it.

He is the acknowledged father of the genre. Sure there were fantasy stories before Tolkien, and many competent writers in the genre during his time (C.S. Lewis), but none are so widely read and so widely discussed as is JRR Tolkien.

There are bits of genius scattered throughout his writing, and his LOTR series is a fine example of brilliance in writing. Sure it's debated that his character development is underdone, that his plotlines are simplistic... but these are matters of preference. Relating to the genre, I think the underdevelopment of his characters allows for personalization with the reader... creating a tangible requirement that anyone reading the material invest some imagination into their interpretation of the story. That, imo, is genius in fantasy writing.

Regardless, it's all personal opinion... but JRR's writings will be discussed by our children, and our grandchildren. That much is certain.

Define a world as in depth as his, inspire half as many musicians, artists and writers as he has, and let your work survive even half as long as his surely will. I'll call you a genius too.