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Lord of the Rings

by J R R tolkein

why is this book so popular Why was it voted BBC Big Read. I think probably because it was the only book that those voting had ever read! Ps did enjoy the films though!

Suggested by June Lightfoot, Hull City Libraries

Tagged with: boring brilliantly dreadful epic fantastic realised.



The best fantasy novel ever written (by reputation) is actually the worst fantasy novel ever written (which is probably why it is so popular). Tolkien was an extremely intelligent man who spent years creating a vast imaginary world, incredibly rich in depth and scope. And it shows. Written like the driest of history books, with some vague plot thrown in, it grinds along to a perfunctory and unsatisfying climax. If the story is disappointing, then the language is truly dreadful, chock full of some horrendously clunky exposition (even forgiving it is an old book). From someone who loves sci-fi and fantasy, I found Lord of the Rings disappointing in the extreme. Better off with something like the Winter of the World series by Michael Scott Rohan (my favorite series). In light of Tolkein’s popularity, the fact that Scott’s books are now out of print is both an outrage and a sad reflection on how popular taste can be shaped by marketing.
I only read this book when I had seen the films (and yes I am a librarian - shame on me!) but the books were great even more so as I live in birmingham near the places Tolkein played as a child!
You either love it, or hate it. For me it is pure escapism. The lines between good and evil, black and white are fixed - no shades of grey, no complications, just pure storytelling from a great wordsmith, JRR Tolkein. Epic fantasy of course, but at the same time strangely realistic, familiar, comforting and straightforward. Middle Earth is a place to return to - a sane place in a sometimes insane world. Hobbiton /home is a soft, gentle reminder of an "Old England" setting, entirely fictional but ever more compelling in today's modern tarmacadam world.
Lyn Morris
Epic storytelling in a richly detailed world of good and evil make LOTR one of the great novels of recent times.
Dr. Wells

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