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review 2018-04-20 02:03
I left my heart in Middle Earth.
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy are my go-to books when I want a comforting, lovely adventure. While the epic fantasy genre has certainly evolved since Tolkien's time, there's something to be said for the classics and these books are absolutely classics. 

 

Tolkien's world-building abilities were legendary and his characters - while, admittedly, less developed than I usually prefer - are memorable and compelling. The journey that starts in The Hobbit and continues all the way to The Return of the King is enjoyable, full of wonder, and - as the genre suggests - truly epic. I've lost count of the the number of times I've read these books, and it's only a matter of time before I go back to them. 

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review 2018-03-15 13:54
Interesting Look at the World of Middle Earth
The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien

So this was hard to read in just one sitting. It took me several days to finish with this. Honestly I am glad that I did read this, but it's definitely not a book I would re-read again. There were parts of it that put me right to sleep. I think my favorite section was The Third Age. 

 

Tolkien definitely uses The Bible, Greek, and Roman mythology as inspiration for some of the characters and events in "The Silmarillion." I got a kick at first going oh this is supposed to be Hades, this is supposed to be Persephone, this is Neptune, etc. But yeah after a while I just ceased to care about some of the characters we were getting introduced to as we went along. It just read as this person and this person are related to this person, and they had sons named X. 

 

I do have to say that Tolkien mirrors most of the language that is used in The Bible. I would call it excessively flowery language, but some of it definitely evokes a reaction in me. 

For example:

 

"Three Rings for the Elven-Kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie."

 

Doesn't that just make you sit and picture it in your head?

 

Other times though I found myself re-reading the same lines over and over again since he would sometimes put information on separate people in a sentence and I would go, wait, who is he talking about here? 

 

"Oromë is a mighty lord. If he is less strong than Tulkas, he is more dreadful in anger; whereas Tulkas laughs ever, in sport or in war, and even in the face of Melkor he laughed in battles before the Elves were born. Oromë loved the lands of Middle-earth, and he left them unwillingly"

 

The flow was not great in this. I think that Tolkien was overly descriptive in a lot of places. 

 

The setting of Middle Earth is fantastic though. I can see why so many people love The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

 

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text 2018-03-15 07:15
Reading progress update: I've read 79%.
The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien

Technically I'm finished (thank freaking goodness) cause the rest of the book is showing family trees, pronounciation, index of names, and something called elements in quenya and sindarin names. No I really dont have an interest in the Eldarin language. Cool that Tolkien added all of this though. I'm glad I finally read this, but geez the flow to this was not great. I didn't even perk up again until we got to The Third Age. 

 

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text 2018-03-14 13:33
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien

FYI insomnia sucks. I think I slept maybe 5 hours. I just plowed ahead on three books I am currently reading. Remind me to never try to read three books at the same time again.

 

I am going to go back to The Time of the Hunter's Moon after this and just focus on finishing that first. At least this did make me sleepy enough to nod off again around 3 am. til I had to get up at 5:30. 

 

I am up to Chapter 22: The Ruin of Doriath. I am having fond flashbacks of reading The Bible during Vacation Bible School in the summers. Yes, I was that kid that would re-read the stories of David and Goliath, Moses wandering the desert, and loved the tale of Bathsheba. This is pretty boring though. I would not recommend trying to read this in one sitting. Am glad that I am breaking this up over several days.

 

Since I am already familiar with Roman and Greek mythology there is just a lot of callbacks while reading this work. 

 

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text 2018-03-13 18:56
Reading progress update: I've read 49%.
The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien

I am trying to zen out right now cause if I focus too much on what is happening in the US right now I will scream. I feel really badly for my friends at State Department today. And I thank every thing in the world right now I turned down everyone that tried to push me into the Foreign Service. I can't imagine even dealing with the upheaval at State right now.

 

Back to the book. At 49 percent/Chapter 20. This is a pretty dense read, but am liking it a lot. I think the main thing is that Tolkien borrows from a lot of other source material, but is doing his own twist/spin on things. I know that for a time Peter Jackson had hopes to put this in movie form, but the Tolkien estate said no. I actually think that this would be too much to put into a movie. It would take at least 5 or 6 movies to even get to the point I am at, at this point. 

 

 

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