Saturday 19th April – Tuesday 27th May
As a bit of a holiday treat, after finishing the latest section of ‘The Embarrassment of Riches’ and with a week in Amsterdam looming, I decided it was time to treat myself, and so returned to possibly my favourite book of all time – The Lord Of The Rings.
As a teenager, I read this book every summer holidays from the age of eleven onwards. However, it is probably the best part of a decade since I last read it, possibly more. As a result I was more familiar with the films than the books even though I didn’t realise it until I was deep into the books.
The book itself is just as wonderful as I remembered, though I will admit that I found the very end a bit of a drag. I’d also forgotten how hierarchical the society was (Sam is much more of a servant to Frodo in the book than he is in the films), but I can only assume this is an (un)conscious reflection of the society at the time Tolkien was writing. I also found that the style of the prose changed from chapter to chapter, which made me wonder if it was written at vastly different times and then stitched together later.
The greatest thing about the story is how it could still entrance me even though I am probably more familiar with the story and the book itself than any other.I still find the Black Riders creepy and the book retains its tension despite repeated reading.
I was also suprised how much it makes me want to live in Middle Earth. Even though the times are dark and the events of the book change many things irrevocably, I can’t help but think that there is something appealing about the whole place.