Review: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the RingTitle: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, The Return of the King
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein
Genre(s): Adult Fantasy

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Frodo Baggins knew the Ringwraiths were searching for him – and the Ring of Power he bore that would enable Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where it could be detroyed – in the very center of Sauron’s dark kingdom.

You might think it’s strange that even though I love fantasy, I dislike Lord of the Rings, but here’s the thing: It’s boring.

Yep. I said it.

Lord of the Rings is boring. The original books were boring, and the movies were boring. I forced myself to watch all of them, but it went like this: I had high hopes for the first one, even though I hated the book, which were dashed. During the second one, I sat in the theater, half an hour into the movie, wondering why I was subjecting myself to this torture. The third one I didn’t watch for years after it was released, and even then, it was on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I felt obligated to force myself.

In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever finished the books. I’m not sure how far I got, but since there were pages upon dozens of pages of “and they wandered,” I can guess it wasn’t that far. I mean, seriously, how long did they have to wander for? That phrase attributed to Tolkien, “Not all who wander are lost,” stirs my blood. The end of it should be, “… but even those people shouldn’t write a book about it.”

I’m sure fans of this series don’t agree with me, but honestly. I do not understand why people like it.

OK, I understand. It’s a magical world, with awesome creatures, interesting plot (when the plot finally happens), and a wholly new world. And it was at a time when publishing was a lot different than it is now. Back when I tried to read it, I looked up runes in an encyclopedia, learned how to write them, and covered my notebooks with runic phrases. (Mostly “Trust No One” because I was obsessed with the X-Files back in the day, as well.) I get the allure of the fantasy world, obviously, since I’m a big fantasy fan.

The thing is, I feel this way about a lot of the classics. Don’t get me started on Huckleberry Finn. I love Mark Twain. Interesting guy. But his books? No, thanks.

I’m sure this isn’t one of my most popular opinions, but I really felt like I had to get it out there. Yes, I like fantasy. No, I don’t like Lord of the Rings.

Phew. It feels good to get that off my chest.

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