Skip to main content

Featured Post

Spring means Hope | Weekly Snapshot

Hello you guys! I seem to have forgotten how to blog with everything going on around here. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Hope you all are coping okay?

Last week Things finally got to some semblance of a routine this week and I've been finally feeling better and in charge of my emotional faculties. I've taken over one of the upstairs bedrooms and set it up as my office-cum-homeschool room. In other words, the room is a big mess, but both my daughter and I are able to navigate the room fine as everything in the room has a meaning in our own brains. We're both very organized that way. I've been using a sit-stand desk for my work laptop and I'm a little glad that I got to try this system finally. When I'm not working, I'm helping the girl with her letters, numbers, or fun activities. Trust me, this is difficult but we worked through the system this week, and think we have it under control. My father-in-law watches my son during the day as the little ma…

Review: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (Re-read)


Title: The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: Epic Fantasy
First Published: 1951
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Personal Copy
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge, Flashback Challenge
458 pages




On the flap
The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows they are seeking him and the Ring he bears -- the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed -- Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron's dark kingdom.

I am a little late getting this review set up, but better late than never! I read this book as part of the LOTR Read-Along, that is hosted @ A Striped Armchair, The Literary Omnivore, Shelf Love, and Just Add Books. I didn't get the mid-of-the-month post up, so I'll be mixing questions from the post with this review.

My opinion
Read about my expectations going into this book.

I can't stop exclaiming how much I love this series. No matter how many times I read this one, I still laugh at Pippin's self-important jokes and Sam's insistence on being by his master, even when he is not invited. Moreover, this book is not shrouded by the darkness that creep in, in the remaining two books, so one can be excused if he/she says this is funny!

If you’ve been with us since the beginning, how do you feel about the narrator compared to the narrator in The Hobbit?
This book's narration never once bugged me. I believe that's because this is written for an older audience than The Hobbit was geared towards. Hence, it was easier reading this one, since there were no distractions in the writing that diverted me from the focus of the story.

How’s your pace going? Is it smooth sailing or have you found passages that are difficult to get through?
I didn't find any difficulty weaving through the passages, though once in a while, I was guilty of scanning through a para or two where the skies and the greenery and the beauty of the damsels are described. (In my defense, I sort of already know what the paragraphs are extolling. :-) ) Overall though, my pace was pretty decent without any hitches or bumps!

If you’ve read this series before, is The Fellowship of the Ring, for the most part, as you remembered? If not, is it what you expected or something else? 
The Fellowship of the Ring is as I remembered it, except at one point - the scene at the Ford of Rivendell, where I confused the facts from the book and those shown in the movie. Glorfindel is the elf that rescues the group at the Ford in the book, whereas in the movie, it is Arwen (predictably to avoid introducing too many characters).

Are you using any of the extra features- maps and indexes, for instance- in your book?
I kept perusing the maps at many points. It's a little hard since the maps are part of regular pages in a Paperback, and not like any pull-out posters. I haven't really made much use of the index yet, except to study the Hobbit family tree, which, I should say is so complicated, it's funny that the Hobbits really remember it.

Do Books One and Two have significant differences to you?
I wouldn't really say differences, but I felt the demarcation between the two stronger than when I previously read it. The first part deals with the travel of the group to Rivendell and the various dangers they faced. Book 2 is when most of the characters that become household figures are actually introduced. This is when we get acquainted with the rest of the Fellowship. Moreover, Book One is lighter than Book Two, which marks the beginning of the journey and adventures of the Fellowship.

Who’s your favorite character so far into the novel?
That would be a contest between Pippin and Sam, but I think Pippin would win in the end. His jokes and light-heartedness are a constant delight to read amidst all the gloom. Sam's devotion to his master and his insistence on making Frodo comfortable are very endearing to read. His excitement on meeting the Elves for the first time, was so infectious!

What surprised you the most?
There weren't very many surprises that I came across, other than the realization that Glorfindel rather than Arwen was with the traveling group in the last leg before Rivendell. In addition, I had quite forgotten that Frodo sells his house at Bag End before embarking on his trip.

What was your favorite scene?
This has been a constant over the years - the Council of Elrond. I like how the different characters come together to explain their role in the story so far, and how Bilbo cheekily agrees to be the Ring-bearer! But what I like the most is the pages and pages of intense and fluid discussion among the characters, each person's nature very evident in their analyses and beliefs and also in their stance throughout. Even in the movie, this remains my favorite scene!

What did you think?
Have you read this book? I'd like to know what you thought about it. Please leave your review link in the comments, or a brief opinion, if you hadn't reviewed it.

Did you like it or you didn't?

Comments

I haven't read this series! But I've seen the movies, of course. They were good, but I'm sure the books are even better.

Emidy
from Une Parole
Tales of Whimsy said…
I need to read this. Thanks for the review.
Athira said…
Emidy, the books are fabulous! I agree!

Juju, you should read this sometime!
Anonymous said…
I hope to be able to join in for The Return of The King. I've read the triology before, lots of times, but with Tolkein? There can never be too many times! I just ran out of hours in my day for Fellowship and Towers, but you inspired me to at least try for the last one.
Athira said…
dolcebellezza, ditto on that! With Tolkien, there is never too many times!! I sure hope you join us on The Return of the King!
RRigdon said…
I am working my way through this series for the first time with my kids. I feel so slow-witted because the map/topological discussions really fry my brain. I like the plot, but I get hung up on the names/place names.
Athira said…
Rachel, haha, that definitely happened to me the first time too. But I loved having to look at the maps, I would try to imagine that I was physically present there too. :)
Lisa said…
I've never read any of this series but had to sit through the movies when my sons watch them. I can't help but think there must be something more to the books but I just can't seem to make myself find out!
Athira said…
Lisa, LOL! I didn't know the big deal over these books either till I watched the movies. Then, I used to be OCD about wanting to read books whose movies I've watched. That's how I got started on this series, and I was hooked. I hope you give it a try some time too. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …