Friday, December 6, 2013

I Hate Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

This fact has been a defining characteristic of my own writing since I first read LotR in middle school.

I mean, he just can't shut up.

Reading LotR is like sitting down with an old grandfather and listening to him try to tell the greatest story in his sizable repertoire, but getting distracted with all the sidelong bits and speaking at length about each and every place the story comes to.

And when I say, "at length", I mean, AT LENGTH. Presently, LotR is a little over 1000 pages in length, but if it were written in the style of today, it would probably clock in around 400 pages. (If I wrote an abridged version, I could probably get it to 300 without undue difficulty and without leaving off ANY of the plot or character development).

I honestly do not believe LotR would be published today, even ignoring all the conventions that were established in LotR that have become cliche by now.

It's too unwieldy. It's a sledgehammer of a book.

Yet, when it's all said and done, that old grandfather telling the story is the greatest storyteller to have ever lived, and it's the greatest story in all his sizable repertoire.

For the impatient and the ADHD, the books are incomprehensible drivel. Incomprehensible drivel that should go down (if it has not already) as one of the greatest achievements in writing of all time.

The Lord of the Rings is myth made real.

More than any fantasy I've ever read (and I've read hundreds), the LotR shares an incredible story from a world more tangible than our own.

Any world-builder to attempt creation on the scope and mastery of Tolkien are a pale shadow of his genius.

How I loathe LotR.

Can he ever stay on point?

Can we get SOME level of character development from anyone besides Frodo, Sam and Gandalf in the first 300 pages?

When reading the LotR I find myself skipping entire passages that do nothing to advance the plot or develop the characters. It reads as a travel-book to Middle-Earth would.

I find myself skipping those passages to my detriment however, for although skipping them improves the story, it steals from the experience that is the Lord of the Rings.

Reading the LotR with a patient, focused mind is one of the most amazing experiences a lover of the fantastic can experience.

It is a journey to another world more than any work ever could be.

It is the definitive world-building and, more so, the definitive world-exploring experience.

Awe and wonder over this world fill every page.

10/10. A+. Must-read. I hope I never read it again.