Monday, January 19, 1998

The Fellowship of the Ring

by J.R.R. Tolkien

The "authorized" edition, with a brief foreword by Tolkien about the book's success. Everyone told me to read this classic fantasy, so I have, perhaps late in life. My feelings toward it are ambivalent: while I admire the detail and the craft of the vivid, exceptionally fantastic world and the history Tolkien created, the story didn't blow me away. I feel that the book (500 closely printed pages) gets bogged down at times by geography and obscure genealogy, and is at times a little too caught up in its own wonder at the breathtaking, aloof majesty of Elves and such. While enough happened in the story, and the dialogue was fine, I didn't get a great sense of drama from the book, odd considering the earth-shattering importance of Frodo's quest. When the action did get going, however, it was enthralling. The cliffhanger ending had a lot of drama, for example.

three stars