I know, I know. It is a miracle that I have got to the ripe old age of 21 without having read the LOTR trilogy. A poor effort on my part. I have however, seen all of the films – in a gruelling 10+hour marathon on a hungover Saturday. To be honest this has not ruined the first book for me much, as I cannot really remember what happened when anyway.
Before I continue, I must say this: in the film it is a big deal when Gandalf is all like ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!’ To the point that I know people that will repeat the quote whenever possible. Yet, in the book, Gandalf actually says ‘you cannot pass’. What is the deal Hollywood? Why change it?
Most people know the basic story so I am not going to go into too much detail here. The bare bones of it are thus; Frodo Baggins (a hobbit, small person) inherits a magic ring from his uncle. Turns out it is the ultimate ring and evil guy Sauron wants it back so he can rule over Middle Earth. Instead, Frodo and co. decide to ride off on a quest to destroy it. Calamity ensues, as you can imagine. This is the first of three books, with the others describing more of what occurs – this is more of a preparatory book, as the ‘fellowship of the ring’ forms for their quest to destroy aforementioned ring.
I actually really enjoyed this book. I was not expecting to – having once attempted to read The Hobbit at the age of eight and not getting along with it. Also, I was warned of the sheer level of descriptive writing, and being someone who dislikes Dickens for this exact reason was not sure. But I pressed on, and found this book incredibly hard to put down. It is no quick read, being largely 500-odd pages of description, yet it is pretty easy to engage with the plight of the hobbits and wish to discover more.
It is admittedly a very fantasy heavy book, so if you enjoy that kind of thing I would urge you to press on and give it a read, but if not I am pretty sure you will hate it. People like what they like, no judgement!