I've heard that an occasional conversation starter among literary people
is to admit that you've never read an acknowledged classic. Such applies
to me and Lord of the Rings. (And many other books, too, of course.)
But I've long meant to. So I put The Hobbit
plus The Lord of the Rings trilogy into my bookpicker
system. I conquered The Hobbit a few years back. And a not-so-few
number of weeks ago, my script said it was time to read The Fellowship of
Now, my self-imposed rule is that once the
"system" picks a book I must read it next, with
exceptions only for newly-purchased books
and library books;
this can really depress my book-throughput for awhile if
the chosen book is such that I keep finding other things to do besides read.
And, regrettably, such was the case with The Fellowship of the Ring.
I've seen the movie, of course;
it's very much the "good parts" version of the book. And, it's
not to be denied that there are many, many, good parts. But (geez),
there's a lot of walking, up and down hills, through forests,
valleys, dales, caverns, and bodies of
water. There's a lot of eating and drinking. A lot of singing,
and detailed references to history, geography, and genealogy.
All lovingly described, and not very likely to hold my interest, sorry.
All (of course) wrapped around a wonderful tale of an ordinary guy
who's been plucked from his happy, normal surroundings and plunged
into continual peril and terror, all because he's been chosen for a
world-saving task that seems ludicrously hopeless. Fortunately, he
has a few friends on his side.
But anyway, finished now. In a mark of how long this task has been
hanging over me: the version of the book I read is not the one
pictured above, but the first authorized version offered in paperback in the US,
which I bought nearly 40 years ago.