The Fellowship of the Ring #2: the Ring Goes South – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring: the Ring Goes South

Goodreads Link

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Length: 576 pages

“Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.”

* * * * *

Note: I will be reviewing this book in two parts. The Fellowship of the Ring actually consists of two books, The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South. Because of this, I thought it would be smarter to review each book (or part) of this book separately. Also, because Lord of the Rings, being an epic fantasy novel is quite long and rich, reviewing the parts separately will allow me to get a bit of a “breather” and hopefully maximise my reading enjoyment! 
★ ★ ★ ★ stars

Much to my dismay, I didn’t enjoy this second part of The Fellowship of the Ring more than the first part as I had hoped and expected. I was really hoping to get more “juice” out of the plot, but alas, it just seemed to drag along just as it did in the first part, even worse, in fact.

I will say this again: Tolkien has amazing writing. The book is written poetically and beautifully. Yet I do feel that because Tolkien just spends so much time describing scenery and illustrating long periods of time where there is no dialogue, no plot and no movement, it just comes off as a bit boring. 

I now have come to the conclusion that the way to go with The Lord of the Rings is to read small sections of the book and spread it out as much as possible. Ideally interspacing those sections with other books. Unfortunately, because I was trying to get the book finished relatively soon and because I ended up putting off all of the other books I was reading until I was done, I just felt like it dragged. And boy did it drag. But again, just because I can admit that parts of this book are not perfectly tailored to my reading style (short attention span, generally not much interest in learning songs…) that doesn’t mean that I can’t still see the genius and greatness of this book and it doesn’t mean that I didn’t really enjoy my time reading. 

The history, and the stories and the songs and just everything is just so rich. And I really, really, appreciate it. I do and because of that, I really did love this book. It is quite unfortunate that the dialogue seems lacking however, because whenever the characters did speak, I devoured each individual word. The way that Tolkien animates his characters (in manner and speech) is incredibly fascinating. Each character is originally and personally crafted, as if Tolkien infused each person with a small spirit of uniqueness, abundant in history, folklore, knowledge and personality. 

But again, I do have to say that unfortunately, because of my limited attention span and boredom limit, I do like the movies a lot better. They are the perfect depiction of this fantastic world and story that Tolkien has created and manages to both keep the plot going a bit faster and yet still captures this amazing book which is the genius genesis of Middle Earth. 

I will definitely be reading on, but I also think that for a couple of weeks at least, I need to go on a bit of a high fantasy reading break. 

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