The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – 1955
All right, this is probably where I lose a few of you, but I’ve had an illustrated hardback edition of The Lord of the Rings sitting in the back window of my car for the past few months, where it’s been battered by the unseasonably warm summer we’ve had. It really is quite a beautiful book… well, it was.
Normally I take care of my books – even the ones I don’t like – but that speaks to how little I cared for this one I guess. No, wait – that’s a little unfair. I certainly appreciate the depth of it and I know the work that went into writing it was substantial, but unfortunately the story didn’t do anything for me.
Perhaps some of that is down to the fact that I’ve never been a great fan of fantasy (I could probably count on one three-fingered hand the amount of novels from that genre I’ve read in my life), and the rest may be that I didn’t read it until I was in my thirties, at which point it probably loses at least a fair chunk of its mystique. It was treacle for me, and took me well over a year to get through it, but I did eventually get to the end, although I was admittedly on auto-pilot for the last few hundred pages.
I know people who love The Lord of the Rings though, and I’m well aware I’m in the minority here. Oddly however, I do remember watching the animated movie with fondness during my childhood, so it’s not all bad!