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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The 2019 Rookie Reader Review
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Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 3, 10:53pm

Post #26 of 94 (726 views)
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No problem [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't even the least bit insulted. I was the one who called myself a rookie so I certainly wouldn't be upset if someone else called me that. I thought it was funny! Besides, I like being teased as much as I like teasing others, as long as it's in good fun...which is how I interpreted the rookie joke!

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 3, 11:22pm

Post #27 of 94 (725 views)
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a lot to soak in [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't had time to go though all these responses and likely won't tonight either because of astronomy (assuming it stays clear). I will Friday though. I did get to read chapters 2 and 3 today, "Roast Mutton" and "A Short Rest". I have also started a list of characters, writing down each name and the page number where the character is first mentioned so I can refer back if needed. There were a lot of surprises and deviations from the movies in these two chapters but nothing that shocked me too much. Of course, the small differences from the movies are too numerous to mention.
I am surprised that I don't find myself liking the book as much as the movie (so far at least). Everybody always loves the book more than the movie (not just with Tolkien stuff) but I wonder if part of that is because they usually read the book first so it has the advantage of being their first love. I suspect I'm not as impressed so far because the movie had so much more in it. Of course, I understand that Peter Jackson took one book and stretched it out to three movies so he had the capacity to add much more. (This makes me wonder how I'll feel when I read the 1 to 1 ratio with LOTR). Even though I'm catching myself saying I like the movie more so far..... I am also certain that if I had read the book first I wouldn't like the movie as much. I know Tolkein fans didn't like a lot of things PJ added and finally reading the book is helping me understand why but for now at least, I'm still affectionate toward that first love. We'll see if I feel the same in a few weeks. I may never know the feeling of disliking the added movies characters because until now I never knew what things were like without them.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 3, 11:46pm

Post #28 of 94 (717 views)
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Happy stargazing! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's less evident in The Hobbit than in The Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien had an interest in astronomy.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 4, 12:55am

Post #29 of 94 (724 views)
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Not just having read it first... [In reply to] Can't Post

In many cases, having read it in childhood. It was, after all, written as a children's book. Things that one loves in childhood tend to have a little extra shine on them, and people do not like their nostalgia being messed with!

I nearly always prefer the book to the movie, and this is very much true for LOTR, though I loved the movies as well (with various caveats and addendums, of course). But this is a somewhat odd case, because while I love The Lord of the Rings book very deeply, I am merely fond of The Hobbit. The narration style and simpler approach don't appeal to me as they do to some. Those who love the Hobbit book very deeply had equally strong reactions to the movies. I had no particular expectation of liking the Hobbit movies more than I liked the book...and I don't know that I do. They're a mixed bag for me. Some things I liked very much indeed, some I disliked very much, but overall it fails (both book and movie) to touch the chords in me that LOTR does.
A portion of the frustration aimed at the Hobbit films comes from the fact that they were made after the LOTR films, and made to match their tone and be a "prequel" in ways that the book was not. In the literary world, The Hobbit was its own thing, and LOTR began as a sequel and then "grew in the telling" to become...well, you'll judge that for yourself when you come to it. The tone and style of The Hobbit is significantly different from that of LOTR, and I will be very interested to see how that strikes you when you reach it.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




skyofcoffeebeans
Rivendell

Jan 4, 1:10am

Post #30 of 94 (718 views)
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I have similar experiences [In reply to] Can't Post

I have no attachment whatsoever to the written Hobbit, having only read it in full as an adult– I came to Tolkien as a kid for Lord of the Rings first and foremost (the films were out at the time), and could never get past the Hobbit's narrator intruding on the action as a kid. As an adult, I find the book more structurally intriguing than cloying / annoying / dull (as I did as a child).

I'll be very interested to see how the rookie reader reacts to the change in tone from the Hobbit to LOTR.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 4, 2:08am

Post #31 of 94 (703 views)
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I read The Hobbit first [In reply to] Can't Post

and it will always be dear to me. I can't say I love it more or less than LOTR, but I love them equally, for different reasons.
I have never warmed up to Frodo, and I think that stems from reading The Hobbit first, and loving Bilbo first. I nearly stopped reading Fellowship when I realized that Bilbo wasn't the main character. Thank goodness I persisted! But while I admire Frodo, my heart belongs to Bilbo Smile.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 4, 4:11am

Post #32 of 94 (696 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did read The Hobbit first (as a teenager) and then went straight into The Lord of the Rings. And I also found it hard to warm up to Frodo after bilbo's departure. As a character, Bilbo is warmer and more accessible, and it's easier to be fond of him (not least because he doesn't spend half the story laboring under a tremendous personal burden). Personality-wise, I still prefer him to Frodo. But at the same time, the structure and breadth and depth of LOTR was far more to my tastes, as I was past the age where The Hobbit's approach would have most appealed. So I have fondness for TH where I have love for LOTR but I do agree with you about the protagonists. There are also some scenes in TH that rank equally in my mind with LOTR, especially Riddles in the Dark and Inside Information - which are also the highlights of the film adaptations for me.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Lissuin
Valinor


Jan 4, 4:13am

Post #33 of 94 (691 views)
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I think the book Hobbit is best when read aloud by a good reader. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Cygnus. Your project is a great one for wintertime.

I read Tolkien's stories before the films, The Hobbit after LOTR. After the more adult story of the Fellowship and the ring, the children's bedtime story about Bilbo and the Dwarves - even with a wizard and a dragon and Elves - was a bit hard to stay with. It might be similar to the experience of seeing the film version first with all it's bells and whistles.

Before An Unexpected Journey came out, I was able to listen to a CD unabridged recording of The Hobbit read by actor Rob Inglis. It was just like being read to as a child, as Tolkien created it for his children, and even at age 62 I loved it. Inglis' ability to present all the characters with different voices brought them alive. I found myself laughing out loud quite often and my throat tightening in the final chapters. I usually listened to it in the car, which wasn't always such a great idea, I suppose. Laugh

Here's Chapter 1, posted on the Harper Collins website. The complete unabridged version is carried by some libraries or can be purchased on Amazon. Just another option for your research. Smile Enjoy!
https://soundcloud.com/...e-hobbit-chapter-one


noWizardme
Valinor


Jan 4, 11:17am

Post #34 of 94 (661 views)
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Bilbo and Frodo (and Sam) [In reply to] Can't Post

I read The Hobbit as a child, and turned to LOTR as I was heading into adolescence. At the time, LOTR seemed a step up into more sophisticated material.

I’m a way, Bilbo is an ideal protagonist for a children’s book. If he’s at a loss it is done for comedy. In darker moments- such as when he reflects at the Battle of Five Armies that they all look likely to die - we are close enough to the action to see Bilbo’s resolve, but not close enough for the full horror. More often of course Bilbo, though the youngest and smallest, is the one who has the plan or the answers.

In many ways Sam takes Bilbo’s place as the overlooked hero. Frodo struck me as a different kind of hero, maybe more suited to adolescent thoughts (mins anyway). He’s not an aspirational figure (such as Aragorn, Arwen, or Eowyn or others according to taste). Rather, he finds himself in a world that is far too big, too dangerous, and hard to understand - and he does his best to do the right thing as events rush onwards around him. Frodo spends much more time at a loss for what to do, and it isn’t written as funny.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 4, 2:22pm

Post #35 of 94 (639 views)
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What did you think of the book trolls vs the movie trolls scene? [In reply to] Can't Post

As in, did you like them both? Was one funnier than the other? Did you wish there was a talking purse in the movie? Did the movie trolls' size seem the same as the book indicated? (For me, as a book-firster, I pictured the trolls as smaller than they appeared in the movies, but I didn't think the movies were "wrong," I was just surprised.)

And overall, is Morgan Freeman how you picture Bilbo as you read along, or do you picture someone else? (I think of book Bilbo as fatter than movie-Bilbo, for example.)

As my name indicates, I'm just Curious.


skyofcoffeebeans
Rivendell

Jan 4, 2:48pm

Post #36 of 94 (635 views)
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Agreed (hobbit weight) [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have been satisfied should the hobbits all have been about Sam's size, with Sean Astin gaining even more weight for his role.


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 4, 8:58pm

Post #37 of 94 (607 views)
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CuriousG [In reply to] Can't Post

I did like them both. I also like the fact that the scene was different because (even though I have a good idea of what to expect overall) I never know what small and mid-sized differences to expect. I would just say that I'm not finding the book as intense as the movie. Part of that is expectation. Until 4 days ago I had no idea that The Hobbit was intended as a children's book....older children I assume. I also never knew that he didn't have LOTR in mind but that didn't come as a surprise. Back to your questions... I thought the funny level was equal. I agree that if I would have read the book I would have been surprised the movie trolls were that big. It's been impossible for me to not imagine what the movie characters looked like when I read the book. I have tried but can't get the visual out of my head. I don't think I will be able to. In fact, I've nearly given up on trying. As far as the purse goes I didn't catch myself saying I wish it was in the movie.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 4, 9:27pm

Post #38 of 94 (602 views)
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Two more chapters [In reply to] Can't Post

I just finished "Over Hill and Under Hill" and "Riddles in the Dark". I'm suspecting this statement will be a pattern the rest of the book so I think I will try to stop repeating it after this post. Being repetitive can be boring. I love the book but the movie was more intense. I'm starting to wish I would have read the book first. If I would have, I would have loved the intensity. Since the movie intensified the intensity (can I word it like that?) I would have felt the intensity twice. In that sense I feel just slightly let down....almost as if you folks got twice as much intensity as I'm getting. Or maybe it's just because any story isn't as intense the second time you experience it. After all, I know none of the main characters will die as I read a particular scene and chapter. I didn't know that the first time I saw the movie. I'm not complaining. I'm loving the experience just as much but it is a different kind of experience. It's more of an educational experience since I am equally as interested in learning (what the books are like) as I am being entertained. Although the entertainment level is high....."Several hundred wild cats and wolves being roasted slowly alive together would not have compared with it" writes Tolkien when describing the sounds of Gandalf striking down the goblins. Now that's intense writing I would have missed if I would have only seen the movies!

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 4, 10:05pm

Post #39 of 94 (598 views)
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Keep on wording! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I'm starting to wish I would have read the book first. If I would have, I would have loved the intensity. Since the movie intensified the intensity (can I word it like that?)...

I don't see why not.

Here's something that may interest you. You're probably reading the second edition of The Hobbit, which the film's version of "Riddles in the Dark" tracks reasonably closely. But in the first edition of the book, published before Tolkien had any notion of writing The Lord of the Rings, the stakes in the riddle game are different. As originally written, if Bilbo wins the contest, instead of showing him the way out, Gollum will give him a present: the ring!


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jan 4, 10:47pm

Post #40 of 94 (590 views)
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I've had exactly the same experience, and [In reply to] Can't Post

reactions.(Does that mean we're right?EvilWink)



noWizardme
Valinor


Jan 5, 2:06pm

Post #41 of 94 (565 views)
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Well it's your opinion that counts most here, Cygnus... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I am glad that you are undaunted.

To explain my intervention, if that is helpful or interesting: As many here know I've spent a considerable time organising read-throughs for the Reading Room. A recurring and significant barrier to people volunteering is that they are worried about the reception they will get. I can tell you that significant nervousness about it is a real thing - 'but I don't know enough' is right up there with 'I haven't got time'. Therefore, I'm well aware that posting anyting substantial takes a lot of courage from many contributors - often those who feel least able to defend themselves if they get any form of rough handling in response. And without to people willing to do go ahead and post something despite any nerousness they might have, there would be nothing for the jokers to joke about.

So I feel quite comfortable reminding people of the need to be positive and welcoming here. I think that point stands, and applies to jokes too - perhaps especially to jokes with the problems they can have translating between the various cultures, demographics, and mother-tongues we have on this board. It and still remains valid whether or not I've misunderstood the jokiness of a comment.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


(This post was edited by noWizardme on Jan 5, 2:16pm)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 6, 10:18pm

Post #42 of 94 (505 views)
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As a character says, later on in your reading: [In reply to] Can't Post

"That's an eye-opener, and no mistake!" Laugh

Fascinating, isn't it, now that you've gotten part-way into it! The Hobbit was written when Tolkien was reading stories to his own children. Ten-year-old Rayner Unwin, son of publisher Stanley Unwin, was tasked with reading and reviewing it, and concluded that it "should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9".

And as others have said, feel free to start new threads about your reading, for different chapters or different sections of the books. Smile


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 7, 3:59am

Post #43 of 94 (474 views)
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Im so sorry [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"

And as others have said, feel free to start new threads about your reading, for different chapters or different sections of the books. Smile

I really feel bad but I'm getting the feeling that I'm not doing this right. I'm just so dense at this because of my lack of experience and my low-tech lifestyle (I'm not joking when I say I've never owned a cell phone). So, every time I enter something it's called a post, right? I thought that "2019 Rookie Reader Review" was called a thread.....Or is it called a "Subject"? Can there be unlimited threads in a subject and unlimited posts in a thread? Maybe the problem is that I'm viewing things in flat. I tried threaded but didn't like it. I'm starting to think that if I don't start using threaded it will make it too difficult for others. Are there very few members who use flat? I'm sure this is not the fault of the system being to complicated, it's the fault of me being too simple.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 7, 5:48am

Post #44 of 94 (474 views)
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Don't panic! You're doing fine. [In reply to] Can't Post

People are just offering you options, not having a problem with what you are doing.

A "post" is a single message. A "thread" is a whole conversation made up of posts. When people talk about "subjects" they usually mean the subject line that you enter in the box above the main text of the post, though sometimes they mean "topic of conversation". Sometimes people talk about subthreads, meaning a back and forth about a particular topic or idea within the general conversation of the thread.

You started this thread with your "Rookie Reader Review" post. The rest of the conversation that came from it is part of the thread. We call it that no matter which mode we are reading in. And while we don't have stats on who uses which mode, I think Flat readers are in the majority these days. You are doing just fine using it.

Often RR conversations have been run in a very structured fashion, with a new thread (using the "post new" button at the top of the forum) for each chapter. But those are usually much more detailed and dedicated to in-depth discussion. A read-through where you are just giving your thoughts as you go certainly does not need to be done that way. The person who starts the discussion can do it however they want.

There is no problem at all with keeping your comments about the Hobbit all in one thread. You may want to start a new thread for LOTR, however, or one for each of the three books in it, just to keep the threads from getting too long. We have found threads that go over 250 replies slow down the boards, so we start new ones before discussions get that long. Other than that, keep on keeping on. We are all enjoying this. Smile

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jan 7, 3:50pm

Post #45 of 94 (405 views)
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You're doing great! [In reply to] Can't Post

I envy you the opportunity to experience Tolkien's work for the first time, from a different perspective than most of here. And I envy you your devise-free lifestyle!

Just keep doing what you are doing. I am greatly looking forward to seeing your reaction as you move through LOTR and the intensity ramps up. I'll be interested to see whether your impression about the intensity being more intense in the films changes by the end. I think it might!

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 7, 5:33pm

Post #46 of 94 (376 views)
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Into the fire [In reply to] Can't Post

After reading "Out of the frying pan, into the fire" I can say that the scene with the Wargs trapping the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf in the trees was as intense as the movie scene to me. The lack of a White Orc was no surprise since this is one of the few things I expected because I remembered a conversation with a friend a couple years ago who told me he wasn't in the book.
Tolkien's narration continues to amuse me. Even though I'm now expecting things of this manner, I was still surprised at his reference to Christmas trees.
One thing that really surprised me was the Lord of the Eagles. I hope to learn more about him in the future. I had often wondered why Gandalf didn't use the eagles more often but the "great bows of yew" comment explained that. It would have been nice to know that a long time ago.....Peter Jackson's fault, not Tolkien's.
I have made an adjustment that has helped me a lot and I owe it to you folks. As I have mentioned I didn't know that it was written for a younger audience so I approached the very first page expecting more intensity. Now that I know that is not the case I approach it with a different attitude and now I'm enjoying it more. It's a good lesson in life: adjust your expectations to be happy.
On a side note, I enjoyed this quote at the end about Bilbo "He slept curled up on the hard rock more soundly than he had ever done on his feather bed in his own little hole at home." I think the reason I liked that so much is because when I have trouble sleeping I imagine myself in one of the scenes of Tolkien's adventures, a scene like this but sometimes with different characters (often from LOTR) and different places. In my imagination there is always a fire and (despite the glow of the flame) the stars are always bright. Occasionally though it will be inside, as long as there's a fire. And (like in this scene) there is no immediate danger of being attacked.....puts me to sleep every time.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 7, 5:40pm

Post #47 of 94 (372 views)
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slow tech learner [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
. We have found threads that go over 250 replies slow down the boards, so we start new ones before discussions get that long. Smile

Thanks for telling me. I'll keep an eye on it. It will take me longer than most folks to learn my way around but I'll get there eventually.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


skyofcoffeebeans
Rivendell

Jan 7, 5:56pm

Post #48 of 94 (367 views)
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Likewise [In reply to] Can't Post

I also love the end of that chapter, and rather hoped it'd be incorporated somehow into the end of the first film.


hanne
Lorien

Jan 7, 10:49pm

Post #49 of 94 (345 views)
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An Eagle memory [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so glad you're having fun discovering the books! I agree that the tree scene is pretty intense, with Dori nearly being eaten, then the situation escalating and escalating.

You asked if we had any "first-time" memories of our own - one of mine is from this bit. The painting of the Eagle was the first illustration in my copy to show Bilbo, and I remember having to readjust my mental picture of him all over. For some reason, I'd got the idea in the first chapter that a hobbit was a small, fat, green and yellow dragon. Now if I'd been a movie firster that wouldn't have happened :) I still sometime picture Bilbo as a a potbellied dragon in the first chapter and turn him into an actual hobbit as I go on.


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 7, 11:17pm

Post #50 of 94 (344 views)
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Chapter VI and VII [In reply to] Can't Post

Queer Lodgings certainly had it's share of surprises but for some reason nothing struck me as shockingly or dramatically different. "Dramatically" being a relative term. I had a feeling when I entered into "Flies and Spiders" that would change and I wasn't disappointed. This chapter was very intense. I was pretty lost in Mirkwood. It seemed like a much different place than the movie version. The river crossing was especially tense since the results of contacting the water were so uncertain. Everything seemed new, exciting, scary and full of surprises. Even when I thought I knew what was going to happen it didn't. Could this be happening? Did Bilbo really not see anything significant when perched above the treetops? But then came the mother of all shockers to me. In fact, I'll be shocked if anything shocks me more than this. (I'm certain you know where I'm heading). Bilbo reveals that he has a magic ring. I'm now rethinking EVERYTHING I thought I knew.
Little side note: I'm just not comfortable with the narration and "That belongs to the next chapter" made it worse. That took the narration to the next level. I don't want to be reminded that I'm reading a book. I want to forget that it's fantasy and imagine it's real. I wouldn't want an actor in a movie to remind me that it was just a movie. I feel bad complaining since Tolkien is a million times smarter than me and a billion times more creative. I feel like a person who can't draw with a crayon criticizing the Mona Lisa.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf

(This post was edited by Cygnus on Jan 7, 11:19pm)

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