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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The 2019 Rookie Reader Review
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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 10, 2:25pm

Post #76 of 94 (526 views)
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Do you like maps? [In reply to] Can't Post

If your answer to the above question is 'yes', I can recommend looking up a copy of Karen Wynn Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle-earth. Not only do you get maps for all the ages of Middle-earth; she also analyzes the geography and geology of Middle-earth, illustrates the major battles, and traces the paths of the Company of Thorin Oakenshield and the Fellowship of the Ring.



"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 10, 5:25pm

Post #77 of 94 (523 views)
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The end [In reply to] Can't Post

Time certainly does fly when you're having fun and I had a blast with this part of the adventure. I'm all done with The Hobbit and here are some miscellaneous observations regarding the last few chapters.
1) Since Thorin's gold sickness didn't sound that bad in the book I was surprised that Bilbo kept the Arkenstone. Maybe if I wouldn't have seen the severity of the sickness in the movie I wouldn't be thinking that way.
2) There were some things that I knew were coming since I had been asking questions here the last couple months. I knew Dain would become king. I knew Bard would rebuild. I knew Bard would place the Arkenstone on Thorin for his burial.
3) I don't recall ever reading the Elvenking's name. Did I miss it?
4) No orcs, only goblins. This has me wondering if the LOTR has orcs in it. I'm guessing it does.
5) I notice Bilbo's book is "There and back again, a Hobbit's Holiday." I wonder if PJ replaced the word holiday because Americans use it differently.
6) I loved the return trip. I'm a home-body and don't like to travel but when I do I always feel tense on the way there and relaxed on the way home so I could relate to the trip's opportunity to wind down, have fun, reflect and relax.
7) I was hoping that Bilbo would have gotten a better reception in the book than the movie when he returned. Nope. Oh well, I can't be happy with everything.
8) I was VERY happy and surprised that Gandalf and Balin visited "some years afterwards". This unexpected twist made up for my disappointment with that silly auction.
9) I am somewhat sad that I'm done. I'm the kind of person who gets a little down when something good is over (currently suffering from some post-Christmas blues which won't be cured until February). I'm not going to have post-book blues for long. I got three more to go and folks here have told me to expect a much different writing style. Exciting!
10) So, I would say that the biggest surprise is that I didn't know The Hobbit was written with a younger audience in mind. I also thought I would like it more than I did but I can tell that is the result of seeing the movie first. Had I read the book first I have no doubt I wouldn't have liked the movies as much. Still, I envy you folks who read the book first. I wish I would have listened to all my high school friends back in the late 70s and got in on the action.

"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 10, 6:20pm

Post #78 of 94 (514 views)
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You moved quickly! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm excited to see what you make of the long-expected party.


Chen G.
Lorien

Jan 10, 7:47pm

Post #79 of 94 (502 views)
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A few answers [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I don't recall ever reading the Elvenking's name. Did I miss it?


No. In The Hobbit he's only ever called the Elvenking. He's essentially Elu Thingol from the Silmarillion.

In The Lord of the Rings, his name, Thranduil, first comes up, when his son, Legolas, attends the council of Elrond.


In Reply To
No orcs, only goblins. This has me wondering if the LOTR has orcs in it. I'm guessing it does.


The Hobbit's Goblins are The Orcs of The Lord of the Rings - they're one and the same. Indeed, Orcrist is translated as Goblin-cleaver, even though the component Orc is clearly in the Elvish name; and Azog, later to be identified as a huge Orc, is also called a Goblin. In the foreword to The Lord of the Rings, Goblintown itself is identified as Orc tunnels.

It is worth mentioning, however, that in his earliest writings Tolkien did consider Goblin and Orcs to be separate, if related.


Elthir
Grey Havens


Jan 10, 8:36pm

Post #80 of 94 (490 views)
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Hobbit 3rd edition [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
4) No orcs, only goblins. This has me wondering if the LOTR has orcs in it. I'm guessing it does.



The Hobbit second and third edition refer to orcs twice, outside of the sword name. In my opinion, when Tolkien wrote The Hobbit first and second editions, he considered orcs to be greater goblins (in ways). But for the Third edition Hobbit, Tolkien added a note that included an explanation of his ultimate scenario: "orc" and "goblin" denote the same thing.

The external history is fairly detailed, but with respect to Tolkien's very early Book of Lost Tales, Christopher Tolkien notes about "goblin" (index BLT II): "frequently used as alternative term to Orcs (…) but sometimes apparently distinguished." (while gongs were: "Evil beings, obscurely related to Orcs.")


For The Lord of the Rings Tolkien does not do wholly do away with the word "goblin", but the author-published scenario here reflects the idea noted in The Hobbit third edition.

Tolkien's ultimate notion, in my opinion, works well enough with respect to the two Hobbit references (the second "orc" reference was actually added to the second edition), even though JRRT's mind changed about this while the two descriptions remained as worded.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Jan 10, 8:49pm)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 10, 9:02pm

Post #81 of 94 (485 views)
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I've been reading The Hobbit and LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

for more than 40 years (yikes!) and EVERY time, I slow down my reading as I get close to the end. I don't want to stop.
Thank goodness that LOTR has lots of appendices because I can read them and begin to "come down" from the experience. I'm always a bit blue when I finish, but they will always be there for a re-read!
You are in for a treat. I love The Hobbit, but LOTR has some epic moments that still give me chills. Look forward to your reactions!


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jan 10, 10:23pm

Post #82 of 94 (482 views)
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Don't be afraid to read it again in a [In reply to] Can't Post

few months or a year. Each reading looks and feels different, and even in the simpler Hobbit, I find new things on re-reading. Also, you may get more of a feel of the book-version of the story, so that it might act more like a thing-in-itself, rather than a narrative that in turn compares with and then departs from the movies.
I have the same reaction to the ends of things. I think that's why I'm a re-reader in general.

So glad you're on this journey with us here.Smile



Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 11, 4:59pm

Post #83 of 94 (378 views)
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the next step [In reply to] Can't Post

So if Mr. Low-Tech has interpreted this right: The next step I should take it go to Reading Room, click on "Post New" and then go the Subject and put in something like "The Fellowship of the Ring, a rookie reader review" and then start with post #1. Does that sound good?

"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


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 11, 5:07pm

Post #84 of 94 (370 views)
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That's right! [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

And of course, I expect you to take special note of any astronomical occurrences which you find in the text! Cool


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 11, 5:39pm

Post #85 of 94 (368 views)
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Yes, that's right! [In reply to] Can't Post

You've got the idea.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you make of LOTR!

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.




CuriousG
Half-elven


Sun, 7:38pm

Post #86 of 94 (272 views)
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"Do you think Lord of the Rings will be succesful?" [In reply to] Can't Post

This was a fun find in Letter 87, where Tolkien tells his son about some fan mail, which makes him a little sad, and he worries if the still-unpublished LOTR will be successful. All I can say is "Gee whiz."


Quote



Quote
‘Dear Mr Tolkien, I have just finished reading your book The Hobbit for the 11th time and I want to tell you what I think of it. I think it is the most wonderful book I have ever read. It is beyond description … Gee Whiz, I’m surprised that it’s not more popular … If you have written any other books, would you please send me their names?’ John Barrow 12 yrs. West town School, West town, Pa.’



I thought these extracts from a letter I got yesterday would amuse you. I find these letters which I still occasionally get (apart from the smell of incense which fallen man can never quite fail to savour) make me rather sad. What thousands of grains of good human corn must fall on barren stony ground, if such a very small drop of water should be so intoxicating! But I suppose one should be grateful for the grace and fortune that have allowed me to provide even the drop. God bless you beloved. Do you think ‘The Ring’ will come off, and reach the thirsty?

Your own Father.

It’s nice to find that little American boys do really still say ‘Gee Whiz’.



Cygnus
Rivendell


Mon, 4:52am

Post #87 of 94 (220 views)
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Much thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you so much for your comments. I have had so much fun reading The Hobbit and doing this. Tomorrow I will move onto Fellowship. I feel like Bilbo running and holding up the contract yelling "I'm going on an adventure!"

"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


Mon, 6:16am

Post #88 of 94 (215 views)
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Yay! Fellowship is my favorite! [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing I meant to ask earlier: Are you intending to read the Foreword and Prologue before you begin the story proper? Because both are optional, and are not necessary to read before the story.

The Foreword mainly concerns the circumstances of the writing of LOTR and its connection to both The Hobbit and to the stories of earlier ages (which were posthumously collected and published as The Silmarillion and the various volumes of the History of Middle-earth). It is fairly short and interesting - if you're interested in those sorts of details. But it can be read at any point.

Tolkien got so many requests for more information about hobbits that he wrote the whole Prologue to answer them, which is like a chapter in itself. It goes into a great deal of background about their history and customs, and gives a recap of The Hobbit for those who may not have read it. If you are interested in lots of facts about hobbits, it is a good read. However, it does not include any information that is necessary to know before reading the main story, and some people feel a bit bogged down by it before they get to the first chapter. It is perfectly ok to skip it and come back to it later if you feel you just want to get on with the story.

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

Mon, 12:57pm

Post #89 of 94 (178 views)
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Seconded [In reply to] Can't Post

I have never actually read either the Foreword or the Prologue in conjunction with a reading of the book (though I've read both isolated a few times). If I'm ever inclined to start a read-through, I almost find it essential to start with the actual first line of the story, versus the exhausting descriptions of Hobbit culture.

Others might find the prologue an essential part of their read-through.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mon, 2:04pm

Post #90 of 94 (175 views)
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Oh, gosh, I love the Forewrord [In reply to] Can't Post

I read it even my first time, and I read it every time since then. Since I had read The Hobbit first, I loved learning more about them, and immersing myself again in their story.

I wonder if there's a difference between people who read The Hobbit first or LOTR first, in terms of enjoying the Foreword?


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Mon, 2:05pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Rivendell

Mon, 2:17pm

Post #91 of 94 (173 views)
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Don't get me wrong, re: the foreword [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the foreword (not so much the prologue), but moreso as a document about the making of the book rather than an essential ingredient of the diegetic narrative, somewhat akin to listening to Jackson's DVD commentary vs watching the film itself.

I get the sense that you're talking moreso about the prologue, though, which I admit I find tedious and have probably only read in full once or twice.

This is definitely coming from a LOTR first reader; I never read the Hobbit in full until I was an adult, whereas I loved LOTR as a kid. That might be the difference.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Mon, 2:36pm

Post #92 of 94 (168 views)
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Diegesis: a definition [In reply to] Can't Post

I love words and learning new ones. Never heard of "diegetic" before, and thought the definition & commentary on Wikipedia were helpful.

So it goes back to the usual debate about whether an author should "show" or "tell," with the advice usually being the former, though Tolkien did plenty of "telling" in The Hobbit.

And since I always marvel at what people thought about 2500 years ago, this was an issue Plato & Aristotle were quite familiar with. So, I finally caught up with something that's been known for 2000+ years. Next I hope to figure out those intriguing but mysterious inventions known as "wheel" and "fire," but I'm not one to push myself too hard in a single day. Smile


Quote

Diegesis is a style of fiction storytelling that presents an interior view of a world in which:
  1. details about the world itself and the experiences of its characters are revealed explicitly through narrative.
  2. the story is told or recounted, as opposed to shown or enacted.
  3. there is a presumed detachment from the story of both the speaker and the audience.



Cygnus
Rivendell


Mon, 4:52pm

Post #93 of 94 (157 views)
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step ahead [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a step ahead of your question. I did read it.

"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


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mon, 11:22pm

Post #94 of 94 (133 views)
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I do tend to think of the Foreword and Prologue [In reply to] Can't Post

as the same, so I might have mis-spoke. I love it all, maybe because I'm anticipating the pleasure of reading LOTR. But I'm the daughter and grand-daughter of engineers, so process is part of my DNA. I love reading about process, but can completely understand why others find it hard going. Smile

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