I saw in another person's journal today that they read "Lord of the Rings" for the first time, and it reminded me of this guilt I have had for years: I didn't care for "Lord of the Rings" very much.
In fandom, that's akin to blasphemy, especially fandom from my past. Let me explain. I first read "The Two Towers" when I was about 8, not knowing it was part of a trilogy, and I found it dry, boring, and didn't make much sense. Now, some of you may be saying, "You were eight???. Yes, I was. I wasn't allowed to watch TV as a child, except for certain PBS shows, and that was as "a treat." So books were all I had to keep entertained, but it was part of me being a social pariah as well. That's a whole 'nother thread, so back to Tolkien. When I was 11, I found that it was part of a trilogy, and read all four books (including "The Hobbit," a kind of prequel), and while I thought it was okay... it was hard to get through. I mean, I have read some pretty heady stuff, I had read Herbert's "Dune" series by then, plus a lot of scientific stuff about the paranormal. I found the whole series to be long, dull, hard to get through with too many main characters and ... an air of how lofty it was that turned me off. I re-read it again when I was 14, and didn't find it any better. I re-read it again when I was 16, at the advice of my best friend, who also told me there was "Cliff's Notes" available. I bought the Cliff's Notes, and used it to keep track of everyone. "Who's that? Oh... son of Aragorn, I get it." It made more sense, and while I was deep in fandom by this point, I figured the feeling of, "But I still think it's boring," was better kept to myself.
Well screw that. I am 34. It was boring. I found the movie to be dull as well, but thank God for special effects to keep me interested. There, I said it. I still had trouble following everybody, and who was who, and did that guy just get killed? Oh, I see. Okay. Doesn't he come back? Oh, he does. Okay. Sheesh. Like watching a soap opera. I found the Shanara series by Terry Brooks and the Eddings' saga to be the same. Even the Harvard Lampoon spoof, "Bored of the Rings" was not enough to keep my interest, and I liked their spoof of "Dune." I guess I am not much into medieval fantasy very much.
Maybe I'll read it one more time to be sure... :)
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000043.html