Customer Review

1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars halfway point interpretation, 4 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lord of The Rings (Based on the 50th Anniversary Single volume edition 2004) (Paperback)
At the time of writing this, I am about half way through The Two Towers. Of what I have read so far, I am undecidied about what I think of it.
I feel that I have entered the fantasy genre backwards, after having been a dedicated SF fan all my life. After reading Sara Douglass' Axis Trilogy and Wayfarer Redemption, I feel a little ambivalent towards The Lord of the Rings. And I can see both the good and negative sides of the story.
The main thing I have noticed is that the characters are, as has been stated previously, slightly one dimensional. A little more insight into their backgrounds and personality might have helped. Also, I have found myself wanting to know more about aspects of the story which seem to be taken for granted by others. The origin and use of magic, Elven or otherwise, is an example of this. The lack of use of each character's abilities and traits seems to spoil the narative.
On the positive side, I must applaud Tolkien on his ability to create not just a current world, but it's entire history and evolution, as dipicted in The Simarillion. The wide variety of characters is astounding, as are the vivid descriptions of the battles.
All in all, I have feel a little let down after all the hype, but it is still a brilliant novel in it's own right. I tend to get bogged down in all the translations, where one person or place has three of more names in different languages, and all are used interchangably, but that is my fault, not Tolkien's. I am enjoying it for what it is worth, but reading it from the perspective of a hardcore hard SF buff, with limited backgrounf in the fantasy realm, I feel that the book has been slightly overrated repeatedly. It is very hard to be objective in a review, so the only recommendation is to read it and make up your own mind.
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