Customer Review

4 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So over-rated it hurts, 30 Sep 2008
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (3 Book Box set) (Paperback)
I think my problem with this book(/s) is that I didn't read it when I was a child. If I had done, I may have loved it like I did Star Wars or appreciated the world it creates like I now accept that the World of Warcraft universe is impressive in its size and scope.
As it is, I can't get over how thoroughly mediocre the whole thing is. People talk about it as an epic but what is epic about it other than its incredible length? People talk about the life lessons you can learn from it or its universal themes of good and bad. Really? Are we ever given even the tiniest shred of motivation for any of the characters? Is it ever explained to us why the 'good' characters are good or why the 'evil' ones are evil?
I challenge any one of this books millions of fans to find a single person who read this after the age of 25 and liked it. Or to re-read it themselves without the rose-tinted spectacles of their childhood and explain to me why it is in any way more impressive, inventive or rewarding than most of todays fantasy computer games. These too create whole worlds with plenty of maps and creatures and races and fights and quests and so on, usually with more to their story than: "Walk for 1400 pages then throw a ring into some lava" but none of these are every held up as the ultimate examples of literature.
Like "The DaVinci Code", this book is cited as a masterpiece only by people who simply haven't read enough other books to know better.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Dec 2008 17:04:01 GMT
Sina says:
I don't thin "The DaVinci Code" is a masterpiece of literature, it is a masterpiece of bestseller numbers, it is a Saturday night tv crime story in book form. The controversy is what made The DaVinci Code popular, not its literary quality.
I love everything by Tolkien, some of it is very longwinded, but that his way of doing things...and you can boil every book down to one sentence...Ivanhoe: You read through hundreds of pages and the the knight is dead inside his armour, Harry Potter: Scared boy fights talented wizard gone bad, and wins, The Old Man and the Sea: Old fisher in trouble, goes out to catch the big fish, which he gets, on the way back a shark eats it, most fairy tales: idyllic -> problems to be solved -> hardship -> release -> and they lived happily ever after...
So LotR is not the only story you can boil down mercilessly.
Take care,


Posted on 2 Jan 2009 16:33:00 GMT
Chantelle says:
I find this review incredibally insulting. The Lord of the Rings is literary masterpiece, and this is coming from someone who has read all of the 400 books in my collection so I feel I have read enough to make an informed decision. Any brain dead moron can sit and stare at a TV whilst they play yet another ridiculous computer game but you don't really need an imagination or a brain for that do you! Maybe you should try some Janet and John books before you try and read anything else with more than 50 pages as this seems to be too taxing.

Posted on 3 Jan 2009 19:06:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jan 2009 19:06:29 GMT
This is not a children's novel. I don't think many under the age of 16 could fully appreciate it. I first read it in my early twenties. Also your premise that if you start liking something as a kid you'll automatically like it as an adult is seriously flawed, since I hate the Star Wars films as an adult even though I loved them as a child, indeed, I can't think of anything I liked as a kid that I still consider relevant. The book is not overly long either compared to many modern novels from the likes of Stephen King or GRR Martin (the first book in his Ice and Fire series is longer than all three Rings novels combined)
Without this book there would be no Dungeons ad Dragons or fantasy computer games. The creators of D&D were directly inspired by this book and indeed wanted to copy everything from it, but were not allowed to do so.
You're wrong on every point you tried to make and obviously haven't a clue what you're talking about. I'm glad you don't like it, since I'd hate to enjoy anything someone like you also enjoys. Stick to playing WoW.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2009 13:46:44 BDT
Princeiris says:
Mr. Seffen is right! This guy seems to be out of nowhere who just wants to act in the other way other people do. Cos it appears that all people, kids or grownups, like and cherish Tolkien's work.

LOTR is a mother to all fantasy books, u'd better not read all.

And cos i started reading this trilogy when being a grown up and 100% i loved and felt Middle Earth legends should have been just written more.

Posted on 27 Aug 2009 13:53:40 BDT
Euryleia says:
Well your challenge falls flat on its face then: I only read the book after I turned 25 (last year), because as a child I could never get past the swathes of detailed description that bored me to tears; it was the release of the films that made me suspect it was worth giving a second chance. You forget that this book is a big influence for those people who made the fantasy computer games you mention. It's hard for modern readers to appreciate that, as opposed to those reading it for the first time when there was next to no fantasy writing out there.

Posted on 26 Sep 2009 22:37:50 BDT
You sir, are wrong. A master piece is a given to every individual, I accept that. And granted, it's to ones personnel taste. But to ridicule a book like this and lower it's litterateur grandeur to that of The DaVinci Code is an abomination. I'll write no more, as it is pointless and futile, and frankly ... a waste of my time. The Lord of the Rings might not be everyone's cup-of-tea. But it has "proved" on countless occasions that it is a "masterpiece" in novel and film format. Thank you for your time, and have a very nice day.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2009 22:36:32 GMT
P. Mcshane says:
"OMG I've just been insulted"
*insults even moreso*

Typically knuckle-dragging Tolkien fanboy nonsense. I'm all for referring to others as "brain-dead" at the merest hint of disagreement, of course, but personal experience tells me that basic grammatical errors, such as missing hyphens and not ending questions with question-marks, do very little to help an argument.

400 books? Congratulations, now get an English Literature degree.

Posted on 29 Sep 2010 18:31:37 BDT
The Doctor says:
I cant actually believe your comparing the lord of the rings to a computer game. These books are just unbelievable, but of course you need an imagination to appreciate them as each person interprets them differently. Clearly your just an unimaginative degenerate

Posted on 31 Mar 2011 00:16:37 BDT
maybe because they are not literature? Second of all, they do not let the reader indulge in Tolkein's quintisentially English charming tone with his unbeatable style of writing and moreover they do not have 10% of the wisdom and imagination in description, (note by one mind who also wrote other books for those who are interested in the whys and wherefores of "The Lord of the Rings). The characters are completely relatable, a delightful original race called a hobbit which shares so much of Tolkein's passion for nature etc. and feels emotion in a very similar way to an imaginative child: slightly aloof and more than a little ignorant yet nonetheless brave and amiable. I am under 25, 16 in fact and have read the book twice, and no i am not looking for applause or any dorogetary comment but an insight into the influence this book has and why it is rated by people not in a pretentious and naive manner but in a truly passionate one. Good day

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2011 00:21:10 BDT
Heyy... I read it twice before i was 16 and i love all the intracacies of thoughts, pride and grief it entails. When i read it at 10 however it bored me completely and i was devout to my cause of persuading my friend that the book was absolute rubbish. Now i have been enlightened in the most enjoyable form and i hope that out friend also soon finds out why people adore this literary masterpiece.
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