Silent Whispers

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Posts Tagged ‘lord of the rings’

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers- Book 8 Review

Posted by Mrityunjay on February 24, 2018

After finishing the Two Towers, I’d like to start off by saying that I’m waiting to re-watch this series all over again after 15 years or so. I found this book as exciting and much more detailed than the Fellowship of the Ring.  It has a rich collection of lore and depth. Book is split into two distinct parts. The first part features Aragorn, Gimli & Legolas and at some times Pippin and Merry and the second part centering on how Frodo and Sam fare. Both tracks of the book have its own appeal. With the Aragorn & Co. Track, it feels more like a mass event having numerous characters, strategies, plans, discussions etc whereas with the Frodo and Sam, it feels much more linear. You can experience feelings and journey of two people rather than the goings on of a large group.  The hobbit track is more intimate and dark. You feel more for these two as you know they are carrying the most dangerous thing in the world to the most evil place on the planet in a journey fraught with not just physical but psychological damage as well with a lecherous, nasty companion. It is more intimate.

41cnYEiew3L._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_Somehow I have developed a respect for this series mainly because of the depth of each of the character and the way Tolkien has visualized middle earth. It is sheer brilliance of the author that in one chapter alone you find more depth than you find in most 300 page novels.

At times, The Two Towers can be confusing since the names feel so similar but then looking at the positive side, it forces you to go back once in a while and focus more. The second book of the trilogy has more instances of day-to-day events which may appear like taking pace off the story but then you wouldn’t want it any other way simply because of the richness of the text. Also during that slow phase, new languages and histories are introduced for new characters. The Ents,for example, have their own language (which you hear at times), have their own songs, and have a troubling love story to boot. Additionally, they are pretty badass particularly when Treebeard and the other Ents decide to attack Isengard. You couldn’t help but cheer for them.

As for the movie version, from what I remember there were few digressions. For instance, I felt disappointed with the speed with which the Battle of Helm’s Deep was done. That was such a short passage, and I was expecting a totally amazing fight sequence. So that let me down just a little. Then there was unnecessary battle with orcs and warg wolves in the movie just to enhance a subplot between Aragorn and Eowyn Also, in the book Faramir is a great character having kindness, strength and integrity but in the movie he is shown a more like his brother Boromir who perished at the end of the first instalment. I can recall few more examples like how the Ents went to the war was totally incorrect in the movie. Also throughout the book, the equation between Frodo and Sam was cordial and motivating but in movie, things were shown slightly differently. Not to mention that Frodo is so much stronger in the books than the films.  They turn him into a weakling as well. The characters are so great and unique.  There was no need to change them. So, in a way Peter Jackson took quite a few liberties while making the films and movie version is not exactly faithful to the book.

It is an epic fantasy that has earned that classification.  Occasionally it can be difficult to get though and some of the sentences will need to be reread a couple times because of the multitude of the characters, route names, geographical details and bit of poetry etc but if you can get through it, you will be glad you did. With all this depth and history, you can’t help but get sucked into the story.  What makes Lord of the Rings so incredible is the way it engages you. It takes you to a totally different realm. The vividness of the trilogy allows you to paint the picture of what the characters are going through. It is a powerfully thematic, thrilling adventure that is absolutely worth your time.

Grabbing the final one of the trilogy. Happy reading, folks. Cheers.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- Book 5 Review

Posted by Mrityunjay on January 29, 2018

Once upon a time the famous physicist Albert Einstein was confronted by an overly concerned woman who sought advice on how to raise her small son to become a successful scientist. In particular she wanted to know what kinds of books she should read to her son.

“Fairy Tales,” Einstein responded without hesitation.

“Fine, but what else should I read to him after that?” the mother asked.

“More fairy tales,” Einstein stated.

“And after that?”

“Even more fairy tales,” replied the great scientist, and he waved his pipe like a wizard pronouncing a happy end to a long adventure.

(Source-Brainpickings)

Above story prompted me to go for this book. It is not an easy book to review. I mean, how would you review one of the most celebrated pieces of fiction/fantasy ever written, turned into a humongous series of movies, universally admired and acclaimed?! I was always a fan of Lord of the Ring (LOTR) trilogy; surreal visuals, depth of characters, scale & vision of the director and studio- just everything about the movie series felt grand. It wasn’t until recently that I felt like reading Harry Potters, Chronicle of Narnias & LOTRs of the world, having seen all these movies long back. Primary reason was, I wanted to explore all the literature genres hitherto untouched and secondly, being a part of Education field, I felt it might fire up my own creativity and give me some ideas as Einstein reiterated above.

“The Lord of the Rings” is often considered as the pinnacle of fantasy literature. Written by professor of lotr.jpglinguistics J.R.R. Tolkien, it is a high-fantasy epic- something that the movie series did much to cement in popular culture. The richness of the world Tolkien created is just stunning. A major portion of the book is devoted to telling the history of the places hobbit Frodo and his companions’ journey through and the people they encounter. It’s a large narrative about Middle Earth where everyone and everything has a story. Everything matters. Nothing feels as though it was just thrown in Frodo’s path errantly by Tolkien to further the plot. Tolkein’s descriptions of a place or of some particular race is so vivid and detailed that too often you find yourself pausing for a while and visualizing the entire picture. You could clearly see in your mind’s eyes landscape of the Shire in autumn as Frodo, Sam, and Pippin began their trek away from Bag End.

The book is set in a world created by Tolkien, called Middle Earth. From Hobbit holes to fiery mountains, The Fellowship of the Ring follows the journey of a misfit group on a noble mission to conquer evil. The main character, Frodo, inherits a magical ring that could cause the end of the world. With a fellowship of man, hobbit, elf, and dwarf alike, Frodo goes on a quest to Mt. Doom to destroy this ring. Along the way, he and his friends encounter many obstacles of astounding proportions, which they must deal with to finish their quest. The fantastical nature lends itself to the fairy-tale genre, but the complex nature of the plot can enthrall people of all ages. On one hand, it captures the attention of young readers with fantasy characters and at the same time, it pulls adults with messages of hope, persistence, and honor. The way Tolkien uses the characters to add atmosphere to the story is simply spellbinding. Take any character and you will find it highly detailed, physically and emotionally. The book is essentially just one huge road trip, which brings you from town to town. The journey is quite believable, and so you can understand the expedition more so, Tolkien created a map of Middle Earth, which is included with the books.

The storyline has one single plot of Frodo traveling to Mt. Doom to destroy “The one ring”, leading into countless subplots, which add to the texture of the novels. The book includes a generous dose of poetry which adds to the depth of the plot. Each race has a distinct style of poetry. So for instance, if hobbits sing about their day to day lives then elves wax lyrical about beauty and timelessness. At times, these poems can be distracting but all in all, they also help in delving deep into the mindset of his races. Books introduces several fascinating creatures like dwarfs, Elfs, Orcs, Balrogs, Goblins etc with each of them having distinct characteristics. You will love some of them and hate with equal fervour some others.

If you are wondering about movie adaptation and how faithful was Peter Jackson to the books, then you are sure to find certain deviations. He did an incredible job of adapting such fantastical, epic and well-loved books, but there are many ways in which the stories and their telling differ. Some parts changed, minor characters given larger roles and the feel and pacing differ greatly. Movie has more action and adventure However, what Tolkien provides is a much different experience. In real time, almost, day by day, he is recounting what happened to his characters and he will not be rushed. He is not interested in where the story is going, but the journey itself. Thus, the landscape and the history are important to what he is doing. It gives a much greater sense of distances covered and time passed. The richness of his world starts to come alive once you start reading slowly and going with the pace of the author.

To sum up, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s not a book written for kids. Taking a passage from brainpickings once again;  “I do not believe that I have ever written a children’s book,” the great Maurice Sendak once said in an interview. “I don’t write for children,” he told Colbert. “I write — and somebody says, ‘That’s for children!’” This sentiment — the idea that designating certain types of literature as “children’s” is a choice entirely arbitrary and entirely made by adults”.

Do read the book and As Tolkien says, “Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else … may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds.

Looking forward to see how the other two volumes hold up.

Happy reading, folks. Cheers.

 

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