The Fellowship of the Ring, first book of The Lord of the Rings, was a tiring task assigned by my English teacher just two weeks ago. I had always heard of the people who love these stories and their passion towards the masterpiece, however, I have also heard the negative comments made toward the insanely descriptive book, according to the witnesses. “It is a long and tiring book I could not read past the third chapter” is something my mom clearly said to me when I asked her if she had read the novel. Too many characters, too much description and very long chapters. The moment the book was placed on my desk, I accepted the challenge.
The first day I began by reading the prologue, and to be honest, I only understood a 10% of. I let my worries go and told myself “The moment you get the hang of it, you will understand”, and I indeed have gotten the hang of the story, but that has not made my desperation go away. Just at the third day of trying to read the book I decided to make the calculation of how much I would have to read each day. Thirty-four pages per day. That is how much I would have to read to finish the book on time. Had I not know how the book was written I would have said “piece of cake”, but after reading the first pages of the second chapter, each one got longer and longer, the minutes passed faster and my ability to understand what J.R.R. Tolkien was trying to transmit to me was completely null. I read each page twice for a while until I reached a point where I didn’t care. I tried reading faster only paying attention to the parts of the story I considered the most important; the actual description of the story and not of the landscape.
As the due date came closer and closer and I tried to read more and more during my trip through three European countries, I started noticing how my bookmark moved meaninglessly as I passed each chapter. I would not finish the book on time. I decided to try to read as much as I could but not stress over a thing that I could no longer change, however my challenge to finish the book is still on the go. I have understood that the book is a total masterpiece, however, I do not believe I am the audience the author was directing this book towards.
Would I recommend this book at this point? No, I would not – for it is not one of the books I have enjoyed the most. Do I understand why the book is a masterpiece? Definitely. The ability the author has to make a picture in his head and transmit it through words is marvellous. The smallest details are given and a perfect map could be obtained from pure description. He takes you through the whole land, gave perfect properties to each of the places that he created and created a complex story that even today shocks the people as new things are understood and found.
In conclusion I will finish reading the book solely for my pride and curiosity, nothing else. It is a tiring and way too descriptive book for my taste, however, I would not discourage those who love fantasy, long adventures and a very descriptive book or those who are willing to give it a chance. This is my sole experience, and maybe if I would not have been on a trip at the moment, the burden would not have been that heavy. However, I now have much more time to finish it and maybe with less stress in my mind, my liking towards the book will increase.
Teresa Jimenez, Grade 9