Friday, December 14, 2012

Walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat

My struggles reading Lord of the Rings are well documented, but I was never really sure why. It isn't that I dislike it per se, I just never find myself very enthusiastic about reading it. But a couple of weeks ago, someone suggested that it may be because I'm not very interested in reading about people walking, eating, and singing. At the time, I didn't think that was the reason, but now that I'm about a third of the way through the second book, I'm starting to think that may be a good assessment. When I look back at the first book, that's all I really remember...walking, eating, and singing.

Walking. Most of the first book's 500+ pages detailed Frodo et al walking somewhere. Unfortunately they never got to where they are going, so the book really just chronicled a journey to nowhere.

Eating. It isn't that I don't enjoy reading about people eating; it never bothered me in any of Hemingway's novels, but the hobbits always seemed to be eating when they shouldn't. Every time their pursuers were closing in, they would decide it was time to flee...right after we sit down for a humongous breakfast with all the fixings. Maybe it's just me (and based on the sales and acclaim, it is), but there never seemed to be any urgency to their quest.

Singing. I don't think I get it. I understand they're singing when the text switches to italics and is intro'd with "they sang:" But as I don't know the tune, I'm just reading a bunch of words that often rhyme. I found my eyes wandering over the words many times, and my attention drifting, every time the group started singing.

The good news is I am enjoying the second book more than the first, and the lack of singing (although there still is some), and less eating (due to the fact they don't have any food), might be part of the reason.  About 100 pages in, there is a bunch of singing, and I found myself drifting again. Oh well, progress continues and will continue until I am finished.

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