I have ticked off one of my ’30 things…’ and finished reading The Hobbit. It was a good read and I can see why it’s a well-loved novel. It is interesting the way its third person narrative definitely makes you feel as though you are taking a peek inside another world. The way it is written makes you fully aware you are reading a story rather than immersing you in the story thus making the characters tantalisingly distant and this struck me as a rather intriguing aspect of Tolkien’s writing. Bilbo wrestles with his desire to stay within the comforts of his own home and the side of him, supposedly inherited from a particular family member, that wants to experience more. More of the world, more of life – a true adventure. We know of this inner battle but we aren’t in his head seeing things from his point of view. It makes for the character of Gandalf to be rather mysterious, always leaving us with the feeling there is more to him, more he is doing behind the scenes and more he knows that we don’t.
My favourite chapter is Riddles in the Dark where Gollum is introduced. He is an ingenious creation and fascinating in how vile and cruel he is, yet humorous and sympathetic. Not many villains will give a painful wail when they are outdone by the hero of the tale and not many are portrayed as immature and vulnerable through the way they speak and talk to themselves. He is another character that leaves me feeling there is more to be told and of course there is. The version of the book that I read was a special gift set that Joe had and it included postcards with maps and pictures, two of which I have photographed and included in this post. It also has a disc with a recording of Tolkien reading my favourite chapter, which I hope to listen to at some point!
I have started watching the first of the three films… I couldn’t quite believe it had been made into three as I was not interested in watching them when they came out so did not take much notice. I did enjoy watching it though I felt the typical it’s-not-like-the-book frustrations. Especially since extra elements not present in the book have been added, which I’m sure has left many people asking the same question: if you need to add bits, why are you making three epic movies?
Anyway, I am thinking I should read The Lord of the Rings etc. but I am interested to know anyone’s recommended books? Partly for my list of books to read but also from a writing point of view – it’s good to know what people enjoy and why… So I would love it if you would take the time to comment and tell me a book or several that you loved reading – also would be nice to know who else is reading my blog!