Okay so recently I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For a guy who loves sci-fi and fantasy, I was a late bloomer on the Tolkien front, and I admit it. Having seen the movies, it made me not want to rush out and read the books, since I knew that every line Frodo spoke in the books, I’d be seeing it as Elijah Wood, and whenever something like that happens, part of the magic that comes with imagining things when you read is lost.

For instance, when I read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I couldn’t help but picture Jack Nicholson in there the whole time. It was really annoying, and try as I might, McMurphy was never anything except Jack Nicholson.

Anywho, getting back on track..

Okay, so I read the LOTR trilogy. It was good. That much is obvious given its influence and everything, but the way it was written pained me a bit. I know – I’m downing Tolkien, what an asshole. No but seriously. This is the guy that invented modern fantasy (what a goofy term “modern fantasy” is), and while he was a complete and irrefutable genius when it came to imagining things, he just wasn’t the greatest when it came to writing them down.

For instance, throughout the whole trilogy everyone always shoots queer looks at our friends the hobbits, but it’s not just because they’re small and have really hairy feet- they always say they speak strangely. This may be the case, but from the reader’s perspective you would never have picked up on such a thing. Sure, it could be a weird accent, but it’s odd that basically every character in the series (be they an orc, a hobbit, an elf, etc) speaks the same. Not just odd, but wrong.

I mean Mark Twain broke that more back with Huck Finn. Jim was so black that he outraged blacks at the time and Twain proved that writing in a dialect lends a lot to a story. Why, then, does the Father of Fantasy disregard the use of such a literary device?

Anyway, love the series, great books, etc, etc. Just had to get that one off my chest.


~ by Jonathan Forisha on March 7, 2009.

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