Please tell me that I'm not the only person on Earth who can't get into Tolkien

Even if it’s a lie, please tell me that.

I watched the movies and they were okay and certainly had some boy-licious elfin and hobbitian eye-candy, but they aren’t on my Top 10 lists of favorite films. I’ve TRIED at least half-a-dozen times to get into the books (including The Hobbit) and I just can’t make it past 150 pages. IT’S ABOUT ELVES AND HOBBITS AND FAERIES AND WIZARDS AND TROLLS AND ORCS FOR GOD’S SAKE!

I have many friends who are intelligent and well-read who use this series as something of a barometer and I’ve tried harder to get into it than I ever tried to get into football, but it’s just passing me by. Generally speaking, if I want the story of an epic battle then I’ll turn to a non-fiction or good historical fiction book set in any of 1,000 wars; if I want a book about diversity I’ll read about Cortes in Mexico or Marco Polo in China and if I want romance I’ll read Shakespeare, but without insulting the tastes of those who love Tolkien elves and other non-existents don’t, in this case, do it for me. (I love SANDMAN, the first two STAR WARS movies, STAR TREK and lots of other sci-fi fantasy, incidentally.)

Please tell me I’m not alone in the “Tolkien- take 'im or leave 'im” wing.


The movies do absolutely nothing for me. They play like one big in-joke that I’m too apathetic to want to understand.

:raises hand:

My thoughts exactly. I never read the books, I watched about two-thirds of the first movie and have no desire to watch the rest. I juist don’t care.

I tried first with The Hobbit as a kid. Remember how Private Spivey wiped his piehole with John Dunham’s diary in Dances With Wolves? drops head Sorry, just from page 20 onward.

Tried again with the Fellowship DVD just last week. Honest… I tried! I really, really tried!

I’ll give the sequels a shot in 2048 or so… if I’m not busy with a root canal.

Thank you thank you thank you… I’m not alone~!

I like Tolkein’s work, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, not so much the Silmarillion, but it has it’s merits.

Originally posted by Sampiro:

I like Tolkein’s work for the way it reads like a history to me. It’s not history, but something about it feels like a history (albeit one told from a pretty narrow scope, but that actually makes it more interesting because it feels like The Hobbit is written by a different person than the Lord of the Rings.)

Fair enough.

Also fair enough, but I never really thought The Lord of the Rings (or the Hobbit) was about romance (or was a work of Romantic fiction in the other sense of the word). The movies play up the romance part a lot. In a similar vein, I’m not sure either of the books are about diversity.

I believe I have an idea of the point you are making with this, but I don’t know that it is such a big deal. I don’t feel that it is only about elves and hobbits and faeries and trolls and orcs, they are just a part of the story, not the main focus.

I hope not. It seems that there are a few replies that indicate you have company. More power to you, if you don’t like him that’s fine by me. I mean, I’d say that you shouldn’t remove the possibility from your mind that one day you might read him on the off chance that you like him this time, but if you never read him and enjoy him it’s not the end of the world.

No, you’re not alone. I like the movies, but I hate the books. I’ve tried reading them twice, and they don’t do a damn thing for me. The problem is the style of the writing, though, not the basic plot; I enjoy authors rabid Tolkien fans complain copy him- makes me wonder what they think of ghost stories. There are just some authors who torture their prose so much it turns on them.

Until the second attempt to read the books, I thought perhaps I was just exposed to them too young. My dad thought LOTR and John Jakes’ Kent Family series (the one that begins with The Bastard) would be perfect reading material for a seven-year-old who read way above grade level :eek:
I did end up reading every one of Jakes books- more than once - in middle and high school, and hated the Hobbit when I attempted it around the same time, so I guess that wasn’t the problem.

Nope. Didn’t like them either, except I couldn’t get even 150 pages in.

Oh, for the love of batteries… does the producer of this show own mag-lite or Duracell? I like the show, but this little annoyance is starting to get the best of me. They can find fly shit in pepper, but they can’t find a light switch?

Is it normal for CSI’s to go to every crime scene and NOT turn on the lights? Do they see the world only through a light beam? Hey, I can appreciate the dramatic flair of the beam, and I can understand if it’s an ultraviolet light and they are trying to find semen. But for a normal crime scene walkthrough, can’t they just once flip a damn switch?


I meant to start another thread.


But for the record, I miss the Tolkien thing too. I read the Hobbit when I was a kid, and I didn’t like it then. My friend did, but I just never got into the fantasy thing.

Are the Tolkien folks the same people that like to go to Renaissance Fairs, or are they a different set of fantasy fans?

Although I am a fan the vast majority of people I know In Real Life are not (including most of my immediate family). So no, you are not alone.

For the record, I have never been to a Renaissance Fair, and have never wanted to. It never occured to me that there would be much overlap between the two fandoms.

I’ve never even been to a renaissance fair.

While “dungeons & dragons” was a result of Tolkien, it would be a major mistake to think that enjoyment of Tolkien must therefore mean participation in endless games of rolling many-sided dice, going to fairs wearing a cloak and a sword, or being devoted to collecting garden gnomes or such stuff.

Tolkien’s appeal is really quite broad. And while it’s certainly not for everyone, such a wide variety of people enjoy it that it is quite difficult to pigeonhole them.

I think the rabid Tolkien fans tend to be nerdy-geeky (obsessive), whereas the big Ren Faire fans tend to be hippy-geeky (new agey).

I personally find Tolkien’s writing style to be horrendous to wade through - but I like the story, and I like the way he writes the Hobbits. Including The Hobbit.

The movies, however, are everything I could want in a Fantasy or Adventure film!

I know some complete geeks. Role-players, ren fest geeks, hell, they’re even Pagan (not that its geeky) that really don’t like Tolkien, they try to read it, they feel like they should (the movies are universally beloved in my circle of friends), but they can’t.

Me, I could take or leave the novels (I read LOTR + The Hobbit, I have no desire to delve any deeper). I bow to the genius of any writer that could lead to the paragon of film that was the movies, however, and appreciate what the guy’s added to the culture.

I’ll weigh in on this along with GL and the esteemed Qadgop. There is some overlap, but as they’ve pointed out, the two sets are not identical by any means. I’m a Tolkien fan who goes to Faires in costume and plays D&D. I also LARP (live action roleplay–which combines some of the better aspects of D&D, hiking, fencing, and improvisational acting). I’m not especially obsessive about any of it, though I am thoroughly geeky. I don’t look down on anyone for not liking the things I like–everyone is entitled to their own tastes.

I’ll admit that Tolkien’s prose is often rather strained, but I find his plots and many of his characters appealing. I read Steven Brust’s “Paarfi of Roundwood” novels, which surely shows that tortuous prose doesn’t trouble me.

I feel like I should love the books. They’re beautifully written. They’ve got depth and the world has a history and mythology and the characters are super.

I just can’t get through the series. I can’t do it. I’ve tried and tried and tried, but it just won’t happen.

Love the movies though.

Well, yes, it is a rather influential example of that kind of fantasy.

Now, I LIKE that kind of fantasy. A lot. Even some of the more badly written examples of it. (I’m rather fond of R A Salvatore despite all his flaws.)

But, I can’t STAND LotR, The Silmarrilion, The Book of Lost Tales, etc. (Love The Hobbit, though.) Tolkien is badly, badly, over-written. He was in serious need of an editor.

As a teenager I halfheartedly read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit and even, for some reason, The Silmarillion. Once I finished them, I put them away and that was that.

15-20 years later I was bored by the first movie, skipped the second, and literally slept (well, I was tired anyway) through half the third before walking out.

Maybe if a group of friends watched one of the movies I’d watch with them. Otherwise, I see no reason to seek this stuff out anymore.

I loved the movies, liked the Hobbit, and I have to force myself through the LOTR books. Just walking and walking and walking. I personally feel the story worked better as a movie, but I guess that’s just me. I know I get weird looks from Tolkien geeks when I say this.