Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Lord of the Rings

After watching Parts 1 and 3 of LOTR, I finally got around to reading the book. While I do concede that it is good (I am about 350 pages or so into the book, so this opinion is subject to change -- for better or worse), I am yet to see any justification for the cult status that the book and its author enjoy. One positively irritating thing is Tolkien's presumptuousness (if that is the right word): the way he goes on and on about how the chronology of the entire thing was recorded for posterity by various people, the elaborate family trees, indices, appendices and so on. It's almost as if he knew beforehand that the book would become a bestseller, and he decided to milk it for all its worth. People who are just interested in a compelling, well-told story simply do not care about these details (they care even less when one of the innumerable characters bursts into long-winded, crappy poetry -- some of it not even in English, but in some made-up language the author came up with when he was probably stoned).