JRR Tolkien books

velocci
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velocci
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February 19th, 2010, 6:50 pm #1

Hi all, are his books easy to read like Dragonlance for example? or does he use an older style of english?
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RowanWolf
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February 19th, 2010, 7:16 pm #2

I know a lot of people find The Smiarillion hard going
Depends what you find hard to read.
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Sir William
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February 19th, 2010, 8:38 pm #3

 I've always found The Hobbit his most easy to read and enjoyable book.  Don't get me wrong, The Lord of the Rings is a very good trilogy, but the writing is a bit dull and overly descriptive in my opinion. 
"No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
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velocci
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February 19th, 2010, 9:45 pm #4

Sir William wrote:  I've always found The Hobbit his most easy to read and enjoyable book.  Don't get me wrong, The Lord of the Rings is a very good trilogy, but the writing is a bit dull and overly descriptive in my opinion. 
i'm not talking about the enjoyability of the book.  i'm talking about how it was written.  some books are just hard to read because the author wrote using what I call "old english" or something, not plain english like normal fiction books for example.  i don't know how else to describe it.  I started reading something from JRR Tolkien and it was like it was written a few hundred years ago.  but i think it was some kind of prologue.  some prologues are just written like that, but the rest of the book is fine.  take David Eddings series with books like Pawn Of  Prophecy.  that series always had a short little part at the beginning of each book and it written using this difficult to read style.    

  
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Laethyn
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February 19th, 2010, 11:01 pm #5

That WAS "normal english". Times and places change.

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Drizzt books in Chronological Order
The Drizzt Do'Urden Movie Discussion
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BEAST
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February 20th, 2010, 12:43 am #6

Tolkien was an Oxford professor of language. He was in love with the written word, and in "The Lord of the Rings", he indulged his love to his heart's desire.

Any time you start looking around in someone else's personal pet passion, you gotta be ready for it to be a little much.

I still find those books a little difficult to read. It was especially hard when he started writing back and in forth in the timeline, from different people's perspectives, in widely separated chapters. At that point, I started to simply drown in the descriptions of the individual scenes and forget about the plot.

The movies were great because I could finally see how it all fit together without zoning things out.
<Comprehensive Chronology of RAS Forgotten Realms Works>

"He is blunt, yes, particularly with criticism. He speaks of error without apology and without judgment, simply telling the honest truth and leaving it up to the offender to correct, or not to correct this situation. Bruenor never allows tact or empathy to get in the way of his telling the world how it can be better!"
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RowanWolf
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February 20th, 2010, 12:55 am #7

For the record I love Tolkien's books.
The only one I took a while to read because it was really in depth was The Simarillion but still enjoyed it.
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Lady Fellshot
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February 20th, 2010, 7:37 am #8

Some of Tolkien's books are kind of fun to read, like the Hobbit and certain parts of the Lord of the Rings. They are written in a fairly classical "epic style" kind of similar to the Worm Ouroboros and reminiscent of the translations of Beowulf that I've read. The Simarillon is a dry history book in a fantasy setting... although if one goes hunting for interesting D&D ideas, it's something of a free idea book.

However, if you are jumping into these books thinking that they are as easy to read as a Dragonlance book... they frequently aren't for a lot of people. They are enjoyable though. :)
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My collected reviews may be found among my rants, musings and nonsense. (No one is interested, I know)
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Hamsta
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December 20th, 2015, 12:50 pm #9

Our modern day reading and writing skills were decimated by the advent of television. People stopped reading.. now what I mean by stopped reading is that eighty years ago and more reading and storytelling were the principle forms of entertainment. Comprehension levels were vastly different to what they are today. For example when The Hobbit was written Tolkien gave a copy to his nephew to write a review of it since the book was primarily written for children. His nephew was eight years old at the time. Imagine today giving a copy of The Hobbit to an average eight year old. The Dragonlance series and for the most part The Forgotten Realms are written for the masses. As a result we are looking at a comprehension level of a todays pre-teen.

If you want to grasp what real literary writing and using the written word as an art form Tolkien is a good start. Alexander Dumas is one of my favorite writers. I first came across a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo in university which I found very difficult to read at first. I persisted and was rewarded with one of my favorite books with a story of such epic magnitudes it boggled my mind. There is everything in that book love, hate, revenge, hope, mercy, along with a plethora of every other emotion a good author strives to portray in their writing of fiction and non fiction alike. The Three Muskateers is another of Dumas' creations that has proven itself as a venerable classic.

Todays books are easy to read even for today's audience. I wonder what people would think if we took a modern day Trilogy and dropped it in a room of children eighty to a hundred years ago. We have some very good story tellers though don't we?
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semientreri
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March 16th, 2017, 8:57 pm #10

I found it to be a very dry old style of writing, even though the language was not old English. Even The Hobbit, was like watching paint dry.
The 2 Towers was bit better than the other. He's a great story teller, but not a good writer. Sorry, that's just how I see it.

~Senteri
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