It is now the middle of the month – tell us all how Tolkien is treating you over at The Literary Omnivore:
(omnivore = all standards)
If you’ve been with us since the beginning, how do you feel about the narrator compared to the narrator in The Hobbit?
BETTER. I didn’t hate the narrating style of The Hobbit or anything, but it didn’t feel like the Middle Earth world. Reading Fellowship is nice – it starts out sounding rather cheerful and hobbity, like The Hobbit, but more Lord of the Ringsy, and then it slowly gets darker and darker. By the time Frodo and them get to Bree and meet Aragorn, the tension is crazy.
How’s your pace going? Is it smooth sailing or have you found passages that are difficult to get through?
Excellent! Totally smooth sailing! Glorious! Except for Tom Bombadil. I hate Tom Bombadil. He makes me stabby.
If you’ve read this series before, is The Fellowship of the Ring, for the most part, as you remembered? If not, is it what you expected or something else?
Tom Bombadil is exactly like I remember him, the only difference between my memory and the reality being that I didn’t remember how Tom Bombadil WOULD NOT GO AWAY and just when I thought I’d finally got away from him and I could go on to Bree (tension! tension!), and I was so relieved, and Strider was going to show up, TOM BOMBADIL CAME BACK. Tom Bombadil is awful. I can’t stand him. Neil Gaiman is perfectly right, and there is no reason for Stephen Colbert to do that. Basically this reread has made me realize that my enormous love for the Bree parts is just a reaction against Tom Horrible Bombadil.
Are you using any of the extra features- maps and indexes, for instance – in your book?
I am surprised at this. I like maps, but ordinarily I don’t use them while I am reading. Ordinarily I can’t be bothered flipping all the way to the back and front of the books to check out the maps. In the case of my edition of Fellowship, not only is the map in the back of the book, but it is a massive fold-out one. Yet for some reason whenever I get confused about where stuff is, (like Bree. And Tom Bombadil’s home SO I MAY BOMB IT) I can be bothered to slither out from under my blankets, prop myself up on pillows, and unfold the entire map to consult it. Maps! Maps! Maps!
In conclusion, I hate Tom Bombadil, and if you have decided to skip out on this readalong because you hate him too, it is perfectly legitimate to skip this book and join back in when we get to The Two Towers.