Update on Fellowship

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.

24 thoughts on “Update on Fellowship

    • It’s the shortest whitest bathrobe ever – every time he walked into frame I started laughing – I’m laughing right now just remembering it. Oh Will Arnett. He’s funny without even trying.

      Some people like him. Stephen Colbert likes him. I’d say the people who don’t like him really, really, really don’t like him. I think we dislike him more than people who like him, like him.

  1. see, now I too find Bombadil rather dull and pointless. However, my vast love for Bree is more about my huge relief that strider is finally going to show up and I can relax until Moria, because strider’s there.

  2. Same as bookssnob. Read them twice. Don’t remember Tom Bombadil. Blocked him out as a result of psychological trauma? I feel like I’m missing out on all the Bombadil-despising fun.

    • The thing about Tom Bombadil is that I don’t hate him because he’s all that loathsome. He’s just dull. He put me off Lord of the Rings at least five separate times, that’s why I hate him so. Being so dull he could put me off something as great as Lord of the Rings!

  3. Ahaha. I forgot all about that Colbert interview, I’m so glad that you linked to it! I just love that he remembers Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo from heart like that.

    I’m right there with you on the narrative voice! I’m loving the way it’s gradually getting darker and more serious as the tale goes. Tolkien did a great job of matching it to the story, letting it grow from there.

    • I know, the whole thing up to “and his feet are faster”. It always cracks me up to see Stephen Colbert display his inner enormous geek.

      I’m into Book Two of Fellowship now, and it’s getting darker all the time. I cannot wait for Two Towers!

  4. Well, as you know, I liked Tom Bombadil, but I’m fully aware of the fact that I’m a bit of a goofball for liking him. He’s just so delightfully absurd! I was, however, incredibly relived that he wasn’t in the movie. I can’t imagine how he could be done in a way that wouldn’t just give the audience giggles (and that would make me stabby).

    • I was pretty sure they were going to leave Tom Bombadil out, just for time reasons. He’d have been a nightmare to make work, although I suppose if anyone could have done it, it would have been Jackson’s team.

    • I skipped his songs – just couldn’t take the songs on top of all his silly dialogue. I’m trying to read the songs this time around, but Tom Bombadil’s were too rhymey and annoying.

  5. You just made me so happy. I hate Tom Bombadil too and I feel so much better to know that it isn’t just me. I don’t remember much about my unsuccessful reading of the book a few years ago but I’m sure it must have been at Tom’s that I gave up the book for good. I’m just so happy to be past him now.

    And Neil Gaiman on Colbert was AWESOME! Great post!

    • Oh I am so glad to be past Tom Bombadil – though I’m nearly at the Council of Elrond, and I’m wondering if I’m going to find it the stumbling block I did on my first try, given that Tom Bombadil was so true to my memory of him. UGH.

  6. I wonder — I like Tom, is it because I’m likely a lot older than you? Different generation? Anyway, glad we don’t all have to like or dislike the same characters.

    • I have no idea. Nobody in my family likes him. Neil Gaiman doesn’t like him, and he’s a good bit older than I am. I think it’s just a personal taste thing. Other people have said they got bored with all the hobbit business at the start of this book, which I found charming.

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