Sunday, 28 February 2010

Lord of the Ring Readalong & Feb 2010 Book Check In


Last day of the month always feels like a time to 'check in'. Considering I'm playing along with the The Lord of the Rings readalong where February is the Fellowship of the Ring month, I'm feeling like it should be reading check in time considering I've set myself some lofty goals for 2010 with the Book to Film Challenge. I'll get to other books I've read this month but first up, let's see how The Fellowship went.

Thankfully, the Literary Omnivore who is hosting fellowship month has provided us yet again with questions to ponder and explore regarding the book.

As opposed to my spoiler-free film reviews, this post will discuss content of the book The Fellowship of the Ring. Please read only if you've read the book!

1. Since we’re dealing with a third of a novel, instead of the first novel in a series, do you find anything different?

I actually didn't know that. Learning happens all the time.

2. Do Books One and Two have significant differences to you?

Not really, I had to go look up and see what the transition was between the two books. Both start with meetings and end at water, for some random comparisons.

3. Who’s your favourite character so far into the novel?

Oh, naming names feels so wrong! With the fellowship, I found it very hard to separate the book from the film. I see the actors and hear their voices, especially with Gandalf, Galadriel and Boromir. I don't think I have one favourite character yet, although it might shape up to be Merry in the long run out of the people we've been introduced to so far. But, for this book I really enjoyed Boromir way more than expected. I love Boromir's stubbornness and strong belief and expression of what he thinks they should do - especially when everyone else is being so freaking indecisive. One of my biggest realizations was finding out that I'm not a big fan of (hides) Aragon. But! This is a *huge* relief, because I didn't love him in the film either - and now I can see it's really the character I don't love, as opposed to the casting or performance.

4. What surprised you the most?

What a challenge it was to get through the book. Holy crap, this sucker is denser than .. something dense. I was really glad I planned out my reading strategy and stuck to my schedule of a chapter a day at least 5 times a week. Without my schedule, I'd not have made it through. I was also surprized at how close it is to the film, not only with what happens but in spirit. I see the film when I'm reading it. I was also surprized that some chapters felt like almost nothing happened. With the chapter titles being so descriptive and often relate to the biggest thing that happens in the chapter, this really killed the anticipation of what would happen. For this one it doesn't matter - I remember it pretty well, but for later I might have to avoid them a little. I very much prefer straight up numbered chapters.

5. What was your favourite scene?

Tie between the Hobbits meeting Strider in Bree and the Frodo/Boromir showdown.

Bonus Question - Favourite Quote

"Where there are many, all speeches become debate without end. But two together may perhaps find wisdom" - p.523, Boromir to Frodo

Overall, I'm thrilled I got through it and am looking forward to watching the film later tonight with a new eye. It looks like several challenge peeps are going to wait and do a rewatch of all the films in May. I can't wait though! I might watch all the extended versions in May, if I have a whole weekend free. With The Fellowship, even though it took me the whole month to get through it, I do feel like I raced though a bit, but I can also tell this is a book you can (and people do) read over and over again to continue to get more and more depth. Again, a big thank you to Literary Omnivore for hosting this month's section of the Readalong!

I'm really looking forward to reading The Two Towers because I know the story a lot less and if I remember right it's a bit less of a literal book to film translation. I also know there are some awesome character coming up and really looking forward to seeing them. Thank goodness March not only has 3 more days to it, but that the book is a little shorter! I need some breathing room! The Two Towers section of the readalong will be hosted by Shelf Love.

2010 Book to Film Challenge Update

Along with finishing The Fellowship of the Ring, I also knocked off 1 more book on my 2010 Book to Film Challenge list: Saving the World & Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson. It's the third in the Maximum Ride series and was another great, fun, fast read. This series is like my breather series, when I need something a bit lighter it's my go to. The chapters are super short and it's jammed backed with action. This puts me at 2/20 for books read for the challenge which is right on track. Woohoo!

Random Reading
Since we are on the bookshelf here, I thought I'd share what else I read this month with spoiler-free impressions.

Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress
I loved the first book in this trilogy called Beggars in Spain, and with Beggars and Choosers I gladly returned to the near future world created and visiting the characters and seeing how life as progressed. What I love about the series is that it's SciFi, and is totally drenched in the science but it's still completely accessible for those that aren't science minded. I highly recommended checking out Beggars in Spain for folks that like SciFi and if you like it keep going with the series. My tagline for it was "I've not read a book that intently since Ender's Game", which is saying a lot.

Midnight Sun (Draft) by Stephenie Meyers
I read this purely so it could be discussed with Marina over at Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast. Midnight Sun is a draft version of part of the book Twilight from Edward's perspective. I'm not and Edward fan, but after reading it I can say that after reading it I do 'understand' him more. I don't like him more, but I do understand him more. If you want to hear more on this, check out the Midnight Sun episode of the podcast here. It's pretty interesting because we are on different ends of the Edward spectrum. If you haven't read Midnight Sun, you can! It's available online here at Stephenie Meyer's site.

The Gryphon Project by Carrie Mac
This one was pretty interesting, and it was a bit of a relief to read what is (at least currently) a stand alone book. It treads the dystopic/utopic lines and kind of reminds me of what would happen is you followed a story about teenagers form a world like Fahrenheit 451. I did have a beef with it, as it's from the perspective of a girl but the focus is primarily on another character. This bugged me in terms of certain dynamics as well as personal identity and expression - even in a fiction, dystopic world. I do recognize it was likely used as a storytelling style, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.

If you are a fellow book lovers, I'm hooked up on GoodReads now and loving it. Feel free to add me as a friend!


Jenny said...

I find Aragorn-in-the-book a bit dull too. I mean, I know he's constantly going around killing evil things and tracking down things that need to be tracked and generally being the Middle Earth MVP, but he's not very interesting as a person. I loved Viggo Mortensen in the role (mmmmm) and was shocked, when I read the books, to find the character of Aragorn so boring.

J.G. said...

Interesting to hear your neutral/negative take on Aragorn (when so many people find him hot in the Viggo version, which I haven't seen). He seems a bit beyond liking and disliking, to me; I don't think we're supposed to identify with him, because he's an old-school hero, not "one of us." He becomes more approachable as the books go on, but there's always that distance.

On the other hand, Gandalf has a major job to do but still comes off as someone you'd like to have a beer with at the end of a long day. Aragorn, not so much, although you could probably learn just as much from him and he does have a sense of humor. I just don't think it's easy being Strider.

All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012