The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
Pages: 423
Date Started: April 12, 2021
Date Finished: April 22, 2021
16h 23m 53s
Reason Book was Chosen:
The fact I’ve made it through 40 years of life not having read this should concern you all.

My Thoughts

Thoroughly enjoyed this 1st of 3 for the series and can’t wait to continue. I had read this one many years ago but have not read the final two. After coming off the Robert Caro series about LBJ with much discussion about Means & Ends, I found the discussion around the Ring, and especially Boromir’s idea to use the Ring for good, fascinating. It’s the age-old question of using bad means for good ends. And is that even possible? Boromir thinks so but none of the other members of the fellowship think so.

Also, in comparing this series to another series I’ve read for this year, The Chronicles of Narnia, I’m struck that there is no Aslan-like figure of pure good. There is pure evil – Sauron. Each character has the penchant for evil and it is most clearly visible in relation to the Ring. That fits better with Solzhenitsyn’s idea that “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being (I’m not sure Solzhenitsyn knew hobbits existed, and thus resorted to just human beings :)).” There is not an all-good character set to destroy the Ring and fight the evil Sauron. There is a flawed halfling who mostly desires to be back home who is set with task. It’s brilliant and perhaps more relatable.

Having not enjoyed The Hobbit, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and utterly I fell in love with this book. I’m all in furiously taking notes, charting the map, and putting myself as much as possible in Middle Earth for the remainder of this series.

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The Hobbit
The Two Towers