There are lots of other things I should be writing right now. I never posted anything about my Jeopardy audition (it went well, I think; I might hear back between now and November 2019, or never). I have approximately eleventy-one book reviews I should be writing and posting. But … instead, I’m kind of excited about The Lord of the Rings, and so that’s what I’m writing about.
It seems that about every two years or so I decide to try and read The Lord of the Rings, and to write about it. I’ll be honest – that latter part is one of the reasons I’ve failed previously; the need to sit and listen or read it when I can also sit and take notes and write up my comments, and then put everything together in an at least semi-coherent blog post, has made it all the harder. That, and past associations I’ve discussed in past posts; I’ve always failed.
Last year I started listening to The Silmarillion. In all my many years as a massive Tolkien geek, I never once made it very far into The Silm. But somewhere (and I honestly can’t remember where) I got my hands on a multi-part mp3 version, read by the rather wonderful (if apparently Aztec-influenced, going by his pronunciation of Taniquetil) Martin Shaw. (Seriously, I’ve tried to track down where it came from – I have no idea.) I also discovered The Prancing Pony Podcast, and with the two gentlemen of the PPP at my back I got about a third of the way through The Silm before I ran out of steam. I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago, and lo! I finished! I’m no expert, by any means – but it feels like an accomplishment, having read it. (If anyone would like access to the audiobook, which doesn’t seem to be available at all anywhere, email me at talavera1809 at hotmail etc, and I promise not to bring you down with me if the anti-piracy people confiscate my computer. Hey, it can’t be found legitimately. Can’t stop the signal.)
After The Silm, I listened to a series of lectures by Michael C. Drout, collectively called Tolkien and the West, and it was wonderful. Between listening to him speak – and I really need to talk more about that one day – and to The PPPodcast, I began to remember what it was like to discuss these beloved books with other people who loved them every bit as much as I do. And then … I threw caution – and my tentative reading list for the summer – to the winds, and started listening to FotR.
And there’s no pain this time. I’m able to rather fondly remember that first movie, and the things it did right – and there were a lot of those, in the first movie. I’m not haunted by the terrible things that happened on The Messageboard Which Shall Remain Nameless.
I’m enjoying it.
I might make it this time.
I’ve said that before, of course…
In 2013, I wrote this:
Chapter 1 – https://agoldoffish.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/lord-of-the-rings-reread-here-we-go/
Chapter 2 – https://agoldoffish.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/lotr-reread-chapter-2-the-shadow-of-the-past/
The second go-round, in 2015, is here:
Ha! In the latter, I said “And if I fail again … well, then, I’ll see you back here in 2019, perhaps.” I’m early!
I forgot there was a third try just a couple of months later:
As I said, the baggage seems to have fallen away, and I’m having a wonderful time in Middle-earth (wish I were there). If I can finish The Silm, I can do this.
I’ll be back.
No, really – I will!