Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

I first read The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkienthe first book in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (though originally not a trilogy) last year in the summer, but left it in between and could not complete it. This year I started it again at the same time, summer, and I am glad I completed it. It’s epic in its own way.

Tolkien certainly gets a place among top authors irrespective of the era or the century. The Lord of the Rings is one snippet. If you go on exploring his whole middle earth, that’s one big proof. After reading it, I am quite impressed by the depth of the book especially the part of Tom Bombadil, which was not in the movies, and the reason to leave is totally understandable. The poetry/prose and the lyrical statements are again the most charming part of reading this book. Tolkien does it so well, that this book which looks so heavy from the outside is simple to read. There are many fascinating poems/prose in this book which now are used in the common dialect among us. Like, “All that glitter is not gold” is a poem written by him. By writing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien certainly has set a benchmark for fantasy writers and 80-90% of the fantasy books are compared to it.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien”

Books

CURRENTLY READING

Currently Reading Books:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Highly recommended by a friend, after I was disappointed on learning that Game of Thrones next part will not be coming soon. Already on page 145 and it’s quite a book. The style is good, plot and story till now good, not filled with boredom at all. Let’s see, what the rest of the pages unfolds to me.

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury is again a recommendation by a fellow writer. I have read just five pages so I cannot really say how is it. But still short in length, light reading, after all it’s Bradbury.

 

I am always eager to read more and open to recommendations. So what do you recommend me to read?

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FOG ON THE BARROW-DOWNS

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

FOG ON THE BARROW-DOWNS  

Synopsis:

The next morning Hobbits set for their journey again. They arrive at the edge of the downs by evening. They get lost and are captured by the barrow wights. Frodo calls for Tom, who rescues them. Tom sings them to consciousness and brings back their ponies, which had strayed. He gives them each a sword from the barrow wights’ stolen treasure. The swords had been forged by the Men of Westernesse, foes of the the Dark Lord. Tom sees the Hobbits off and they set out towards Bree. Frodo reminds the others that he is now traveling under the name of Underhill, not Baggins.

 

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IN THE HOUSE OF TOM BOMBADIL

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

IN THE HOUSE OF TOM BOMBADIL

Synopsis:

 

When the Hobbits enter Bombadil’s house, they are greeted by the daughter of the river, Goldberry, who is an elf-like woman with golden hair. Her grown is green but infused with silver like drops of dew. Frodo bursts into a song when he sees her.

Goldberry busies herself at the table. Frodo asks her who Tom Bombadil really is and she tells him that Tom is the master of wood, water, further, he has no desire to own anything and he has no fear. After Tom comes in and the Hobbits have had their supper, Goldberry retires for the night.

All the Hobbits except Sam have nightmares that night. Frodo dreams of the Black Riders and a stranger. Pippin dreams that he is back inside the willow. Merry dreams of being drowned. Soon they realize they are in the home of Tom Bombadil and all are assured.

In the morning, the Hobbits have breakfast and it begins raining. The following day is Goldberry’s ‘washing day’, and the hobbits talk with Tom Bombadil for the entire day. Tom tells them a lot about the Forest, the ways of trees and animals, the Old Man Willow, the Barrow-downs, and the ancient history; for he is the Eldest, the Master, who was already there in the Elder Days, in the Spring of Arda, before the Elves had awakened or Melkor had come to Middle-earth.

Then they talk about the Shire, and he asks Frodo for the Ring and to their astonishment the Ring has no power over him. He gives them advice for the following day, and teaches them a rhyme with which to call him if they should need his help. Which is:

Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo! 
By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow, 
By fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us! 
Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow,
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.
None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master:
His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

 

                 *******

 

 

Tom Bombadil has a jolly, care free attitude, as he considers himself the oldest, he dwells in the Old Forest even before Hobbits came to the Shire. I also felt there was always a mysterious aura surrounding him. Some unique, fearless, no major concerns, even the Ring could affect him. He also helps Hobbits till their departure from the Old Forest and also guides them for their further journey.  

He claims to remember “the first raindrop” so for that again there is an eagerness with curiosity to read Adventures of Tom Bombadil. I felt though his character had quite a start and an ending respectively for the part he had in Fellowship of the Ring, also successfully, a story within a story. But Tom Bombadil is indeed a unique and interesting character to read further.

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THE OLD FOREST

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

THE OLD FOREST

Synopsis:

Sam, Merry, Pippin prepare to depart with Frodo. Merry warns the others that the forest seems alive with noises, movements and sounds.After some time they come to the River Withywindle, and Merry realizes that they have been traveling in exactly the opposite direction they had meant to go in. As they walk along the only path in sight the Hobbits are overcome with drowsiness.

This path brings them to Old Man willow-tree, who had hatred for walking beings,where they suddenly begin to feel sleepy. Frodo, Merry and Pippin fall asleep, and the tree throws Frodo into the water and ‘captures’ Merry and Pippin under its roots. Sam and Frodo cannot rescue them, and run down the path, crying for help.

They meet Tom Bombadil, a strange man singing nonsensical songs. Tom sings the right tune, and the willow-tree lets Merry and Pippin go; then Tom invites the hobbits to his house, where he lives with Goldberry the River-daughter.

This chapter shows the magical power of the forest. Tom Bombadil’s character is an essential part of the story. Though he sings nonsensical songs, his tune had the magical power which helps in saving the life of two Hobbits. Soon Hobbits would also realize what Tom Bombadil is. I was very glad to know that there is a book on Tom Bombadil’s adventures, it would be magical in its on way cause I strictly consider Tolkien with a high imaginative power, its kind of level when you dedicate yourself to that you achieve that level. But then I realized that without Hobbits would it be fun to read Tom Bombadil’s Adventures?

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A CONSPIRACY UNMASKED

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

Chapter 2

A CONSPIRACY UNMASKED

Synopsis:

Up to this point, Frodo has told his companions that he was moving to Crickhollow to live. As they reach the destination Frodo realizes the danger from the Black Riders is quite threatening and he should leave the first thing next morning. He also realizes that his companions have known all along that he has to dispose of the ring and they are committed to helping him. Merry and Pippin have already decided to accompany Frodo to Rivendell. They agree that it is better to go through the old forest then the road which is likely to be watched by Black Riders. Fatty Bolger is to stay behind to keep a normal appearance, so that others might think Frodo is living at Crickhollow. He also warns them about the goblins and other troublesome creatures in the old forest. They retire for the night and Frodo dreams that he is struggling to climb a tall tower near the seaside.

 

Loyalty of Friendship have great importance throughout this novel. Frodo will soon realize how well supported he is by his friends. He also realizes the future trouble he is going to face, but with his friends, its going to be much easier

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A SHORT CUT TO MUSHROOMS

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

Chapter 4

A SHORT CUT TO MUSHROOMS

Synopsis:

 

This chapter advances the suspense. When the Hobbits get up in the morning, they find that the elves have already left, leaving breakfast for them. Frodo decides to take a short cut to the Brandywine river, where Merry was supposed to meet them that day; this was done partially to arrive there sooner, and partially to avoid being seen by the Black Riders again. Indeed they notice one on the road just after they leave it.

 After a long and unpleasant passage through the woods they reach the estate of Farmer Maggot, who is known for setting his dogs on any trespassers who come to pick his mushrooms (as Frodo himself had experienced in his youth).

 Yet he turns out  quite friendly, especially as he knows Pippin quite well, he tells them that a strange and frightening black rider was asking him questions about a Baggins earlier that day. 

After the supper, he offers to drive them to the ferry. And thus the chapter ends with Farmer Maggot good-naturedly supplying Frodo with a basketful of mushrooms for his journey.

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THREE IS A COMPANY

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

Chapter 2

THREE IS A COMPANY

Synopsis:

To avoid his leaving the Shire from being widely known, Frodo sells Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses and purchases a house in Buckland, east of the Shire, where he had spent his youth. On his fiftieth birthday he leaves Bag End and sets out with his friend Pippin (Peregrin Took) and Sam Gamgee. In truth, Frodo plans to go to Rivendell, as he has discussed with Gandalf. Gandalf has left him for a short time to gather news from the world outside, but has not returned yet, which greatly concerns Frodo.

On the way, the band of travelers hear the sound of horses. They think Gandalf is joining them, so they hide in order to surprise him. Instead of Gandalf, a black rider on a black horse arrives. He sniffs the air as if sensing their presence and Frodo gets a sudden urge to put his Ring on. But the rider moves on. Sam tells Frodo that this very rider had been asking questions about Frodo. The travelers become suspicious and move on, more cautious than before.

Later, they meet a group of elves. The Lord of the Elves, Gildor Inglorian, asks the travelers to join him and his group. After they reach a safe place and have their fill of food and drink, Frodo asks Gildor for news and advice. Gildor tells him of the gathering darkness, the wars of men and the flight of the elves. He tells Frodo that the Black Riders are the servants of his enemies and that he must be careful. He extends his friendship and that of is people to Frodo and his group. Sam is delighted, since he has always dreamed of being on an adventure with elves.

Looks like Frodo’s adventures begin at this point, as he is followed by a menacing band of Black Riders.

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THE SHADOWS OF THE PAST

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

Chapter 2

The Shadows of the Past

Synopsis:

This Chapter has been considered on of the most important chapter of the book by the author himself, Mr. JRR Tolkien. The chapter opens with ugly rumors about Bilbo due to his sudden disappearance. Frodo continues to live at Bag End and spend most of his time with his cousins Merry and Pippin. By the time he turns fifty, he has begun to grow restless. And the town is abuzz with the news of Orcs and Trolls and mysterious lands beyond the Shire.

About this time Gandalf the wizard visits Frodo. They have a long talk concerning the ring that Frodo had inherited from Bilbo. Gandalf tells Frodo about the nature and the history of the ring, which is actually the greatest of the Rings of Power, and was made long ago by Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor. He explains that the bearer of the ring never ages; for this reason Bilbo lived such a long life and Frodo himself has not shown signs of aging since he got the ring. Also, the ring exerts a mental power on its wearer. The ring was forged in the volcano at Mt. Doom(or Orodruin) by the evil Sauron who wants to rule the world. The ring belonged to Gollum, a Hobbit who owned the ring for a very long time until Bilbo tricked him out of it. The power made Gollum evil; since Bilbo is a good man, and he took it with pity and mercy the power of the ring could not make him evil.

Gandalf tells Frodo that if Sauron gains the ring he will be all- powerful. When Frodo hears this, he is shocked and doesn’t want anything to do with the ring. Gandalf tells Frodo that it is not a simple matter of wanting or not wanting the ring; the ring chose him (Frodo). Gandalf tells Frodo that he must destroy the ring, and the only way this can be done is by throwing the ring back in the Crack of Doom in the depths of Orodruin.

Frodo decides to leave the Shire in order to protect the people of his village. Just then Gandalf catches Sam Gamgee, the gardener, eavesdropping on their conversation. Gandalf thinks Sam has ulterior motives, but it turns out he only wants to go on this adventure with Frodo, whom he admires.

As Tolkien himself admired this chapter as the only most important part of the book. The chapter unfolds the secret of the Ring to everyone, that how it was made, why, and by whom, and thus it survived such a long time choosing different care-takers.

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A Long Expected Party

(THIS POST BASED ON THE CONTENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS, BY, JRR TOLKIEN)

Chapter 1 

A Long Expected Party

Synopsis:

As the title suggests the chapter begins with the party that has been planned for quite sometime.Bilbo, (hero of The Hobbit, an earlier book written by Tolkien) is celebrating a milestone, his eleventy one,111th birthday. his cousin Frodo, whom he adopted twelve years ago  and brought to live with him at Bag End, shares his birthday. It seems that Bilbo adopted Frodo in order to make the younger Hobbit his heir, disappointing the Sackville Bagginses, who had always wanted to live in Bilbo’s home at Bag’s End. Frodo’s parents had died in a boating accident when he was small. 

This year the party promises to be even grander than ever before, becoming the talk of Hobbiton. Most people admire Bilbo, but some think that it is unnatural for a person to have inexhaustible wealth as well as a prolonged life. Still, Bilbo’s parties are legendary and everyone has been invited

There are presents for everyone; the fireworks have been specially designed for Bilbo by Gandalf the wizard. There is a splendid supper for everyone, and a special dinner for a small group of special friends and relatives.

After the dinner Bilbo announces that he has three reasons for the grand party. First he cares for everyone present. Second, he wants to celebrate the birthdays of himself and his heir. Third, he wants to bid the people of his town farewell. He steps down, puts on his ring of invisibility, and disappears from the crowd.

He also mention that why there four hundred and forty four guests. As it was his eleventy one years and his heir, Frodo’s thirty and three years so total of one hundred and forty four. Not to mention that Frodo just came of his age. In the Shire, it was considered that when you enter your twenties and till thirty two you are in your tweens. (Thirty three was age they considered to be off to adulthood).

Back at his home, Bilbo talks to Gandalf, the wizard. After much discussion, Gandalf persuades Bilbo to leave the magic ring for his protégé, Frodo. Bilbo had promised to do this, but when the time comes he is reluctant. He leaves, much relieved and happier than ever. Gandalf warns Frodo not to use the ring. The following day Frodo is busy as Bilbo had left farewell-presents for many hobbits, and there is now a crowd of people at Bag End, many of them digging around and searching for Bilbo’s imaginary treasures. Gandalf leaves, and does not return for a long time.

Tolkien’s world is a magical one populated by elves, goblins, trolls and other mystical beasts. Bilbo has already had many adventures chronicled in a previous book, The Hobbit. The author, depending on the reader’s familiarity with the Middle-earth chronicle that came before, treats Bilbo as a recognizable and likeable character with an established fan base.

This chapter serves mostly to introduce the second generation of adventures, led by Bilbo’s protégé Frodo. With this chapter presenting a kind of “changing-of-the-guard” scene between the two Hobbits, Frodo earns some respect and admiration simply by his association with a past successful hero.