etc // light reading

Book talk

I'm currently working my way through The Two Towers. Slowly. It's not as dense as I always imagined Tolkien being, but there's just something about it that makes it really good reading-right-before-bed material.

I'm at the part where Sam and Frodo meet Faramir, and while book!Frodo isn't nearly as whiny and emo as Elijah!Frodo, I still find that the hobbit-focused parts of the book are the parts that drag the most. I still maintain that all of the LOTR movies would have been vastly improved by fewer hobbits.

Has anyone read Joe Abercrombie's First Law books? People whose opinions I generally trust rave about them, but the Amazon/Goodreads blurbs don't do anything for me. Maybe it just comes down to the fact that all four main characters mentioned are men. Are there any badass women to look forward to?
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That's funny, because I'm exactly the opposite -- I love all the hobbit parts best! You could give me a book or movie that was all hobbits and I'd be happy as the proverbial clam.
You could give me a book or movie that was all hobbits and I'd be happy as the proverbial clam.

So how'd you like "The Hobbit?" ;)
Ah, but see, that one wasn't ALL about hobbits either -- and there was hardly any Frodo, who's my favorite hobbit!

Grand sweeping epics are admirable, but I personally find them hard to relate to or get caught up in. I like what Tolkien called "homely" stories.
Finding the entry in thegreatwar which refers to this would take longer than it's worth, as this is what it's referring to:

http://greenbooks.theonering.net/guest/files/040102_02.html

… The parallels between the landscapes of No-Man’s Land and Tolkien’s landscapes of nightmare are striking. Mordor is a dry, gasping land pocked by pits that are very much like shell craters. Sam Gamgee and Frodo Baggins even hide in one of these pits when escaping from an Orc band, much as a soldier might have hidden in a shell hole while trying to evade an enemy patrol. Like No-Man’s Land, Mordor is empty of all life except the soldiers of the Enemy. Almost nothing grows there or lives there. The natural world has been almost annihilated by Sauron’s power, much as modern weaponry almost annihilated the natural world on the Western Front..


...Tolkien had a great deal of respect for the privates and NCOs (non-commissioned officers) with whom he served in France. Officers did not make friends among the enlisted men, of course; the system did not allow it and there was a wide gulf of class differences between them. Officers generally came from the upper and middle classes; enlisted men usually came from the lower classes. However, each officer was assigned a batman – a servant who looked after his belongings and took care of him.

Tolkien got to know several of his batmen very well. These men and other men in Tolkien's battalion served as inspiration for the character Sam Gamgee. As Tolkien later wrote, "My 'Sam Gamgee' is indeed a reflection of the English soldier, of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognized as so far superior to myself." Sam represents the courage, endurance and steadfastness of the British soldier, as well as his limited imagination and parochial viewpoint. Sam is stubbornly optimistic and refuses to give up, even when things seem hopeless. Indeed, the resiliency of Hobbits in general, their love of comfort, their sometimes hidden courage, and their conservative outlook owe much to Tolkien’s view of ordinary enlisted men. These traits enabled British soldiers not only to survive their tours of duty on the terrible battlefields of France, but to bravely attack and counter-attack the Germans...