If you were wondering what the delay in new posts was all about, this is the answer. The Lord of the Rings comes in at well over 1000 pages, and if you don't read the appendices that follow, then you're missing out. That's where half the story is!
It's difficult to review Lord of the Rings, it's a classic. Certainly one critique is that there are few female characters and they all have quite passive roles, whether they have power of fighting skills, or not.
People more familiar with the recent trilogy of films would be shocked at some of the differences. One of my reasons for reading this book again after a gap of at least 8 years, was that the films have stuck in my mind, and I could no longer remember clearly which parts of the story were unique to the films, and which to the book.
There are major differences, and I'll leave it at that. How terrible would a book review be if all it did was list how the book varied from the film interpretation? Let us not think of that dark reality.
I also won't pad this out with discussions of High Fantasy versus Swords & Sorcery, that can have it's own article, some other time.
Attention to detail is the watchword of this book. Tolkien takes every opportunity to describe the landscapes the travellers move through and the societies and peoples that live there. This is a book all about journeys, and not just physical journeys. Every member of the fellowship is on their own personal journey, and none come through unchanged.
It's a great sacrifice of time to read this book, but well worth the time spent.