So in the past month I've read The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers. Well, reread the first two. At the moment, I'm taking a break from Tolkein to read The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.
Thing is, when I finish this, I need to decide if I want to actually read The Return of the King or not. And I'm starting to lean heavily towards no. Thing is, while I understand the importance of these works in the context of the genre's development, I have to say... Tolkein is a horrible writer.
Okay, maybe that's too strong. But they are serious issues here.
He's faithless to his characters, the plot and developments are almost all reactionary, the narration is erratic at best, and the switch in scope of the plot is constantly jarring.
Of the characters, only Sam and Gandalf seem to actually get any meaningful characterization, and actual development is even rarer. And Sam is so unlikable that even this is rough. Why is a book series focused on the story of this one fellowship failing so miserably at making me feel like these characters even exist? Outside of plot-driven events, they're barely even mentioned. What character traits does Merry possess? I hardly know, because outside of maybe 3 short conversations in two books, he barely plays any role. Gimli spends most of his time talking about how fair Galadriel is. Legolas barely talks unless it's to tell them what he sees in the difference, or to express his desire to see the various forests. Pippin is only featured when he's screwing stuff up in a meaningful way (minus the scenes when they escape into Fangorn).
At the end of the day, none of them feel real to me. They barely elicit a more emotional response than the name "Gil-galad" does, and I have no clue who Gil-galad even is.
So my serious question is whether or not it's worth prioritizing ROTK? Part of me wants to read it, because I've already finished 2/3 (+1). But I am starting to feel like I won't actually feel any emotional return from it other than the satisfaction of being done with the trilogy. And that's... bad.
I mean, I still have the Farseer Trilogy, the Night Cycle Trilogy, the Shannara series, and more to read. Plus, I bought the Guild Wars 2 novels, and one of the Dragon Age novels, because I was curious.
OH, also Stardust and The Princess Bride.
So it's not like I'm struggling to find something to read...
Edited, Mar 18th 2013 3:53pm by idiggory