The Two Towers

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The Two Towers was…okay. I read it over the course of about one year. I got through about half of it and then put it down for about 8 months, before I picked it up again on my honeymoon after reading Dune and finished it shortly thereafter.

Since I’ve already started reading Return of the King I’m finding this post on Two Towers to be a bit challenging to write. My brain has already moved on! But I will try.

I really enjoyed the Ents, though they sang a bit too much for my liking. This is a common occurrence throughout the series: everyone seems to sing or recite poetry. LOTR could easily be a musical. For serious. OH WAIT – IT WAS A MUSICAL. It played at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto and in London in 2006. According to the interwebs it is coming back for a world tour in 2015. The cast was made of up 65 actors and the whole thing played out in three acts over three and a half hours. Bad ass.

The second half of The Two Towers described Frodo, Sam and Gollum/Smeagol’s journey to Mordor. In my opinion, Gollum/Smeagol is an adorable sad little creature that you can’t help but love despite his murderous tendencies. Really it’s only Gollum that has murderous tendencies. Smeagol is like an abandoned puppy you see on those animal rights PSA’s that Sarah McLachlan sings in. Sam is a jerkface. He is so mean to Gollum and then wonders why Gollum is mean to him – you get what you give, Samwise Gamgee. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. If I was Gollum I would hate you too – just give the man an uncooked rabbit, you ass hat! He’s the one that caught them for you, after all. The least you could do is let the poor guy eat one the way he wants it. Isn’t it less work for you to just leave it uncooked anyway? And isn’t it super dangerous to start a fire right now too? You suck, Sam.

So they get to Mordor and they just have this one little bit left to go. At this point there are about 30 pages left in the book so you’re feeling pretty good about where you are. Like you’re going to get some payoff and satisfaction for all this reading you’ve done to get here. You figure you’ll do some more reading about Frodo and Sam walking, Sam will say something about having bad feelings and being in love with Frodo, Frodo will remain the ever-stoic and quiet hero and have some kind of inner thought about how he needs to just make it a little bit further to save the world. He might pass out once or twice more along the way. Maybe they’ll find some berries and make a soup or something…

Nope! J.R.R. Tolkien was a trickster, and the joke is on you! Because as soon as Sam and Frodo get close to Mordor, BOOM! GIANT SPIDER ATTACK!

I cannot even begin to explain how annoyed I was by Shelob’s appearance. Of course, why wouldn’t there be a giant spider guarding the cave? That makes perfect sense. I don’t know why I ever expected anything else. Thankfully this little altercation with the giant spider didn’t last long, and Sam and Frodo managed to evade her with the help of a flashlight and a tiny sword. Too bad Frodo gets captured by Orcs immediately after. Sam decides to put on the ring and completely give away their location to Sauron because he’s a jerk.

Final thought: Even though Gollum completely betrayed Frodo and Sam, I’m still rooting for the little guy.

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Who could say no to those baby blues?

Your order has shipped…

It’s finally happening! The Republic of Thieves is on its way to me! Right now, as we speak, it’s been put in a neat little shipping package with my name on it, and it’s making its way to me *squee*

So – This has lit a fire under my arse in terms of LOTR reading. On the one hand, I’m not about to put this book down after 3 months of slow progress, just when it started being interesting. EVEN THOUGH I would be putting it down for a good cause (I would pick it right back up right after, I swear!).

ON THE OTHER HAND, I don’t want to lose the momentum I’ve built up. Also I don’t know if the library will let me renew it again – I’ve already done that twice, and I have found that I’m enjoying reading this book old school style, printed book, turning paper pages and all. It’s really working for me. Not to mention that I just can’t justify spending any more money on this book – I’ve already bought the Kindle eBook and the Audible audiobook – so I need to finish this puppy before the library demands it back, lest I hold it captive for ransom. By which I mean return it late and pay the fee…so you know, same thing.

The exciting and completely unexpected development here is that despite it being proclaimed NSFD, I’ve resurrected the LOTR audiobook since receiving that shipping notice. I can down a Red Bull or seven if it means finishing this pup faster. And they make zero calorie Red Bull now so REALLY why the HECK would I not jump on that? It’s basically free energy.

So now the question is: do I square away the Lord of the Rings series before jumping back in to the Gentlemen Bastards sequence, or do I put Frodo & Co. on hold while I indulge myself in the all-consuming awesome world of Locke Lamora? Decisions, decisions, decisions…

What will she do? Stay tuned to find out!

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LOTR = NSFD*

*translation: The Lord of The Rings = Not Suitable For Driving

Some of you may have noticed (ha!) that I was considering reading The Poisonwood Bible or Sherlock Holmes next. Well, when it turned out that The Poisonwood Bible was on one of my other lists and not  The List I basically threw it out as an option, and then I got intimidated by the length of the complete works of Mr. Holmes. So naturally I decided to pick up the TLOR series instead – much less intimidating. After all, there are movies!

Also, I already had the audiobook downloaded, so it seemed like the clear choice.

Sometimes audiobooks can be riveting. They can be extremely entertaining and keep you going and interested on a long drive. What I am discovering is that there are really two different kinds of audiobooks: ones which are suitable for driving, and ones which are not. As you may recall, the audiobook for Catch 22, for example, was not suitable for driving. Neither is LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, it would seem.

The audiobook that I have for it is narrated by this lovely British man whose name escapes me right now (I will update later with this information) who likes to sing the songs in the book, and apparently there are a lot of songs in this book. I didn’t know this. Nobody told me. Were all these songs in the movie? I don’t think they were. The thing is, he sings the songs like lullabies, and the rest of his reading is also like this lyrical trance just lulling you off into a safe slumber. Except it’s not safe BECAUSE I’M DRIVING ON THE 401. So of the 16 hours of driving I have done since last Friday, only about 4 of those (combined, not consecutive) have been spent listening to LOTR.

The rest of the time I’ve been filling my car with very sophisticated and high society music such as Justin Timberlake, Drake, Lady Gaga, P!nk, and basically whatever the radio stations in the cities I have been driving through feel like playing. I went through a country music phase that lasted about an hour when I was driving through Napanee and Tweed this weekend, that was fun.

Something else I have to mention about this book. I have seen the movies, not recently, but I have seen them. The popular belief is that if you see a movie and then read the book after, your imagination will take its cues from what you saw on the screen to help guide the story as you see it in your mind. Assisted Imagination. Scripted Imagery. One would then naturally assume that I have Elijah Wood running through the Shire (aka New Zealand) in my head.

That theory does not account for the fact that my parents have two beautiful Old English Sheep dogs which they named Pippin and Gimly. Gimly hasn’t come into the story yet, but Pippin has. So do I picture a hobbit when I think of Pippin? No! I think of the adorable, bouncy, playful Pippin we have at home. So in my mind, Frodo is being accompanied by Merry (a hobbit), and Pippin (an Old English sheep dog who can talk). This is making the story much more fun for me 🙂

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this isn’t Pippin and Gimly. These are Google dogs, but you get the idea.

Work beckons, more updates to come!