"The Lord of the Rings"
I finished all three book a while ago. I'm not going to bother with a synopsis - if you don't know what these books are about (actually, technically it is one book), then you either haven't read them yourself or you didn't see the movies. I read them 20 years ago in high school and I remember liking them, and I wanted to re-read them after the movies were out.
It was hard to read the dialog without imagining Elijah Wood doing Frodo or Ian McKellen doing Gandalf. I actually enjoyed getting that extra visual and I was amazed at how well Jackson brought these characters to life. I don't think all the characters translated well - i.e. Strider/Aragon in the book is different (although not significantly so) from Viggo's Aragon (although I liked his portrayal). Also, while the movies are faithful to the text and general storylines, there are changes. Either timelines are compressed (e.g. in the book Frodo doesn't leave the Shire for many years after Biblo leaves; in the movie he takes off right away), characters trade lines, storylines are deleted (Tom Bombadil and the scouring of the Shire are the big ones), etc. That's fine by me - there's just no way you could have movies faithfully recreate the story without having each one run about 20-30 hours in length (if not more).
Overall it was fun to read the books again. It is a good story, and while some of the dialog ran on a bit for my tastes, it's definitely one that any fan of fantasy should be required to read (as most fantasy books derive/rip off from Tolkien's material).
* Posted at 02.22.2010 08:01:37 PM CST | Link *