Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Details

The Lord of The Rings occupied an entire school holiday when I was but a wee lad. Friends would visit and want to go to the beach, but I turned them down because I wanted to finish those bloody books.

I'm pretty fast, but I'm not a speed reader. I like to hear the sound of the words and sentences unfold, and that's probably because I've played guitar for half my life.

Tolkien uses so much detail that you know the colour of the shadow that falls on that particular worn part of the leaf in question, where a tiny insect flutters its even tinier wings. You then learn the shape of the patterns on those wings, and that goes on for almost another whole volume.

During that fateful school holiday, I devised a tactic for getting through.

Skip the boring bits.

Just like at a party when someone switches into a tone of voice that makes you feel trapped, it's easy to sense when Tolkien switches into his descriptive voice. Unlike being at a party, escape is easy. Just turn the page.

That's what I did. And I don't think I missed the essence of the story at all. I loved those books to death. Years later I read them again and had the same level of enjoyment.

If you haven't already skipped this post, if you've made the journey all the way to the end, like Frodo did, I will now reward you with the point.

I like those boring bits.

Even if I don't read them, I get a feeling that what is happening is real, that the author knows what they're talking about, and it helps me get caught up in the rest of the story.

Now will you just throw that bloody ring in the mountain and go home, Frodo?


M said...

Would it be a crime if I said I have not read these books. Nor watched them on TV.

I also like the boring bits.

I think I may be boring

Daniel Hatadi said...

Nah. The world has had plenty of Tolkien. You can have a totally happy life without reading him.

If you're boring, and you like boring bits, then ... at least you like yourself!