Well, I've finished the first volume of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I thought I'd better jot down my thoughts quickly because I'm planning on starting the 2nd book, The Two Towers, today. I am so glad this book series was on the Top 100 Novels list. It is beautifully written and I wonder at the incredible brain of the author. Tolkien was a master story teller and had an amazing ability to describe everything that a character in the story would see. He beautifully describes trees, flowers, hobbit holes, rivers, countrysides, forests, hobbits, men, elves, dwarves, orcs, good, and evil.
In book one, the Hobbit Frodo sets out on a dangerous quest to take the one ring, that rules them all, to Mordor, where it can be destroyed. However, there is great evil in the world and it wants the ring in order to take it back to its owner, Sauron, the Lord of the Ring. Thankfully Frodo is not alone on his journey and together with his friends he runs into many difficult and even deadly situations. Together they work their way through Middle Earth, facing challenges and meeting many interesting characters and I look forward to continuing their journey in the second book.
This novel is a study in contrasts; good versus evil, ordinary versus heroic, small versus large, hope versus despair, courage versus fear, and love versus hatred. There is a famous quote by Edmund Burke that states, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing", and this book is all about good "men" who refuse to do nothing and instead take a stand for what is right.
If you have never read this book, or if it has been over a year since you last read it, I would strongly recommend it. Read it to your kids, listen to it on an audio book when you're driving places or sit down for your own quiet time and enter the world of Middle Earth. You won't be sorry you did.