I’m starting a new blog-series! In “The favourite book of” I will be talking with my friends and family about their favourite books. Hoping to discover why they like these books and what they love about it! Since I owe my love of reading and even this blog in a way to my dad, I thought I’d start with him. So let’s dive into the favourite book of Eric K.
Eric’s favourite book is in fact not a single book, but an entire trilogy: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s been his favourite ever since he read it first at eighteen years old. It consists of The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by The Two Towers and the epic fantasy ends with The Return of the King.
The Lord of the Rings is an epic, high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
When asked to describe the book, Eric said it was about the struggle of good versus evil, set in the imaginary world of Middle Earth. Now, that is what most epic fantasy series are about, of course. And yes it is what this trilogy is about in its core, but I was looking more for a sketch of the plotlines. Now, I tried to search for that myself, but it’s practically impossible to find a short, concise summary of the entire trilogy! But I did my best:
Many years ago, the Dark Lord Sauron forged powerful rings for every people and race in Middle Earth to confirm their partnership. But he also forged a master ring, one ring that would give him dominion over all peoples and races. In a major battle, everyone came together to defeat Sauron and the ring was lost. The Lord of the Rings starts many years later, when the ring has found its way to a hobbit, and the evil forces of Sauron are stirring again. It is decided that the ring should be destroyed, to vanquish Sauron once and for all, for as long as the ring exists, he will keep on looking for it. So hobbit Frodo and his friends are tasked to travel to Mordor (where Sauron is based) and throw the ring into the volcano where it was forged initially. The three books describe their journey and all the people they meet along the way.
(now I have to admit: I didn’t read these books. I have seen the movies – which I loved – and I have also read the prequel The Hobbit. But for me these books are just a little too much. I love the world Tolkien built here, but it really requires your complete attention when reading. And it’s best to read it as quickly as possible, without too many pauses in between. The story is quite complicated and long – and of course the books tell of so much more than the movies. I have started reading them, but everytime I encounter a “foreign” word, I am left to figure out if it’s a person, a place, a thing, a word in one of Tolkien’s languages or something else. That’s quite exhausting. I should plan a week where I do nothing but read this book, to get through it and be able to understand and appreciate it properly!)
My next question was to figure out how much Eric knew about the author of his favourite book. He knows that Tolkien was a university professor and that he started these books as bedtime stories for his children (true). And he also knows that his son, Christopher Tolkien, actually helped him write the books and published some works posthumously (also true). The History of Middle Earth was actually edited and published by Christopher, as was The Silmarillion.
I also asked Eric K. about his favourite and least favourite characters. There weren’t really any characters he hated, because even the “evil” ones were written so well and all had their backstories and explanations. He does have one major favourite character: Tom Bombadil, who is kind of like father nature. He is the protector of nature and all living things, and does this as a family man would. The fact that he is also a little bit crazy and erratic helps, I’m sure. In a world of magic and good and bad, he is a strangely neutral person who is the most mysterious of them all.
And next I asked Eric K. the biggest question: why is this your favourite book? What do you love about it so much? He said he loves the suspenseful, complicated storylines. There are always several things going on at the same time, and almost none of them are explained immediately. There is so much mystery and misdirection happening, that it makes for a very entertaining read. It’s a real pageturner! But what Eric loves most of all is the magical, self-contained world that Tolkien built. And everything makes sense too, there are no inconsistencies. We get detailed map, extra explanations and histories of everything that is going on or that has happened. Tolkien created an entire universe and filled it with history, culture, different races, several languages and more. And because this is so well thought out and everything makes sense, you really disappear into this story and the world of Middle Earth. And that is what a good book does, it takes you into its pages and makes you forget the real world.
And that is exactly what he would love to speak to the author about. To congratulate him on this fantastic world-building and to thank him for writing this book that has been a part of Eric’s life for so long. But that is not how Eric tries to convince others to read this book. He talks about the movie adaptations in fact. And to those who have seen and loved the movies, he says to go read the books – because there is so much more to the stories, that is only found in the books.
Thanks for sharing, Eric K.!