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Old 03-26-2005, 12:35 PM   #1
Firefoot
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Parts We Skip and Why

At the urging of Bêthberry I'm starting this thread on a topic was broached in the CbC Discussion of The Taming of Sméagol a couple weeks ago (finally got around to posting this). Several people had been commenting on how they found the switch over from the storyline with Aragorn, Gandalf, Merry and Pippin, etc. to that of Frodo and Sam to be a let down. I then responded:
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Hmm. Interesting how other people feel a let down after leaving the other story line - particularly on my first reading, I experienced a very different reaction. Upon my first reading, I was very much into Frodo (still my favorite character, but I appreciate others more as well now) - after leaving Frodo and Sam at Amon Hen, they were the only two characters I really wanted to know about. Admittedly, I did not get a whole lot out of Book 3 that first reading with the exception of a few notable passages. So eager was I to find out when I was getting on to Frodo that in name-scanning the proceding chapters I accidently found out Gandalf came back... oops. So, anyway, suffice it to say that I was thrilled to reach this chapter.
Let it be said that I have come to enjoy these chapters in Book 3 of LotR much more by now.

There are bound to be particular sections of LotR (and Tolkien's other books) that you particularly dislike or find boring, as Tolkien himself stated in the Foreward to LotR: "It is perhaps not possible in a long tale to please everybody at all points, nor to displease everybody at the same points; for I find from the letters that I have received that the passages or chapters that are to some a blemish are all by others specially approved."

So, what particular passages/chapters/groups of chapters have you been known to skip, or just skim through for content? Particularly on first readings, were there parts that you found incapable of holding your attention, and has this changed on subsequent readings? And, of course, why?
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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Particularly on first readings, were there parts that you found incapable of holding your attention, and has this changed on subsequent readings? And, of course, why?
I first tried to read FotR when I was about twelve -- I found it in the basement and decided it looked like it might be interesting. I liked the first part but for the life of me could not make myself read through the part with Tom Bombadil. I thought, Okay, when is something actually going to happen? That part of the tale really isn't all that important to the plot as a whole, and I just got bored and didn't pick it up again for several years.

This has changed, very much so! I think it's mainly because I've become a better reader in all aspects, and while I've always loved to read, my attention span for it has definitely grown. Plus, some of the discussions I've read here give me something to think about while I'm reading about him -- just who is this bouncy little rhymester anyway?
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:51 PM   #3
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I do agree that these chapters are thin on action and the CbC is a good way of making me look closer at chapters which despite my abiding love for Faramir, I generally skim through and which proved my nemesis on my first reading ( Like the child of Sam and Frodo's imagining, at 10, I found the fringes of Mordor too dark and didn't want to read anymore, and I had forgotten the intricacies of the other plot by the time it came to rejoin Gandalf and Pippin ).

I discovered this thread having just posted above in CbC, and so having quoted myself I will now elaborate. I received LOTR for Christmas when I was 10, and got to the beginning of ROTK by the end of the Christmas holiday. I really struggled with book 4 (then as now I the "Aragorn" thread held the interest more and finding that I had gone through all that to get Pippin and Gandalf back when I wanted more of Aragorn, Merry and Eowyn was too much. 18 months later I was a Tolkien addict. However not all parts of the book had equal places in my affection. Frodo and Sam were largely ignored (nothing seemed to happen for ages and then it was all too horrible), elves were favourite. However in the early readings I had a tolerance for Bomabadil which I have since lost. I guess it was closer to the Hobbit which I had loved when I had heard it on Jackanory and subsequently read. Now I find the both the Hobbit and the early rings grates a bit .... just too "young"?

When I read now - I am afraid I do head for favourite chapters .. I really must read it systemically but oddly enough, although I so often skim them in the text, I love the Frodo and Sam in Mordor parts of the Radio adaptation which I listen to in its entirety quite frequently.
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Old 03-26-2005, 03:08 PM   #4
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I read 'The Hobbit' when I was about ten but didn't read the trilogy until I was in my late teens. I remember that I was expecting much more of the same and was very surprised at the darker tone of 'The Fellowship' from the meeting with Strider onwards.
I was delighted that the story was so much more 'serious' and 'adult'. As such, in further readings I tended to skip the Bombadil parts, I really didn't see how it fit into the book at all!
However, that changed when by chance I stumbled on The Trickster thread here at the dear old 'downs. I was intrigued enough to re-read the earlier parts of the story to see what I had been missing. Quite a lot as it turns out!
I'm going away tomorrow and taking my battered copy of the book in my suitcase...I won't be skipping any of it
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:43 PM   #5
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Silmaril

I'm afraid I tend to skim over a few parts.

Fea extends wrist for a good slapping.

I've discovered in the past year or so that I have a moderately bad attention problem. I'm incapable of taking notes, although I can retain information through listening or discussing. I can't sit still for too long, and I tend to skip over reading things that are overly verbose. (Which means that my love for Shakespeare confuses me. A lot.)

What that means for The Silmarillion is that it took me an entire summer to slog my way through it, whereas The Fellowship took me some three days. I only just read Of Belariand and its Realms a few months ago, having skipped it so many times. There are simply too many names, places, and really really boring bits for me to force myself to concentrate on. With the Trilogy, I get easily lost in the world. With The Silm, I have to dive in head first and hold onto a really big rock to stay put.

In The Two Towers, I didn't quite "get" Helm's Deep for a good long time, because the descriptions were killing me. I was having trouble processing everything, so I sort of quit for the first time and came back after awhile.

These days, I skip a lot of Frodo/Sam parts. Yes, yes... I know that nothing else in the books would happen but for their sake, but at this point in my life, it's just so boring. I even did it watching Return of the King (EE) last night. I dozed off when Frodo was trapped in the tower and had my brother poke me when it reverted to the Pelennor. Bad me, yes, I know.

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Old 03-26-2005, 09:47 PM   #6
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First of all I read slow. I first read the Fellowship when I was twelve, as well as The Two Towers. I thought the second part of it was incredibly boring, Frodo, Sam, and Smeagol wandering around. It took me a few months to finish. I was more intrested in the other parts because of fighting and battles. But now I've come to appreciate that part more.
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:38 AM   #7
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How interesting that so many people find the second half of The Two Towers to be boring (especially Sharpis Corbis, who prefers "fighting and battles")!

I have much the opposite reaction: I find the fighting to be really, really boring. This is not confined to Tolkien, by the way. In any book or movie with lots of battling, I always find myself wishing I could skip to the end. Just tell me who wins and let's get on with the story, already! I don't feel any need to count dead orcs or to envision swashbuckling action.

I have always enjoyed the Frodo and Sam parts of The Two Towers, as well as the Bombadil chapters. But as soon as swords are drawn, I find myself skipping ahead or wanting to.
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:55 AM   #8
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I've never skipped anything, but I've read the fourth book quite hmm.. uncarefully... I used to think it was a bit boring, but it really isn't.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:53 AM   #9
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Originally, I too was very surprised at how many people find the Frodo/Sam storyline boring. I still am, but I think I can begin to understand why. The first and second halves of TTT are very different, in tone, amount and type of action, and even in the types of characters. Also, the first half is more about events and the many characters in them, while the second half is more about the characters and their journey. I can see where some people might think that the Frodo and Sam part is a bit low on action. But boring? I suppose it's just a matter of taste - I'm glad that many people who orginally found the Frodo and Sam parts to be boring have come to appreciate them more.

So the predominant reason for skipping seems to be because the events are 'boring'. How about because characters are boring? For me, this would be Treebeard and the oh so slow Ents - I routinely skip that chapter. Also, like Mithalwen, I have no tolerance for Tom Bombadil - I tend to skip his chapters, too, no matter how hard I try to keep reading through them.

Sharpis Corbis brings up a good point about people who read slow - my brother is like that as well. My brother commented that in the slower-paced second half, he had a harder time remembering what was going on. For slower readers, it would probably make the book much more interesting if something was constantly going on, whether it be battles or otherwise.
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Old 03-27-2005, 11:23 AM   #10
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My examples are not really the same as yours. I think I should be punished far less severely than those who skip chapters in The Lord of the Rings. (Bad - all of you!)

However...

...there are Unfinished Tales that I never go back to. I read them all in the order they come in the collection, and since then I have gone back to many of them for some delightful evenings of reading. However, it's probably more likely that I will play dominoes with Top Cat on Jupiter than ever reading the history of Galadriel and Celeborn again. Tedious (G & C that is, not Top Cat - he's amazing!)

But I treasure every word in The Lord of the Rings.
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Old 03-27-2005, 11:39 AM   #11
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Like tar-ancalime, I did not enjoy the battle scenes and skimmed (though I never skipped) them when I first read the book. Later on I did read them more closely to comprehend the details of what happened, but I still tend to enjoy the conversations and descriptions more than fighting scenes.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:07 PM   #12
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When I first read, I didn't skip anything, but now that I've read them more I find myself skipping around some chapters. Mostly it would be the beginning of FOTR, with the party, and Bombadil, that I simply skip into Bree and go on. Bombadil is not one I'm greatly interested in, and I don't find him to be important to the story, however he is important to the hobbits.

A chapter a lot of people skip, and I simply just don't understand why, is the Council of Elrond. This chapter is filled with stories from Dale and Erebor, to Mirkwood, Gandalf's deals with Saruman, then with the all important Ring. It's filled with histories and tales, I just cannot see why people skip this chapter. Some say there's a lack of action. I find this chapter to be filled with action, and important details, not that fighting type of action, but a lot of interesting dialogue action. I don't really skip anything from TTT or ROTK, maybe the Passages of the Dead from time to time.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:16 PM   #13
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The ignorant Half-Orc.

Being the runt of the last litter of my Orkish sire, I skip all the poetry, lots of Elvish rubbish bah.

Sorry I would like to apologise for the last outburst, this was from the half of me that is Orkish, I in fact love all the beauty and splendour of the Tolkien verse.

Bah! and bah again.

I think I must have skipped the bit where Old Whitchy-poo breaks that Wizards staff.

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Old 03-27-2005, 01:11 PM   #14
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Silmaril

As I alluded in my last post, it is not necessarily that I think certain parts are permanently boring, but more that at this point of my life... they just don't do it for me.

It is like the way that as you grow and experience new things, favorite characters change. The same thing, for me, happens with passages. If I am going through a particularly rough time in RL, I make it a point to avoid passages that I know will make me cry. If I feel the need to wallow in self-pity, I pointedly ignore Tom Bombadil.

I am a 17-year-old. I am [not particularly] fighting a bad case of senioritus, and right now, I'm making it a point for life to be a blast. Anything that brings me down, or sinks me back into a depression that I've finally pulled out of, is highly unwelcome in my life. Seeing Frodo falling into such despair and needing Sam to help him out of it... it makes me remember feeling helpless, and I don't like the feeling. So I avoid it, skipping the downfall and celebrating when Frodo is saved. I read specific passages that make me smile, or cry happy tears. I admit it... I have to try really hard to hold back tears when Eomer finds Eowyn at the Pelennor.

What the point is that I am trying, but perhaps not succeeding, to make, is that what we enjoy seems to be in direct relation to experiences we have had and things that we are currently dealing with.
I may, of course, be dead wrong, and feel free to berate me something fierce (preferably out of sight of the public) if I am, but from what I've observed... Fea trails off in order to allow you all to draw your own conclusions.
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Old 03-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #15
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Like Tar-Ancalime, I have found it to be certain TYPES of chapters, and not certain BOOKS of chapters that I find less easy to read, and more easy to speed through, but while for her it is the "fighting" parts that she dislikes, for me it is more of the "travelling" parts.

I'm more of a story-oriented reader. In Book IV, for example, I tend to go at a medium speed of reading up to Ithilien, then sit back and read carefully the Faramir-interaction scenes, and then skip all the way to Shelob's tunnels at breakneck speed before slowing down to enjoy Shagrat and Gorbag.

Of course, this is a generalization, and each chapter harbours quick-read spots, and slow-down-and-enjoy spots.
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:39 AM   #16
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Oh, the poetry! I did read that quickly, only skimming it at first, when the story was new and suspenseful and I wanted to find out what happened next. Now I take the time to savour it, even read it aloud to enjoy the rhythm and melody of the words.
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:34 PM   #17
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Silmaril

I agree, Esty. The poetry is great on a rainy day, but when the adrenaline is rushing, it's hard to slow down for that sort of thing. I truly do love it, but where I can quote by memory certain passages... I'm generally in trouble if somebody asks me to speak one of Tolkien's poems. With the exception of a few... I just find it hard, what with my afore-mentioned attention span difficulties, to practically stop myself mid-story to read a poem that may or may not have anything whatever to do with the plot line. Bad me... yes, I know.

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Old 03-28-2005, 03:06 PM   #18
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The first time I read LOTR the poems were a little distracting, especially the long ones like "Earendil was a mariner." I didn't find anything off-putting about Bombadil, I just couldn't figure him out; in fact I wondered if he was good or evil I find that every time I reread the book I appreciate the parts that I had previously found slow or tedious, like Book IV and the poetry.

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Originally Posted by Boromir88:
A chapter a lot of people skip, and I simply just don't understand why, is the Council of Elrond.
Could be because the Council of Elrond is just people talking to each other, it's not happening in "real time." I find it very interesting, but it's a lot of exposition to swallow at one time.

Perhaps we should have a thread about parts we race through because we can't help it. I've never managed to read Book VI over more than two days.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Boromir88
A chapter a lot of people skip, and I simply just don't understand why, is the Council of Elrond.
I being the typical teenage-girl I am skipped over that part...except when Legolas was speaking of course

But whenever I reread the books, it's usually the parts with a lot of action I can't stand. For instance, the end of the book. Just like in the Hobbit, I can't reread the final battle. I think it's because after the intensity of reading it a first time, I felt really tired (I think I got a little to involved in the book)...and I don't want to lose that feeling of awe once the book is done.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:56 PM   #20
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As I said, when I first read the Lord of the Rings, I was 12. Of course I would like the battles. And going along with the Council of Elrond, the first time I read the chapter it just seemed to drag on forever. I am reading the books again and am currently on that chapter. It is much better than the first few times.
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:36 PM   #21
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For me it changes all the time. One time when I read the book I couldn't stand it when I was reading about Frodo and Sam. However, when I re-read the book this year I really enjoyed it.
Me growing up also changed it a lot. At first like many of you I read LOTR for the story. Now as I've grown older I have re-read the book not only for the story but also for character development etc. So now there are very few parts that I do not enjoy. Although I have to confess that when I read the book this year I did skim read the Palantir part in The two Towers. This time around I thought that it was tedious. But next year...I might just enjoy it.
As for The council of Elrond,every time I approach the chapter with dread because I think it will take me a long time. It usually turns out that I read it in a jiffy.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:07 PM   #22
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I'm a very fast reader, and always have been. The first time through a fiction book (nearly all I read, unless under duress) I speed through it, because I'm dying to know what actually happens. But I love to reread books; in fact, that determines whether I like a book or not. It's good if I can't remember all the plot details (important for mysteries), but since I'm not devouring it to see what happens I can go slower and savor it. And even if there is a part that isn't my favorite, I'm dedicated to doing a complete job that I practically force myself to read it! I can't even think of what I would skip if I could. I even read the Appendices! Well, I get bogged down in the part on language a little...

I first read it sometime in junior high, I think. I read the whole thing in about two days, skipping nothing. Of course, a lot of things (the Earendil story, &c.) I didn't understand at the time. Subsequent rereadings made me more familiar with them, and I grew to understand them at least from context. I didn't really learn it, of course, until reading the Silm; but even before then I didn't mind reading the parts. The awesome sense of history those references supply just staggered me. They made the story seem more of a piece with other things, instead of a neat plot with no loose ends or unexplained happenings. It seemed a lot more real. And of course now I do read it gradually and slowly, taking time to notice not only characterization, but also the craft of his writing. I delight in seeing how he chooses just the right words, for sound as well as meaning and connotation, and the sentence structure, as well as when he takes time to describe, when he uses dialogue, and when he writes more generally.

Hmm... Instead of explaining the above, I could just proclaim that "I don't skip!" But what's the fun in that?

Actually, the only times I did skip was when I read it aloud to my father during our work commute this summer. He got lost really fast on all the songs, so instead of enduring them he had me skip them. (I think "Earendil was a mariner" was what really did him in...) But the point is that the skipping certainly wasn't my idea.
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:04 PM   #23
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I read the council of Elrond a lot - partly because I like Elrond but mainly because it has so much information and so it is something I refer back to for RPG and so forth.
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Old 04-03-2005, 06:25 AM   #24
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I don't know that I've completely skipped it before, but I've been tempted to skim through the second half of the Two Towers. After the thrill of the first half, it was difficult to wade through. Kept me from moving on as fast as I had been, with my new-found love of Tolkien.
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Old 04-03-2005, 03:35 PM   #25
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I have never been tempted to skip any part of the story. If I make a decision to read a book, I have to read every part of it. Even the parts that I find a bit dull, which usually results in me reading the lines and not really taking them in. That doesn't happen with LotR - well not the story at least. I must admit to reading some of the poetry without really comprehending it, the first few times at least. And it has happened with some of the other works. For example, I found the chapter on Numenor and the tale of Aldarion and Erendis in Unfinished Tales rather dull, and my recollection of them is far hazier than it is of other parts of the book.

With LotR, I always feel slightly disappointed when I reach the end of each book in TTT and RotK because I have got caught up in the story and want to carry on about the adventures of those that I have been following. But, as soon as I start on the next book, I am immediately caught up in the new story and find myself equally disappointed when I reach its end.
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Old 04-04-2005, 05:47 AM   #26
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I also don't skip parts of the book. I tried to start lotr the other week to tie in with the chapter by chapter reviews the site is running, but I couldnt do it. I needed to read the whole book again, so have started from the beginning.

The films have helped me concentrate on various parts or themes of the books that I have missed on prior readings. For example, after the fotr movie, I reread the books and for the first time noticed the real animosity between boromir and aragorn, and also I was able to see boromir's character much better.

the last time I read the books after the rotk movie, I 'concentrated' on frodo and sam's journey, something that I've never been able to keep exactly in my mind what happened step by step (as I could for other story strands).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the thing that jumped out for me last time was the passage below, a few days out from sam and frodo's escape from the orcs near the black gate, and their trip towards mount doom.....
Quote:
Now as the blackness of night returned Frodo sat, his head between his knees, his arms hanging wearily to the ground where his hands lay feebly twitching. Sam watched him, till night covered them both and hid them from one another. He could no longer find any words to say; and he turned to his own dark thoughts. As for himself, though weary and under a shadow of fear, he still had some strength left. The lembas had a virtue without which they would long ago have lain down to die. It did not satisfy desire, and at times Sam's mind was filled with the memories of food, and the longing for simple bread and meats. And yet this waybread of the Elves had a potency that increased as travellers relied on it alone and did not mingle it with other foods. It fed the will, and it gave strength to endure, and to master sinew and limb beyond the measure of mortal kind.
The line in bold just struck me when I read it. I had never really noticed or took in this line before! I just didn't realise how close to death the hobbits had got. Just to imagine the hobbits giving up and lying down to die fills me with sadness in what they must be going through.

Now, without the context of all of their trip from the emyn muil, this scene would not have the same effect. This is why I can never skip parts in the books.
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:47 PM   #27
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Well I am part of the club of non-skippers. It doesn't matter how boring the book gets, I NEVER EVER skip.

And just like Essex I have begun to pay more attention to certain parts in the book because of the movies. The movies also make me focus on other things that happen in LOTR. This way I payed attention to particular behaviours of Gimli, hoping I could figure out why they made him deliver most of the comic relief. I also looked more closely at the characters of Boromir,Denethor, and Faramir.
Such things do keep the urge of skimming through a chapter to a low level.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:47 PM   #28
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In my first ever reading, still not yet a teen, I picked up Return of the King and made an effort at the first page about Minas Tirith, and just couldn't get interested. I put the book down for a year and a half. Maybe I wasn't ready. When I picked it up again, I got through that section with relative ease, and became quite hooked all over again. Now that I look back at it, I know why I couldn't get through the first page of RotK: I was so keen on what was going to happen next to Frodo and Sam that I was disappointed that I'd have to put up with a different story for at least a chapter. As to what I pass over these days, I haven't sat down and read LotR in close to a decade, so I'd have to say I pass over the whole thing! ..... in favor of talking about it and writing my own stuff. I'll take a look and see what my less favorite and more favorite chapters are, though.....
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:20 PM   #29
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A decade? For shame, LMP. Actually, proportionately, I'm not doing much better. Even though I had an actual class devoted to reading the books last year, I only read a select few chapters. I still aced every test, mind you, getting the least bonus correct on the final, but it was just so boring to spread it out so much. That's probably why I fell out of the read-along here on the 'Downs. In the case of Tril class, I skipped almost every chapter except the first book, The Council of Elrond, The Breaking of the Fellowship, Helm's Deep, and most of the RotK. Why did I skip all these parts? Because they aren't my favorites.

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Old 04-10-2005, 04:04 PM   #30
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The first time I read LotR I spent as long as possible reading it; perhaps I somehow knew it would be an experience unlike any other. I savoured it, and took in all the facts like it was a real history book.

Reading it again for the CbC threads I obviously don't want to skip anything, and I tend not to anyway when I do a proper read through. But I often pick it up (and I do this with other books too) just to 'look something up' and find I've ended up reading a fair few chapters because I get carried along. I have no qualms in picking up something like the Sil and opening it at random and just reading whatever I see first because I just like the language, and I do have parts in all of the books I like to read over and over just as extracts as they are favourite passages.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:04 PM   #31
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The first time I ever read the trilogy, I skipped some of the poetry, I'll admit that, but you'll have to forgive me, I think I was about eleven...
Apart from that, I don't think I have ever skipped any parts, especially not the chapters like 'The Council of Elrond' and 'The shadow of the past.' I know a lot of people skip these chapters, because there's just talking, really.
But I, like some who have posted before me, think these are among the most interesting chapters, because there are so many stories to look into...

A lot of people I know, especially the ones who prefer the movies instead of the books, think the beginning is boring. They feel like it never gets started...
I can understand why they feel that way, especially if they've seen the movie before they read the books, and expect all that action at once.
Still, I have to disagree with them, because I think it's necessary to have that kind of beginnig. After all, you've got all these people that need to be introduced, not to mention Middleearth, and the Shire itself.

My point is, that I don't really skip anything while reading Tolkien, but ofcourse there are parts that I read a little faster than the other ones, and that would probably be some of the travelling...
And to everyone who was shocked by my first sentence; I don't skip poetry any more. I now take the time to enjoy it
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Old 04-13-2005, 04:01 AM   #32
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I've never skipped anything in LotR.

I find it hard to believe that a few of you don't like the second half of TT. That was the first book that ever made me cry!!!! For that I love it and I still cry every time I read it!
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:04 PM   #33
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I must admit that I fail and fall short, and that I do have trouble slogging through several chapters of LoTR.

But, contrary to a main-stream conventional view, I enjoy and slow down for the agony and crying parts, and the most read part of my copy of the Trilogy are the Appendices.

And I must point out that the Silmarillion is the gripping story imagineable. I come here because I know there are other out there like me that enjoy all the history and tales of old, dead people as much as I do!!

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Old 12-27-2012, 04:35 PM   #34
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I first tried to read FotR when I was about twelve -- I found it in the basement and decided it looked like it might be interesting. I liked the first part but for the life of me could not make myself read through the part with Tom Bombadil. I thought, Okay, when is something actually going to happen? That part of the tale really isn't all that important to the plot as a whole, and I just got bored and didn't pick it up again for several years.
I kind of get what you mean(t). I like all the Shire parts, it's establishing place and character and whatnot, but I can't help but think; when sending a book to a publishers, you send the first three chapters, what would the publisher think to seeing hobbits moving back and forth across the 'Shire "without anything happening" yet :P
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:32 PM   #35
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Didnt skip anything as such, but my least favorite part is Frodo's and Sam's walk from Cirith Ungol to Mount Doom. Nothing much happens there, they get thirstier and thirstier, the ring gets heavier and heavier, Mordor sucks, Lembas is running out - he just repeats these two things endlessly

I think instead he should have cut the walking stuff to a few paragraphs, describing how thirsty and all they are, and used the space for a long interesting adventure, giving some more hints at "Life in Mordor" + hinting at some old secret stuff, like they come acrors the stables for another kind of fell beasts or somehting, to steel some food there from Orc WOMEN, as well as nick some gross mysteriously descibed animal to ride on using the ring to control it.

Caradhras is boring also.

Fav parts are: All the mysterious things and places (Bombadil, barrows, Moria, paths of the dead) + council of Elrond.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:53 PM   #36
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Funny, I've never skipped anything in a straight read-through. However, on my first reading at age 13 I came to a months-long halt just outside Minas Tirith. I was intrigued to learn that Tolkien, in his writing, came to the same halt.

I have often gone back and started with a particular section that I especially enjoy, only to read all the rest of the way through, then go back and read from the beginning back to that point, just to keep things even.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #37
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I'm also in the non-skipper club. I don't feel like I can claim to have read a book without going cover to cover, and I'd fear missing something that turns out to be important for understanding what's happening later.

That said, if there was a point when I was tempted to put the book down, it was when Tom Bombadil ring a dong dilloed on to the page. The first time I read LotR, I was in the mood for more serious business, and while the glimpses of ancient history and myth left me wanting to read more, Tom's silly songs did not. Now, I've come to appreciate the enigma and don't mind his singing quite as much... maybe in part because I've grown more comfortable with being openly silly too as I've grown older.

Despite that, Sam's song in the tower of Cirith Ungol still holds more appeal, and I'll sometimes just go to reread that chapter, and go onward through Mordor with Frodo and Sam.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:32 PM   #38
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I don't reliably skip the same place every time; but I have read The Battle Of the Pelennor Fields many more times than I have read the entire trilogy. (Perhaps thirty or more times thru the Pelennor, maybe, vice a dozen or fifteen times thru the trilogy?)
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #39
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I have to admit to using LOTR mainly as a reference work these days but having recently got it on my kindle I have started a proper readthrough and I keep noticing things that seem new. Now it could be my memory is hoong but I have had a similar experience rereading The Forsyte Chronicles on kindle which is a series I have loved almost as long and have read many times always straoght through.

I sispect I have never reaf the verso pages as closely as the recto having the bad habit of folding back paperbacks. Since I also now have a hardback edition I will see if reading that provides the same discoveries.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #40
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I don't reliably skip the same place every time; but I have read The Battle Of the Pelennor Fields many more times than I have read the entire trilogy. (Perhaps thirty or more times thru the Pelennor, maybe, vice a dozen or fifteen times thru the trilogy?)
Maybe this warrants a thread of its own - "Parts we read individually/separate/without reading the whole book"?
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