If The Lord of the Rings novel could be summed up in three words, they would be this: “Onward they traveled.”
As you hopefully know, the novel is the most epic adventure ever written (my description).
As I’ve re-read the novel this time around (I’m currently over halfway through The Two Towers), I’ve really grown to appreciate the immensity of the distances these characters travel. I’ve also grown more respect for Tolkien’s writing skill, as he goes way beyond simply saying “they traveled from The Shire to Mt. Doom.”
The novel has an amazing amount of detail, and it’s easy to get lost in some of that detail. So when it comes to the traveling itself, this GIF created by “SiliconeSoldier” and showcased on Reddit is incredible in illustrating just how long their fictional journey took them.
This GIF shows the entire pacing of the novel with one frame per day represented. Read more
I read through your comments on Tuesday’s post in which I gave you the opening to The Death of the Heart and asked for your thoughts on it.
A few highlights: Read more
Today’s kind of a lazy post, but it’s relevant.
Many critics, and even A.S. Byatt herself, have acknowledged Possession is a response to John Fowles’ 1969 novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
So before we jump into Possession, I thought it might be worthwhile to revisit The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the story that provoked A.S. Byatt to write her novel in the first place.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman currently sits at #27 in my rankings of the first 68 books I’ve read from the Time list. Before I read the novel, I thought I wouldn’t like it—thinking of it as a Victorian romance. And it is partly that, but to dismiss it that easily does a great disservice to John Fowles. The man was excellent at his craft.
So instead of me babbling on and on about a book I read nearly three years ago, I thought I’d just repost that review here today. It’s been awhile, so just reading this review again reminded me of why I enjoyed The French Lieutenant’s Woman so much.
And, hopefully, Possession will prove to be as interesting.
I’m tired of reading books about depressed, alcoholic, hopeless twenty-somethings.
I’m just tired of it, man.
I get it. I really do. Your 20s is probably the most volatile, unpredictable decade of your life. It’s a time period that’s easy to write about because it connects with so many people.
We’ve all been there trying to figure out what to do with our lives, trying to figure out what that girl we like is thinking, trying to figure out if we really hate our job enough to quit and pursue something new. For some people, trying not to be drunk all the time.
So I understand why authors like Nathanael West feel led to write about this time period. And I understand why Hemingway wrote about it in The Sun Also Rises or Malcolm Lowry in Under The Volcano or Jack Kerouac in On The Road. But when you put all these books on a list and read them relatively close to each other, the reading gets cumbersome.
Man, movie trailers in the 1970s were all kinds of horrible.
They were cheesy, too long, and with terrible music.
Take a look at this official trailer for The Day of the Locust (released in 1975):
This is one of the more interesting little tidbits I’ve discovered about an author since I’ve started this project.
Nathanael West died the day after his good friend F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940.
Here’s how our friends at Wikipedia describe his death:
I don’t watch a lot of movies.
I don’t dislike movies. But when I have a few free hours, I like to spend it in other ways. Unless it’s a movie I really want to see, like The Great Gatsby a few months ago, I tend to get bored too easily. That’s just me.
So I’m not one of those guys who watches the Academy Awards every year. In fact, I’m not sure I could give you more than two or three films that have won the Oscars off the top of my head. I just don’t keep up with it.
So it’s not surprising that I didn’t even know A Passage To India was a movie—and it’s even less surprising that I don’t remotely pretend to know that said movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director in 1984.