#41 The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge


So thereโ€™s this hobbit.ย You may have heard of him. He is unwisely chosen to venture beyond the gates of hellย to destroy a powerful ring on which the fate of Middle Earth dependsโ€”a quest that should ABSOLUTELY kill him but doesnโ€™t. Heโ€™s joined by a few burdensome, incompetent fools, mainlyย to emphasizeย that these are unlikely heroes (like most British protagonists), and a few legendary warriors, seemingly to lend a little credibility to the expedition.

Oh, and thereโ€™s a wizard. But donโ€™t get excited; he does precisely nothing.

There are some pretty blatant problems within this widely praised and beloved narrativeโ€”and because itโ€™s more fun to mock than to revere, Iโ€™m going to skip gleefully past its merits and picnic amongย its many flaws.

Problem #1: Length

Really, Tolkien? Three novel-length volumesย to finish one story? Take a cue from Strunk & White and edit.

I take issue with theโ€ฆ

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