And with December comes a whole new world of fun in the form of words, dustjackets and the wonderful smell of fresh paper. I get a funny feeling that my presents will be shaped like books, which will be FANTASTIC as usual. I might have to be dragged back to University next year, lamenting the loss of endless days of reading.
So what have I been reading lately? Well, I completed The Silmarillion not long after writing my last blog post. And much to my relief, I found Hobbits at the end! It was a nice lead-in to reading The Hobbit afterwards, in preparation for the movie. I finished it in two days flat, which has to be a new record closely matched by Matthew Reilly’s Hovercar Racer.
The Hobbit as an individual work though is very thoughtfully constructed. It’s clear that Tolkien wrote it as a fairy tale, it has the same style as a classic reading of a Brothers Grimm story whilst being for slightly older children who won’t be scared of dragons and swordfights, and the occasional troll called Bert. That had me laughing for hours. I really admired the sarcasm and pure wit that Tolkien gave to Smaug the dragon, it matched exactly what I thought a dragon would be like and added another dimension to the classic fairytale model he used.
The Hobbit is effective as a piece because it sticks with you, and you can easily connect with the characters on an emotional level. The language is not complicated, but has just the right amount of emotion to it that makes you as a reader feel almost as if you are in the same room, drawing you into Middle-Earth and all that goes on there. It feels like home after a while, like a place you never want to leave. And for a book to do that, it has to be awfully good.
After I finished The Hobbit I moved on to a novel of quite a different tone called The Immigrants by Howard Fast. I’m about a hundred pages in, and so far it’s turning out to be a real corker. The characters are wholesome and rounded, and are again easy to identify with but on a far more practical manner. The plot is easy to follow, if a little jumpy for my liking because it shifts between characters a lot, but otherwise I’m enjoying it so far and according to other people who recommended it to me it should only get better from here. I’ll keep you updated as I go.
Anyway, that’s it from me for the moment. I’m taking a break from working on my own novel because Christmas is so close, but if I do decide to start going at it again I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.