This Book I Read...
This Book I Read...
The Lord of the Rings with Chris Durston

This month CM Lowry is talking to Chris Durston, author of Chronicles from the World of Guilt, about The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien in ‘This Book I Read…

Topics covered include:

  • Being old enough to remember the internet before Wikipedia existed, writing stories on early PCs and reading the Yellow Pages
  • Re-reading childhood classics to the point of the covers disintegrating and how much harder that is to do as you get older and your time becomes more constrained
  • Tolkien’s love of linguistics and how his languages shaped the world of The Lord of the Rings as well as the various races that exist within the world.
  • Accents within fiction writing and how they can bring the character to life immediately. Tolkien tends to use patterns of speech instead of phonetic accents to communicate character.
  • The least heroic character in The Lord of The Rings is the one that makes it all happen and watching the heroic characters doing everything they can just to give the Hobbits a little bit more time to destroy the ring.
  • Extra-natural characters within The Lord of the Rings such as Tom Bombadil and Gandalf, whom Tolkien used as illustrations of the fact that something does exist outside of the ordinary. These contrast beautifully with the very normal lives of the hobbits who concerned themselves only with where second breakfast was coming from.
  • Magic in The Lord of the Rings is far more soft than people expect – its not a typical high fantasy story.
  • The problematic nature of how long it is – the prose style is difficult, somewhat like Dickens, and so it takes some slow and thoughtful reading.
  • Thoughts on The Hobbit and how it compares, contrasts and ties into The Lord of the Rings and how Tolkien did a ‘Han Shot First’ scene adjustment in the second edition of The Hobbit.
  • How there is something inimitably special about the way The Lord of the Rings treats small people in a big world – many have tried to replicate this. Tolkien creates a huge world full of legendary heroes, yet it comes down to two little Hobbits (who don’t even want to be heroes) to save everyone.
  • Finding something new to love every time you re-read the book.

Links to things we discussed:

Music by CM Lowry. Editing by Dave Emmerson 

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