So, after reading the books, then watching the movies, then listening to the books on CD, here are some thoughts.
– My favorite part of the whole book series (on paper) was at the end, when Sam Gamgee discovers that the box from The Lady contained a Mallorn tree seed. I teared up a bit, actually.
– My favorite part of the books on CD was when Aragorn gets off the ship with his warriors and joins the battle outside Gondor. Hearing it, instead of reading it, my heart was a-pounding. Even though I obviously knew what was going to happen.
– I found the contrast between the two main heroes to be interesting. Aragorn, going after his birthright. Not exactly prideful, but definitely proud. He knows he deserves the honor and respect that others show him. Frodo, doing the job he volunteered for. He seems the reluctant hero, in contrast to Aragorn. He doesn’t quite know how to handle the admiration of others. At times, I found Aragorn’s demeanor to be a bit off-putting, actually, though in the movies, it wasn’t as bad.
– I can let most of the little “that’s not how it was in the books” things go with the movies. Overall, they did a better job (I thought) than most in translating the books to movies. But where the hell did the Elves come from in the battle at Helm’s Deep?? I mean, seriously? Why just invent that? Why not just NOT invent that??
– The guy who read the books on CD, I didn’t find to be annoying at all. Sometimes, though, he’d use his Pippin voice when reading Aragorn, or his Aragorn voice when he was reading Legolas. That got confusing.
– I liked listening to a book more than I thought I would, though I did have to rewind often. I don’t think I could do a book on CD if I hadn’t already read it – at least not one as complex as the Lord of the Rings books.
Also, I’m somewhat delighted to find – after reading LOTR, Eragon, and the Chronicles of Narnia – that I like fantasy books more than I thought I would. Is that potentially because two of the above-listed series are intended for kids? Nothing like some easy reading, right?
I’ve hit up a few friends for recommendations on where to go from here, and I think I’ll delve into fantasy a bit more, for lack of anything else to read. I don’t really mean that – but I’m not ready to settle into The Iliad quite yet, and I’ve read all the Science Fiction in my basement that interests me. So there you have it.