Friday, June 27, 2014

Review Me Twice - The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

I'm not going to lie: I hate poetry.  Which is no real surprise if you've spent any kind of time on this blog.  And, while I don't hate Tolkien, he's really kind of wordy.  So when you combine a format of reading I hate with an author I don't particularly like, you just give me a book that I hate.

There, I said it.  I hated a book.  I think Tolkien will forgive me.

Really, Tom Bombadil, the character, only shows up in about three of the poems, and I didn't understand what was going on in the other half of them.  I'm sure if I were more immersed in the Tolkien world and lore, I would have enjoyed it more, but I'm not, so it really didn't do anything for me.  There were not characters I could get behind, or even discern, and it all just kind of jumbled together for me.

If you like Tolkien, and you like poetry, then by all means pick up, but this really wasn't the book for me.

I'm so glad that Cassy feels exactly the same way I do about this book. I chose this book for us to read. I don't know what I was thinking; I guess I was having a particularly masochistic day or something. You know now how I feel about Tom Bombadil and I don't think I've been particularly quiet about the way I feel about Tolkien's writing ("not especially fond"). And traditional poetry is really not my favorite thing to read. My brain insists on getting the meter and rhyme exactly right before moving on to the next line, and it is exhausting.

The English major in me kept insisting that, "No, Tom Bombadil is totally in these other poems... he's some sort of weird mystical nature-man, right? Maybe he's the tree? Is he literally a shape-shifter? Does he embody the spirit of these nature elements?" Shut up, brain. Just stop it. Tom Bombadil isn't in most of these poems and you should be happy about that because he's annoying.

I kid you not, these are the most boring poems I've ever read. The first one literally follows this storyline: Tom encounters something in nature that attacks/kidnaps/annoys him; he tells it to stop; it totally does (for no reason other than he's Tom Bombadil); repeat fifty times; he steals Goldberry from her mom and marries her (with absolutely no input whatsoever from Goldberry herself... I can only hope she was cool with that arrangement).

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