Years ago I spent a lot of time with friends playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons™. You know, the game where you rolled dice and looked up a table in a hardback book to find out what happened. After a hard day’s adventuring, slaying orcs, trolls, goblins and so forth the characters would retire for a … More Drinking in the REAL Green Dragon inn, and how it led to the Gods in Twilight
Does anybody listen to British folk-rock? Stuff that flourished, really, in the late 1960s on the back of the counter-culture and some of which floated away on a cloud of Tolkien influences into the 1970s. That wasn’t surprising. In its British incarnation the counter-culture took on overtones of ‘Merrie England’, the nineteenth century sense of … More Tolkien and folk-rock and us
In the last few posts I’ve been exploring how Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings became a major part of mainstream culture. The transition began in the mid-1960s on the back of the counter-culture, and the place of Tolkien’s imaginarium was cemented by the mainstreaming of fantasy and science fiction in the 1970s – a … More Has anybody got ‘Bored of the Rings’?
In the last few posts I’ve been exploring the way J R R Tolkien subverted twentieth century literature, creating a whole new form of fantasy – and why The Lord Of The Rings in particular was such a runaway success. Today I’m wrapping the series up with a few thoughts on the way people reacted … More Pastoral folk or Wagnerian metal – which music best suits Tolkien?
In the past few posts I’ve been explaining why Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings struck such chords with the western world, despite breaking all the rules of the twentieth century novel. We’ve seen how, on one level, it ‘broke through’ a decade after being published, on the back of the way the counter-culture identified with … More Deep magic from the dawn of humanity: the real appeal of Tolkien
I’ve been posting about why J R R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings broke all the rules – yet, ten years after publication, took off commercially to become a defining icon of twentieth century fantasy literature. As a huge Tolkien fan who used to read The Lord Of The Rings multiple times a year, … More Beyond epic – how Tolkien broke the rules and wrote a winner
I posted the other day about how J R R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings broke the rules of writing – yet, eventually, became an icon, and justly so. But it shouldn’t have, all things being equal. By usual standards, Tolkien’s characters were cyphers. He broke his narrative in ways that obscured dramatic tension. … More How J R R Tolkien became a best-selling author
The other day I posted about the importance of written structure – particularly the way authors looking to write ‘epic’ tomes often end up stretching their plots out way too thin, like Tolkien’s One Ring did for the life of its bearers. That prompted one of my readers to post a question about Tolkien’s The … More The paradox of Tolkien’s ‘The Lord Of The Rings’
As the end credits rolled up on The Hobbit: Battle Of Five Armies, I said ‘well, that’s 144 minutes of my life I won’t get back.’ That followed the 169 minutes I lost with the first one (my wife said ‘it felt like out-takes from The Lord of The Rings’) and the 161 minutes I … More Why I felt let down by The Hobbit movies
When you were a kid, did you ever find a book that, to this day, hasn’t gone away – that you could maybe read, years and years later, and still enjoy? Here’s my list, all books I read up to the age of about 11-12. I’m not limiting it to a ‘top 10’ – in fact, … More Kids books that have totally stuck with you