Reviews: The Lord Of The Rings

The bedrock of the modern fantasy genre

The influence of Tolkien's epic high fantasy saga has had on the fantasy genre, and Anglo-European culture in general, has been very great indeed. There is no aspect of culture that it has not affected, and no middle class household seems to be complete without a dog-eared copy on a shelf somewhere.

The books themselves are long-winded and verbose, but every seemingly superfluous adjective and apparently throw-away reference conceals an almost obsessive degree of thought and care. A lifetime was poured into fleshing out Middle-Earth, and the result is a fictional 'world', the detail of which is perhaps unrivalled outside of real life.

The trilogy of films has by most accounts done the novels justice, and 'may' be Ur Example of Adaptation Distillation at its best. The writings of the man himself have proven a hard act to follow, with many 'successors' and fan-writers struggling to produce material of a comparable style and/or standard.