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The Day I Discovered Tolkien

Hugh

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I don't have too many memories of this. I spent two or three months on and off in bed missing school due to tonsillitis, and had pretty much worked through Enid Blyton's "Secret Seven" series from the very small local English language library. I thought they were pretty good. I was six years old, it was 1958 and we were living in Ankara. As there wasn't much left to read my mother gave me the Hobbit. I remember very little about this other than that I liked it. I then tried the first volume of LOTR but got bogged down very quickly in the preparations for the party and gave up. I don't remember too much about the experience when I finally did manage to read the LOTR either, age seven or maybe eight, other than that the Black Riders were seriously frightening, and that the end of volume II was a real cliff-hanger. I certainly felt it was worth reading. I've always felt that I read it too young to have any real critical judgement, but that in some way it became a part of me.
 
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hitmouse

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My mother read The Hobbit to me and a younger brother when I was 6 or 7. We lived in Birmingham and in the school holidays were sent to courses in a place called Canon Hill Park. I spent a week on a Hobbit course, must have been 7, reading , painting pictures, enacting, and going on a field trip to some of Tolkein's old haunts.

I tackled LOTR for the first time when I was 9 or 10. We were camping near Crickhowel in Wales. Elvis died that week. ?1977.
 

BAYLOR

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I picked up The Hobbit in the late 1980's and not long afterwards I read LOTR and the Silmarillion.
 

Starbeast

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As for me, I always had an interest in sci-fi and fantasy tales, beginning at an early age.

When I was an early teen, I spoke to a friend about cool books to read. He suggested I read the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then he tried to hand me four GIANT novels. I told him that I couldn't read all of that. Then he said............

"Read The Hobbit, and you will ask me for the rest." HE WAS RIGHT. They're still my all-time favorite fantasy stories.

I remember how excited I was when The Hobbit played on TV for the first time. Then I was thrilled when, The Lord of the Rings came to the big screen. And of course, the final chapter, The Return of the King played on TV for the first time. (animated versions - I loved them)

THEN, many years later, the live action versions appeared on the big screen. I was floating with happiness in the theater, like a balloon at a music concert. :love:



53792


illustration by Frank Frazetta​
 

Vince W

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I was eight in 1977 when I saw the Rankin/Bass animated The Hobbit.


I was pretty much hooked after that. I went to the library and found the book. My grandparents had a set of The Lord of the Rings in a slipcase and every time I was at their home I would read a bit and pour of the maps.

 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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I was eight in 1977 when I saw the Rankin/Bass animated The Hobbit.


I was pretty much hooked after that. I went to the library and found the book. My grandparents had a set of The Lord of the Rings in a slipcase and every time I was at their home I would read a bit and pour of the maps.

Old Hard covered editions ? Cool ! :cool:
 

reiver33

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I was 12/13 and had just started Secondary school. There was a passage read out on the radio that caught my attention due to the descriptive quality of language (from the Hobbit, I think, describing 'The Prancing Pony' in Bree). However, all the school library had was LOTR (Volume 1) - so I was off and running.

I remember feeling slightly disappointed when I eventually got round to reading The Hobbit, it seemed quite simplistic having just completed LOTR
 

AndrewT

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Jan 21, 2012
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I was nine and my Dad was running errands so he dropped me off in the library, went and pulled The Hobbit off a shelf, and said "Please read until I get back, you will like this". He was correct and I think I finished it the same day or the next. I couldn't put it down and I forgot there was any other world but Middle Earth while I read LOTR over the next month. Silmarillion did not come out until 1977 when I was 12. I grabbed the hardback as soon as it came out and read it. I was a bit disappointed because it read more like a text book.
 

Hugh

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Roger Zelazny: "I came to J.R.R.Tolkien's books at a very unusual time in my life. But then I guess that everyone who has read them and been moved by them has felt the same way. Perhaps it is because they helped to make it an unusual time. He enriched the entire field of fantastic literature with his great story. He changed many of us who passed through his world. And this is the mark of true power - to make oneself felt so intensely, so pervasively, and with such affection. While I was saddened to hear of his passing, it is good to know that his life was long, long enough for him to feel or appreciation of his work and long enough to realize that so many of us are grateful".
Taken from Volume 5 of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, originally in Locus 149, September 1973.
Zelazny said that Tolkien was his "favourite fantasy author". (Nova 1, June 1972)
 

CupofJoe

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Mar 29, 2019
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It was the Late Seventies and the last year[?] of junior school and as a class we were made to read The Hobbit [one chapter/page per person - depending on how slow you read. It should probably have been some thing worthy like Dickens but Miss Ellis was the greatest hippy out there]. The group reading all but killed the book for me but I happened to be the last person to be given to book at the end of class... so I stole it.
With nothing better to read on the bus ride home I started reading it and almost finished it by the time I went back to school the next day. I gave the book back and asked Miss ellis if I could finish it at lunch time. She said yes and that as they say was that. I got LotR for my next birthday. That took a little longer to read, an entire summer holiday.
I have way too many copies of The Hobbit, including the same edition that I read at school.
 

copper

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Aug 18, 2019
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My dad read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to us when I was young, though I might have missed most of Rings--my younger sister was scared and I think my mom started sending the two of us to bed early while Dad read to my older brother and sister. I probably wasn't more than seven at the time.
I picked up Lord of the Rings myself when I was about 11, got as far as Bombadil's house and put it down for about a year. When I picked it up again I fell in love. I read and re-read those books over and over for the rest of my teenage years; Two Towers was my favorite, which is obvious by how much more worn that volume is than the other two! I also read The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales, both of which my dad owned. I pretty much lived in Middle Earth through some tough adolescent years.

Now I'm reading the books with my own kids :) When my oldest was about 11 she decided that The Silmarillion was her favorite book; made me proud.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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Jun 29, 2014
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14,436
As for me, I always had an interest in sci-fi and fantasy tales, beginning at an early age.

When I was an early teen, I spoke to a friend about cool books to read. He suggested I read the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then he tried to hand me four GIANT novels. I told him that I couldn't read all of that. Then he said............

"Read The Hobbit, and you will ask me for the rest." HE WAS RIGHT. They're still my all-time favorite fantasy stories.

I remember how excited I was when The Hobbit played on TV for the first time. Then I was thrilled when, The Lord of the Rings came to the big screen. And of course, the final chapter, The Return of the King played on TV for the first time. (animated versions - I loved them)

THEN, many years later, the live action versions appeared on the big screen. I was floating with happiness in the theater, like a balloon at a music concert. :love:



View attachment 53792

illustration by Frank Frazetta​
I would have loved to have seen him do Graphic novel adaptations of the Hobbit and LOTR. It would have been spectacular ! :cool:(y)
 

Vince W

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That slipcase set is the one my dad owned; they are mine now and very well loved.
My uncle has that set now. I'd love to get it from him but he moved to the US and I'll not likely see them again.

Oh, and welcome.
 
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