Do "all" people who like Hobbit and Lord of the Rings like the fantasy genre?

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
7,811
Not me!

I still enjoy or would expect to enjoy these exceptional books:

the Narnian books
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (Garner)
the Prydain quintet (Alexander)
William Morris's Waters of the Wondrous Isles, etc.
probably the first three Earthsea books by Le Guin
I suppose a few others

But I specialized in fantasy for years, and now I can hardly bear to look at the cover art of the new stuff that gets published, and find I don't stick with it if I try to reread book I liked back in the 1970s, say Lord Dunsany or Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd-Mouser stories. I am sorry to have to say that I have bogged down every time I have tried to reread Gormenghast. I liked Peter S. Beagle's cross-country motor scooter travelogue more than a rereading of The Last Unicorn.

In general the fantasy genre doesn't appeal to me nowadays and hasn't for years.,

How about others here? We're just talking about what you like or don't like. Nothing sercon.
 
Last edited:

Danny McG

Some enemies can be ignored;other enemies must die
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
5,875
Location
Cumbria UK
I really liked the LOTR books when I first encountered them in the 1970s.
I've had a few re-reads since then.

I have tried other fantasy books over the years but never really got into them.

I much prefer sci fi and crime thrillers nowadays, with the occasional horror story
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,649
In my case yes . ive read a ton of Fantasy , new and old , mostly the old stuff which ,I constantly recommend to people .

T
 

Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,760
Location
Extremely Northern California
Tolkien was not my first rodeo. I cut my teeth on Dad's collection of 42 OZ books.
Mom turned me on to prose versions of Greek and Roman mythology, at a very young age.


LOTR set the tone, for me, that a trilogy is the perfect length. Since, three, maybe four volumes and i lose interest.

I lost patience with Thomas Covenant's whining about his disabilities. I tired of Shanara. early, as too derivative.

I lost patience with Thomas Covenant's whining about his disabilities. I tired of Shanara. early, as too derivative.

Couldn't get enough of Zelazny's Amber, or Moorcock's everything.


Hah! I tried to read 5 volumes of GRR Martin, concurrent with the first TV season of Game of Thrones and became hopelessly confused by the differences in story lines and pacing, such that I lost interest in the whole wretched mess. Every Character I grew to favor got kilt off. I hated that nonsense.

I recently enjoyed re-reading Gaiman's Good Omens and Anansi boys; and, of course, had to re-read American Gods when the tv series came out,

The only current fantasy author that I follow avidly is Matthew Hughes. His stories appear regularly in the Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy; sometimes in Asimov's and others. Otherwise he seems to be under appreciated by the World At Large. He also has some great novels. His blurbists like to compare him to Jack Vance, (So I had to go back and re-read a bunch of Vance)

His tales are clever and quirky with an underlying subtle, droll humor.

In other news, I'm sick to death of the "Urban Fantasy" genre where tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies are beat to death.

I reckon that Zombies, especially, were a one-off gag in an aged, silly B grade horror movie and best left that way.
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
7,811
I liked Peter S. Beagle's cross-country motor scooter travelogue more than a rereading of The Last Unicorn.
The travelogue was I See by My Outfit. It was reprinted in the Penguin Travel Library in the 1980s. A cool thing about it is that it mentions The Lord of the Rings, at the time a "cult book" not available in paperback. (The time of Beagle's journey is the early 1960s. The book about the journey was originally published in 1965.)

1631765331324.png
1631765365108.png
 
Last edited:

Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,760
Location
Extremely Northern California
The travelogue was I See by My Outfit. It was reprinted in the Penguin Travel Library in the 1980s. A cool thing about it is that it mentions The Lord of the Rings, at the time a "cult book" not available in paperback.
I remember that as being a fun yarn, though it's been more than fifty years since I read it.
Peter Beagle's daughters were in my class at a tiny mountain grade school, about '64 to '69; so, of course I had to read everything Beagle.

The tiny school library had an extra-ordinary collection of SF an F, for its size and place. I speculated that Beagle and "Bob" Heinlein, who also lived in the neighborhood, may have made some donations.
 

Tawariell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Qecios
I don't think you need to like the whole genre of fantasy to like LOTR. I know plenty of people who do, but never bothered to read another art of fantasy.

And as a 23-year old, I absolutely admire Tolkien as a linguist and world-builder — but boy... did I have a hard time getting through those dozen pages of Gandalf in dialogue, explaining the damned ring to Frodo.

Unfortunately, my generation is becoming more picky about reading books and actually staying focused enough to read through heaps of information (thanks to social-media). I'm a HUGE fan of LOTR — but no matter how much I love and admire the world Tolkien built — it's still hard for me to get through those first chapters in the Shire (hence, 21st century focus-span).
 

Droflet

I don't teach chickens how to dance.
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
3,515
Location
Australia
I read the LOtR trilogy and the Hobbit when I was younger. I tried other fantasy books like McCaffery's dragon books and was underwhelmed. I couldn't get my head around fantasy. I'm probably too stuck in my ways. So, LOTR, yes, other fantasy, no.
 

Vince W

Towel Champion
Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
4,574
Location
Redacted.
I've read The Hobbit and LoTR and I do like fantasy but in small doses. I'll read a book or two and then forget about it for a while.
 

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
5,961
I think the combination of a fair chunk of post-Tolkien epic fantasy being derivative and not very good, and the fact that quite a lot of fans seem to regard LOTR as completely flawless, makes it pretty much inevitable that they wouldn't. You're always going to get people who say (fairly, I think) "This fantasy novel isn't as good as LOTR, and hence I don't like it" or (less fairly) "This fantasy novel is different to LOTR, and hence I don't like it".
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,871
Depends what one means by fantasy ( not a discussion I really want to get into again) but I think Toby nails it. The post-JRRT epic fantasy genre is with a few notable exceptions, pretty unappealing to me. The wider “genre” , if it really is a coherent thing (it does not all sit on the same bookshop shelves as LOTR, WOT, ASOFAI et al)is however very diverse, and there is lots of interesting stuff, both classical and modern, which appeals without requiring a fantasy fan badge.
 
Last edited:

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
1,063
Location
The Netherlands
Well, I read Fantasy, so I believe I can be considered a fan. But SF would be my first love.
Would I have read LotR if I wasn't already a reader of that genre? Tricky question. I doubt though whether people who aren't already a fan of Fantasy would start reading LotR.

When I now think back to when I first read LotR - which was fairly late, 30-something - I try to remember what made me start reading it. It wasn't a weird or alien genre to me, but somehow I had never picked it up, though my elder brother owned the 3 books that make up LotR. Perhaps too daunting, somehow. I don't know, it just never crossed my mind that I ought to read it.
But then I encountered the books in one volume, in English, which isn't my first language. And suddenly it became, not daunting, but a challenge. I bought it and took it with me on a 4-week holiday in Norway. It took me a few months more to finish it.
Clearly it wasn't everydays English. But I have always had a liking for somewhat archaic word use or expressions. I fell in love with it and learned a lot about English along the way.

I like Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Not because it is Fantasy per se, but because the books create a fascinating and believable world with all its distinctive peoples, language and culture. It is a masterpiece.
It also spoils you rotten, to the detriment of everything you try to read after that. If it offers something new or different I'm willing to give it a try. I tend to evade books about orcs, elves or dwarfs or books about people who believe they are the (lost and found) rightful heir to the Throne. Any Fantasy outside that box I may like:
Amber
Kingkiller Chronicles
Mythago Wood
Books by Neil Gaiman
Rivers of London
Discworld
The Wandering Inn
Thessaly
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
3,355
I like some fantasy book, but the genre is so far and wide-reaching that anyone who has any interest in fiction would find something to suit them.
 

biodroid

A.D.D.
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
2,735
Location
Johannesburg, SA
I read Fellowship and half of the Two Towers. The latter was very tedious and long winded for me. I tried a few other fantasy books but just can't seem to bother reading them. I read Feists Magician and Silverthorn, I like Silverthorn much more. I enjoyed some Gemmells and Abercrombie books too but meh, I just couldn't be bothered. Feels the same to me, to much violence for gratuitousness instead of moving the plot. I do prefer more traditional fantasy, I tried reading Age of Myth or book 1 of than Michael J. Sullivan series but it got bogged down in the towns politics and how the woman was to become the leader blah blah blah.
 

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
5,961
There's surely something of a self-fulfilling prophesy of disappointment here. Because of the consensus that LOTR is genius, new books are often touted as being "the new Tolkien" or something like that. They inevitably disappoint because they're either not as good or just different. It's like saying that every detective novel is "the new Raymond Chandler". It reminds me of the Star Wars films, where the advertising makes it sound as though each new film is just like the old ones, except better and somehow different.
 

tachyon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
261
I read them and I loved them. Currently I find I'm not as interested in LOTR-adjacent fantasy, however I'm still an avid fantasy reader. I'm drawn to novel worldbuilding, settings, plots. Stories that are genre-aware and in conversation with tropes and cliches are fun as well. I read a lot of fantasy still but probably not interested in re-reading LOTR again (2x is enough?). Might re-read The Hobbit.
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
6,797
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
Not really. I like some fantasy (Tolkien, Eddings) but a lot of stuff just doesn't interest me. They always seem to come in trilogies or long series. A trend that began in the 80s I think
 

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
2,016
The problem I have with this question and similar questions, is that a casual glance suggests Tolkein-esque fantasy is all there is, even though Extollager mentions books/series that are not.

So,
Any Fantasy outside that box I may like:
Amber
Kingkiller Chronicles
Mythago Wood
Books by Neil Gaiman
Rivers of London
Discworld
The Wandering Inn
Thessaly

is more along the lines of how I look at it. Fantasy I enjoyed (not always uncritically) includes,
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Dream-Quest of Unknown By H. P. Lovecraft
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
The Three Imposters by Arthur Machen
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag by Robert A. Heinlein
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
Neverwhere & Smoke & Mirrors & The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Rivers of London (a.k.a. Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovich
The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles Finney
Something Wicked this Way Comes & The October Country by Ray Bradbury
Conjure Wife & Swords of Darkness by Fritz Leiber
Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson (comes closest to Tolkein of those here; first trilogy only)

I have awaiting on my shelves much fantasy that I hope to get to, some of it fluff, some of it not:
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Strange Toys by Patricia Geary
The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer
The Orphan's Tales (both volumes) by Carherynne Valente
Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia McKillop
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells ed. by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
The Thread that Binds the Bone by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Flanders by Patricia Anthony
Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson
The Dream-Quest of Velitt Boe by Kij Johnson
Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer
What is Not Yours, Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Snow White Learns Witchcraft by Theodora Goss


And that list is a small sampling, and that just of what women have written. I could do a similar sampling of male written fantasy.

So, yes, I like fantasy. But the fastest way of getting tired of something is to read it exclusively. So I also have non-fantasy lined up by Joyce Carol Oates, Ross Macdonald, Robert Stone, E. L. Doctorow, Eric Frank Russell, Donna Leon, Louise Penny, Ruth Rendell, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain (um, one of them is fantasy, so ...) and some non-fiction as well.
 

Top