I've been sluffing off lately...bad Angels! Very bad Angels! Anyway, I've got something for you. I don't watch True Blood, but there are no words to describe how much I freaking love this song. It's been my favorite for years.
January's been feeling neglected lately and I've been slacking on the BBC's list, so here we are and away we go! Let me just clarify that I always feel like an idiot writing reviews on books this well-known and popular, but I'll do my best.
The Fellowship of the Ring
Frodo Baggins knew the
Ringwraiths were searching for him - and the Ring of Power he bore that
would enable Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it
was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where
it could be detroyed - in the very center of Sauron's dark kingdom.
The Two Towers
The Fellowship was
scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil
of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard
Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power
to be destroyed in Mordor–the dark Kingdom where Sauron was supreme.
Their guide was Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the
corruption of the Ring.
The Return of the King
While the evil might of
the Dark Lord Sauron swarmed out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and
Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. To defeat the
Dark Lord, the accursed Ring of Power had to be destroyed in the fires
of Mount Doom. But the way was impossibly hard, and Frodo was weakening.
Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring he began finally to despair.
The reviews I posted on GoodReads were woefully inadequate, so I'm forced to wing it. My appreciation for this trilogy grows every time I read it. The sheer effort Mr. Tolkien put into creating it is evident and astounding. He made up just how many languages and how many cultures and how many histories, again?! Elves, dwarves, hobbits, wizards, men, and all sorts of nasty things like trolls and Ringwraiths and *shiver* Gollum run wild, but they all feel so real. You can feel the struggles and the triumphs and the sorrow of all the characters and you feel bound to them as you read.
I won't lie to you, it does get a bit wordy in places and the exposition outweighs the action at times, but the action springs back and just blew my mind. ROTK in particular was a roller coaster ride for me. I would laugh one minute and start crying the next.
God, I really do feel stupid trying to write something on something this intelligent and powerful! If I have to sum it up in just one word, I'd have to call it majestic. The movies were amazing, but the books honestly took my breath away. They just can't translate the depth and richness of them entirely to screen, so if you only know the movies, you really are missing something. If nothing else, reading them might get you ready for when The Hobbit comes out this year (which I'm looking forward to, by the way. Martin Freeman is bound to make an excellent Bilbo.)
I know scholars and other people much smarter than me have written essays and whatnot on this, but all I can do is tell you that it is one of the most moving, inspired things I have ever read, and it's distinguished in that it brought tears to my eyes. It seems that's happening more often, lately, but there's still not many books that have provoked that response. Which goes to show that a) Angels is still a tough nut to crack and b) this trilogy is all the more special for having cracked me.
It's been CRAZY this past week! Visiting grandparents, a late Christmas, endless laundry, and a bad case of insomnia are driving me batty! Do you ever wish you had a universal remote for life (like in Click) and you could just hit "pause" for a minute or two?
I'd planned on reviewing The Lord of the Rings and Due Date for my next posts, but darned if I can get the chance to cover anything with something resembling intelligence and thought! I need a break...let's have a party! I'll bring the snacks and the balloons! And here's a tune that usually gets me back on my feet.
Dwight Yoakam - Fast As You
Good night, all, and may your first week of 2012 have gone better than mine is!
I know, I know, I should be posting a review for whatever book is next on the BBC's list, but I have to cover this one first. I just have to.
In this retelling, Susan Kay gives us the life story of Erik, the tortured genius who became the Phantom of the Opera. From his early years with his mother, to imprisonment in a gypsy camp, to the royal court of Persia, and finally, the Paris Opera House, we get to see the story from several new perspectives.
MY RATING: 5 STARS
Here is my review as posted on GoodReads:
I've met my match. I have never ever ever
come across a book, barring this one, that I just couldn't handle
reading for extended periods of time. Not because it was bad, but
because it was just so darn sad!
I'm a huge fan of Leroux's
original novel and I'm always nervous about reading anything to do with
Phantom of the Opera (I'm still recovering from The Phantom of Manhattan), but there really wasn't anything to worry about with this
one. Susan Kay did a remarkable job of fleshing out Erik's previously
shadowy past. Her original characters were well-drawn; I still have
mixed feelings about Madeleine and I liked Giovanni almost as much as
Nadir. The part that concerned me the most turned out to be the part
that most blew me away: Erik's characterization. It wasn't overdone or
understated, it was just right. The pain, the passion, the madness...it
was all so Erik I can't find the words to do it justice. It turned me
into a sniffling, sobbing wreck!
I do have just one little
problem with it, though. From Erik's birth to his taking up residence in
the Opera House was told in such detail that when Christine finally
arrived on the scene, it seemed to fly by too fast by comparison. I
understand that the Erik/Christine/Raoul triangle was covered good and
plenty by Leroux so there's no need to go all-out when the book had
already gone on so long, but I thought a little more time might have
been spent on it. It was the most pivotal, important relationship of
Erik's tormented life, and as such it should have been treated with more
And yet I have to hand it to Ms. Kay. She worked me
over so well with the last scene at the house on the lake I wanted to
tear my hair out in anguish. It was so intense and so electrically
charged I couldn't sleep after reading it (which was pretty rough, as I
couldn't stop thinking about it, thus furthering the torment). And the
last bits from Raoul's perspective were rather touching, which came as a
surprise since he seemed like such a minor character up until then.
All in all, a must-read for phans and heck, anyone who needs a good cry. Take the advice I didn't, and keep the tissues handy!
I know I'm a masochist now, because I'll be rereading this one for sure. Read it yourself if you want, or don't, but you're missing something!
First post of the new year! Time for a new artist! Which one, which one....
January's featured artist and the first artist of 2012 is...
Another bunch of siblings that rock my socks off! (Did you know they considered going by the name of Cosmic Egg?!) They are Andrea, lead vocals and tin whistle; Sharon, violin, vocals; Caroline, drums, piano, vocals; and Jim, guitar, piano, vocals. They've been going since the nineties, and two of the bunch have since gone off on solo careers, but I prefer to hear them all together. They've got one of the best blends of Celtic and alternative I've come across, and their collaborations always blow me away. Dreams
I'm so attached to Fleetwood Mac's original I never thought a cover could stack up, but I'm really impressed with this one!