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Old 08-15-2016, 10:50 PM   #47
Nerwen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotrelf View Post
I find is rather amusing how LOTR books are declared "annoying and boring" by many people we see on the web.

I have a couple of questions that I believe needed no separate thread to be answered.
1). Why would one believe Tolkien was a poor writer (and thus over-rated by the 'fans of the books')?
2). Why would people think the story doesn't move anywhere?
3). Why would people think characters do not evolve throughout the book?
4). Why would someone state PJ does a better job in storytelling than Professor did? (Kill me!)
I have come across these points again and again all the time and have found those who state the above mentioned points quite ignorant.

Of course, it all falls down to "This is all about different tastes and you cannot force anyone to like the books if they're not interested in them."
True enough. But isn't that the thing? If you aren't getting the beauty of the books, you have to be open-minded enough to admit this. Why mention someone with far greater qualification, dedication and knowledge is not as good as you want them to be? This is offensive to say for any writer perhaps, and especially for someone who has literally poured out their heart and soul in their works. Ignorance of our generation. Ugh!
It really doesn't do to get angry, though- better just to say, "Well, I see it differently, here's why". I realise that can difficult, if you happen to be dealing with people who don't really understand the concept of taste being subjective in the first place. (You can usually spot them by their constant use of words like "factual" and "objective" to describe their personal reactions.)

Now it has been my own experience that self-identified fantasy fans do quite often dislike Tolkien. This is perhaps in part because the real explosion of epic fantasy as a genre only happened in the last few decades, so that those who make it their chief reading material are used to a more modern writing style (with, perhaps, dips into faux-archaic dialogue). And then, the very fact that it *is* a popular market means that a lot of it is pitched at a fairly simplistic, light-reading level. Nothing wrong with that, either- the point is populist writing tends to signal things like character development very heavily, because it has to allow for its readership not necessarily paying close attention.

As for "PJ being a better storyteller", I think the version of something you encounter first, if you like it, tends to seem like the "real" version, with others feeling not quite right. Though I regard the "Lord of the Rings" films as achievements in their own right, they *are* blockbusters and they adapt the story accordingly. I can see some movie fans being jarred by the difference when they come to read the book.

Basically- some people have a limited comfort zone, and automatically dismiss as self-evidently "bad" anything outside it. Obviously, since taste *is* so individual, they might not like "Lord of the Rings" (or whatever is in question) anyway, but the point is that they won't give it a chance in the first place. That mindset is not something you can change overnight. To get back to my original suggestion, calm, low-key disagreement is likely to work better than a passionate defence, since it suggests that maybe their opinions are not "objective facts" believed by all rational human beings. But you need to be patient.
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