Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book Review: Lord of the Rings

It's time for my first book review. Runescape Bookstore seems to be useless from money stand point (at least so far), but I am glad I created it: it gives me a chance to talk about my favorite books as well as find out about good books from you, my dear readers. I am always looking for interesting books to read, if would like to recommend a book, please, do so!

Anyway, the first review is, of course, for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This book influenced me so much, so it is not really a review - it is a part of my life story. I published it at RSB before, but I doubt many of you've seen it there. So here it is with some minor changes.

It is a separate story how I found about this book. I used to live in a small country called Belarus (it was part of USSR at the time), so many books were forbidden by the government (or should I say communist party?). The Lord of the Rings was among those forbidden books, so naturally it wasn't translated to Russian. And I hadn't even heard about it till 1989. At that time the country started to change, borders opened a bit and the first part of the trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring) got translated and printed in 200K copies or so. By lucky chance I got my hands upon one of them. It was so unlike any other book I ever read before. I devoured it. I read it at least ten times in a row until I literally remebreded all of the poetry and many of the texts. After that I gave it to all my friends. You should see this book now after it was read a few hundred times! :-)
Now remember, it was just part one. Part two wasn't even translated... It is hard to describe how I waited! A year and a half later the Two Towers got published, followed by the Hobbit. I bought both spending my whole month salary (yeah, at the time the whole country broke apart, people were making $20-30 a month and food was way cheaper than books).
As you can imagine, the Two Towers and Hobbit went through the same type of reading by me and my friends. Again I was reading these books over and over again until the point when I was able to recite. Suddenly I became a storyteller, I was telling the Hobbit story to my small cousins. In summer time (while living in a village) I would gather children from all over the neighborhood once a day somewhere outside and tell them both stories very close to the book (so it would take several weeks to tell).

Then the writer who translated first two parts of the trilogy died and the third part's publishing got significantly delayed (he didn't finish it, so someone else had to finish his work). Other translations appeared, but the quality of them were poor, and I realized that I need to find a way to read the trilogy in English. So I started to learn English. One of my friends migrated to USA and I asked him to send me the books - he did! As a result, The Lord of the Rings was the first book I read in English. My "Lord of the Rings" English studies had an additional effect on my life, I advanced in my carrier and finally found a job in the US where I live now. Speaking about how books can change people's lives.

I still like to read the trilogy from time to time. Once a year I would re-read it.


Knifestorm said...

An amazing story! Thanks for sharing.

Cremlin said...

Such a great story! I'm probably the only one on here who knew it.

G said...

That's a really interesting story.

Never knew you were from Belarus before either.

Good stuff, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! That you were so interested, and went to such lengths JUST TO GET A BOOK which anyone here in America can just buy for a few hours' wages, or borrow from the library for free! (And now we can just get it on the internet). A whole month's pay? Wow. And then that you had the courage to pass that along to so many people in such dangerous times.

Amazing and inspiring. You remind me that one person really CAN make a difference. Who knows where those people ended up? Some of them may be very powerful and influential now, and they'll always have that in the back of their minds, as part of their personality.

2006-2009 RuneWise, all rights reserved.
Reproducing or copying any material found on this page is not allowed.
Runescape is a trademark of Jagex 2000-2009 Andrew Gower