Hand brake turns

Well. One of my bigger literary u-turns occurred this week.

I bagged out [old coworker] for reading the The Lord of the Rings and being far too excited about the release of the films, and here I am having to admit to being enraptured by the whole thing.

I attempted to read The Hobbit quite some time ago – if it wasn’t primary school it was very early high school – and managed 3 pages before giving up and returning it to the library in disgust. It was boring, and it was fantasy – something which I had little time for then. I never bothered with attempting The Lord of the Rings as I understood that The Hobbit led into that story (I hate to read things out of sequence).

Time moved on – at least a decade, and I hear that Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures) is to make the film version of The Lord of the Rings in a enormous production filming all 3 parts at once. At the time I work in a library, and am inundated with requests for all three volumes, or the several combined editions that we hold. Having to deal with these week in – week out triggers some sort of interest in the book and exactly how on earth are they intending on filming this thing?

I completely understood people’s concern that PJ would hack and slash his way through the book – I have the same concerns whenever I hear that Hollywood is about to adapt one of my favorites for the screen, so I quietly hoped that it would be an adaptation as close as possible to the book, but I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing it.

At the time I was sharing a desk with [old coworker], who had loved The Lord of the Rings since childhood and was waiting impatiently for the release of The Fellowship of the Ring. He downloaded the screen saver for the Council of Elrond and whenever there was a new preview trailer released he’d download that too. As if by osmosis I learnt more about The Lord of the Rings through his obsession than ever before. I got excited for him – how could I not? The man was 40 and acting like a twelve year old – but I still didn’t need to see the film.

I resign to study full-time at university, and things move on. Approximately seven months later I begin working in a video store. The Fellowship of the Ring has just been released on video and utterly everyone is borrowing it – we had to buy twelve copies, and for a small independent video store, that is a lot. I still have no desire to see it, and take the time to catch up on seeing every film that I’d meant to see, really, but hadn’t had the time.

The Two Towers is released in cinemas, triggering massive interest once again in the first film. Inundated with requests, we regret having sold off eight of our copies three months beforehand. The requests finally slow down and after checking back in a copy of The Fellowship of the Ring, I impulsively decide to borrow it and see just what all the fuss is about.

I watch it Sunday night, and Monday night am at the cinema watching The Two Towers. By Wednesday I’ve bought all three parts in paperback and am now nearing the end of the first part.

Yes. One of my bigger literary u-turns.

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