A few weeks ago, I began reading the first book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have now finished it.
It is definitely not a modern novel, in the sense that it does not probe into the inner minds of the characters. And the many heroes of the novel are not flawed characters, nor filled with pathologies which preoccupy the writer. It reads more like Beowulf than anything else I have read, which makes sense given, Tolkein's background.
I found it to be a laborious read, and didn't really enjoy it. If I didn't feel a desire to become familiar with this tremendously influential book, I wouldn't have continued.
And it certainly is influential. I have now seen the origin of many of the stories that I have encountered before in derivative works.
I may later read The Two Towers, or not. For now, I shall address other books piling up in my now active reading list. They include a post-apocalyptic novel called One Second After by William R. Forstchen, about life after an EMP attack on America. Another is Robert Conroy's 1945, an alternate history in which a convention invasion of Japan by the Allies becomes necessary. And finally, there is Depth of Revenge, which is the tale of an Israeli nuclear ballistic missile submarine after a surprise nuclear attack obliterates the State of Israel.