I'm a big fantasy fan, and you have to give Tolkien props for practically creating the genre. Nonetheless, and in all honesty, I've always found the Lord of the Rings Trilogy to be a bit slow. While I enjoy poetic imagery and can understand the desire to wax lyrical, sometimes I get a little irritated at the sheer wordiness of this series. Every time I revisit these books, I remember why I prefer authors like Neil Gaiman or R.R. Martin for my fantasy fix. The Fellowship of the Rings is well-written and enjoyable, especially in the last few chapters, when the action really picks up. But be warned -- you have to slog through quite a bit of speech-making and discussion to get to that point.However, this is a classic of the genre, and should be read and experienced by any fantasy lover at least once. ** I thought of something while I was talking to a friend who had a similar complaint to mine, about the tendency of this series to go off on tangents and be altogether too verbose. Lord of the Rings was published at the end of an era, an era when books were the predominant entertainment. Television was not yet common to every home, regardless of income. Films were a nice escape, but not available to watch at home, only in the theaters. In a sense, Tolkien is one of the last authors to write in the same literary style as Dickens, Austen, and the Bronte sisters (obviously in a different genre, however). Due to a societal conditioning for quick, immediate entertainment that is provided on demand, modern authors have learned that in order to succeed, they must write in a concise, attention-grabbing manner. There is no time for authors who begin their books with long, meandering paragraphs and tend towards tangential writing. In order to be a success, the book must immediately grab and hold the attention, and stay in such a vein throughout.