The Trolls — J.R.R. Tolkien

the-trolls

J.R.R. Tolkien Links

Conversation with Smaug, Illustration by Tolkien

The Hobbit Is a Picaresque Novel

I Compare the First Three Books of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series to Tolkien’s work

Smaug Flies Round the Mountain, illustration by Tolkien

“I Have a Very Vivid Child’s View” — A 1967 Interview with J.R.R. Tolkien

Illustrated Manuscript Page from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien, In His Own Words (1968 BBC Documentary)

Tolkien Cover Gallery

“I Rarely Remember a Book About Which I Have Had Such Violent Arguments” — W.H. Auden Reviews .R.R. Tolkien

Illustrated Manuscript Page from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

tolkien manuscript

Conversation with Smaug — J.R.R. Tolkien

smaug tolkien

Six (More) Stoner Novels (And a Bonus Short Story)

A few years ago, to celebrate 4/20, Sam Munson at the Daily Beast wrote an article praising “The Best Stoner Novels.” Not a bad list—Wonder Boys, sure, Invisible Man, a bit of a stretch, The Savage Detectives, a very big stretch, but sure, why not. Anyway, six more stoner novels (not that we advocate the smoking of the weed)—

Junkie, William Burroughs

Burroughs’s (surprisingly lucid) early novel Junkie may take its name from heroin, but it’s full of weed smoking. Lesson: weed smoking leads to heroin. And the inevitable search for yage.

Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon

Doc Sportello, the wonky PI at the off-center of Pynchon’s California noir, is always in the process of lighting another joint, if not burning his fingers on the edges of a roach. A fuzzy mystery with smoky corners.

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace

Hal Incandenza, protagonist of Wallace’s opus, spends much of his time hiding in the tunnels of Enfield Tennis Academy, feeding his bizarre marijuana addiction, which is, in many ways, more of an addiction to a secret ritual than to a substance. Hal’s hardly the only character in IJ who likes his Mary Jane; there’s a difficult section near the novel’s beginning that features a minor character preparing to go on a major weed binge. His pre-smoking anxiety works as a challenge to any reader seeking to enter the world of Infinite Jest.

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m pretty sure “pipe-weed” isn’t tobacco.

Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem

I kind of hated Chronic City, a novel where characters seem to light up joints on every other page. It seems to have been written in an ambling, rambling fog, absent of any sense of immediacy, urgency, or, uh, plot. Bloodless stuff, but, again, very smoky.

Stoner, John Williams

Okay. Stoner has nothing to do with marijuana. But, hey, it’s called Stoner, right?

Bonus short story: Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”

Carver’s classic story features a myopic narrator who comes up against his own shortcomings when he meets an old friend of his wife, a blind man who ironically sees deeper than he does. After drinking too much booze, they spark up, share a doob, and take in a documentary about European cathedrals. Great stuff.


J.R.R. Tolkien Links

Smaug Flies Round the Mountain — An Illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien

“I Have a Very Vivid Child’s View” — A 1967 Interview with J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien, In His Own Words (1968 BBC Documentary)

Tolkien Cover Gallery

“I Rarely Remember a Book About Which I Have Had Such Violent Arguments” — W.H. Auden Reviews J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit Reconsidered as a Picaresque Novel

I Compare the First Three Books of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series to Tolkien’s work

 

Book Shelves #22, 5.27.2012

20120527-111623.jpg

Book shelves series #22, twenty-second Sunday of 2012: Tolkien, Faulkner, McCarthy

As always, sorry for the glare. Shooting this case head on is almost impossible because of the windows on the other side of the room. Anyway.

I’ve read everything by Cormac McCarthy with the exception of his screenplay for The Gardener’s Son, which I found a week or two and picked it up. I don’t own a copy of No Country for Old Men because I haven’t found one that isn’t a movie tie-in.

20120527-111632.jpg

This copy of The Lord of the Rings—my first—was a kind gift from some friends we were staying with in Melbourne (the one in Australia, not Florida).

20120527-111642.jpg

I’ve read it at least four times; I have other copies of LoTR and have read them too. It’s probably the book I’ve read the most, although I haven’t read it since 2002. This copy is kindly inscribed:

20120527-111650.jpg

There’s a slim space on the shelf that currently holds a few books that I’ve been meaning to read:

20120527-111659.jpg