Battling My Way to the Doctor

Battling My Way to the Doctor

I’ve been listening to The Lord of the Rings in the car for months and months now. (has it been a whole year yet? Seems like.) I only listen when I’m in the car with only the girls. If there’s another adult present we chat. And I only listen if the drive is likely to be longer than five minutes, no sense getting frustrated by tiny snippets and forgetting where I am. But now that my OB is about half an hour away, and so is my endocrinologist, and I’ve been getting in some nice chunks every few weeks.

Today I listened to The Battle of the Pelennor Fields and realized it is perhaps one of my favorite sections in a book that is full of favorites. The fall of King Theoden and of Eowyn and the destruction of the Captain of the Nazgul is poetic, heroic and tragic and there is something about the language in this passage that just cuts me to the heart. I found myself brushing tears from my eyes as I drove, lost in the beauty of the words.

Reading Tolkien is glorious but even better—and that hardly seems possible—is hearing Tolkien read aloud. Oh I love curling up with the books as much as with anything; but I tend to be a lazy reader and my eyes wander over some of the longer descriptive passages. Tolkien’s battle scenes and his heroic descriptions especially owe so much to an older oral tradition of storytelling. Hearing them read aloud, I hear what I’ve missed on previous readings when I scanned and skimmed. I’m reminded again of what I learned when I listened to an audio book of the Odyssey. These long passages are actually not the boring bits but some of Tolkien’s most powerful material. And I long once again to be able to slip back in time and eavesdrop at one of those famous Inklings meetings, to listen to Tolkien reading the story for the very first time.

The cds narrated by Rob Inglis, which my sister gave me, are the only unabridged version that I’m aware of and they are superb. Inglis is a wonderful reader and does voices for all of the characters and sings the songs. Its hard to imagine a better performance.

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1 comment
  • You have my sympathy. Felicity has done that to me a couple of times recently, but in her case, I know it was teething. Her teething had stalled for a few months, then, in February, she got her four 1st molars and now she is getting her incisors on the bottom….I can see one broken through. Certainly hope Sohpia is feeling better … which will make mom and dad feel better!

    Incidentally, one night last week when Felicity woke up crying and was inconsolable….the one thing that made her stop crying was I pulled out the portable DVD player, (sitting her in our bed) and let her watch a 20 minute Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The distraction calmed her until the Motrin kicked in and then she went right to sleep. Next day – behold the tooth.