This short story, one of Tolkien’s very early attempts at rewriting myths, includes a great deal of poetry, a tragic plot, and the delicious rich language that characterizes all of Tolkien’s works. Most of the book is commentary, essays, and notes about the story, its Finnish roots, and its influence on Tolkien’s later writing. Continue reading
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is an epic poem in four Cantos about a young man, disillusioned with life, who goes on a tour of Europe, reflecting on wars fought in various countries and their histories, and ultimately deciding that life sucks, and there is no love or peace to be found anywhere. (Yay. So it’s a happy poem.) There are many references to a hidden emotional pain of Harold’s that forced him to leave England and haunts him wherever he goes, marring his enjoyment of life. What that painful secret is, we never find out.
The poetry itself is beautiful, of course, but I was hoping for more of a plot instead of all these ramblings and reflections on history and society. The entire poem is rabbit trails with no real resolution! There’s little to no structure in the story. Continue reading