Apr 062012

The original covers of the three books in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy

This trilogy was not intended to be one. J.R.R. Tolkien spent twelve years writing The Lord of the Rings, and he intended them to be both a sequel to The Hobbit and the second of a two volume set with The Silmarillion. Instead, his publisher insisted on breaking The Lord of the Rings into three books. I’d say it was a decent strategy, as The Lord of the Rings has become the third highest selling book of all time.

Even more importantly for me personally, The Lord of the Rings launched a literary genre, high fantasy fiction, that I have come to love. With these books, Tolkien established a framework within which thousands of other books have been written. I have enjoyed quite a few of them, more than any other genre I have read by a wide margin.

The Lord of the Rings was not just an amazing story, it was groundbreaking and revolutionary, and that’s why I wish I’d written it.


  1. Bill Coffin says:

    Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. I re-read this book periodically, and it is one of the few that I enjoy more every time I come back to it. Knowing it was written as a single book actually improves my reading experience; I now prefer to read it as a single-volume omnibus. Strangely, for as much as I adore this book, I have never read the appendices. I think by the time I get to the end, I am so jacked up by the story that if I get any more, I’ll accidentally slip into some other harmonic frequency and disappear.

    SO cannot wait to see what #2 and #1 are.