Richard writes: It’s voting time again! Back in April, the BBC asked the public to name the UK’s favourite books. From a list of 100 comes the top 21 and LOTR is in there. Vote HERE.
Tonight, the BBC reviewed the 21 finalists and regrettably LOTR received the usual mockery. In the studio were a mixture of novellists, media presenters and entertainers who summarised their thoughts on each book in turn. When it came to Tolkien’s book the tone changed completely.
Whether this was due to programme editing I’m not certain, but as soon as someone admitted they liked the book they became the focus of derision. One such guest (a novellist whose name temporarily escapes me) was branded as “sad” as soon as he revealed that he had read the book five times. He immediately backed down by pointing out that this had all been before he was 20 years old. Well that’s a relief then – heaven forbid that a grown adult should read such material. I swear by the expressions on some faces that there were others in the studio who wanted to say something in defence of the book, but were not prepared to risk their professional careers in doing so.
Over the next eight weeks a celebrity will champion each book and tonight we received a preview of each. Outdoor survivalist Ray Mears is to be LOTR’s advocate. We shall have to wait and see, but if the presentation in the clip is anything to go by then the tone will be “tacky sword and sorcery” with the usual WW2 analogies. Yeuch! I dare say Ray Mears will make a good fist of it but I couldn’t help wishing Christopher Lee were doing it instead, but that might have come off as overt marketing for the films.