Hello, dear readers.
I've started this blog to talk (ok, write) about my main passion in life. And that is books - fantasy novels to be more specific.
I will be predominantly writing about the books I've read or I’m reading. Most of the books that I’ll be writing about are fantasy but I do occasionally branch out to other genres, which are mainly crime fiction, sci-fi and the odd romance (yes that’s right romance, there I said it).
Before I begin I would just like to tell you a bit about myself and why fantasy. Don’t worry it won’t be too long.
From a young age I had grown up reading children’s horror novels, Goosebumps. To my childish mind they seemed like the coolest books to read at the time with their eye catching covers. It wasn’t quite the – I’m too scared to sleep – type horror but I still enjoyed the stories.
It wasn’t until I was eleven that I saw a trailer for a movie that showed some black cloaked riders waving swords about. There was huge amount of hype leading up to the film but I just didn’t get it. That was when my sister told me that the film was based on a book. And so she went to the library and borrowed the book for me to read. The title read ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
I remember my first thought upon seeing the book was ‘What is that?’ The book was HUGE, it was the biggest book I had ever seen and at that time, the longest book I had ever read consisted of a couple of hundred pages (with large font size!) and so the thought of reading a book 1000 pages long was daunting to say the least. My aim was to read the book and then watch the film. I would like to be able to say that I read the book in one go but the truth was that I struggled past the first few chapters. Let me tell you straight, it’s a bit of a culture shock going from Goosebumps to ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ As you can imagine for a young kid of eleven, I found it difficult to grasp or fully understand. It was too boring and complicated to read and I didn't have the patience to read a 1000 pages. So having given up on the book I was dragged along by my sister to watch the film. I wasn't expecting much and having quite the book after a few chapters, my feeling towards the film had grown from indifference to dislike.
Well, did I like the film?
To this very day I don’t think I’ve come away from a watching a film feeling so inspired, so awed, so mesmerised, as I had that day.
The film had changed my life, and that is the highest compliment I can pay it.
After the film I went straight home with the overwhelming sense of excitement, and so I began Chapter 1. A Long Expected Party - When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced…..
What seemed so intimidating before now seemed so trivial. The book was slightly different to the film, but in a good way - like finding an extra haribo. I consumed the book as quickly as I could and thus my love of fantasy began. From that moment onwards a door (no, not in a closet) in my mind had been unlocked - the door leading to the world of fantasy.
The film had pried the door loose but the book had flung it wide open, and with such reckless force that the hinges had come off it.
From then on I steadily began to devour fantasy books by the tens to eventually the hundreds. Most of them were terrific and some were not so great (ok, they were awful but you can’t blame me for being impolite). My closet is teeming full of books and I’ve tried to neatly stack them in columns, but I still wince when I open the door.
I know it sounds cliché that my love for fantasy began with LOTR but for me it’s the simple truth. J.R.R Tolkien was not the first fantasy author (I know it’s hard to believe) but he is the first noted author of the genre. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is the holy grail of fantasy. It has captured the imagination of so many people and has inspired a generation to put pen to paper (me included).
Thank you J. R. R. Tolkien
And so to conclude my original question: Why fantasy?
The short answer...
To dream, to escape, to hope.