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Old 09-03-2019, 10:30 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
troff is a relatively early unix document processing language. Some of the books written by early unix developers at Bell Labs and elsewhere were done in troff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troff

A list of books written in troff is at

https://www.troff.org/pubs.html

Many of these were published by the likes of Addison-Wesley, McGraw-Hill, Prentice-Hall, and O'Reilly. What was delivered to the publishers was camera ready.
So basically, if the book was a little bit newer, he may have used TeX or LaTeX instead of troff? Should ask him about it.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:10 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Plus... it's not as if LOTR is particularly difficult as it is. Long, sure, but it's not like it's full of heady prose and/or byzantine plotlines or anything. 12 and 13 year-olds have been ripping through the books for decades without much trouble. I see little advantage in editing and/or abridging to the point where non-readers will consider picking it up. Reading readers (yep, I said it) who enjoy fantasy are usually perfectly willing to give it a go early on. So just who who would the Moron Edition be targeted toward, and why would the Tolkien Estate be interested in catering to them?

EDIT: the question was to anyone, not just @ZodWallop, whom I quoted to mainly agree with.
Having read and enjoyed it my 13 year old son would agree that LOTR is not terribly difficult to read.

On the other hand he quit reading the Harry Potter books just after Harry Potter discovered he was a Wizard (apparently Harry Potter going to boarding school was too much of a slog to read). He is willing to consider watching the movies though.

I have a feeling that most people who find the LOTR not worth reading would also be more likely to watch the movies then to read even an adapted version.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:13 AM   #108
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I have a feeling that most people who find the LOTR not worth reading would also be more likely to watch the movies then to read even an adapted version.
Maybe. But for many it was an issue of pacing and boredom. There is a lot of very long descriptive passages, which is okay if you like that sort of thing, as I do. I don't think age comes into it all that much (teens onward), and I was around 12 or 13 when I first read it.

Things are never that black & white ... people don't sit nicely into two camps in that regard.

And in this age especially, there is a big issue with attention span. If things get bogged down in a story, then many put it aside, no doubt intending to get back to it, and sometimes they do, but often they don't. This is why many modern authors write the way they do. In fact many modern stories read like a TV episode or movie.

Not everyone wants to read a heavily detailed magnum opus. Many are in it for the entertainment, not the literacy. Literacy for them is a bonus and perhaps something that needs to be sneaked past their notice.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:22 AM   #109
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LOTR was written in an earlier time. It's sold over 150 million copies and still is in print some 60+ years after it's release. There are a whole lot of authors who wish they were that inaccessible. You can't please everyone.
No you can't, but I am sure like me, that you know plenty of people who have either failed an attempt to read or just been put off before they even started.

As many as have read LOTR, there is still a huge (no doubt bigger) number who haven't.

I don't think, like I said, that people fall neatly into two camps. That's my view anyway.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:25 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
There is a graphic novel version of The Hobbit, illustrated by David Wenzel.
LOL. I actually have that, and my youngest lad read that only.

Nothing to do with his skill level either, as he has read all the Harry Potter books and loved them, and a good few years later he has just read the first couple of Witcher books, and loves them a lot. He is admittedly at this point though, not much of a reader. He was good reading The Ranger's Apprentice books there for a few years, but that stopped a good while ago. He's 23 and heavily into gaming. One day he will realize what he has got right under his nose ... my huge library ... his older brother has already started to.

By comparison, his older sister hasn't read any of Tolkien's work, but read and loved the Eragon series, and has read a good number of other fantasy books. She is enamored of the movies too ... though a bit disappointed with how The Hobbit movies went. It seems that pacing is everything for her though, as she did give up on the Harry Potter books, while lapping up all the movies.

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Old 09-04-2019, 07:48 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
I thought the heavily edited and simplified version of Lord of the Rings was called The Hobbit

Otherwise, an LOTR: Moron Edition seems like a terrible idea.
Well, seeing as you liked The Hobbit, but not LOTR, you may even like a similarly pared back version.

No doubt Tolkien self edited The Hobbit or was pushed to, to suit younger readers. He could have just as easily been motivated to do that with LOTR. It is not a stretch at all for another to give it The Hobbit treatment.

I'm not entirely sure why you could like The Hobbit and not The Lord Of The Rings, except for the usual reasons of the two main differences .... devised to be more accessible to younger readers and much less descriptive matter. Both of those, give it a different pacing to the LOTR.

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Old 09-04-2019, 08:05 AM   #112
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Personally to me, considering it as a Moron Edition, is just showing the highest snobbery one could display.

In a very realistic way, you would be paring The Lord Of The Rings back to not only be more similar in pacing to The Hobbit, but also quite like the Shannara and Mithgar tales and many many others.

There are plenty out there, that have loved those and not been able to finish or read LOTR.

Are all those persons, morons?

The movies are heavily pared back versions.

Does that mean you are also saying, that the LOTR is no longer a worthwhile story, if you take a lot of the long descriptive stuff out? That the actual important bit of the story, does not have any merit of its own?

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Old 09-04-2019, 08:54 AM   #113
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There are plenty out there, that have loved those and not been able to finish or read LOTR.
Then they should seek out other books they do love. There's no shortage. Certainly not enough to consider abridging existing books that are already loved.

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Are all those persons, morons?
Probably not all, but it's hard to tell. There may be some. The "moron edition" moniker in my opinion isn't targeted toward those might read such a book, it's targeted toward those who think pre-existing books should be abridged/streamlined/edited so that they can be enjoyed by those whose tastes the original doesn't meet.

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The movies are heavily pared back versions.

Does that mean you are also saying, that the LOTR is no longer a worthwhile story, if you take a lot of the long descriptive stuff out? That the actual important bit of the story, does not have any merit of its own?
As you yourself have already said; it's best if the movies are judged as separate ventures/adaptations. So there's no need to justify the paring down of the story. Very few (if any) movie adaptations of a book could possibly contain every aspect of its source material. Adjusting for time constraints is perfectly normal. The paring-down in a movie adaptation is not just a matter of "taste", but also one of necessity. People can't move into a movie theater for a week to see the unabridged Lord of the Rings.

There is, however, no similar time constraint when it comes to books. No adaptation needs to take place from book to adapted book for logistical reasons. So any such removal of content would be from a standpoint of pure taste. Not a same-same comparison at all.

The book(s) already exists. Those the book's style doesn't appeal to have the movies, and they have tons other books that will fit their requirements. They're not entitled/required to love The Lord of the Rings books. Changing the book to fit the audience (especially if it's not done because of complexity, but merely a want for things to be more "streamlined") would be a moron move. And it probably wouldn't work. A Tolkien Estate approved Readers Digest Condensed version of Lord of the Rings would sell about as many copies as any Readers Digest Condensed version of any book did.

When it comes to beloved books, people want the original book, or they want a different book. The author (or the author's estate) are under no obligation to make their work something other than it is to suit those who wanted a different kind of book. Not when those "different kinds of books" already exist in droves.

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Old 09-04-2019, 03:44 PM   #114
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No you can't, but I am sure like me, that you know plenty of people who have either failed an attempt to read or just been put off before they even started.

As many as have read LOTR, there is still a huge (no doubt bigger) number who haven't.

I don't think, like I said, that people fall neatly into two camps. That's my view anyway.
Sure, but then again, not everyone enjoyed the Game of Thrones mini-series either. I tried reading the book but just couldn't get into it. That doesn't imply that Martin should re-write the book to match my taste.

The LOTR books doesn't really match modern writing. There is no sex, no characters sleeping around, and for the most part very little action per se. The battles tend to last a page or two, with most of that focused on a couple of characters having a discussion in the middle of the battle. That's why I say it's from a different era. It's a book published in the mid 50's written for older sensibilities.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:33 PM   #115
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:32 PM   #116
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Well, seeing as you liked The Hobbit, but not LOTR, you may even like a similarly pared back version.
No, I wouldn't. I'm not a fan of bowdlerization or Reader's Digest Condensed Books.

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No doubt Tolkien self edited The Hobbit or was pushed to, to suit younger readers. He could have just as easily been motivated to do that with LOTR.
I disagree that Tolkien was pushed to do anything. But, to work with your argument, he *could* have done anything, I suppose. But the point is, he didn't.

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I'm not entirely sure why you could like The Hobbit and not The Lord Of The Rings, except for the usual reasons of the two main differences .... devised to be more accessible to younger readers and much less descriptive matter. Both of those, give it a different pacing to the LOTR.
The answer there is easy. I'm not a huge fantasy fan and I'm not a fan of series. At the age I read The Hobbit, I'm sure I could have easily read The Lord of the Rings. I just didn't feel the need to.

I just don't understand why you feel that The Lord of the Rings needs to be dumbed down. If someone doesn't like it as is, that's okay. Not everything has to appeal to everybody.

Maybe this clip of The Red Hot Chili Peppers on The Simpsons makes my point better than I'm doing.


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Old 09-04-2019, 09:45 PM   #117
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Personally to me, considering it as a Moron Edition, is just showing the highest snobbery one could display.

In a very realistic way, you would be paring The Lord Of The Rings back to not only be more similar in pacing to The Hobbit, but also quite like the Shannara and Mithgar tales and many many others.
You say that like it's a plus. The Lord of the Rings is not Shannara or Mithgar.

If only they would add The Force and laser swords to Star Trek, it would be more like Star Wars. But it wouldn't be much like Star Trek anymore.

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Old 09-04-2019, 09:46 PM   #118
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David Wenzel cannot draw a hobbit to save his life.
Please sir, would you share more of your artistic insights with me
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:25 AM   #119
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No, I wouldn't. I'm not a fan of bowdlerization or Reader's Digest Condensed Books.
It is all to do with interpretation, and I do not see what I suggested as either of those two things.

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I disagree that Tolkien was pushed to do anything. But, to work with your argument, he *could* have done anything, I suppose. But the point is, he didn't.
Going by what i recall, he was pushed by his publisher etc to make the Hobbit more suitable for children. He had a bit more leeway with LOTR, but even then he was pushed, as he wanted to spend more time on the Silmarillion etc .... his real life's work ... not something he whipped up to please the publisher etc.

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The answer there is easy. I'm not a huge fantasy fan and I'm not a fan of series. At the age I read The Hobbit, I'm sure I could have easily read The Lord of the Rings. I just didn't feel the need to.
Fair enough, but I guess ultimately we will never know. The Hobbit of course, being a smaller part of a much bigger story, so not a series really.

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I just don't understand why you feel that The Lord of the Rings needs to be dumbed down. If someone doesn't like it as is, that's okay. Not everything has to appeal to everybody.
Who said anything about dumbing down? Dumbing down or moronic are your words and interpretation, not mine.

In short, and I hope this answers DiapDealer as well.
It is not changing the story, but just removing or lessening the descriptive sections. Many consider those as fluff, even those who read or speed read the LOTR. Many skipped through them, even on subsequent reads or especially on subsequent reads. For me, they add another dimension, but they are not integral or essential to the story. One cannot ignore, that they slow the story down, making it boring in those moments for many. See further to this, in my expanded answer to DiapDealer.

I say that as someone who loved the original The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson, a notoriously difficult book for many to read .... hence the friendlier version that was later released. I loved the archaic language, all the thees and thous etc.

There are many ways to enjoy something, so why try to limit that.

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Old 09-06-2019, 08:33 AM   #120
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You say that like it's a plus. The Lord of the Rings is not Shannara or Mithgar.

If only they would add The Force and laser swords to Star Trek, it would be more like Star Wars. But it wouldn't be much like Star Trek anymore.
Now you are being ridiculous.

Who said anything about adding anything.

And it seems to me you are equating comparing with those other worlds as a negative. I neither see it as a negative or a positive, just that they too have suitable merit. With judicious editing, the LOTR would be more similar to those tales, but still retain much of its differences .... the language, names, inventiveness, literature merit, etc.

In short, making it more approachable to many more people. Surely that is a good thing .... how many might then later read the full original version, after having been impressed enough by the pared back version.

I don't see any losers in this, only winners all round.

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