Now this may not be news to everyone, but it’s definitely exciting for me. I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy — I’ve heard too many complaints about its structure and detail and painstakingly slow progress. As such, I’m satisfied with the movies alone.
However, apparently one man, Russian scientist Kirill Yeskov, believed that the books were poorly written — not because of their length and detail, but because of their lack of detail. According to him, “Middle Earth has several built-in physical defects” in its interpretation of nature, such as improper considerations for continent structure and solar system activity. He even criticizes more basic concepts like the fact that Tolkien never discussed the monetary systems of the various societies.
In this translated essay, Dr. Yeskov discusses the reasons for his criticism, as well as his ultimate (and successful) goal: to retell the story in a more realistic and scientifically accurate manner, with an entirely new book, titled The Last Ring-Bearer. “It is of a dual nature,” Yeskov says, “I bow before Demiurge Tolkien who had created an amazing Universe, but am rather cool toward Tolkien the Storyteller, author of the tale of four Hobbits and their quest.”
A translated version of Yeskov’s book can be downloaded for free here. I do not plan to read it since I do not even have an original reading of Tolkien’s text to compare it to, but I am interested to know how his story varies. I, for one, never considered the scientific implications of Middle Earth; I simply enjoyed the franchise for what it appeared to be. In my experience, I have learned that criticism and speculation are often more harmful than beneficial — if you look at the details too closely, you lose the big picture altogether (as well as your enjoyment of it). But I nonetheless find Yeskov’s argument interesting and new, and so I am intrigued.