I have to admit I really missed the rest of the characters in book 4 but I love Gollum (I know I say this every post but it doesn't get any less true) so the focus on Frodo, Sam and Gollum didn't slow the story down for me. I actually thought it was going to slow it down but I really enjoyed book 4.
I will admit it started off a bit rough. I was annoyed with Sam right off the bat because he was so whiny. I threw a little post-it in to mark the spot (even though I didn't need to because it was the second page of book 4) and moved on. Then, before I knew it my little book was flooded with ripped post-its marking all the things I LOVED (see picture). I guess if only one out of all these marks something I was annoyed with we are doing all right. One of my favorite parts is when Gollum (of course it's about Gollum) promises on the ring and then becomes excited after Sam releases him from the rope:
At once Gollum got up and began prancing about, like a whipped cur whose master has patted it. From that moment a change, which lasted for some time, came over him. He spoke with less hissing and whining, and he spoke to his companions direct, not to his precious self.
I love it. I imagine Gollum frolicking around flapping his arms in a ridiculous way. Another time I love Gollum is when he is leading them across the marshes:
He went on again, but his uneasiness grew, and every now and again he stood up to his full height, craning his neck eastward and southward.
I know I'm crazy but here I am imagining a meerkat popping its heaad out of a hole and peeking around in that way they do (yes I also love meerkats and watched Meerkat Manor). My last piece of Gollum obsessiveness is when he is arguing with himself:
'No, sweet one. See, my precious: if we has it, then we can escape, even from Him, eh? Perhaps we grows very strong, stronger than Wraiths. Lord Smeagol? Gollum the Great? The Gollum! Eat fish every day, three times a day, fresh from the sea. Most Precious Gollum! Must have it. We wants it, we wants it, we wants it!'Lord Smeagol...how can you not love that? Ok I am over my I heart Gollum ramblings. I think you get the point. It broke my heart when he finally turned on Sam, even though I knew it was coming but I can't wait to see what kind of joy and heartbreak The Return of the King brings me. Yes I have seen the end of the movie and therefore know the basics of the ending but I just know it is going to be harder for me to read it.
It killed me to wait but I haven't started reading ROTK yet because I wanted to get this post up before I started. I was worried that if I started reading I would lose sight of anythign else and this would never be written. Now that it is done...it's reading time!