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Tolkien Reading Marathon to Conclude
With "The Return of the King"

Posted September 2, 2003

HOLLAND – The department of English at Hope College will sponsor a marathon reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Return of the King” on Friday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the Pine Grove in the center of campus.

The event will conclude the series of readings of Tolkien’s entire fantasy trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings,” begun last year.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Visitors are welcome to come and go at any time, and to stay for as little or as long as they wish. Refreshments will be available.

Students, faculty, administrators, and members of the community are invited to sign-up to read in 10-minute segments. Anyone wishing to sign up for a reading slot can do so by visiting the office of the department of English on the third floor of Lubbers Hall. They can also call or e-mail Myra Kohsel at (616) 395-7620 or kohsel@hope.edu.

"The Lord of the Rings" has sold more than 50 million copies since its publication in 1954-1955 and was chosen in several popular polls as the best novel of the 20th century. It has recently drawn new attention through a series of film adaptations by director Peter Jackson that will conclude with the release of "The Return of the King" in December.

"We’re glad to have gotten ahead of the movies," noted Dr. Curtis Gruenler, associate professor of English. "I envy anyone who’s reading these books for the first time, and all the more if they haven’t seen the movies yet and can imagine the story for themselves first."

"There’s something about reading great literature out loud together that creates community," Gruenler continued. "We’re using the same slogan as last year, adapted from the verse about the master ring in the story: ‘One book to rule them all, one book to find them, one book to bring them all and in the Pine Grove bind them.’"

The marathon began with the reading of the first book in the trilogy, "The Fellowship of the Ring," on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, last year. It continued on Saturday, April 5, with the second book in the series, "The Two Towers."

The Pine Grove is located south of 10th Street between College and Columbia avenues. In the event of rain, the marathon will be held in "Lubbers Loft" on the fourth floor of Lubbers Hall, which is located on 10th Street between College and Columbia avenues.

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