Recently I finished reading The Lord of the Rings. I had begun reading it some time ago but never finished the first book. This Summer I began again. The first book is a little slow; the pace picks up in the second; the third is a page-turner. My (only) disappointment is that Smeagol/Gollum dies. I expected that he would be redeemed. I came to like the disgusting creature and hoped that he would be redeemed at the end. But Tolkien killed him in the fires of Mt. Doom. Despite that disappointment, I enjoyed reading the extended fairy tale.