I love this book as much as the next lonely, nerdy teenager. I read it repeatedly during my adolescence, and was obsessed to the point of writing Elvish poetry in magic marker on my school briefcase, etc. Needless to say I was attracted to the baddies like Saruman, Shelob and the Nazgul, and bored to tears by the Aragorn stuff – and above all I was (and remain) completely in love with Gollum. I used to draw him all the time, and practise speaking like him, and I don’t think I’ve ever got over his death. After my teenage obsession I put Tolkien aside until my early 40s, when I re-read the whole lot in one go in preparation for the movie release. I thought I’d be really disillusioned, but I wasn’t – and I even loved the Aragorn stuff. In fact the only bit of LotR I can’t stomach is the toe-curling Tom Bombadil section. I was really nervous about the films, but I think they’re the best screen adaptation of any novel, ever.