Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien

I love a good biography.

I love everything I've read by J. R. R. Tolkien.

So a chance to read a biography -- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend?  Oh, you bet.  I'm there.

Colin Duriez does a fantastic job of writing in an engaging way.  Not a dry, factual biography, he truly tells the story of Tolkien's life.  Clearly, Duriez knows his subject.  In fact, according to his biographical info, he appeared as a commentator on the Lord of the Rings DVDs.  You can bet I'm putting those in again to find that commentary.

The publisher's blurb has this to say:
Long before the successful, Lord of the Rings film trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginary world and characters enthralled and delighted millions of readers. But who was this man who dreamt up the intricate languages and perfectly crafted world of Middle-earth? 
Tolkien had a difficult life. Orphaned and poor, his guardian forbade him from communicating with the woman he loved. He also went through the horrors of the First World War. An intensely private and brilliant scholar, he spent over fifty years working on the languages, history, peoples, and geography of Middle-earth, aided by his vast knowledge of mythology and early northern European history and culture. 
This delightful and accessible biography brings this legendary man to life and explores the deep Christian commitment that inspired and informed his work. A close friend of C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, Tolkien was one of the famous Inklings, a group of literary figures in Oxford in the 1930s who met to discuss their work, which included C.S. Lewis's Narnia books.
This biography was fascinating.  Most of what I knew about Tolkien came from reading about C. S. Lewis, so it has been particularly intriguing to learn a bit more about Lewis through reading a biography of Tolkien.

One thing I love with this book is that it doesn't shy away from his religious upbringing and thoughts, but that is far from the only part of Tolkien's life that is explored. 

A very readable biography, this is a book I will hand to my children to read as well, as it is certainly appropriate for teen readers.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through Kregel Blog Tours.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.   

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