Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien by Wyatt North (Two Stars)

Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien: A life Inspired by Wyatt North

Two stars out of five.

Modern authors have the idea that biographies must be at least seven hundred pages long, even if they don’t have seven hundred pages of material. often resulting in a bloated mess of myth and rumor.

Therefore, a tight, well-written biography of barely one hundred pages is refreshing. This work is the perfect companion to Tolkien’s works, especially The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

That said, there must be more fruitful information which modern readers would enjoy knowing about the professor who birthed modern epic fantasy. This volume only refers to fellow Inklings C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson in a literary context, while Tolkien and Dyson played decisive roles in the re-conversion of Lewis to Christianity.

Can you imagine, reader, having read the two mentioned volumes when the Professor still lived, and feel as I did the hope of more? It was not to be, but I have re-read those volumes once a decade since. They are the gold standard for all light and epic fantasy since.

North seems to specialize in hagiographies of Roman Catholic persons, of which this is definitely one.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien by Wyatt North (Two Stars)

    • Good point. I struggled over this one’s rating. I had settled on three stars (and entered it here and on Goodreads.com that way), but as I got farther into the book I’m currently reading, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, I realized how much North left out.

      Also his attempts to portray Tolkien as a saint got irritating, though I wasn’t going to mention it more specifically than I did. (Oops, so much for that intention.) Tolkien was a good and creative man, but the humility and humor which springs from his letters are both missing in this volume. (He wrote lots of letters, so it’ll be a while before I review that book.)

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