Book Review: Mythmaker: The Life of J.R.R. Tolkien by Anne E. Neimark (five stars)

Book Review: Mythmaker: The Life of J.R.R. Tolkien, Creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Anne E. Neimark (five stars)

Ronald would set out on a quest: this time to discover “what hobbits were like.” The answers he found would bring him a fame he had never sought.

Refreshing biography of Tolkien. Focuses on the essentials of his life—both experiential and literary, without reference to the theories or criticism of others. Don’t waste your time on turgid academic tomes; Neimark delivers the goods.

He knew other scholars might laugh at his “fairy-tale fantasies,” but he saw them as something more—as a reason for his invented languages and a means of modernizing myths so they could give strength, comfort, and even hope in a frequently harsh and dangerous world.

Suitable for young adult readers, but enjoyable by all readers. Readable yet comprehensive. Emphasizes the roots of Tolkien’s created world deep in his real world.

Yet Ronald Tolkien wanted us to know that even while the fires of Mordor burn darkly, even when tomorrow may seem unsure, we can use our imaginations, courage, and strength to seek the splendor in life.