Wednesday, January 9, 2013

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend by Colin Duriez - REVIEWED

About the Book:(from Lion Hudson Publishing)
Long before the successful The Lord of the Rings films, J.R.R. Tolkien’s creations, imagination, and characters had captured the attention of millions of readers. But who was the man who dreamt up the intricate languages and perfectly crafted world of Middle-earth? Tolkien had a difficult life, for many years: orphaned and poor, his guardian forbad him to communicate with the woman he had fallen in love with, and he 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, with a consistent mythology and body of legends inspired by a formidable knowledge of early northern European history and culture. J.R.R. Tolkien became a legend by creating an imaginary world that has enthralled and delighted generations. This delightful and accessible biography brings him to life.

My Thoughts:

If you do come out in print you will startle our generation as no one has yet.”  (p.102, spoken by Tolkien’s friend Wiseman)

Oh but how Tolkien has touched us with his writing! Not only his generation, but generations of readers for decades!  Colin Duriez is an expert in the field when it comes to J.R.R. Tolkien’s life and life work.  He tells us of the tragic beginning of Tolkien’s life and follows records his life adventure through until the end - all along the way making clear how his life is revealed in his works of fiction.  Tolkien was a man of many gifts, a brilliant mind and was a devoted husband and father.  He had many close friends to whom he devoted much of his time and energy, and these friendships kept him encouraged  to continue writing until he had completed many works.

The popularity of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy made it necessary to hire a part time secretary, and thus it is evident that he knew some of the success of his writings before leaving his earthly home.  However, I dare say that he never imagined just how popular, how classic, and powerful his writing would become in the lives of so many for so long.  Truly, J.R.R. Tolkien was a rare gift that God blessed this world with, and Tolkien blessed many people during his lifetime as well.  He was and remains a person rather larger than life, and I am pleased to know more about his life through Duriez’ biography.

This is a book that will engage you from beginning to end, and one I am happy to recommend!

About the Author:
Colin Duriez has appeared as a commentator on extended DVDs of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television’s The Worlds of Fantasy. He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed to definitive reference works, The Tolkien Encyclopedia and a number of other tomes relating to J.R.R. Tolkien.

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