BOOK REVIEW: J.R.R. Tolkien (Mark Horne)

As a brief synopsis of J.R.R. Tolkien's life, this book serves to whet the reader's appetite for a full biography.  Mark Horne touches on Tolkien's service in World War I, his wife's sacrifices for his career, a positive relationship with his children, a short-lived camaraderie with C.S. Lewis, and his lifetime compilation of writings which became The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings.  His years in education (as a student and as a professor) and his involvement in social groups of like-minded intellectuals (including C.S. Lewis) are covered.  The reader gets a glimpse into Tolkien's passion for language and mythology and his perfectionist drive to re-write his manuscripts.

Overall this is a good introduction to Tolkien's life and the books and events that influenced his major works.  Perhaps I am missing something, but I did not see how the first two chapter titles corresponded appropriately to the material about Tolkien's early life.  My favorite concept that the author conveys is the idea that even works of fantasy can portray truth.  The content was interesting, but several times the story felt disjointed and rushed.  I would recommend this book to others, but it could use some editing for better flow.

I review for BookSneeze