Book Review: J.R.R Tolkien by Mark Horne

This book is part of the Christian Encounters series from Thomas Nelson.  It’s a small compact book which takes the reader through the stages of JRR Tolkien’s life.  Tolkien is best known for writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, constructing the fantasy realm of Middle Earth in incredible detail, the imagery of which is used in this biography to illustrate his life and the challenges he faced.

Although the book is informative, I did struggle with it.  It did not pull me in, feeling rather like an essay than an engaging biography. It is something I might read for an overview of Tolkien’s life, which is interesting, but not for the pleasure of reading.  I think perhaps I would prefer to dip in and out of it in conjunction with other biographical material rather than read it straight through.

On its own, in some ways it felt too simplistic, a summary of the facts rather than real engagement with the person.  If I’m honest, I found it a little boring and slightly patronising, which is a shame.

I review for BookSneeze®

 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: J.R.R Tolkien by Mark Horne

  1. Charlie says:

    It sounds very weak. The lives of people like Tolkien don’t deserve to be squashed into a so-called “Christian” mould to massage our consciences.
    Humphrey Carpenter’s biography of Tolkien is outstanding, very readable and unlikely to be bettered.


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