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


Title: J. R. R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend
Author: Colin Duriez
Publisher: Lion Hudson on November 7, 2012
Genre: Non-fiction
Labels: Biography, The Hobbit, Fantasy Fiction Author
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult, but suitable for young adult
Pages: 192
Rating: 5 Stars

Last October I read and reviewed The Hobbit on my other blog @ Impressions In Ink. To read review:
http://impressionsinink.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-hobbit-by-jrr-tolkien.html
The Hobbit was the first book I've read of Tolkien's. I've watched the trilogy of The Lord of the Ring movies. But, had not until last October read any of the books. Surely back in high school we read The Hobbit? I don't remember, I was bored with school most of the time and was probably tuned out to any books we were supposed to read. In college, well that's a different story, I had bloomed by then in to a bit more maturity.

Summary:
J. R. R. Tolkien was the author of fantasy fiction books that rang in a new type of sensory experience. From his creations of dwarves, elves, hobbit's, and descriptions of a place called Middle-earth. He created unique physical descriptions, as well as dialects and languages.
J. R. R. Tolkien was a professor at Oxford, teaching Anglo-Saxon and English Language and Literature.
He devoted his lifetime to reading and studying northern European peoples. This led to the creation of a language borrowed from Welsh and Finnish.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born 3 January 1892 in South Africa. He and his brother were close to their Catholic mother. Catholicism would remain a devoted belief in his life. As a young child he and his brother moved back to England with their mother. He had the opportunity as a young man to attend Oxford University. Tolkien was often "distracted" from his studies. He was seen as being lax, but was consumed with the beginning foundations of a study that would lead him to his future books.

Review:
Positive Points:
  • Fulfilled a curiosity I had about the author of these wonderful stories.
  • The biography addresses both positive and negative points in Tolkien's personality, life choices, and demeanor. I feel I was shown an honest dimensional view of Tolkien. 
  • Tolkiens' family, friends, colleagues are given a voice which added their view on the humanity of Tolkien. 
  • Tolkien's inventions of his Middle-earth stories are described. They were not invented in a short period of time, rather during a course of many years these fantasy creatures developed into legend quality.
  • World War I and its affect on Tolkien is expressed. 
  • We are given a peek at the marriage of Tolkien.
Negative Points:
I did not find any negative points.
Cover has stylized drawings of mountain peaks with snow on the tops and trees at the bottom.Front cover of the first published book, 1937.

Thank you to Kregel, Lion Hudson, and Colin Duriez for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review!

Kregel Blog Tour January 7-11, 2013

Link @ publisher:
http://store.kregel.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=2928
Link for excerpt:
http://store.kregel.com/client/excerpt/978-0-7459-5514-8.pdf

Link @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/J-R-Tolkien-Making-Legend/dp/0745955142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357745937&sr=1-1&keywords=jrr+tolkien%3A+the+making+of+a+legend
Paperback $12.71
Kindle $10.50

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