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Tolkien: Man and Myth, a Literary Life Paperback – December 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
These words might not be to the liking of many Tolkien critics, analysts or pseudo-writers that have been trying to unravel the Tolkien Myth. I believe that many of them have been at least partially unsuccessful due to the simple fact that they underestimated or totally overlooked the main essence of Tolkien's life which was his spiritual faith as a Catholic.
Of course, this is by no means popular for a writer. Indeed , being a Catholic can mean instant "unpopularity" in certain cases; a paradox considering that Tolkien is by all means an extremely popular personality. Probably popularity has been helped by misunderstanding the man as a consequence of so many superfluous opinions by wrongly called "Tolkien experts".
It is thus with great enthusiasm that I read this essay by Joseph Pearce. It is a well documented and objective work that reaches on to the very deep roots of Tolkien's motivations and perceptions of the world which were based on his Christian beliefs and his life as a convinced Catholic.
The essay begins with a lively description of the turbulence caused when several reader polls established Tolkien as "The Author of the Century". Although this is an interesting (even fun) part, the most valuable comes from the rest of the book where we discover a proper view of Tolkien as essentially a Catholic author. Pearce , convincingly achieves this through an impartial presentation of documents, facts and original testimonials that permits us to glimpse the "Real Tolkien".Read more ›
Part of the problem with writing biographical material now nearly 30 years after a seminal biography (and a dozen or more literary critiques) have come to press regarding one of the century's most popular writers, is that it's all pretty much been said. So don't be surprised when Carpenter's excellent and justly famous biography is footnoted many, many times. This isn't meant to be an entirely original biography. The biographical section does in 4 pages what Carpenter does in 40 - this book is about something else. Tolkien distrusted traditional biography and doubted very seriously that just because something happened to an artist that it was necessarily important to him or her. Tolkien's own list of the most important events of his life and art is pretty short...the Catholic Church and growing up in the pre-industrial English countryside. Not much there for a biographer to go on, seemingly. But Mr. Pearce wisely lifts these and a very few other aspects out of the white noise of every life and uses them to illuminate the life and work of a singular and impressive man.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anything written by Joseph Pearce is well worth reading! He could write about shoelaces and make it fascinating (I have other books by him, too, all of them excellent), but this... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Elizabeth
This biography is well written by a man who has obviously enjoys Tolkien's body of work. Joseph Pearce gives his Catholic perspective on a Catholic author's life and work. Read morePublished on December 17, 2012 by Laura Wells
Pearce's work is an excellent achievement. It is half biography, and half literary analysis and review. Read morePublished on November 30, 2011 by Will Jerom
"On the occasions when Lewis came to the Northmoor Road, the children liked him because he did not talk condescendingly to them; and he gave them books by E. Read morePublished on January 11, 2011 by FYI
I read this book not knowing what to expect. A great pick for Lord of the Rings fans because it gives a deep insight into the man and the beliefs of the man who wrote such a great... Read morePublished on February 11, 2006 by Carolina Robles
Joseph Pearce's biography on J.R.R. Tolkien is a short, yet fully engrossing and insightful read about one of the greatest literary minds of anytime. Read morePublished on June 21, 2004 by Janne Herfurth
When choosing which biography to read on Tolkien, I chose this one because the author seemed to have great respect for Tolkien... Read morePublished on January 19, 2004 by T. George
The further I delved into Tolkien: Man and Myth, the more I realized that calling it a "biography" is a misnomer. Read morePublished on July 14, 2003 by Michael Lima
This is an excellent look into J.R.R. Tolkien's life. Joseph Pearce tries (and succeeds) to explain the works of Tolkien by looking at the beliefs the man held. Read morePublished on January 14, 2001 by Anon Ymous