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J R R Tolkien
The Making Of A Legend
by Colin Duriez
This was a beautifully gentle biography of an incredibly well known fantasy writer and scholar, and indeed it could almost be said that there was a story-like feel to this wonderful retelling of Tolkien's life from cradle to grave. I rather suspect that may well have been the intent too given the subtitle of the book, The Making of a Legend, and if so then full credit must be given to Colin Duriez for this.
I can heartily recommend this book to anyone new to Tolkien's work that wants to find out more about the man himself. Here we have a well written and engaging work that, though factual, is not laboured or academic in tone, something which can occassionally happen with many biographies of such esteemed authors like Tolkien. Instead this book sets the tone and balance of sharing the insights of his life around his work, of opening up the balance of real person and author in equal measure so we see how the work reflects the artist and is in turn reflected back.
There was nothing new in this book I had not read of Tolkien before, but there was a wonderful measured pace that made me truly enjoy reading about him and coming to know him all over again. One for any Tolkien fan and especially the newer ones.
Reviewer: Melanie Carroll (14/11/12)