Wednesday, July 20

Christian Encounters: J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne

When I was in late elementary school, my parents read me The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – I quickly fell in love with both.  Since then I read the books numerous times and did more than one report on J.R.R. Tolkien, especially where The Lord of the Rings was concerned.  When I saw that Thomas Nelson’s Christian Encounters series had a book on Tolkien, I knew I had to give it a try.

When I first received the book, I was a little disappointed at the length.  At barely 130 pages (this is not counting the bibliography), I was concerned about the quality of the content and worried that it would be too brief.  On the plus side, I knew it would be a fast read.

If you’ve read any bio on Tolkien, much of the information in this book will seem familiar, from the spider bite he received as a child to his involvement in World War I.  However, there are other things related that you may not know (unless you’ve read several Tolkien biographies).  To my pleasure an excellent amount of time is spent on Tolkien’s creation of Middle Earth, from the shorter stories (many of which wound up in The Silmarillion) to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Even though I had read up on Tolkien before (though that was many years ago) there were things which I didn’t know (or didn’t remember).

Another element of Tolkien’s life which Horne spends a good amount of time on is Tolkien’s relationship with C.S. Lewis.  Many people know that Lewis and Tolkien were friends, and some even know facts such as Tolkien’s dislike for the Narnia books.  Horne takes a bit more of a closer look into the relationship without going into unnecessary details.  Some of what I read surprised me as, again, I did not remember reading any of this.

At times the writing is a bit dry, and other times I wished for a bit more detail.  But overall, I thought this was a solid bio on Tolkien.  The book is short and is a quick read, yet it focuses much of its attention on what readers are sure to be most interested in.

3.5/5 stars
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255


  1. thought I'd tell you- I finally got the chance to read: Heavan is for real. I don't know what to think of it- I mean why did Colton get to see Heaven and come back to earth? maybe to tell others what its like...

    I thought it was gripping. amazing.


  2. Hi Rachel, I'm glad you liked you liked it!

    That's a good question. A lot of people I know who've read it, wonder if Colton had a vision of heaven instead of actually visiting it, but that's something I guess we'll never be 100% sure on right now.

    Thanks for stopping by and letting me know what you thought of the book!