1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Honest and enlightening,
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This review is from: J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography (Paperback)
If I was interesting enough to have my own Biography, Humphrey Carpenter would be my choice to write it.
This is very much a warts 'n' all book, portraying JRRT as a man of great contradictions. Extra-Ordinary in many ways, ordinary in many others. A creative genius yet disorganised, constantly missing deadlines, finishing only a small percentage of his work, losing letters, stories and notes sometimes to find them years later and continue them at that point.
He also kept 2 copies of many stories for security but would invariably make different amendments to both copies making it even harder to reconcile works for publishing.
The ultimate perfectionist I am relieved we actually got any completed work from him yet the LOTR and the Silmarillion on their own are more than enough to show for a lifes work and if JRRT had not been so pedantic they would not have been the great works they are.
Very much a man's man, his complex relationship with C S Lewis is interesting as it develops over the years.
If you are after a window into the man behind the books then I would opt for this biography over any other.
An engaging read from start to finish, highly recommended!