- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Bondwine Books (9 Aug. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0988129256
- ISBN-13: 978-0988129252
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,397,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Writing Down the Dragon: and Other Essays on the Tolkien Method and the Craft of Fantasy Paperback – 9 Aug 2014
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About the Author
Tom Simon discovered the world of J. R. R. Tolkien at the age of ten, when his teacher read THE HOBBIT aloud to her class. Two years later, his father gave him a boxed set of THE LORD OF THE RINGS as a Christmas present; but he filched it from his father’s desk drawer and read about half of it before Christmas Day. Since then he has taken up writing epic fantasies of his own, including LORD TALON’S REVENGE and THE END OF EARTH AND SKY.
Top customer reviews
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While all the essays are worthwhile, probably the most interesting is "What Is Elf?", which discusses the various types of elves used in fantasy fiction, and homes in upon Tolkien's version by way of a thought experiment in which the elves are an alternate version of Man which did not undergo the Fall. Here, as elsewhere, the author convincingly cites Tolkien's Catholic background as providing the deep moral underpinnings of his work.
Another thought-provoking piece discusses the Orcs and the nature of evil. There is also a magisterial takedown of Moorcock's notorious criticism of Tolkien, which the author thoroughly and amusingly refutes. These are the highlights, but the other essays all make useful points in elegant prose.
Because the essays were originally written separately, there is some occasional repetition and overlap, but this is a minor drawback. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Tolkien.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Carefully thought out, deeply researched, and entertaining to read, this is an excellent addition for the Tolkien lover.
I look forward to seeing more of Tom Simon's work in print. He is an exceptional author with a clear prose style and excellent insight into what makes good fantasy.
In short, I was delighted I took a chance with this book. Highly recommended.