J.R.R. Tolkien changed the literary world. He was the first modern writer to take fairy tales seriously, and practically all fantasy books written today exist because of him (including C.S. Lewis’s fiction). He was a creative genius who created a fully realized imaginary world, complete with languages and mythology, out of his head.
But what was Tolkien like as a person? That’s what I’ve always wondered. That’s why I loved reading Humphrey Carpenter’s biography of Tolkien. It’s well-written and balanced, and it gives a great insight into the creation of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien lived a pretty normal life, it turns out, apart from his forbidden romance and experience as a soldier in World War I. And like me, he was a procrastinator who took FOREVER to get any writing done. So there’s hope! Yes! 🙂
Anyway, if you’ve ever wanted to know more about J.R.R. Tolkien, I’d recommend J.R.R. Tolkien by Humphrey Carpenter. It gave me an even greater appreciation for Middle Earth and its creator, and it was tons of fun to read.