- Source notes describe the author's research materials and processes
- 100+ page biographies
- Information about the history of the times in which each subject lived is included
- Sidebars, a comparative timeline, and a "To Find Out More" section are included
7/1/04 School Library Journal
In a thoughtful and appreciative biography, Lynch explains how the beloved hobbit came to be created by a man whose fascination with dead languages led him to write fantasy stories, as well as to create and study language throughout his lifetime. Tolkien's fans will meet the man behind the tales: a soldier, a teacher, an Englishman, and a Catholic. And most importantly, they will meet a writer and a father. Through a combination of his close relationship with his children and his discontent with the modern world, he was able to give his readers a mythical, imaginative world of the past. In Lynch's biography, despite his otherworldliness, Tolkien comes off as being entirely human, a man who drove his car into walls, had trouble writing at times, and even made spelling errors. Supplemental information, in the way of archival photographs and sidebars, help to put the material in context. There is an affectionate tone in the writing here, and readers will be touched and inspired by this carefully crafted portrait.