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Re: Companion and Guide - Reader's Guide

Subject: Re: Companion and Guide - Reader's Guide
by Beren on 2007/2/5 0:09:22

I'm also VERY fond of chronology... truly wonderfull book. Sad that i could not spent a lot of time with the Companion yet, allthough it has been very handy to look up things. Still i'm hoping to find enough time to read all that is in there...

I only see some minor flaws (my point of view). First I only see Tolkien's bright side and he is alwaysed described from his nicest angle. While there are many questions about Tolkien as a teacher, to make an example. I do not find anything on these minor points. It is truly made by fans, but it makes me question the objectivity of the book.
Secondly I miss some references to other books which are not in English. For example when mentioning photographs of Tolkien with Simonne D'Ardenne there is only mentioned The Tolkien Family Album, while I know the Johan Vanhecke has some more in his book (and had it sent to Wayne and Christina); why not mention this also - there are some unusual photos in there but is in Dutch. Is this the way all documents are treated?

For the rest i'm very happy and can only cheer! The book is truly the ultimate resource. I'm happy that the authors when not having absolute answers (for example how the Hobbit started, how the document made it to the printers); we then get all possible solutions and suggestions. At first I expected to receive all answers in this book. But now appreciate it very much that all possibilities are set one next to the other without choosing paths. It leaves us with questions, but it is better and more objectif (or shall i say scientific). The book is full of details and the research for this book must have been enormous. You can feel it when reading through the two volumes. Sometimes it is a day by day guide of Tolkien, sometimes it is a long list of possibilities, sometimes it gives very detailled info on a variety of topics, sometimes it is even very funny and makes you laugh or feel sad. If a scientific book can still move the reader then I would say the authors have succeeded to put the live of a person on paper!
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