Thursday, January 15, 2015

{Moody Publishers} Book Review: On the Shoulders of Hobbits

On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis  -     By: Louis Markos

"The stories that we need are precisely those that will beckon us to follow their heroes along the Road; that will embody for us the true nature of good and evil, virtue and vice, and then challenge us to engage in the struggle between the two; that will open our eyes and ears to that sacramental faerie magic that we so often miss." page 187

On the Shoulders of Hobbits was an unusual book for me to request for a review.  Why?  For all of my reading, I've never completely read the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit.  I've tried.  I've failed.  However, the book description appealed to me because it aims to "rediscover the power of stories and the importance of virtue."  That intrigued me.

The premise of this book, as outlined in the introduction, is that we need stories.  We need stories that  embody the transcendent  truths and virtues that can powerfully shape us.  Not the modern "virtues" of today - tolerance, multiculturalism, and environmentalism - but age-old, overlooked virtues.

And so the author sets out to show how authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis exhibit these virtues in their works. His chapters are organized as follows,

"Each chapter will take up a single theme-message-moral (the nature of goodness, the ill effects of greed, self-identity, etc.) that have been overlooked or dismissed by our age, and then that theme-message-moral will be illustrated and embodied in one or more episodes from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, or The Silmarillion. I will then develop the theme further by zeroing in on a single passage from one of the seven Chronicles of Narnia that clarifies or complements Tolkien's message." page 15
This was a good read.  If you are actually a Tolkien fan it would be a really good read.  While I am sure some of the current Hobbit books are fly-by-night-take-advantage-of-the-current-fad, this is not one of them.  It is well written and worth your time.

I received this book free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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