Craig's Reviews > The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One

The Return of the Shadow by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Sep 21, 09

Read in September, 2009

Christopher Tolkien's exhaustive history of his father's writing process during the composition of The Lord of the Rings. The son's textual examination, editorial notes, observations, and speculations about the elder's compositional process are quite interesting. This is sort of a variorum treatment of Tolkien's many stops and starts, drafts and re-writes -- a history of the writing of LOTR. Probably a bit too much of a good thing for all but the most devoted of Tolkien fans.

I liked reading about when Tolkien came up with a character or plot idea. It fascinates me that he had done so much background work on his own creation of Middle-earth, and, at the same time, discovered the plot of Frodo's journey toward Mount Doom as he wrote it. This explains the freshness and wonder of the narrative as it unfolds.
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09/10/2009 page 230
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