This is a book where some of my favorite authors (and, I suppose, some of my not favorite authors) write about J.R.R. Tolkien, an uber-favorite author. Obviously, it’s something to be read if you’re a fan of the Professor.
For the most part, this book is not filled scholarly essays (with the possible exception of Ursula K. Le Guin’s piece on language), but are instead personal introspections and retrospections about how Tolkien’s work affected each writer’s life and career.
Which can be nice, of course: particularly if you’re a fan of the writer in question. If you’re not, it starts to seem all rather narcissistic.
And since we all approach Tolkien’s work from a different perspective at a different times in our lives, I very rarely came across anything where I could say "That’s what it was like for me! That’s how I felt! That’s how I read it!".
So this book is probably worth reading if you’re a Tolkien fan and a bit of a completionist. Or maybe if you really like the writing of some of the authors in this book…and are a completionist. Otherwise, it’s probably not worth your time.
Also: it’s incredibly clear that the editor and publisher did not care even a little bit about the subject matter or the book. It’s filled with typos that even an intern proofreader would have caught. And, to add major insult to injury, they seem to have run the entire work through a spell-checker which changed the word "orcs" to "ores". This book is filled with ores doing nasty things. For a book about Tolkien, it’s downright pathetic and makes me a little unhappy that I paid actual money for this. Ah well.