My first thought upon reading this book was “where the hey was this guy during my college years???” I would have signed up for every single class. Not my major? Big whoops. What’s that amongst friends? Details people. Details. He had me when he described the duo as such:
“Though Lewis and Tolkien clad themselves, humbly and inconspicuously, in professional robes, these two Oxford dons were in fact medieval knights come down from the past, heroes for a distinctively in heroic age.”
I mean, y’all what better way to describe these two? This is just one of the things I enjoyed about On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis by Louis Markos.
The world of J. R. R. Tolkien is filled with strange creatures, elaborately crafted lore, ancient tongues, and magic that exists only in fantasy; yet the lessons taught by hobbits and wizards speak powerfully and practically to our real lives. Courage, valor, trust, pride, greed, and jealousy–these are not fictional virtues. This is the stuff of real life, the Christian life. Professor and author Louis Markos takes us on the road with Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, with looks at selected classic works of literature as well, to show how great stories bring us so much more than entertainment. They inspire and convict, imparting truth in unforgettable ways.
Rediscover the virtue of great storytelling and the power of fantasy to transform our reality.
So yeah, I loved it. Let’s all pretend to be shocked by that. I’m pretty sure the only time I’ll not like a book about these two, is if it’s a book that says something negative about them. If I do read something like that, then friends…HOLD MY EARRINGS.
Plus there’s so many fantastic quotes that explain the power of Tolkien and Narnia’s stories in much better language than I can.
We are, in many ways, a civilization adrift on the stormy seas of relativism and existentialism. The first “ism” has robbed us of any transcendent standard against which we can measure our thoughts, our words, our deeds; the second has emptied our lives of any higher meaning, purpose, or direction. Our compass is broken and stars obliterated, and we are left with nothing to navigate by but a vague faith in the modern triad of progress, consumerism, and egalitarianism. They are not enough.
The Lord of the Rings stands as a lighthouse in a world that has not only lost it’s way, but has lost much of it’s virtue, it’s integrity, and it’s purpose.
I love that this book not only talked about my two favorite authors, but reminded us of the power of story (which is why I started this blog to begin with!). As Sam would say, the stories that matter.
This is the kind of book Tolkien and Lewis fans will absolutely love because it points to the reasons we love them to begin with. Yet, for those on the fence or those indifferent to the world of Tolkien and Lewis (to which I must ask FOR THE LOVE WHY??), this might tip the scales and open you up the the amazing world of story they both created.
Oh and example C:
That’s one of the things that fairy tales teach us: that we are all heroes or princesses in disguise. And if that is so, then we must all set out to discover who we truly are: not so we can become rich or successful in the debased modern, consumerist sense, but so that we can step into our true inheritance.
If you enjoy their works, then I definitely recommend this read! Also fellow Tolkien and C.S. Lewis fans, come May I’ll be starting a monthly series featuring these two guys. It could be a book they wrote or a book about them, but something Inkling related. Granted, I kind of do that already, but this will help me stay committed to the books I want to re-read or read for the first time. So be on the look out come May!
Don’t forget to enter if you haven’t yet for this week’s blogversary prizes!! Lots of good ones and you can enter here!
(Thank you Moody Publishers for the copy in exchange for my honest review)