This is one in a series of posts where the content is provided by a guest who has graciously answered five questions about their experience as a Tolkien fan.
To see the idea behind this project, or if you are interested in sharing your own, visit the project homepage. If you enjoy this series, please consider helping us fund the project using the support page.
I want to thank Donato Giancola for allowing me to use his artwork for this project. Prints are available on his website!
Now, on to Mike’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
One of the smart kids (with hippie parents) in my grade 7 class was boasting that he had read the trilogy, so I decided to read it too. I had read the King James Bible for $20, so I thought “How hard could it be?” Absolutely sucked in headfirst by it. So annoyed about that Shelob cliffhanger needing me to read faster.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
The characters exploring all of the very different settings and never knowing who or what they would find there. The camaraderie between them.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
Staying up extremely late reading long into the night while staying at my grandmother’s, because I needed to make sure Frodo hadn’t been killed by Shelob. I skipped ahead.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
The fact that there are Jackson movies to watch has made me lazy about re-reading the books. I often plan to re-read the entire trilogy, and get bogged down somewhere in the middle, because there are movies, and I’m reading other books too.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Absolutely. It has a mind boggling depth of imagination and is unprecedented in terms of world building. And there’s something touching and comforting about the unflinching sentimentality and forefronting of nobility, eloquence, friendship, beauty, self sacrifice and decency.
Mike does have a podcast entitled The Wikkid Podcast where he talks about his Christian upbringing and “some very predictable problems” of it.