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FINALLY...I own all three hardcover volumes collecting the original run of "Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD." What a treat!Of course, the series itself had a checkered career, starting with its extraordinary debut by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and ending on its sorry cancellation about four years later. But how amazing is it to have the whole enchilada available in three gorgeous hardcover volumes?As mentioned in an earlier review, the stories collected into this third volume aren't all that stellar, in either the story or art departments. Besides a single remaining Steranko tale (and a classic it is!), the rest of the items here is a hodgepodge, but an interesting hodgepodge nonetheless for Marvel Comics and Nick Fury fans.And hooray -- there are BONUSES included:* The Avengers story that tied up loose ends from the final Fury book (and brought back Scorpio).* A ten-years-later reprint of a tale that added some necessary doodads to the Nick Fury mythos.* The covers from those problems beyond #15 that merely reprinted early stories from the STRANGE TALES a nice introduction to the book by Roy e quality of these SHIELD stories don't sing like those from the two years of Jim Steranko's run, but this is a fine collection anyway. Certainly worth it for completists.
This is quite a book . In the sixies Nick Fury of SHIELD was made cuz of the " BOND " craze at the time . He began , sharing a book with DOCTOR STRANGE in STRANGE TALES , then got his own book title later. Though Steranko created Him popular , only just one or two of His are in this issue, He did do most of the cover art .Archie Goodwin , Roy Thomas and Stan Lee did the writing and an had a few various artists such as Herb Trimpe and Frank Springer. Now toward the end of the sixies the " secert agent items was on the method out , and it started to present also that since Fury didnt have any "super powers " or sidekicks . His books started to wane . This book is about the latest of the best stories of Nick Fury . As a child I owned four outta the nine featured here back in the sixies. So if you do collect Nick Fury , this book should be added to your collection . Like all my MARVEL MASTERWORKS , I usually look here for the best price , the selection is wide an have a lot of choices .
Most Marvel Masterworks volumes are quite readable if not outstanding. This one is one of the rare exceptions. If you've read the Ant Man/Giant Man or the Human Torch volumes you have a fair basis for comparison. This ranks below e issue with this book is right there in black and white on the credits page - six various writers, six various pencilers, six various inkers. With few exceptions the stories in this volume have no sense of pacing, laughable plots, the most simplistic of characterization, and are a chore to read. This is not the fault of any particular creator (how could it be?) but a complete lack of any idea of where to take the book from editor Stan Lee on down. Sales created that choice for them; Nick Fury was to be a supporting hero henceforth.Did it have to be this way? The mid-60s "spy craze" was well over by then but comics have outlived the fads that spawned them before. Both Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko did very creditable work (especially artistically) on this feature as seen in the previous two Shield masterworks. I think the ultimate issue was the inevitable dilution of talent that ensued when Marvel launched a lot of fresh titles when their distribution issues were sorted a masterwork the book has all the amazing production values we've come to expect. The book is padded out with a lot of extras including the Nick Fury story from Marvel Spotlight #31 (December 1976). There is an unused cover and some collection and reprint covers as l in all for the completist only.
As a child in the 1960s, finding and affording comics was difficult at r me, it was all about the artwork. Amazing artwork could compensate for a lack-luster story almost every time (except for Neal Adams' Skate Man, but that's another story altogether).I had heard about Steranko's legend as a teen, but the only Nick Fury comics I could search were #6, 7, and 11 with Steranko covers and interior art by Frank Springer. Much has been said about the uneven nature of the stories, but most were done-in-one problems (try finding that today), so I don't level the same harsh criticism as some other ong with #4's S.H.I.E.L.D. origin story, these four problems are a brilliant showcase of Frank Springer's work for Marvel in the 60s. Problems #8-10, not so much, but that has more to do with the coloring of those problems than anything else. Perhaps the art was not as imaginative as the Steranko problems (Steranko also wrote most of the stories he drew), but Springer was a more competant draftsman: There was a realistic quality to his work that rivaled Will Eisner's at times.I would later experience Steranko's work and was very impressed by it. But, for me Frank Springer's art stood out on Nick Fury. When I told Mr. Springer this at San Diego Comic Con one year, he was characteristically modest, praising Steranko's contributions instead, so much so that he was surprised that I wanted him to sign my comics. As an aside, a Nick Fury action figure was created that was packaged with a comic book reprint. It had the cover of #4, but the interior was that of Steranko's "Who is Scorpio?" from problem #1. This could have been a amazing intro to Springer's work on S.H.I.E.L.D. had the interior of that reprint matched the is Marvel Masterworks volume finally reprints the Springer stories so that readers who never read them can appreciate them for the first time.Let me offer an analogy of sorts: When it was released, the movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was hated by James Bond fans. George Lazenby was no consolation to the withdrawal that fans felt over Sean Connery's departure. Upon later reflection, a lot of Bond fans have come to appreciate that movie as one of the franchise's better outings, Lazenby notwithstanding. So too is the case of Frank Springer following to the Barry (Windsor) Smith issue, he was still finding his way, stylistically, but for comics fans, his problem has historical e Herb Trimpe problems were always a disappointment, but he was also pencilling The Wonderful Hulk at the same time. When Jack Kirby was pencilling 4-6 comics per month during the early 1960s for Marvel, his quality was not 'up there' either.While not the best Marvel Masterwork of the series, it is not painful to read as the first volume of Ant Man/Giant Man was (but, even then, it shows Marvel in its 1960s infancy).
Nick Fury is a neat character, made as a tough-as-nails WWII Sergent he was later promoted to Colonel Fury Agent of SHIELD, a cold battle super-spy.His 60s adventures are best remembered for a short but innovative run by master artist Jim Sterenko whose innovative layouts and art are still admired today. The issue is most of them were covered in Volume 2 of this series. Book 3 has just one Sterenko drawn story (Agent of SHIELD #5) and then several other stories by a host of writers and artists. Some of the artists such as veteran penciler Herb Trimpe and up-and-comer Barry Windsor-Smith do competent enough jobs and even test to continue Sterenko's innovations but there's nothing truly spectacular. Problem 11 stands out as a amazing one where the first few pages are drawn as psychodellic album cover e stories are even more lackluster, often feeling like retreads of older SHIELD tales or making small sense. In one problem Nick Fury has small problem taking a SHIELD 'self-orbiting attack craft' into space. The next problem he has to go begging to NASA for a lift into space. Oddly both stories are by the same writer. Later an interesting story where Fury is framed as a traitor is then dismissed as a mind android game to try his loyalty but the portrayal of what was true and what was not is not consistent within the e latest problem of Agent of SHIELD has Nick gunned down by Bullseye, the gaudiest sniper in history. With his own book canceled Nick's fate is revealed a few months later in an problem of the e book ends with an problem of Marvel Spotlight where Jim Starlin and Howard Chaykin explain just how a WWII vet can still be fit and healthy in 1976. It's not a poor story but Nick feels out of hero tip for the first book remains the same. If you're looking for the amazing items either pick up Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD vol 2, or hunt down the older paperbacks that reprint Sterenko's run. This book has some interesting moments but it not worth hunting down unless you have a real love for the character.
This is the weakest book in the Masterwork collections of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Steranko did one story and then other writer/artists tried to emulate or "succeed", but they didn't have an idea of what created Nick and SHIELD great! Nick was brought about in a time of James Bond excitement and the early adventures were like comic versions of the best of 007. Then the creativity was gone and they tried to create the series latest longer than it should have. Overall, this is amazing for the Steranko story and the covers, but look elsewhere for excitement.
The third volume with the history of SHIELD with Nick Fury arrived on time and in excellent condition. While I liked the earlier stories better, there are some classics in the later years that are worth getting the whole collection.
Damon hits the nail right on the head - how to turn wishes into realistic goals and achieve them. There are no shortcuts. You don't obtain something for nothing and Damon is at pains to stress this. However there is amazing news: if you follow a way and place the work in, you can achieve your goals. Damon writes in a very relaxed, approachable style. In fact it's almost like he's in the room with you. He is down to earth, understanding and encouraging and writes from the perspective of having experienced all this. It's not "academic", it's real. He knows the pitfalls and joys, so can support you avoid the one and achieve the other - because he is the coach running the race beside you. In regards to goals and goal setting, Damon outlines a number of methods, highlighting the amazing and poor points. However his P.R.I.M.E.R. way seems to incorporate the best of everything. He says it may not be the best for everyone, but is confident enough to recommend everyone at least give it a trial. I appreciated the begin honest writing and realistic portrayal of goals and goal setting, and the method to achieve these goals. I will certainly take up the challenge and "test drive" P.R.I.M.E.R. - with the goal of a more rewarding life. Highly recommended. Read it and follow it. It's guaranteed to change your life for the better.
Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in return for a review. Problems I had with the book:1) Author (correctly, I think) outlines basic challenges with goal setting as internal problems in managing fears, doubts, expectations, etc. and external problems like appropriately thinking about attendant sub-tasks and time/energy considerations. This book somewhat takes for granted that you've addressed these problems before launching into a fresh goal setting method. If you haven't addressed those problems beforehand, I don't think reading a fresh way will create a ton of difference to you. If you need to address those issues, there are other books that you'll probably wish to check out first.2) It's a silly thing, but I absolutely cannot remember what PRIMER stands for. Maybe everyone else can instantly recall it and I'm on my own, but this is not an option for me to think through goals and ideas while on a train or otherwise someplace where the book isn't begin in front of 's not a poor book, and I appreciate the layout and logical buildup to the offered solution. However, if you genuinely feel like you're having problem setting sufficiently audacious and/or realistic and/or deeply private goals, I don't know if this will change much for you.
Almost everyone has goals they wish to achieve, be it amazing health, education, career, wealth, relationship or mastering a hobby. Yet how a lot of clearly define their goals, think about and set up action plans and realistic milestones, review their relevance and periodically reflect on their progress in accomplishing them? The amazing news for those of us who have seriously or vaguely contemplated goal-setting is that Damon has now written a highly accessible and affordable book on the this relatively short book which one can finish in a couple of reading sessions, Damon describes a system which he acronymized as “P.R.I.M.E.R.” and claims to have referenced and “cherrypicked” from the best of existing methods. Indeed, he reviews ten of these systems in Part II. Reading this section not only saves you the time, cash and effort of consulting these multifarious works but also shows you that he is not just another productivity guru who is there to show a highfalutin way but that he has done meticulous research, incorporated and tried his own method, and attested to its efficacy and practicality. If you have been following another goal-setting methodology, it is worthwhile to read what Damon has to say about it. As he warns, “choosing the right way is a pivotal matter as the wrong way can cripple your efforts.”The book begins with a preamble introducing the reader to the entire process of goal-setting: delineating the “why” for each goal, writing down the goals, identifying restrictive beliefs, setting deadlines for each goal and creating processes to fulfill them. This is followed by a short description of the P.R.I.M.E.R. system. The book then launches into four main sections: (1) seven common reasons why one are not achieving his or her goals, ranging from overambition to inaction, (2) a brief yet thorough review of ten famous goal-setting methods, (3) a detailed exposition of Damon’s system, and (4) five suggestions on what to do in the happening of failure to accomplish one’s goals. It ends with a short concluding chapter wherein he exhorts the reader to try and check if the way works for oneself.Having read the book thoroughly, I search it uplifting to explore just how truly life-changing the process of goal-setting can be if done correctly. At times I felt compelled to pause and go through the recommended tasks. For instance, recently I have some unwritten but crucial goals I wanted to accomplish in the near future. By thinking through and writing them down as advised in the text, I was able to take the next step of articulating the sub-tasks that required to be done. Then, by tagging these with realistic deadlines and intermediary milestones, my goals now seem not only reachable but transparent. Whereas previously they were a blur of targets that appears difficult with no clear timeline for completion, with a tangible plan on hand now, I feel confident that with assiduous effort they will be reached. This is quite a revelation for me and I believe this is the main benefit one will obtain from reading this book.A paramount point to note is that even though the book is short and easily completed, one must be prepared to spend a lot of more times the amount of time reading it to fully implement the system. Nothing short of a quiet weekend retreat away from home or several consecutive evenings with no distractions (see his “Digital Detox”) is enough to kickstart the process. Do not allow this onerous task discourage you because once you have an action plan, it will empower you to accomplish goals that you really desire but which have so far eluded o minor points before I conclude this review: (1) real to his down-to-earth approach emphasizing practicality, Damon peppered the book with examples of the ubiquitous goal of getting healthy that many, I believe, will search highly relevant and can immediately fine-tune the book’s recommendations to jumpstart his or her own plan, and (2) although I mentioned earlier that his way is purportedly an amalgamation of “best practices” distilled from existing systems, for the discerning reader, there are apropos steps not found elsewhere. Without revealing too much, a prime example is the incorporation of the environment in P.R.I.M.E.R. None of the ten systems reviewed in the book mentions, allow alone designates checking if the environment you are in is conducive to goal-accomplishment as a mandatory summary, while a lot of may search the task of goal-setting daunting, Damon has laid out an easy-to-follow way after drawing from the most famous systems today. I unreservedly recommends this book to anyone keen in bettering their lives through setting and attaining goals.
I work in the professional field and I consider myself very goal oriented. With that said, sometimes I don't meet my goals and I wish to do better. This book is full of very practical and actionable info that can lead a person to success. I was satisfied to see I didn't have to wade through a bunch of useless fluff to obtain to the meat of the content of the book. This is a hallmark of this author's writing and it makes his books very useful. This is a amazing book to either take notes from or revisit several times. I found this book to be very useful and I would recommend it to others! Five stars *****
Each person will take away something different, but the MOST IMPORTANT thing about Damon? He's HONEST and RESPECTFUL. He does NOT place down the "competition." He presents ALL the major goal setting tactics without slamming them. Then he takes the best from each and makes his own. So you can use his P.R.I.M.E.R. way all by itself, or use most of it & then draw more heavily on one of the other styles...whatever works for you.
Damon is a prolific writer and has a very simple, straightforward writing style that engages the reader. The interesting thing about this particular book is how he presents other goal-setting methods and systems, and then lists the pros and cons and then you wonder: "When is he going to obtain to his primer or method.? Damon does not disappoint and always presents thought-provoking and immediately usable methods to employ to obtain your outcome. He's practical, honest, and forthright, and also assures that any way definitely takes work, but having your goals are written out and immediately accessible helps them become realized. I endorse this book and all of Damon's books as I read each one, and benefit greatly from his thoughtful work. Moshe Tag Ittleman
Goals are the key to a productive life. Sadly, with so a lot of goal-setting methods to choose from, one can become bewildered and abandon the effort ankfully, one need not walk the path alone. In “The P.R.I.M.E.R. Goal Setting Method,” Damon Zahariades sifts through myriad goal-setting strategies, highlighting both their strengths and—more importantly—their flaws. He then uses the results to assemble a streamlined, easy-to-use program for setting and achieving his other works, the book is simple to read and includes valuable, practical information. The amazing thing about the P.R.I.M.E.R. way is that we can easily place it to use and decide whether it is ideal for us.Highly recommended for anyone struggling to set and reach goals—which (let’s face it) is nearly all of us!
Another practical tutorial from this author. Full of useful hints and simple to follow suggestions. While most people know the importance of goal setting, few actually take the time to do it right. This book will tutorial you through the process in a systematic way, while pointing out some of the shortcomings of other goal-setting programs.
I have never really wrote down my goals. They become just ideas in my mind that ferments. This book is amazing to obtain the specific info to better get the goals one desires. Some of its truths are well know but all of the ideas are presented clearly and simple to understand. I specifically had to stop and ponder the one statement for a couple of days. "Can you learn a fresh skill ? If so, then the problem isn't whether you can or can't do it. Its whether you will or won't. I realize the simplicity of the statement but it stopped me dead in my reading tracks. WOW
Another great, useful book by Damon. This fast read book gives you helpful tip for you to achieve your goals and even gives you reasons why you might fail. It explains this way and also gives you the amazing and poor on other methods.
Well, first of all, this film is a amazing project. There is no science-fiction movie in the history of Turkish cinema, and if you think about the budget, which was about 4 Mio. USD and nevertheless large for Turkish proportions, George Lucas wasted a budget of 125 Mio USD for Star Battles Episode III, then it is the optimum of what has been created. The story is no revolution, but no one ever expected that. Cem Yilmaz realised his vision of "Turks in space" and created his work well. His love for info is average. To understand everything in that film, first you gotta be Turkish, since a huge part of the humor is based on the road language that Cem Yilmaz is using perfectly. The second thing is, you have to know some US Science-Fiction films like Star Wars, Matrix or Star Trek. Only the combination of these two requirements makes the film really funny. G.O.R.A is unusual to the Turkish public, so this is why some people didn't like it I think. I consider this work as fresh era of unique fx in Turkish movies. In the end, it is a solid Turkish zone movie.
A short read, enjoyable for those who like to know what influences a writer. It was fun to hear about his days with CS Lewis and the Inklings as well as some of his inspirations for hero names and story ns: I wasn't too impressed that the author padded the book with a couple chapters of another book he did on the current pope. I stopped reading at that point as I didn't purchase the book to read on that particular subject.
This book is fairly short, but has some interesting insights into who Tolkein was as an individual and how the happenings of his life shaped his writing. As a Tolkein fan you will have fun it. Other folks may not obtain a lot out of it. I wouldn't spend much cash on it, but its a nice read at the price of free on my Kindle.
It was a relatively fast and simple read. Not a lot of details, but there were some interesting facts about Tolkien's life along along with insight on happenings and people that influenced (or are likely to have influenced) the LOTR stories. There didn't seem to be a lot of in-depth analysis and nothing really unexpected or controversial is revealed, but still a nice introduction to the man behind some of my favorite the stories.
Those of us who are hopeless Tolkienites have an insatiable curiosity about--and appetite for--the inner workings of Middle-earth, along with the man that brought that unbelievable globe to life. J.R.R. Tolkien was a fascinating man, and Oxford scholar Tom Shippey has forgotten more about this author than most of us will ever learn; to prove it, Shippey presents his analysis of Tolkien's work in his very readable book, J.R.R. TOLKIEN: AUTHOR OF THE CENTURY.I was astounded to learn, via Shippey's patient presentation, that so a lot of of the names of characters and locations that appear in Middle-earth are derived from ancient Norse mythology, poetry, and literature. That Tolkien was hugely inspired by Beowulf is a given; that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings borrow extensively and richly from this centuries' old tale is not. Shippey also describes how Tolkien, as a devout philologist, was obsessed with words--with their infinite variations, and how the author utilized this knowledge not only to make names and locations in his writing, but also make extensive, intricate garding Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, Shippey allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusions as to whether or not the novel is an allegory. Tolkien himself vigorously denied his fantasy tale was allegorical; in light of the fact LOTR is a classic tale of amazing vs. evil. . .a story that is a ringing indictment of modernization, industrialization, and technological destruction. . .it's almost comical how Tolkien went out of his method to deny the obvious. Shippey compares the novel to other allegories, and readily admits some of Tolkien's later short stories were indeed allegorical; thus the allegory card is played, albeit in a limited, less than satisfying ippey provides a detailed analysis not only of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but of Tolkien's other works, including his poems and short stories, his essays, and his voluminous topic matter published posthumously (The Silmarillion and The Lost Tales, etc.). And "detailed" is the right word, as Shippey examines and magnifies info almost to exhaustion. That the scholar sees mountains where other readers see mole hills is readily apparent via the pages of this book.J.R.R. TOLKIEN: AUTHOR OF THE CENTURY is a compelling, recommended read for those wanting to know more about the man who brought us Middle-earth. One of Shippey's observations is right on the money: The fact that England itself didn't have its own mythology turned out to be most fortunate; Tolkien went about creating one.--D. Mikels, Author, THE RECKONING
If you are looking for a Tolkien biography or the behind-the-scenes, dramatic story of how ‘Lord of the Rings’ got written, you won’t search it here. If, however, an academic study of the influences, motivations, and themes that contributed to and permeated Tolkien’s books appeals to you, you’ve come to the right of the Century and Prof. Shippey’s other book, Street to Middle Earth, both cover the same material, but in slightly various ways. Each makes special points, but overall, there is a lot of repetition. If you are only going to buy one of these books, I’d recommend “Road to Middle Earth” for its fuller exploration of philology, underlying themes and concepts in Tolkien’s works, defense versus selected criticisms, and Tolkien’s early drafts and later h books begin off with detailed explanation of philology. Dictionary definitions of the word fail to capture the scope and depth of the field that was Tolkien’s passion and which influenced his books so enormously. Through Prof. Shippey’s analysis, one glimpses a complexity to the novels that would otherwise go unnoticed. Tolkien was keenly intrigued by the origins and meanings of words. He saw in ancient texts, whether Old English, Old Norse, or Anglo-Saxon, tips of stories now forgotten, words that teased him with their obscure meanings. What were these lost legends? What did the unusual words mean and what did they imply about the globe that gave rise to them? Tolkien wanted to make a mythology that could acc for the concepts behind the words, a mythology that explained dwarves and elves, dragons and ents. Tolkien’s stories were often patterned after existing texts and records of actual cultures, but also reflected modern experiences.A combat veteran of the first Globe War, Tolkien also witnessed the horrors brought by the second—extermination camps, genocide, bombing of civilian populations, weapons of mass destruction—things Prof. Shippey tells us were unthinkable to the Victorian culture Tolkien had grown up in. A sense that “something had gone horribly wrong” with the globe could not fail to seep into the writings of those who lived through those times. Thus, one theme of “Lord of the Rings” was the nature of evil, and another that of sorrow. Even if the quest is achieved and Sauron defeated, the globe cannot go back to what it was. Attractive things of old will fade, some wounds will never Shippey focuses mostly on the Lord of the Rings, but also discusses Tolkien’s other works. The Hobbit is presented as primarily the clash between two cultures, the modern globe represented by Bilbo and the hobbits, undeniably English of Victorian or Edwardian times, and the archaic globe of the dwarves, colourful by heroic sagas like Beowulf. The Silmarillien, the work of Tolkien’s heart and his lifelong project, is patterned after Genesis and the Fall; in this case, the Fall is that of the elves, whose sin is the desire to create things that reflect themselves. Tolkien’s short stories are not forgotten, but examined for the insights they give to Tolkien’s moods and Shippey’s ideas create for engaging reading. His responses to assorted Tolkien critics are icing on the cake. He makes a convincing case that a lot of critical remarks are hypocritical, imperceptive, and elitist. He also suggests that Tolkien’s “elementary sensibilities—over patriotism, over euphemism, and especially over sex and marriage” were held versus him and prevented a fair reading of his books. That Tolkien has appealed to a broad demographic range for decades shows clearly that people search his stories relevant even if they are fantasy and don’t conform to critics’ ideas of what constitutes “good literature.”I came away from both “Author of the Century” and “Road to Middle Earth” with a greater appreciation for Tolkien’s books and a better understanding of how they came to be written. Do give one or both a try.
This book is quite simply the seminal criticism and analysis of Tolkien's major works. Shippey is Tolkien's successor at Oxford, and in a very true sense "speaks the language" (no pun intended) that Tolkien spoke. He is able to disassemble and analyze Tolkien's writings in a method that is head and shoulders above any other related works. His linguistic and literary analysis is the best ever created and is absolutely vital to truly understanding Middle Earth and the man that created it. Add to that a brief but very profound analysis of the religious themes, imagery, and inferences that is better than anything else out there (it completely surpasses Joseph Pearce's fine book on Tolkien, all in less than 10 pages.) Plus you'll obtain the most insightful discussion of the Anglo Saxon and Old Norse literary traditions and characters that would become Gandalf, Frodo, and the rest of the Fellowship. If you truly love Tolkien's writing, then you simply must read this book. It is the first most necessary step in a true understanding of what Middle Earth is, where it is, where its characters came from, and what happened to them in ways that will really begin your mind to the vastness and wonderful beauty of Tolkien's world. After reading it, you'll have even less patience with the lunkheads who think LOTR is just another fantasy story. It's so, so much more than that. And if that wasn't enough, you'll learn what Beowulf's name would mean in modern English. ("Beowulf" is usually the only word in the poem not translated, in case you haven't noticed.)
You know a amazing commentary when it makes you fall more in love with a work than you already ippey is a first rate writer and his eye for what is most meaningful and worthy of deeper thought is exceptional. I finished the book and then started over e chapter on evil alone is worth the price of the book.
I have heavy respect for Tom Shippey and his obvious knowledge and command of the English language. There are few books that you'll read which will educate the layman as much as this one will. For the Lord of the Rings fanatic, however, much of this book may not be what one expected as it points a laser into the mechanics of Tolkien linguistic universe show in LOTR, the Hobbitt and the Silmarillion. The worm's eye view can't be beat but it is still a very detailed view. The Foreward is an awesome read as it is more whollistic then the rest of the book and gives a thorough and illuminating overview of Tolkien's majestic put in the history of literature.
I really enjoyed this book - it is often simple for such books to obtain bogged down in the discussion of their subject, but for the most part Shippey avoids this, if only because he genuinely has a love for Tolkien and his works. Some interesting points raised in regards to Tolkien's influences as well.