Book of the Month/December 2021

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In Tolkien’s great masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, we certainly know who the bad guys are. Orcs are hard to misidentify, as are the Nazgul, or Gollum, or Sauron. The bad guys are straight up bad.

In a similar way, we know who the good guys are. We know that Sam is good, and Frodo, and Gandalf, and Aragorn, and Legolas, and Gimli. By way of contrast, we know that Tom Bombadil is good, one of the best, but what we don’t know is who he is.

C.R. Wiley writes good books, but this one is (in my view) his best so far. And in this book, In the House of Tom Bombadil, he tackles the identity of the elusive Tom Bombadil.

I will let you enjoy the ride yourself, and so there will be no spoilers here. But I will say this much. The answer that is unpacked in this book is clear enough to be satisfying, and ambiguous enough to keep you from thinking that some literary johnny came in and wrecked everything for you

This is a really good book, and if you have any Tolkien fans in your family, it would make a really good Christmas present.