I found this lastest Tolkien addition quite a disappointment. There are no eternal redeeming truths to grasp onto that transcend this book. There is very little in the way of characters exhibiting strong moral character or something to make this book worthwhile. The main character is quite depressing. Most other characters do not endear themselves to you. I really wanted to like this book, as I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit, but I couldn't find anything in the book to love. Don't waste your time on this one.
This book is similar to the Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lweis) The earthly side of this book is disjointed, aimed more at covering many different major events in life, rather than presenting a believable story of a single individual. The angelic side, consisting of letters written between a demonic supervisor and his subordinate, are cleverly done and contain good spiritual points. The book does seem to be a little repetitive and long; it would be even better at half its length. Overall, though, a recommended read for those serious about their spiritual journey.
This fictional book intertwining the lives of an American businessman and his old college roommate in China is a powerful story that will challenge the status quo of American materialism and Christianity. It leaves the Christian reader with a hunger, yearning, and exciting for our true home.
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