What is Tom Bombadil doing in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings? His bright blue coat and yellow boots seem out of place with the grandeur of the rest of the narrative.
“Some of the best insights ever made about J.R.R. Tolkien’s invented world or, frankly, about 20th-century literature…. Here is a book of intense wisdom and penetrating thought.” ~Bradley J. Birzer, author of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth
In this book, C.R. Wiley shows that Tom is not an afterthought but Tolkien’s way of making a profoundly important point. Tolkien once wrote, “[Tom Bombadil] represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to analyze the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function.”
Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry are a small glimpse of the perfect beauty, harmony, and happy ending that we all yearn for in our hearts. To understand Tom Bombadil is to understand more of Tolkien and his deeply Christian vision of the world.
You can purchase the audiobook on audible,* or wherever great audiobooks are sold.
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What People Are Saying
"Though Wiley’s work is short, it ends up touching on some of the major characters, moments, and themes of The Lord of the Rings. That he can do so while never straying from a focus on a character so allegedly inconsequential as Tom Bombadil suggests that Tom might be important after all." ~National Review online
"[It is] a rich and rewarding banquet Wiley has prepared; I encourage you to pull up a chair In the House of Tom Bombadil, and partake of the feast for yourself." ~Front Porch Republic
"Wiley’s brisk, thought-provoking book helps us see how Bombadil, far from being a superfluous oddity, helps us envision both happiness and a home in this world — and beyond it." ~The University Bookman
C.R. Wiley is a senior contributor to The Imaginative Conservative and a minister living in the Pacific Northwest. His short stories have appeared in The Mythic Circle and Fear and Trembling, and his nonfiction has appeared in Touchstone Magazine, Relevant Magazine Online, and Modern Reformation. He is the author of The Household and the War for the Cosmos and Man of the House. The Purloined Boy, Book 1 of the Weirdling Cycle, is his first novel.
PUBLISHER: Canon Press
PAGE COUNT: 128
ISBN 10: 1954887027
PUB. DATE: December 14, 2021
I was given this book as a gift and have already read it twice!
And plan to give it as a gift - just not MY copy.
Tom Bombadil has been my favorite LOTR character since my 1st reading of it as a teenager in 1975. I listened to the audio of this book and throughly enjoyed it. I purchased the hardcover as a Christmas gift for my adult son, who is also a lover of Tolkiens work
Already being a fan of the God of all creation and Tolkien (in that order), I’m sure I’m the most receptive audience, but every page was a joy. I left with a deeper appreciation for Tom Bombadil, the created order of God, the beauty of the earth, and our call to subdue and have dominion over his creation, to the glory of God alone.
When I first read Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” it became, and still is, my favorite book. And my favorite part in my favorite book is the Hobbit’s venture into the Old Forest and in the House of Tom Bombadil. Wiley’s book, therefore, was a must read and it was wholesomely entertaining. Wiley offers, like Goldberry, much food for thought that is enriching to the soul. He discusses Mastery and deals with the differentiation between Dominion v. Domination. As well as offering insight on other topics. If you like Tolkien or old Tom, you should enjoy this book.
As a new LOTR fan and hearing some about Tom Bombadil, I was intrigued with this book as soon as it became available. Wiley does an incredible job drawing out the small, subtleties mentioned around Tom in LOTR and opening them up to a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about this mysterious character. I highly recommend this book.
English is my second language, and I became fluent as an adult, a good excuse not to have read Lord of the Ring yet, I supposed, but oh goodness, this made me want to! It is an absolutely enriching read. Highly recommend the only warning you’ll be returning or wanting to read for the first time the original books.
I hesitated to read this but am so glad I did. It was a thought-provoking exploration of an enigmatic character. Along with that, it had a surprising practical value with helpful application concerning our own dominion on the earth.
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