The Fall of Arthur

The Fall of Arthur - J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien This book is only really of interest to the hardiest Tolkien fans or to the student of Old English alliterative poetry. Tolkien attempts to write in (somewhat archaic) Modern English poetry that is equivalent in style to the alliterative poets of the Anglo-Saxon period. If the book only consisted of the poem and if the poem were completed, I would have given it 4 stars. However, the poem is far from completed and so makes for a jolting read, particularly at the end. Most of the book actually consists of essays by Christopher Tolkien. The first is about the Arthurian tradition in early literature, which is interesting even though it is somewhat dry and heavily interspersed with Middle English verse. The last essays involve Tolkien's poetry itself, especially how Christopher chose which draft to choose. I have to confess I did not read the last 20 or so pages of this.