Nine critics and scholars give various interpretive evaluations of the classic fantasy trilogy. Bloom honestly admits that he didn't enjoy the books, but many of the writers whose work is excerpted here do not share his views. Each author evaluates the Tolkien novels using different criteria, some discussing their appeal, some their literary merit. Each essay is well defined and laboriously researched, and each opinion is defended within its context. The credentials of the authors are available for perusal. The book is a useful tool for students needing to examine the themes and context of Tolkien's work.