The Lost Road

Well, I had to special order Tolkien’s 5th volume of notes on Middle Earth via library loan. I was intrigued by a story titled “The Lost Road” that it contained. Allegedly, this was some sort of time-travel tale involving a couple of blokes from present-day England traveling back to the time of the elves, before the fall of Morgoth. I was hoping it might connect some of the geography in Middle Earth to present day England, France, etc.

Alas, J.R.R. only completed the first few chapters and sketches of a couple more. The main character begins to have dreams of an ocean covering a city and words in a strange tongue come to his mind. Eventually, he meets an angel of sorts in a dream who offers to take him and his father back in time to learn what happened. The whole thing is just a light vehicle for Tolkien to have characters monologue at length about his mythology. Sorry fans. I absolutely loved LOTR and the Hobbit, but have never been able to drum up more than a passing interest in the world itself.

The protagonist is obviously a picture of himself: A young college student who likes to invent languages. Also, the dreams of Numenor are discussed in his biography as a recurring vision that troubled his own youth.

I’m not sure what I was expecting. A fish out of water story? Alas. Unless you are a Tolkien myth aficionado, you need not bother with this one.