Is J. R. R. Tolkien actually one of the greatest writers of all time?

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JohnBrief

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Poll Is J. R. R. Tolkien actually one of the greatest writers of all time? (47 votes)

Yes 87%
No 13%

Ignoring influence/legacy and solely looking at the quality of Tolkien's work on it's own merits, is he actually deserving to be ranked up there with the likes of Alighieri, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Hugo, Melville, Dostoevsky, etc?

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Necromancer76

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His world-building is nigh-unmatched.

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Ghostodoofus2

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@necromancer76: It's true. The Marvel, DC and Star Wars universes may all be bigger but they are all the collective work of numerous talents, Tolkien's universe is developed entirely by himself.

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the_wspanialy

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Yes

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Army2442

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While I don't find his work appealing to read myself, I would definitely say he is one of the best.

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Zafros13

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#5  Edited By Zafros13

I don't remember the books super well. A criticism I would have though is that his plots are kind of overly basic for the best writer ever.

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batstroke2000

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#6  Edited By batstroke2000
@zafros13 said:

I don't remember the books super well. A criticism I would have though is that his plots are kind of overly basic for the best writer ever.

They might be basic as of today, but they weren't back then. Every single piece of speculative fiction written today in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Superhero realm owes gratitude to Tolkien's work.

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JohnBrief

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Army2442

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I mean that I would give him a ten, there are college courses on his work for Pete's sake. Just because it isn't my cup of tea doesn't mean I can't give praise where it is due. I can't say how well he compares to other writers since these days all I read is about religion/philosophy/logic and metaphysics.

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RajjarsAlt

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#9  Edited By RajjarsAlt

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

FAR OVER THE MISTY MOUNTAINS COLD

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deactivated-6389467105521

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Tolkien is one of the greatest in all of literature, not just the fantasy genre.

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death4bunnies

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#11 death4bunnies  Moderator

@johnbrief:

Writers? No, his writing while great isn’t top tier compared to even some you named.

Lore building? That’s where he shined as one of the very best, from creating languages, to deep backgrounds on even seemingly insignificant characters and objects and places.

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IRONandFIRE

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Shakespeare might be one of the most overrated writers of all time.

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batstroke2000

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#13  Edited By batstroke2000
@ironandfire said:

Shakespeare might be one of the most overrated writers of all time.

Are you 9?

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IRONandFIRE

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batstroke2000

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Believe me, if I was 9 I wouldn't be asking you that question. Unlike you, I can crave the classics like Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet etc. and can find meaning deeper in those than anything by Zack "The Hack" Snyder.

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IRONandFIRE

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@batstroke2000: Who made a comparison to zack snyder and who in their right mind would ever consider movie writers to be actual writers? I can still believe Shakespeare to be good and overrated, they aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Dryke

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Yes.

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incursion2

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Hands down yes

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El_mago

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makes top 10 so yes

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geekryan

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His world-building is nigh-unmatched.

Agreed. Fantastic story-telling.

His actual writing, however, is not good enough to be on par with the greats.

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infinitehope

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RajjarsAlt

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@batstroke2000: Who made a comparison to zack snyder and who in their right mind would ever consider movie writers to be actual writers? I can still believe Shakespeare to be good and overrated, they aren’t mutually exclusive.

Snyder's sons!

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IRONandFIRE

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@rajjarsalt: Are you worse or better looking than the troll in Ernest scared stupid?

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just_sayin

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Tolkien will be discussed centuries from now.

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the_magister

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#25  Edited By the_magister  Moderator

He's definitely one of the most influential in this day and age

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TaurusAldebaran

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@johnbrief: You're asking to much of a geek themed forun.

I barely have read any of these guys works.

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BigBaby

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No, he only has good world-building and that's about it. When reading his books you lose focus so fast because he's descriptive of every tiny detail; a bad writer if I ever saw one.

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krisbishop

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#28  Edited By krisbishop  Moderator  Online

Definitely. He pretty much reinvented an entire genre.

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cdiddyman911

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Yes. He's not THE best, but he is one of the greatest to ever do it.