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From the Publisher
"Porter examines the intricacies of modern human expectations for heroes and myths, and how those complex emotions influence what we read under the covers with a flashlight as opposed to what we see from the unlikely heroes, the minor characters who catch our attention and earn our admiration because they embody some aspect of heroism, such as the character of Merry as the knowledgeable hero, Pippen as the youthful, impulsive hero, Eowyn as the action hero, and so on, and how we seek out those characters who embody what we sense we have, or lack, in ourselves."
Reference & Research Book News
"[P]orter's style is clear and engaging. Large undergraduate and general collections."
"[S]hows a good grasp of available criticism in both academic and popular publications….The best feature of this book, I think is that, contra the lamentably common view that Tolkien relied primarily on types for his characterization, Porter shows how well he thought out their individual personalities."