What happened next was a big surprise - and this had not happened for a very long time - I was unable to put this book down and had to read until the end (despite of the fact that I should have been sleeping and that I had to work the next day). And now I know… it is not only possible to visit J.R.R. Tolkien, talk to C.S. Lewis and go to an Inklings meeting but you can also smell, feel and taste the atmosphere of Oxford in the 40’s. Now I believe that no movie would have been able to re-create the world I walked into and once again well written words triggered my imagination better then any moving image could. I can only say, thank you David C. Downing…
In Looking for the King we follow the American Tom McCord, a 23-year-old aspiring doctoral candidate, who is doing research on King Arthur and hopes to discover some historical evidence for the legendary king. Right in the beginning of the book he meets a girl called Laura Hartman, a fellow American staying in Oxford, who has been having mysterious dreams and visions that relate to the subject of research of Tom and so he hires her as his assistant. Aided by the Inklings they set out on a treasure hunt and leads in the end to much more then Tom and Laura were initially looking for.
In this amazing novel we follow Tom McCord on a visit to Tolkien’s house, to a course of Charles Williams, to a meeting with the inklings, a walk with C.S Lewis along the Thames (probably one of the most moving scenes in the book), a visit to numerous sites all across England, a treasure hunt for the Spear of Destiny, the search for the sleeping king in Laura’s dreams, the quest for faith and love. All this comes together in a very well written book that must be read by any person who likes J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams or a extremely good book!
To end my review of this book I just want to say that is one of the best books I have read in a very long time and I would give it a 5 star rating on Amazon and no I would advise anyone to read it. Wow... it was a long long time ago that I read a book that was so amazing that I could not put it down and that means something! To write this book the author David C. Downing must have done a lot of research and must be a brilliant academic (all quotes and references are added at the end of the book, which is a very good extra for those who want to learn more about the Inklings); but on the other hand he must have an amazing amount of fantasy and imagination to be able to make all these famous persons like Lewis and Tolkien come to live and see the countryside and buildings as they were 70 years ago; and next to that he is a remarkable writer who is able to describe it all so well: charachters, feelings & emotions and places. It all comes together in this wonderful book. The only sad thing was that the story ended after only 266 pages!
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