Billy Connolly, the actor who will play the dwarf Dáin Ironfoot in Peter Jackson's forthcoming "The Hobbit" films, has a surprising opinion on the book the movies are based on: he finds it unreadable.
"I could never read Tolkien. I always found him unreadable," the actor told New York magazine's Vulture.com. "I didn't read [the books], and I normally don't like people who have! The people who love it, they're kind of scary. They talk all this gobbledygook and they think of it as the Holy Grail."
Other actors who have starred in Jackson's Tolkien adaptations have praised the author. Ian McKellen admires the, "innate humanity of Tolkien's imagination, which is at the heart of his storytelling and explains his enduring popularity."
But it goes without saying that every literary great has their critics. George R.R. Martin has professed his admiration for Tolkien, but has said that the author "cheated" by not killing Gandalf and Frodo.
Much harsher critics have denounced the work from the time of its publication until present day. In 1956, a year after the novels were published in England, a prominent British writer deemed the "The Lord of the Rings," "juvenile trash." In 2002, "The Guardian"'s John Yatt called the trilogy, "a fake, a forgery, a dodgy copy."
What do you think of Tolkien's writing? Is his praise well-deserved, or is he overrated? Let us know in the comments!