Then find this on my tumblr dash:
-I love that Tolkien took a paragraph aside in Bree, after all the horses were run off, just to let us know that A) Merry’s ponies were going to be fine and B) Mr. Butterbur would not, in the long run, suffer financially by the incident. He understood what was really important.
-One of the recurring themes in Tolkien’s works is that the world belongs to the baker down the street as much as it does to the Lord of the Golden Hall. In almost every city we visit, Tolkien talks about shops and living arrangements and where people work and how they get their food.
Helprin doesn't really care about the commoners and likes to slaughter them en masse without pity or comment. As with Pullman, the essential man will come through the verbiage, and the essential man is not likable.