Tolkien is clever and pretty funny. Some parts of this had me laughing out loud.
However, there's one thing about this book that bothered me: the sentences. Jeez. Some of them were about a mile long, with no commas, punctuation, or anything, so the sentences sometimes didn't make sense. If you can look past this older style of writing, though, you're in for a good read.
I think his character development is pretty good. Plus, he makes some very interesting points. Overall, I like this book a lot.