Being a life-long Tolkien fan, I'm well aware about the controversies surrounding his works. There is enough material online for those interested which will discuss (sometimes) at length whether there is occult in his books and whether they are good for Christians to read. While I really like The Hobbit, and most of the LOTR, I have always felt uncomfortable about Silmarillion and never could finish it, aside from a short humorous retelling of that story.
In fact, last time I tried to read it when I was in my mid-twenties, I started getting vivid nightmares and was forced to quit. It's rather a depressing reading overall, so I don't think I really missed much. Tolkien was really obsessed with Elves. In fact, personally I think his Hobbit is the best of his books because one sees so little of them and they don't come across as particularly great. Lord of the Rings has Legolas in it which is OK, but then it also has Galadriel whom I always have found rather irritating.
One can attribute it to female jealousy, perhaps, but I have the same general feeling about all the passages which deal with general greatness of Noldor. (And why do they worship Manwe's wife instead of Manwe himself? Sounds rather matriarchal to me). Anyway, if you have read Simarillion or have a general idea what it is about, Noldor don't come across as particularly great, noble or enlightened though the author keeps telling us they are.
It's interesting that though Catholics nowadays find it expedient to claim J. Tolkien as one of their own, when he first tried to publish his stories about Valinor in a Catholic magazine in the 1930s, they were apparently rejected under the guise of being "too heathen". Of course, it was before Vatican II and "anything goes" attitude. Anyway, I'm not particularly troubled by the elements of heathen mythology in his books, otherwise we as Christians wouldn't be able to read the original myths, either, and even when I was a kid I was able to distinguish fairy tales from real life.
Still, I find some aspects of Silmarillion troubling. Recently I listened to a radio program about Gnosticism and its dangers and it dawned upon me. Was J. Tolkien a Gnostic? Here is an interesting discussion which I found and yes, some (Internet) Gnostics claim him as one of their own (as do the Neo-Pagans, by the way).
If you have any thoughts on the topic, feel free to share in the comments! Different opinions are appreciated.