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Tolkien's World from A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth Paperback – December 4, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ever wonder what the difference between the Maiar and the Istari? Want to know a brief history of Morgoth, the original poison in Middle Earth? This is the book for you. I had to work VERY hard to find any obscure term not included in this book. Not only is this book complete but it is cross-referenced and multiple terms are listed. For instance both Melkor and Morgoth are listed separately so you will find him regardless of which name you look him up under.
What a wonderful piece of work. This book has furthered my reading enjoyment of the Lord of the Rings and opened the Silmarillion to me in a entirely new light. A definite A+ recommendation.
Unlike some early Tolkien indexers, Foster usually refrains from mixing his opinions with the facts he is reporting. His occasional guesses and interpretations may be wrong but given the information available when the book was written they are solid and well-considered. Many more recent books have contained unforgivably egregious errors because those later authors had access to material Foster didn't.
The sources that Foster covers include some of Tolkien's private correspondence, and the research has been vindicated by Humphrey Carpenter's Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Foster's other sources include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Pauline Baynes' 1969 map of Middle-earth (on which she was advised by Tolkien himself), and the first edition of The Road Goes Ever On.
The most impressive section, however, is Foster's attempt to devise a chronology of the First Age. Such a chronology could be achieved with any hope of accuracy only after Christopher Tolkien published The War of the Jewels in 1994, 16 years after Foster published the Complete Guide. Foster's guesswork was off by no more than a few years. I still glance through his chronology for a quick reference when I just need to be reminded of critical dates.
My only regret is that this book was never updated, although I heard a rumor that HarperCollins was looking for someone to revise it. It would be good to see a much fuller guide published, but only if Foster's impeccable standard was adhered to.
When I need to know some fact about Middle-earth and don't feel like hauling out the appropriate book, I turn to Foster's Guide -- you should, too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is nothing wrong with the "quality" of the book itself. There were really high reviews of this book, which is why I decided to purchase it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stacey S.
A great companion book to have as a reference tool when reading any of Tolkein's books.Published 3 months ago by Scuba
My thirteen-year-old daughter has become a solid Tolkien fan, and picked up this book for further study. Read morePublished 4 months ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
It is what it is, a guide/encyclopedia reference to the series.
If you are totally into Middle-Earth and don't already own it, this should make a fine addition to your... Read more
great purchase. All transactions should be like this.....