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Rediscover "The Hobbit" in annotated and illustrated detail,
This review is from: The Annotated Hobbit (Hardcover)
I was invited to do a public radio talk show about what books to buy for the holiday season and I decided to play the Ghost of Christmas Past and argued for finding old beloved books to give as presents (or, in my case cards: I give books instead of cards). I also talked about the joy of rediscovering beloved books through annotated editions, and "The Annotated Hobbit" of J. R. R. Tolkien annotated by Douglas A. Anderson was my prime example. After all, "The Two Towers" was about to hit theaters and even as I write this I have learned that yesterday would have been Tolkien's "Eleventeenth" birthday.
An annotated version of book involves much more than simply rereading a book. If that was all I want to do I still have my illustrated edition of "The Hobbit" will pictures from the Arthur Rankin, Jr./Jules Bass animated production of the story. The annotated edition of "The Hobbit" provides an explication of the sources, characters, places, and things that made Tolkien's novel a classic. The text is fully restored and corrected, for those who care about such things, with Anderson's notes placed alongside for easy reference. That along would justify adding this volume to your Tolkien library, but in addition there over 150 illustrations, including Tolkien's own original line drawings, maps, and color paintings. Those, of course, are treasures, but Anderson has also provided illustrations from around the world and the most fascinating part of this book for me was looking at how, for example, Bilbo and the Trolls were drawn for Portuguese, Slovakian, and Swedish edition of "The Hobbit."
"The Annotated Hobbit" won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inkling Studies, which sounds very impressive (and I even have some inkling at the what it means). This is one of those treasures where you would give five stars for the story, five stars for the annotations, and five stars for the illustrations. Granted, this is not the first edition of "The Hobbit" anyone should read. But after you have read "The Hobbit" a few times and gone through "The Lord of the Rings" at least twice (the trilogy itself and not the movies), then it would be time to settle down and pour over this revised and expanded annotated edition.