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The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: Tolkien's World from A to Z Hardcover – September 30, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
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From the Inside Flap
For the millions who have already ventured to Middle-earth, and for the countless others who have yet to embark on the journey?here is the one indispensable A-to-Z guide that brings Tolkien?s universe to life.
From Adaldrida Brandybuck to Zaragamba?every Hobbit, Elf, Dwarf, Man, Orc, or other resident of Middle-earth is vividly described and accurately located in proper place and time.
Colorfully detailed descriptions of geographical entries allow you to pick up the action anywhere in Middle-earth and follow it through all five volumes.
From stars and streams to food and flora, everything found in Middle-earth is alphabetically listed and, when necessary, cross-referenced.
HERE IS TRULY A MASTER KEY
TO TOLKIEN?S MIDDLE-EARTH
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. He is, however, beloved throughout the world as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He died on September 2, 1973, at the age of 81.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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If you are totally into Middle-Earth and don't already own it, this should make a fine addition to your collection.
I purchased it to "hopefully" help my middle school kid better understand and relate to this classic series as all he knows of them at this point are the movie versions. Not knocking the movies as they are all great entertainment and worth the watch but like all movies, great as they are, they are not the fully-fleshed-out literary works that I feel should be part of everyone's pleasure reading and literary education.
I heartily concur. Having read the Pentalogue (Silmarillion-Hobbit-Lord of the Rings) twice, and this book clears up many of the obscure people, places, and events. Sometimes I have found the indices in "The Return of the King" to be wanting, or have wanted to have more of a dictionary- or cyclopedia-type entry. This book meets this need.
(In plain English, if you have a term paper to write, then get this book and save your grade.)
In fact, this book has no equals, and only two rivals: Tolkien's own indices, and Peter Kreeft's philosophical concordance found in "The Philosophy of Tolkien." (ISBN: 1586170252).
I have only two critiques. The first problem is that we have too many editions of Tolkien. We have no "Standard Text" with a universal pagination. This is really a problem that only the estate of JRR can solve. To his credit, Foster has a conversion formula on page 569, which is on some help. However, I still find myself flipping pages with my newer film tie-in editions.
Secondly, I would have like to have an enlarged edition of this book. I would keep the entries, but also expand them. Entries would include literary aspects of the characters, Christian symbolism of the characters, and also "behind the scenes" information form the 12 Lost Tales books and Tolkien's letters. (Such as the comments on Tom Bombadil. ) A model for this book is the Star Wars Databank web-page. This may require a multi-volume encyclopedia. So be it--Tolkien is worth it.
Until this big book get compiled, we can count upon Foster's book to do the job that we need it to do, and this is to enliven Tolkien's masterwork.