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J.R.R. Tolkien: A Beginner's Guide Paperback – March 1, 2003

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-This book offers a great deal of information about Tolkien's life, thoughts, and writings. Sidebars explain literary terms that may be unfamiliar to students. Summary boxes at the end of each chapter highlight the main ideas presented. The writer's work is thoroughly discussed and assessed, including his groundbreaking essay on Beowulf and his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. As a writer of fantasy, Tolkien has come into a fair share of negative criticism and Blake is candid about it. This book should appeal to serious young adults looking for more information on the writer for English assignments.
Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“This accessible introduction offers concise information about the author's life and writings as well as critique.” -- Curriculum Connections

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Product Details

  • Series: A Beginner's Guide
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340857978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340857977
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,007,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David Bratman on August 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Very short and one of the better beginner's guides to Tolkien around, though that doesn't make it very good. It's written in such an elementary and stiff manner that one wonders if the beginner of the title is the author. The organization is good, and the plot summaries are not over-detailed. But though the prose is competent, it's horribly dull, and slides clumsily over Tolkien's themes. A full chapter details arguments against Tolkien without allowing a real defense of his principles. Bullet-point summaries, and definitions of a few tough words (like "philology" and "feudalism") are provided.
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