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The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies Paperback – October 10, 2003
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"...a great book...helps readers make sense of the creatures, language, geography and richly-detailed history of Middle earth..." (Shields Gazette, Dec 03)
"...a mine of information?a must-have for anyone interested in exploring the epic tales of the four ages of Middle earth..." (Dundee Evening Telegraph and Post, Dec 03)
From the Back Cover
Demystifies key players, their relationships, and their motivations
Understand the mythology, characters, and themes of Middle-earth
Dont know Gollum from Gandalf? This plain-English guide helps you make sense of the creatures, language, geography, and richly detailed history of the fascinating world of Middle-earth. From the Shire to Mount Doom, from the hobbits to the Ringwraiths, youll discover the varied sources and inspirations behind Tolkiens stories and comprehend the meanings that lie beneath the surface.
- The differences between the books and the movies
- The historical background of Middle-earth
- The origins of Tolkiens mythology in European folklore
- Middle-earths diverse languages
- Why the Elves were Tolkiens favorites
The Dummies Way
- Explanations in plain English
- "Get in, get out" information
- Icons and other navigational aids
- Tear-out cheat sheet
- Top ten lists
- A dash of humor and fun
Top customer reviews
Exploring the main themes in Tolkien's works, including immortality and death; the heroic quest; love; fate and free will; and faith and redemption Investigating the diverse lands of Middle-earth - including the Shire, Gondor, and Mordor - and their significance
Examining the different cultures of Middle-earth, such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, and those wily Wizards Touring the history of Middle-earth Understanding Tolkien's creation of new languages to enrich the story of Middle-earth Top Ten lists on the battles in the War of the Ring, online resources, and the ways the films differ from the novels
So, whether you're reading Tolkien's novels or watching the films for the first time, or you've been a fan for many years and are looking for a new take on Tolkien's works, The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies can help you enhance your reading or viewing experience for years to come.
An enjoyable read that gives one a new appreciation to the meticulous thought JRR Tolkien put into his creations and what we the reader see in his books and films.
When I came across the Kindle book, I read the sample and reviews. While some feel the author made a few errors, based on the large amount of material and interpretations, I feel he did a good job. It was money well spent and an enjoyable read. In fact, I devoured it all today. The comparison between book and movie was valuable as was the backstory.
Unless you are an expert all ready with these books, I recommend this book. I certainly learned a lot and think you will, too. My only problem now is what should I read next to prepare for the Hobbit movie two this Christmas?
THERE ARE ERRORS IN THIS BOOK. Just one example, to keep this review short: Harvey says on page 92 that the name "Aragorn" means "Lord of the Trees" when Tolkien's letter #347 says specifically that it does NOT. (Similarly, on Harvey's website, he also says that the sword "Narsil" means "Red Flame," when in the same letter Tolkien says that while "nar" is fire, the "sil" refers to a white light). When I find a very obvious error like this, I worry about how many more there might be and indeed there are other mistakes as well.
I feel sad about this criticism, because Harvey is such an open, generous writer, completely respecting Tolkien's Catholic faith (and any reader of the whole corpus, including the Silmarillion, letters, etc. will see how deeply Catholic the work itself is) while not holding it himself - very refreshing.
So three stars for being an awesome resource for beginners, but for those care deeply about Tolkien and are looking for accuracy, readers need to know that they need to double-check the facts before taking anything Harvey says as "gospel."
Tolkien developed his Middle Earth countries. (I haven't finished the book yet.)
As all the books in the "for Dummies" series, the text is well organized with titles and subtitles.
The map of Middle Earth does not give enough detail of Middle Earth.
Additionally, a character analysis would be desirable.
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