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The Rough Guide to The Lord of the Rings [Paperback]

Paul Simpson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Oct 2003
This guide to the "Lord of the Rings" provides an entertaining and informative insight into the books, the films and their creator, J.R.R. Tolkien. It serves as an introduction to those who have seen the films but fear the books are for "anoraks" and is of sufficient depth for devoted Tolkienites. It tracks the evolution of the "Lord of the Rings" phenomenon from Ronald Tolkien's upbringing and contemporaries such as C.S. Lewis to the revival of fantasy fiction, the obsessive fans and the trilogy's influence on figures from George Lucas to J.K. Rowling. There is also an in-depth look at the characters, a guide to Middle Earth and a rundown of the best film locations to visit, including practical details of how to get there and where best to stay.


Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides Ltd (30 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843532751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843532750
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 11.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 751,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Lord of the Rings fact book EVER!!!! 19 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is based around The Lord of Rings movies AND books. It contains reviews of each of the main characters including my favourites Merry and Pippin. It also contains information about the placecs in Middle Earth including Gondon, Rohan, Gondor and Hobbiton. It has all about the author of The Lord of The Rings, JJR Tolkien. This book contains loads of pictures of the films. I would buy this book for definite if I were you as it is better value for money than all the other Lord of The Rings books avaliable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roughly 24 July 2005
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
There's been a boom of "Lord of the Rings" reading in recent years, but there are still quite a few fans who haven't made it past Bree. For fans such as that, there's "The Rough Guide to Lord of the Rings," a little book full of "Lord of the Rings" facts, trivia, and basic outlines.

After a series of movie stills, this extensive little guide plunges into the biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, studies of his family, his friendship with C.S. Lewis and the origins of his writings. The editors give detailed descriptions of each of Tolkien's novels, and authors (Stephen King, Ursula Le Guin, J.K. Rowling) who have been influenced by Tolkien.

But they also break the rosy picture by including the comments about the books, ranging from obnoxious (Edward Wilson's blustering remarks about "juvenile balderdash") to adoring (W.H. Auden's "No fiction I have read in the last five years has given me more joy." I knew there was a reason I liked Auden).

Then the editors turn their attention to the late 1990s, when New Zealand director Peter Jackson began turning the wheels of a big-screen "Lord of the Rings" production. There's a study of Ralph Bakshi's disastrous cartoon, a biography of the director, movie legend Christopher Lee, and well-known trivia like how the cast got tattoos, or that Jackson got rugby fans to do Uruk-hai chants. Even a few tidbits of more obscure trivia come through, like Ian McKellen being begged by a fan not to let Gandalf wear "pointy boots."

But this isn't a movie guide: There are plenty of books that detail the movies. And so the editors switch tracks to include character bios, a humorous "travel guide" to Middle Earth, as well as one to New Zealand's "Rings" landmarks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great 16 Feb 2013
By Mathew
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this product is a great book and a very good book to have if you are interested in Lord Of The Rings. tells you a lot of interesting information, and as of its small size it is very useful to take travelling with you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A guide to the movie - NOT the book 6 Aug 2004
By David Bratman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an overlong publicity book for the Lord of the Rings films, full of detailed chatter about the films and their making, and about Tolkien collectibles. As such, it's not bad. As a guide to Tolkien's book, however, it's another matter. The opening chapters on Tolkien and his work are actually pretty well-written and accurate. But even they are loaded with movie photos; and a chapter on the characters mixes facts from the book and films indiscriminately. A geography-ethnography chapter approaches David Day levels of plonky erroneousness. Most offensive is page 102, a list of parts of the book deemed skippable, especially any poetry that might hold up the action. If you want action, see the movie. A guide to the book should be written by someone capable of appreciating it.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rough Guide to Lord off the Rings 26 Nov 2003
By Andrew Rutherford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I run Lord of the Rings Location Tours from Queenstown New Zealand,
so when I looked at the Movie location information in this book I found it sparse and inaccurate, as if the person who wrote it had never actually visited New Zealand. However the Book is somewhat redeemed by having alot of good information about Tolkien and other aspects of the Films.
As it says a 'Rough' Guide to the Lord of the Rings.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great all round trivia book for LOTR fans 10 Jun 2004
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I must admit I was apprehensive about buying this book sight unseen. So I went to my local Borders and boy am I glad I did. This well thought out guide tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the books, movies, memorabilia for sale, authors who have been inspired by Tolkien, even Tolkien himself. There is all kinds of LOTR trilogy trivia to make even the most grumpy dwarf smile. The front, back and inside covers are beautiful color photographs from the films. My only quibble is that even though the book is packed with photographs from the trilogy, they are all in black and white. I highly recommend this book to loyal LOTR fans everywhere.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tolkien/LotR Overview 20 Feb 2004
By Allison E Frame - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was a fun read. It had great perspective about the books and the movies and the politics and Tolkien's politics. It talks about the origins of the story, the books themselves, the movie triology, the characters, the context, the merchendise, the tourist possibilities, and much more. It also addresses the differences between the books and the movies, who said what or did what in which version and in some cases also addresses why those changes were made. The authors also have a dry sense of humor and it shows up in various places that make each comment from them a gem.
An easy read, I read a chapter a night right before bed. This book also had some very nice photographs and since it was printed on a real nice photo quality paper, they came out excellently.
The only bad thing about this book was that it was rushed and that lead to 2 problems for me. #1 Typos. Oh my. There were many especially in the earlier chapters. #2 in a rush to have this book out with the release (or near to it) of Return of the King, they had to address the 'maybe''s and the 'and then we'll see''s of the third movie. Maybe it's the completeist in me, but I would have MUCH rather they waited for the third movie to come out so that they could address it in the same manner they did the others.
A fun good book, I'd even buy a longer version of it, addressing all of the differences and bits of Tolkien and the myth and the stories and everything else that came from that was fascinating and I would love to see a fleshed out version of this pocket book into a full sized novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough and ready 24 July 2005
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There's been a boom of "Lord of the Rings" reading in recent years, but there are still quite a few fans who haven't made it past Bree. For fans such as that, there's "The Rough Guide to Lord of the Rings," a little book full of "Lord of the Rings" facts, trivia, and basic outlines.

After a series of movie stills, this extensive little guide plunges into the biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, studies of his family, his friendship with C.S. Lewis and the origins of his writings. The editors give detailed descriptions of each of Tolkien's novels, and authors (Stephen King, Ursula Le Guin, J.K. Rowling) who have been influenced by Tolkien.

But they also break the rosy picture by including the comments about the books, ranging from obnoxious (Edward Wilson's blustering remarks about "juvenile balderdash") to adoring (W.H. Auden's "No fiction I have read in the last five years has given me more joy." I knew there was a reason I liked Auden).

Then the editors turn their attention to the late 1990s, when New Zealand director Peter Jackson began turning the wheels of a big-screen "Lord of the Rings" production. There's a study of Ralph Bakshi's disastrous cartoon, a biography of the director, movie legend Christopher Lee, and well-known trivia like how the cast got tattoos, or that Jackson got rugby fans to do Uruk-hai chants. Even a few tidbits of more obscure trivia come through, like Ian McKellen being begged by a fan not to let Gandalf wear "pointy boots."

But this isn't a movie guide: There are plenty of books that detail the movies. And so the editors switch tracks to include character bios, a humorous "travel guide" to Middle Earth, as well as one to New Zealand's "Rings" landmarks. Finally, there's a mixed condemnation/ad for various Tolkien merchandise, and even a subchapter about the history of "Lord of the Rings" and rock music. Obviously there's Marc Bolan and Led Zeppelin, but also Marillion (originally "Silmarillion") and various mediocre metal bands. What IS it about metal bands and Tolkien?

Overall, this is a good little book, packed full of good information and useful trivia bits. There are some "dead" moments in this book, where it seems like filler sidenotes have been included. I mean, really, what is up with that essay on "Lord of the Rings" and old westerns? But fortunately, they tend to informative more often than not.

"The Rough Guide to the Lord of the Rings" is an excellent read for people who want to get a handle on the history and substance of the movies, the books, or both. Definitely a good read.
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