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The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion Hardcover – Special Edition, 19 Jun 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 976 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 60th Anniversary edition edition (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000755690X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007556908
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 3.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘Masterpiece? Oh yes, I’ve no doubt about that.’
Evening Standard

‘Among the greatest works of imaginative fiction of the 20th century.’
Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Wayne G. Hammond is Assistant Librarian in the Chapin Library of Rare Books, Williams College, and the author of standard bibliographies of J.R.R. Tolkien and Arthur Ransome. His wife, Christina Scull, is the former Librarian of Sir John Soane's Museum, London, and editor of the occasional magazine The Tolkien Collector. Together they have written J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator, compiled the new index to Tolkien's published Letters, and edited Tolkien's Roverandom, Farmer Giles of Ham, and the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings. They are currently completing their long-awaited J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide for HarperCollins.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wealth of background information, plus explanatory notes chapter-by-chapter and appendix-by-appendix. Includes Tolkien's own summary of _The Lord of the Rings_ (not published elsewhere except in a French translation). Invaluable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great little reference book for people who want to gain ... 31 July 2015
By A K Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great little reference book for people who want to gain a greater and deeper understanding of the The Lord of the Rings. If there where an annotated version of the Lord of the Rings this would be the annotations. Highly recommended and full of interesting info:)
4.0 out of 5 stars A Deeper Look into the Tolkein's Masterpiece. 13 April 2017
By W. Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This offers a first deep dive experience into the world of Lord of Rings beyond the story itself. Based on extensive analysis of source materials it shows the evolution of the story, including notes from Tolkein where aspects of the timeline are trued up, inconsistencies, typographical mistakes, origins of names and concepts, and much much more. It's best kept by your side while you read, and a quick skim will bring up interesting info at the level you desire.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the rings readers companion - paperback - video review 4 July 2010
By Joseph Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Lord of the Rings - A Readers Companion - 2008 revised - paperback

I remember when I was at college, struggling to read Ulysses by James Joyce. I had a book of annotations to my side and was struggling to understand chapter 3 of Stephen Dedalus's adventures on the Sandymount Strand in Eire

This book is rather like that book, but I think its more of a joy to read. Although this book is not for a person who has never read the Story (it will probably give away the ending for a start!) I think its pretty worthwhile for a person whos read the "trilogy" (of SIX Books! in three Volumes!) more than once

If you've read Lord I think you'll really enjoy this. Its engrossing, and (to be honest) too much in depth (I don't really care to know what words mean in Elvish!)

So this book works well but you don't have to read EVERY bit, like the Ulysses Gifford guide. Tolkien was in love with words being a philogist, names of places and people had to mean something. His pose in the work was as a translator of the work into Westron, the Common Tongue, so you get (for example) Samwises real name in the original text as Banizir

So I can think the attention to detail can get overwhelming (what Samwises name is in Sindarin, etc).

So I do think its a great book, but it can get overwhelming. Tolkien created a history for the work, and as great a book as this is (its the best book I've read on Tolkien, up there with Lord of the Rings actually) it might be best if you just take it in small doses. Listen to the Lord of the Rings on audio cassette and read along with this book for to start.

Again, it helps if you're intimate with the Lord of the Rings. Its not unusual for people to read Lord every year (like me). If you have read it a few times, I think you will really enjoy this book, as its an intelligent, in depth study of the work, page by page

I mean, its 900 pages of annotations, and it has a nice "dip in" quality, and it is an absorbing read

Just make sure you've read the Lord of the Rings a few times first though, otherwise you might end up throwing the Companion aside in frustration, just because of the minute attention to detail.

See, Tolkien worked out phases of the moon, dates, and so forth; after Books 1 & 2 (which comprise The Fellowship of the Ring) it becomes convoluted, with Book 3 (Two Towers is comprised of Books 3 & 4 - 4 dealing solely with Frodo and Sam's mission to Mordor) starting off with Aragorn speeding up the hill of Amon Hen (on February 26) and ending with Pippin riding with Gandalf to Minas Tirith the night of March 5/6 - with different characters intercepted at different times throughout that particular Book. By contrast, Book 4 (picking up Frodo and Sam) starts in median res at February 28 and ends with the capture of Frodo by old Sauron on late March 13th, a full week later than the end of Book 3. So in few, the time periods to each book are not always concurrent - that is, starting at the same time and ending at the same time

So to keep track of moon phases, dates, meanings of words in one huge tome is quite something. Clearly the Lord of the Rings is (in Tolkien's phrase)a matter that "got out of hand" rather quickly. Original drafts of early chapters of the first book had the Black Rider hunting for the Shire hobbits originally being Gandalf, comically surprising them while leaving Hobbiton - in the comic vein of the earlier book The Hobbit, to which Lord was a sequel; this incident became much darker with Gandalf turning to a Black Rider STALKING the hobbits before they even left the Shire!

This book keeps track of events, words (lot of archaic words need to be defined - and not everyone knows that a league is 3 miles!)

As brilliant a book this is (I've read it once thus far, all the way through) I do have to wonder who its for... As I've said, you can't just pick up this book if you're not really familiar with the Story as you'll get rather cross and fling it aside because you'll be confused about references to Westernesse (aka Numenor) and so forth. (Westernesse is the land lost by betrayal by Sauron at the close of the Second Age when the king took up arms against the Valar in the West.)

I think it would also help if you had a passing familiarity with The Silmarillion, even if just reading about it in the excellent Tolkien for Dummies book, which touches on the Ages previous to the events of the War of the Ring (at the close of the 3rd age)

I think reading the Silmarillion might be too much for some people (I found it tedious and not as engrossing as the Lord of the Rings) so perhaps finding a synopsis would be best. I do think it would help that you read the Lord of the Rings a least a few times before picking up this work (this IS a review of the Readers Companion); it really helps if you know the Lord well, to sum up. Otherwise this work might be too frustrating a read, and you won't know the world
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addendum 4 May 2017
By Mark M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great for those interested in all of the nitty gritty of the LOR's stories.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings - a readers companion (2015) 5 May 2015
By Joseph Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lord of the Rings - a readers companion (2015) - hardcover - 894 pages

This is the same as the earlier I believe (it might have ammendations - I'll have to see Wayne Hammond's pag eAddenda and Corrigenda page on the earlier Companion)

Asides from an added paragraph in the Preface it seems the same read. The pages are thinner, and the odd printing mistake from the earlier tome is changed (The Passing of the Grey Company isn't bunched together without spaces)

Heres my original review:

I remember when I was at college, struggling to read Ulysses by James Joyce. I had a book of annotations to my side and was struggling to understand chapter 3 of Stephen Dedalus's adventures on the Sandymount Strand in Eire

This book is rather like that book, but I think its more of a joy to read. Although this book is not for a person who has never read the Story (it will probably give away the ending for a start!) I think its pretty worthwhile for a person whos read the "trilogy" (of SIX Books! in three Volumes!) more than once

If you've read Lord I think you'll really enjoy this. Its engrossing, and (to be honest) too much in depth (I don't really care to know what words mean in Elvish!)

So this book works well but you don't have to read EVERY bit. Tolkien was in love with words, names of places and people had to mean something. His pose was as a translator of the work into Westron, the Common Tongue, so you get (for example) Samwises real name in the original text as Banizir

So I can think the attention to detail can get overwhelming (what Samwises name is in Sindarin, etc).

I think its a great book, but it can get overwhelming. Tolkien created a history for the work, and as great a book as this is (its the best book I've read on Tolkien, up there with Lord of the Rings actually) it might be best if you just take it in small doses. Listen to the Lord of the Rings on audio cassette and read along with this book

Again, it helps if you're intimate with the Lord of the Rings. Its not unusual for people to read Lord every year. If you have read it a few times, I think you will really enjoy this book, as its an intelligent, in depth study of the work

I mean, its 900 pages of annotations, and it has a nice "dip in" quality, and it is an absorbing read

Just make sure you've read the Lord of the Rings a few times first though, otherwise you might end up throwing the Companion aside in frustration, just because of the attention to detail

See, Tolkien worked out phases of the moon, dates, and so forth; after Books 1 & 2 (which comprise The Fellowship of the Ring) it becomes convoluted, with Book 3 starting off with Aragorn speeding up the hill of Amon Hen (on February 26) and ending with Pippin riding with Gandalf to Minas Tirith the night of March 5/6 - with different characters at different times throughout that particular Book. By contrast Book 4 (with Frodo and Sam's Mission to Mordor) starts in median res (in the middle of things) at February 28 and ends with the capture of Frodo by old Sauron on late March 13th, a full week later than the end of Book 3 (so the time periods to each book are not always concurrent - that is, starting at the same time and ending at the same)

So to keep track of moon phases, dates, meanings of words in one huge tome is quite something. Clearly the Lord of the Rings is a matter that got out of hand rather quickly (original drafts of early chapters of Book 1 had the Black Rider originally being Gandalf, comically surprising the hobbits in the Shire - in the comic vein of the earlier book The Hobbit, to which Lord was a sequel; this incident became much darker with Gandalf turning to a Black Rider STALKING the hobbits before they even left the Shire!)

This book keeps track of events, words (lot of archaic words need to be defined - and not everyone knows that a league is 3 miles!)

As brilliant a book this is (I've read it once thus far, all the way through) I do have to wonder who its for... As I've said, you can't just pick up this book if you're not really familiar with the Story as you'll get rather cross and fling it aside because you'll be confused about references to Westernesse (aka Numenor) and so forth

But I think it would help if you had a familiarity with The Silmarillion, even if just reading about it in the excellent Tolkien for Dummies book

I think reading the Silmarillion might be too much for some people (I found it tedious and not as engrossing as the Lord of the Rings). I do think it would help that you read the Lord of the Rings a least a few times before picking up this work, because it really helps if you know the Lord well. Otherwise this work might be too frustrating a read, and you won't know the world

Price: 30 pounds
Pages: 894
Published: 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers, printed & bound Italy by Lego SpA
ISBN 978 0 00 755690 8
UK import
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