Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien Hardcover – 1 Oct 1972
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"A splendid commentary, which will delight and fascinate all admirers of Tolkien" (Sunday Telegraph)
"The book impels the reader to return and re-read Tolkien with a new insight" (Library Journal)
"A winner. The book impels the reader to return and re-read Tolkien with a new insight." (Library Journal)
"A valuable guide to the enjoyment of the eminent British author's writings." (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'A splendid commentary, which will only delight and fascinate admirers of Tolkien.' Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The writer begins by discussing how Middle Earth works as an imaginary world. Drawing on Tolkiens' own lectures and essays, he expands on Tolkiens'view that there must be an internal consistency in the secondary world of fantasy that mirrors that of our primary reality. In this way, the fantasy world becomes three-dimensional, living and breathing, and the fantastic creatures and happenings become enchanting, not just ridiculous. That Tolkien took such efforts to a remarkable degree with Middle Earths' history, politics and language the writer goes on to explore.
He then goes on to explore 'The Hobbit,' how this works less as a prologue (because it is written on a completely different level, for children) but more as a unique, stand alone work. He explores the differences and similarities between the worlds of the two books, and underlines some of the storys' quite adult themes and situations.
The writer then turns to the philosophy and moral world of The Lord of the Rings, and what kind of theology lies in the background. Though Tolkien avoids sharp parallels and explicit language echoes to the Christian faith, our attention is drawn to important similarities, such as the importance of free-will. That life is a gift that needs to be given back is set against the drive towards possessiveness and ownership the ring engenders, and the evil it stands for.Read more ›
If you know "Lord of the Rings", then you need this to supplement your appreciation of the masterpiece. A real must.
The text is very light and well-structured, and it surely is interesting, even if you know Tolkien's works by heart - actually the better you know the original texts the more fun it is to follow these comments and analysis.
NB! I know it's a paperback edition, but I can't help being a bit disappointed with the quality of this rough yellowish paper, especially as the font looks a little too delicate for this texture, and the thinner parts of the letters seem to flicker, which is a bit stressful for my eyes. My previous experience with paperback books has been more pleasant.
Insight into the history and nature of each race of peoples (and how they interact and impact on one another) adds a new dimension to LOR: I found to the point I bonded better with some of the key characters.
I wouldn't recommend this for advanced students of Tolkien's work - partly as it will probably be old news to them and partly as it is quite basic.
For those starting out on the journey into Middle-earth, this should prove a very useful guide indeed.