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Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien Hardcover – 1 Oct 1972

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co; 3rd Printing edition (Oct. 1972)
  • ISBN-10: 0395177014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395177013
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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.

Book Description

'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.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Adam VINE VOICE on 24 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book works as both literary criticism and as an enthusiastic guide to the worlds Tolkien created. The writer has been infected by Tolkiens' love of imagination, story and fantasy, and wants to communicate this to us. He sees Tolkiens' works as having a spiritual importance, their fantasy worlds framing and enlightening ours, giving a language to things that we may occasionally glimpse.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A masterly critical study; perceptive criticism written in a light readable style. It is almost bed-time reading where you might expect heavy going.
If you know "Lord of the Rings", then you need this to supplement your appreciation of the masterpiece. A real must.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My opinion is that the book is a must for Tolkien researchers and a wonderful present for Tolkien fans/lovers.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The previous reviewer captured the essence of this book so well that I can't add much. I can say this book was very enlightening and most enjoyable. I am no learned Tolkien student, but have become so interested in his work with Middle-earth that I have begun to study this fascinating and magical place. As such, I found this book a great starting point for gaining a better understanding of the peoples of Middle-earth in particular.

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.
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