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The Rise of Tolkienian Fantasy Paperback – 1 Oct 2004

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About the Author

Jared C. Lobdell Contributor residences (city, state or country if outside the US or Canada): Writer and editor Jared Lobdell lives in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, where he teaches at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and is Weekend College Coordinator with Harrisburg Area Community College. He edited A Tolkien Compass (1975; new edition 2003) and The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams (2003). He is the author of The World of the Rings (2004), a revised edition of his England and Always: Tolkien's World of the Rings (1981).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but unconvincing 3 Nov. 2008
By Tolkienian - Published on
Format: Paperback
The phrase "if you get anywhere near a point..." came to mind as I was reading Jared Lobdell's verbose The Rise of Tolkienian Fantasy. Lobdell fails to clearly lay out his argument that The Lord of the Rings is a late example of the Edwardian adventure story genre, and his evidence mainly consists of the fact that this genre preceded Tolkien and that Tolkien's works share some of its characteristics. The author apparently enjoys dropping the names of nineteenth-century writers and peppering the reader with obscure and often only marginally relevant asides while acknowledging at several points that he is only tracing the courses of some rather indirect "streams" of influence on Tolkien. Lobdell's style is suited to literary academia rather than to the literate and educated lay reader. And though the book description states that Lobdell "looks closely at the heirs of the master," he in fact devotes very few pages to any insightful analysis of how Stephen King and J.K. Rowling--not to mention any other modern fantasy writers--fit his criteria for defining the Tolkienian fantasy genre or carry on the Tolkienian tradition. Lobdell makes a few worthwhile comments in the appendix on the difficulties Tolkien faced in producing a continuation of his Middle-earth works after the publication of The Lord of the Rings, but otherwise this is not among the most coherent or essential works of Tolkien scholarship. (P.S. Lobdell gives away plot points from King's and Rowling's novels, so be cautious if you haven't yet read them.)
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