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4.9 out of 5 stars
32
4.9 out of 5 stars
The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: From The Hobbit to The Silmarillion
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 11 August 2017
It isn't all that complete. What about 41/2 finger Frodo, or Beriand One-Handed?? Fairly comprehensive guide, with one or two fingered appraoch [to typing?]
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on 22 August 2017
An excellent guide and some lovely illustrations too!
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on 26 July 2017
For grown up son
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on 18 June 2014
I had good expectations regarding this book but when it got delivered it surpassed those in an instant. The print quality is excellent, the book itself is huge and the level of detail is very satisfying
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on 8 March 2017
Nice book
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on 16 October 2017
Thank you for great service & product
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 March 2003
This detailed guide was compiled to assist readers of The Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion by placing historical events, characters and places in the context of Tolkien’s vast cosmology. As such it is an indispensable concordance for the serious fan of Tolkien’s world. The history of Middle Earth and Aman was woven together with great attention to detail so that all the stories fit together in perfect cohesion. The main body of the work has alphabetical entries from “Abyss” to “Zirak-Zigil”, while Appendix A is a chronology of the First Age from the creation of Eä to the birth of Elrond and Elros, and Appendix B contains genealogical tables like that of the first house of the Edain, the lines of Isildur and Anarion, the descent of the Peredhil, the house of Hurin and the Rohirrim. Many of the Elvish entries have translations of their meaning, e.g. Aragorn = “Royal Tree”. The treatment of languages, like variations and different shades of meaning, is quite detailed and interesting. Important races, places and characters have extensive commentary devoted to them but there are also many single line entries. This comprehensive reference work makes one appreciate Tolkien’s achievement all the more. I recommend it to all who are seriously interested in his brilliant creation that has come to life again at the beginning of our third millennium with the release of the excellent Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy. I would also like to recommend David Day’s book “A Tolkien Bestiary” which contains maps, chronologies and wonderful illustrations. These two titles together are all you need to have a complete reference to Aman and Middle Earth.
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on 22 July 2017
This wasn't what I expected, which is probably my own fault for not investigating it fully. I thought it was a complete guide, was detailed information about each item, word, location, name etc from the all the books.

In fact, what it is, is an index for the books - and relies heavily on the reader having the correct edition of the books. So, for example, looking up "Araw" the entry reads: "(S.) Qrome (q.v). (III 29, 395, '93 ed. 28, 357; '01 ed. 13, 348)"

You then have to check if you have the 1993 printing of LOTR Book 3, or the 2001 printing. If you do have one of these 2 versions, you can then go to the chapter and page mentioned and find what the reference means.

If you don't have those editions, chances are you won't find the reference and will be left feeling frustrated.

I have another book titled "A guide to Tolkien : A-Z" which instead gives you a paragraph of text about the entry. I expected this Complete Guide to be a better more detailed version of the A-Z, so was left disappointed.

Of course, if you are a Tolkien scholar and looking for a detailed index to the world then I am sure you will love this book, but if you are a more casual learner of the Tolkien universe you may find it hard going, and would find better guides out there.
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on 19 May 2014
I imagine that there must be quite a few Tolkien geeks who've dreamt of compiling an encyclopaedia of Middle-earth. Well, dear old Professor Foster has made all those fancies redundant. His Complete Guide - which draws on every item in Tolkien's legendarium up to and including The Silmarillion - is as close to being definitive as any reference book that I've ever seen. Christopher Tolkien himself commends it in his introduction to his father's Unfinished Tales, and there could be no higher praise.

In its present, 2003 edition, the Guide includes a chronology of the First Age, genealogical tables and an index of sources, as well as a concluding note by Ted Nasmith. Which brings me to this edition's most striking innovation: it now features no fewer than fifty of Ted's remarkable photo-realistic paintings of scenes from Tolkien's world.

For me to comment on these is perhaps unnecessary - a search for Ted's name on Google's Images page will show you soon enough what his work is like. For what it's worth, I think that his art is most successful when he's depicting ships or seas or skies - his painting of Earendil's Vingilot sailing for Aman is to my eye surpassingly lovely. And I'd say that all his landscapes are well worth seeing too, if perhaps sometimes slightly nudged towards gloominess by the influence of the X-Filesy conifer woods of his native Canada. He's least successful, in my wholly inexpert opinion, when he's painting figures in scenes of intense drama, when there's something about the results that to me looks a touch histrionic. What's not in doubt is that all his painting shows a dedication and skill that seem almost superhuman.

Harper's Chinese printers have reproduced Ted's art immaculately, on heavy, opaque paper that has a slight sheen to it. The same paper is used for Professor Foster's text, which is printed in an unusually slender font. A consequence is that reading the text by lamplight can be a touch less comfortable than it would have been if the typeface had been bolder.

The book is designed to match Ted's illustrated edition of The Silmarillion and the versions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Lee.
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on 9 January 2003
this guide has proven invaluable to me whilst reading the tolkien books.
you find yourself looking up one person or creature and then spotting another on the same page that grabs your attention.
it goes into great detail and gives an enlightened insight into tolkiens world.
until you own this book you will never realise the true genius and hard work that went into the books of tolkien. you will finally understand the loyalties, relationships and linkages of middle earth... it has everything!
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