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Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle-Earth (Hidden Spring) [Paperback]

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Item description for Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle-Earth (Hidden Spring) by Colin Duriez...

This absorbing guide to the mind gehind Middle-earth will introduce or remind readers of the abundance that exists in Tolkien's thought and imagination.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HiddenSpring
Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2001
Publisher   HiddenSpring
Series  Hidden Spring  
ISBN  1587680173  
ISBN13  9781587680175  

Availability  0 units.

More About Colin Duriez

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Colin Duriez has appeared as a commentator on several mainstream documentaries, has authored biographies of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and studied for several months under Francis Schaeffer at Swiss L'Abri before reading English and philosophy at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He writes books, edits, and lectures.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > History & Criticism
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > History & Criticism

Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Classics

Reviews - What do customers think about Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle-Earth?

Solid reference book  Nov 21, 2004
Colin Duriez does a pretty job of creating a guide to the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien in "Tolkien and Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle-Earth." While those who have read Tolkien's assorted books won't find anything new, it's a good introduction to his books for new readers, and a good "refresher course" for those who haven't read them in awhile.

Duriez starts off by introducing the book, describing his reasons for writing it. Then he speeds off into a mini-bio about Tolkien's life, followed by a dissection of the work he did, and its place in his life. And, since Duriez has written a book about literary club the Inklings, he includes quite a bit about Tolkien's friendships and relationships. For further clarification, Duriez includes a very brief timeline.

Then Duriez summarizes the entire plots of "The Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, followed by a book-by-book chronology, and an informative chapter on the content of the "Silmarillion," and its connections to the "Lord of the Rings" books. Then he follows up with three A-Z guides -- one to things and people in Middle-Earth, then to themes and concepts in his work (eagles, allegory, theology, quests and so on), and the people and places in his life, such as his family, his friends, the mill he played at as a boy, and the books that influenced his writing. Finally there is a list of summaries, of various books that he wrote.

Duriez has certainly done his research -- he seems very comfortable talking about Middle-Earth, and easily quotes everyone from Peter Jackson to Tolkien himself. What's more, he obviously has a deep respect for Tolkien, and an appreciation for the richness and depth of Tolkien's work. For just about anybody writing this sort of book, that's a must.

What does it not contain? Well, Duriez admits himself in the preface that it's not meant to be in-depth, and Tolkien fans won't come away with anything they don't already know. Most of this is review and recap, with the occasional essay that goes into greater study of Tolkien's work.

However, the book can be very useful -- some people are daunted by the sheer vastness of Tolkien's work, and this makes it hard for them to get into the story. Duriez makes it accessable. His outline of the "Lord of the Rings" plot might be helpful to readers who have trouble understanding what is going on in the books. Ditto with his summaries of "Silmarillion" stories like the tale of legendary lovers Luthien and Beren, or the tragic Turin. It also could be a good "refresher course," for anyone who has forgotten stuff about Middle-Earth.

Colin Duriez, who has made a career writing about Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, pens a pretty decent guide book to Middle Earth and Tolkien's life. It won't reveal anything new, but it's a good introduction to Tolkien's work.
By far the best book on Lord of the Rings  Mar 12, 2004
This is by far the best book on Lord of the Rings - even better than the Dummies guide! Colin Duriez actually understands Tolkien's theology as well as the complexities of the stories and it is this that makes the book superb and simply better than anything else on the market. Buy it now! Christopher Catherwood, author of CHRISTIANS MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE and WHOSE SIDE IS GOD ON?
A Must for Tolkien Fans!  Jan 19, 2003
Colin Duriez's "Tolkien and the Lord of the Ring: A Guide to Middle Earth" is an impressive book about the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion. It's divided into 4 parts.

Part 1: The Mind Behind Middle-earth: Includes background info about Tolkien, his life and work.

Part 2: The Book of the Century: A guide to LOTR, how it relates to the Silmarillion, etc. Basically a recap, in case you're a bit fuzzy.

Part 3: An A-Z of Tolkien's Middle-earth: I found this very helpful; I could look up my favorite people, places, events, and things quickly and effortlessly. This is especially helpful for those currently reading either LOTR or the Silmarillion to get extra info on what they're reading. If you are intimately familiar with the books, however, it would be more reference than new facts.

Part 4: A Look Behind Tolkien's Life and Work: Most interesting part to me. Evaluates key themes, concepts, and images in Tolkien. Allegory (or lack thereof), Christianity, Posession and Power are some of the themes explored by Duriez. Then it talks about key people and places in Tolkien's life.

It's more geared to people who are more interested in the book and Tolkien's writings than in the recent movies, so it shouldn't be confused with books like, "The Magical Worlds of Lord of the Rings."

I recommend it to anyone interested in Lord of the Rings.


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