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The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies (For Dummies) [Paperback]

By Greg Harvey (Author)
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Item description for The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies (For Dummies) by Greg Harvey...

In this new resource, Harvey provides an in-depth look at the fantasy world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his many books (such as "The Hobbit," The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and "The Silmarillion").

Publishers Description
J.R.R. Tolkien's novels of Middle-earth - "The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings" trilogy," " and "The Silmarillian" - have become some of the most famous, and most beloved, literary works of the twentieth century. And the "Lord of the Rings" films by director Peter Jackson have re-ignited interest in Tolkien and his works, as well as introduced his stories to a new generation of fans.

Even if you've never read the novels and have only seen the films, you know that the world of Middle-earth is a complicated one. Tolkien took great care in representing this world, from creating new languages to including very particular cultural details that add to the richness of the world's fabric. Many other books have been written about Tolkien and his works, but none have come close to providing the kind of reference needed to comprehend the world of Middle-earth. That's what veteran "Dummies" author and unabashed Tolkien fan Greg Harvey attempts to do in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies."

As the author says in his introduction to the book, this is not an encyclopedia or quick guide to all the diverse beings, languages, and history that make up Tolkien's Middle-earth. Nor is it a set of plot outlines for the novels. Rather, what you'll find in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies" is a basic guide to some of the possible linguistic and mythological origins of Middle-earth, plus a rudimentary analysis of its many themes and lessons for our world. This book can help enrich your reading (or re-reading) of Tolkien's novels, and it will challenge you to think about the themes inherent in Tolkien's Middle-earth and their implications in your own life.

Here's just a sampling of the topics you'll find covered in "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies" Exploring the main themes in Tolkien's works, including immortality and death; the heroic quest; love; fate and free will; and faith and redemptionInvestigating the diverse lands of Middle-earth - including the Shire, Gondor, and Mordor - and their significanceExamining the different cultures of Middle-earth, such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, and those wily WizardsTouring the history of Middle-earthUnderstanding Tolkien's creation of new languages to enrich the story of Middle-earthTop Ten lists on the battles in the War of the Ring, online resources, and the ways the films differ from the novels

So, whether you're reading Tolkien's novels or watching the films for the first time, or you've been a fan for many years and are looking for a new take on Tolkien's works, "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies" can help you enhance your reading or viewing experience for years to come.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wiley Publishing
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.18" Width: 7.4" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2005
Publisher   For Dummies
Series  For Dummies  
ISBN  0764541862  
ISBN13  9780764541865  

Availability  0 units.

More About Greg Harvey

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Greg Harvey, PhD, is President of Mind Over Media, an online media company. He has written all editions of Excel For Dummies, Excel All-in-One For Dummies, and Excel Workbook For Dummies. Greg is an experienced educator with a wide variety of interests.

Greg Harvey currently resides in San Francisco. Greg Harvey was born in 1949 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Mind Over Media, Point Reyes Station, California Mind Over Media Mind.

Greg Harvey has published or released items in the following series...
  1. For Dummies

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Performing Arts
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology
7Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General
8Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > History & Criticism
9Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > History & Criticism

Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > General Topic > Reference

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies?

Great Tolkien companion  Mar 26, 2008
Can get boring with how much random names and places there are. But true Tolkien fans with love this reference. People that love the movie and have never read the books with be confused and probably overwhelmed because of the simplification Jackson's movies have made the lord of the rings story.
A Special Book for Christians and Tolkien Fans  Sep 9, 2007
This is a special book for Christians and Tolkien fans. The author, Greg Harvey (a committed Buddhist) not only reveals the mythological Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth but is just as faithful to Tolkien's beliefs to reveal the Christian origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth. Even as a committed Buddhist the author without a hint of any skepticism reveals the central role of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to not only the life outlook of Tolkien but to the world view of the inhabitants of middle earth. I think his best verse that describes the common angst shared by the people of middle earth and us can be found on pg. 231 of Chapter 16: "Tolkien may be trying to give us a way to hear the Music of Creation and thereby know its Composer. In ennobling his characters and showing how some of them can maintain hope in the darkness of their pre-Christian world, he may be signaling a possible way for us to follow in our post-Christian one." The book is also written with a good grain of humor, wit, reverence and fondness. Highly recommended reference.
Good with Tolkien's Details, but Not with Tolkien's Themes  Apr 22, 2007
A well-written and informative introduction to Middle-earth, but sadly the product of an author bending a classic to his will. Other authors using Tolkien's works as a springboard for religious conversation entitle their books accordingly. If I buy a book called, 'Finding God in the Lord of the Rings,' I know what to expect. Not so with Harvey. Better to call the book, 'Finding Comparative Religion and Philosophy in Tolkien's Middle-earth.' Harvey calls his approach 'hermeneutics', which is as useful to the analysis of Middle-earth themes as a bicycle is to a fish and serves to tarnish the bright silver themes Tolkien wove into the narrative.

To better understand Tolkien's themes, read Tolkien's letters. Harvey drops hints throughout the book, reaching his thematic climax on pg. 232, second paragraph. In trying to write an essay open to all, he dilutes his argument fatally.

Buy this book for the evocative cover, or the well-written and valuable arrangement of information about Tolkien's people, places, and things. The charts and illustrations will illuminate the character relationships and Middle-earth geography. It does all that VERY VERY WELL!!! But if you're looking for clarification of Tolkien's thematic approach, go to his Letters.

Lots of fun information  Apr 16, 2007
We love this book. It's probably too "light" for a serious Tolkien scholar, but it has a lot of useful information presented briefly and simply. For just a reference book for the casual reader, I'd highly recommend it.
bleh x 5!  Aug 20, 2005
If someone wanted to write a book about Tolkien & Middle Earth, they should have researched a little better. Not *this* garbage! Tolkien was a CATHOLIC -- & a hard-liner at that. Catholic. Not Buddhist, not Pagan & certainly NOT Gnostic (sheesh! Some of this stuff in this book was hard to read because it was so WRONG)! Yes, he got some of his ideas from mythology (the myth part of the book is ok, I guess. But, there are so many *other* *better* books about myth out there than *this*... I know I've read better). But, the books are basically Catholic. Just read the Sil & you'll see what I mean! There's hardly *anything* in here about Tolkien's Catholic upbringing as it pertains to the books. If I want the *real* story on Tolkien & what he believed & wrote, I'll stick w/Tolkien's Letters & Joseph Pearce.

I shouldn't have bought this book, but... well, I'm a sucker for anything Tolkien.....

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