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The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-Earth for Dummies (For Dummies)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  532 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 360 pages
Published April 27th 2011 by For Dummies (first published October 10th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,202)
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Joe
Dec 05, 2011 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terrible-books
I could have written a better book!
Jason
This book is steeped in meaningful coincidence, which is kind of odd, considering it is a "For Dummies" book, not exactly the first place I would search for a synchronicity or two. I purchased it at the local Gooodwill for $.75 and later that same evening received an unexpected invitation from friends to see The Hobbit. Some of the info from this book (written before the release of The Return of the King) helped set the "extraneous" material from Jackson's Hobbit into the larger context of Tolki ...more
HBalikov
Mar 01, 2014 HBalikov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harvey is no dummy. Four stars if you are looking for a great introduction to Tolkien -- including and beyond The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
This isn't just a fact compendium. Be advised that Harvey has his point of view that is evident from time to time.
Pluses:
Well organized
Well indexed
Plenty of trivia
Nicely subdivided into easy-to-digest bits

Must be time for elevensies.........I'm taking a break
Steven Brodbeck
Mar 09, 2016 Steven Brodbeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clarity for casual fans

For those who love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this book gives you a fairly thorough look into the history of Middle-Earth leading up to the events of the books and the films. From the creation myth, to the first Dark Lord, to possible origins of the Hobbits, this proves accessible to those who found the labyrinthine Silmarillion a little difficult to get through.

An enjoyable read that gives one a new appreciation to the meticulous thought JRR Tolkien put into h
...more
Aaron Masters
Oct 13, 2013 Aaron Masters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien
This is actually a very good introduction to Tolkien's larger legendarium, identifying and defining the various groups and characters clearly and accurately. It also contains a brief overview of the invented languates, which are a vital part of the works and of Tolkien's creative process. The later sections are devoted to thematic studies on topics such as gender, which are encouraging if for no other reason than that Tolkien's works so are so rarely treated to the same style of literary critici ...more
Susan Ferguson
Apr 16, 2012 Susan Ferguson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Interesting reading. I picked up several things I had not noticed before - and, of course, one or two I disagreed with. On the whole, a very good read for those interested in Tolkien's works. The only fault I had to find - which wasn't much - was the comparison of the books to the movies only covered the first two movies. Apparently when this was written, the third movie was not yet out. But that's a minor detail and not of much importance except as a curiosity.
Katie Clements
Jan 15, 2014 Katie Clements rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe I'm giving this a 4 star rating, but there it is. KT=DORK. I was re-reading the books, yet again and found this a delightful companion along with my "Tolkien guide from A-Z". Yep.
Dave Diaspora
Jul 31, 2014 Dave Diaspora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A good overview of the Tolkien legendarium. I liked a lot of the authors identification of the parallel stories that Tolkien used, though I found it odd that he saw the Akallabêth as a simple Tolkien Atlantis story, whereas it resembles the Old Testament Books of Kings far more than Atlantis. All in all though, I'd recommend it to someone who just finished the major works.
Pamela
Nov 14, 2014 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic resource for those that found themselves at times confused by the incredible complexity of the world that Tolkien created. The history of the Elves and how they arrived in Middle-Earth is made a lot more understandable. In fact, I recommend keeping this handy if you are reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time. It is a great reference.
taarak
Dec 29, 2007 taarak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkein Fans and College Students Having to Write About Tolkein
Better than Cliff Notes but peppered with the author's own bias (as opposed to Tolkeins), this is still a decent primer in familiarizing oneself with how the Silmarillion and the LOTR trilogy relate to one another.
Clarke
A hilarious and insightful look at Tolkien...for those who don't know anything about him.
Leslie D. Soule
Such a great book. I feel like I understand The Silmarillion a million times better now.
Christine
A great source for a crash course in the Legendarium.
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