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Meditations On Middle Earth
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Meditations On Middle Earth

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,340 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In 1954, one of the most seminal books in English literature was published and caused barely a ripple. It wasn't until the flower-power generation of the 1960's that Lord of the Rings began to exert its real influence and changed the face of fantasy literature forever.
Paperback, 235 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster (Trade Division) (first published 2001)
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Special K
Some of the essays are close to five-star, others are one-star, so my three star rating is an average of the seventeen essays compiled in this anthology.
I would recommend this book if you are are one of those people who loved Lord of the Rings and then tried to find other books like it (the essays will all tell you that you will never find another book like it, but there are quite a lot of credible recommendations for older fantasy works written pre-Tolkien, and warnings to approach with caution
Nicholas Gourlay
Originally written on 8.30.06 on
I did sometyhing illogical for me a few hours ago. I read an essay while engrossed in a novel. I don’t do things like that. It requires too much concentration for me, especially just reading any essay. But maybe, just maybe, I’m evolving.
I put down ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ by Jean M. Auel to read ’How Tolkein means’ by Orson Scott Card. Maybe I had a hair up my butt, but I just felt it had to be read. No time like the present. And I
a short but sweet book that is more personal than academic and features some of my favourite authors reflecting on Tolkien's work and how it has influenced their lives and writing. One to look out for.
Zara KillingRomance1112
Vorweg möchte ich sagen, dass ich das Buch oberflächlich betrachtet wegen den Bildern kaufte, die ich während kurzem Überfliegen sah. Die Bleistiftzeichnungen finde ich nach wie vor schön, auch wenn das colorierte Cover mit ein besten gefällt.
Dann muss man erwähnen, dass mehrere Persönlichkeiten in diesem Buch zu Wort kommen. In allen erkenne ich einen Teil meiner Bücherliebe wieder ob nun für diese besprochene Reihe oder für anderes Buch ist für mich hier egal. Ich habe kurze Eindr
Readible, with the exception of the Orson Scott Card contribution. With apologies to another reviewer, who said it SO much better than I'm going to:

" Orson Scott Card seizes the opportunity to get up on his big stupid hobby horse about how modernism is dumb. “Modernists treat everything as allegory,” he growls, harrumphing and popping his monocle. Then he makes up some imaginary straw-man argument in which a modernist read allegorically, and then rips that apart like tissue. Well done, Mr Card!
I was hoping this book would be writings set in the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien by famous SFF writers. I would love to see what further adventures George R.R. Martin's could dream up for Aragorn (AKA Jenny's babysitter), Legolas and Gimli!

But, alas, this was not that book. This book was dry, dry, dry uber-academic essays. Here's a sample sentence from Ursula K. LeGuin's piece "Rhythmic Pattern in the Lord of the Rings: "In poetry, the normal ration is about 50 percent: that is, by and large, in po
James Williams
This is a book where some of my favorite authors (and, I suppose, some of my not favorite authors) write about J.R.R. Tolkien, an uber-favorite author. Obviously, it's something to be read if you're a fan of the Professor.
For the most part, this book is not filled scholarly essays (with the possible exception of Ursula K. Le Guin's piece on language), but are instead personal introspections and retrospections about how Tolkien's work affected each writer's life and career.
Which can be nice, of
Not every essay in this collection is brilliant, but there are enough brilliant ones in it to make the book a very rewarding read. That, and I love hearing SciFi and Fantasy greats describe their own experience of falling under Tolkien's spell as exactly the same as mine. I particularly liked the ones by Michael Swanwick and Terry Pratchett.
This book wasn't perfect, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. The approach most of the writers took was dissapointingly obvious, and even a little repetitive as you read through them.

A few stand-outs for me were Ursula LeGuin's challenging and, for me exciting essay on Tolkein's use of language in the first part of Fellowship. Terri Windling's essay at the end brought me in touch with feelings I've had for years, but haven't had the words to express myself just yet.

Card challeneged the way I lo
Stephanie Ricker
A rather random collection of essays be famous authors (mainly science fiction and fantasy) who love Tolkien. Some of them are a bit repetitive (there are really only so many ways you can say that Tolkien was a genius and inspired everyone), but many of the essays are entertaining purely for the writer's particular style. I especially loved this quote by Esther M. Friesner: “I am a writer. I have received money for doing this on several occasions, so the odds are that I will continue on this unf ...more
Autores del mundo de la ciencia ficción describen cómo el Legendarium de Tolkien cambió su manera de escribir fantasía. Incluye interesantes reflexiones que demuestran que el profesor de Oxford inventó un género en sí mismo.
Jun 18, 2007 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
This is a great book of essays on Tolkien and his work by people who are both authors and fans, and therefore both understand and appreciate the work and can delineate why. While there is a little repetition of "I first read Tolkien when I was N years old and it changed my life", since it's true, it doesn't detract too much from the essays.

The essays, for me at least, made me want to go back and read the books again, and made me appreciate just how new and exciting Tolkien's works were when they
There's a lot in here about the need for fantasy/fairy tales/epics/the-story-as-primary, for humans innately and individuals based on their experiences, and in Lord of the Rings's historical and social moment, all of which is fascinating if you think that's fascinating. Orson Scott Card thinks that LotR has no meaning apart from its story, and that this is what makes it good (and books snidely referred to as "'serious'" that you can say something about that isn't the story bad, not-so-implicitly ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It is a compilation of essays from famous fantasy and science fiction authors on their reaction/influence to J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of The Rings. My favorite was Terry Pratchett's essay. A really wonderful and brilliant tribute to Tolkien by authors who have been pretty powerful in their own respective rights. Even if you haven't read the trilogy, this book is worth the read.

Edit.... I also have to add the essay If you give a Girl a Hobbitt by Esther M. Friesner
What does Tolkien mean to you? No, seriously. What does he mean to you as a reader? A writer? A fantasy genre enthusiast? These are the questions some of today's great science fiction and fantasy writers try to answer in this collection of essays. Some essays are very technical, focusing on the history or the languages of Middle Earth. Other essays are more broad, focusing on the impact Tolkien's Middle Earth on the fantasy and science fiction genres. All in all, it was a great book and interest ...more
This little volume (0nly 229 pages) contains essays by some of the best fantasy writers (published in n2001). Most, if not all, are huge Tolkien fans of The Hobbit and LOTR will find like-minded people here. The writing, of course, is darn good!

I knew of several of the authors but learned of others that I will pursue. Delicate sketches throughout. Mini bios on authors at the end...what more could a reader ask for?

Delightful; highly recommended.
Keith Davis
A few of these essays are brilliant, but there is a depressing recurring element to a lot of them. Repeatedly the authors reveal themselves to have been teenage loners and social outcasts who discovered Middle Earth at a critical stage and it became the perfect escape. If you are like me and bristle at Fantasy fiction being dismissed by critics as escapist, it is a tad disheartening to see the cliché so thoroughly reinforced by Fantasy's practitioners.
Aug 22, 2008 Ledys rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Victor
Recommended to Ledys by: Won it in a contest
Shelves: read-before-2008
I really enjoyed this back when The Lord of the Rings was my main obsession. I find it interesting to read these books with essays, especially about a book that shaped so much of a generation. I wonder what book will define our generation for the future...
Es una recopilación de ensayos y reflexiones sobre la Obra de Tolkien, por escritores de Ciencia Ficción. Tiene su gracia, especialmente por el ensayo de Orson Scott Card, y otros de ese calibre. Otros articulos estan muy mal escritos, o son simplemente ridiculos. Sin embargo, seria bacano que los detractores de Tolkien lo leyeran. Un MedioMedio.
Sep 12, 2008 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a deep love of Tolkien's work
Reading these essays was the most satisfying reading experience that I have had in quite some time. I have long had a deep connection to Tolkien's work and these essays provided a clearer understanding of that connection. I knew that there are thousands of Tolkien freaks like me out there and it has been most gratifying to hear from them.
A bunch of essays about Tolkien from modern fantasy writers . . . who just don't get it. For a far better appreciation of Tolkien and examination of what he did and why (frequently making reference to Tolkien's own letters), read Joseph Pearce's Tolkien: Man and Myth.
I'm jealous of all these people who read Lord of the Rings in their youth and were transformed by it. I didn't find out about it until I saw Two Towers in the cinema.
It was interesting to see how people were influenced by Tolkien. I now have a list of authors that I can now tap in to that I did not know of before.
Essays on Tolkien and Middle-Earth. Favorites included onces by Robin Hobb, Douglas Anderson and Lisa Goldstein.
Some excellent and some weak articles. Stuff about Tolkien is often interesting, and this is right in there.
K. Axel
Jun 04, 2011 K. Axel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
This is a really insightful book. Definitely worth a read if you love the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.

All the essays were interesting and alot of them made me laugh.
Jason Kurtz
Nominated for the Hugo and Locus awards....
Anca Bettencourt
partially read and like it
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Tolkien's T.C.B.S: Meditations on Middle-Earth 3 7 May 08, 2013 07:55AM  
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism
  • Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of the Lord of the Rings
  • The Magical Worlds of Lord of the Rings: The Amazing Myths, Legends and Facts Behind the Masterpiece
  • The Journeys of Frodo
  • The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created A New Mythology
  • The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-Earth for Dummies
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth
  • Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth
  • The "Hobbit" Companion
  • The Shaping of Middle-Earth (The History of Middle-earth, #4)
  • The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
  • Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator
  • The Complete Tolkien Companion
Karen Haber is the author of nine novels including Star Trek Voyager: Bless the Beasts, and co-author of Science of the X-Men. In 2001 she was nominated for a Hugo for Meditations on Middle Earth, an essay collection celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien. With her husband, Robert Silverberg, she co-edited Best Science Fiction of 2001, 2002, and the Best Fantasy of 2001 and 2002 for ibooks and later, co-edite ...more
More about Karen Haber...
Bless the Beasts (Star Trek Voyager, #10) The Mutant Season (Fire in Winter, #1) Exploring the Matrix: Visions of the Cyber Present Science Fiction: The Best Of 2003 Mutant Prime (Fire in Winter, #2)

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“Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivializes. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their action into violence, their actors to dolls, and their truth-telling to sentimental platitude.” 1 likes
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