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The Hobbit Companion

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4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Tolkein’s famous fantastical world was born from a single word 'Hobbit' written on a blank sheet of paper on a summer afternoon in 1930. This book is an exploration of the inspirational power of language. It proposes that the entire body of Tolkein’s writing dealing with Hobbits was essentially the product of a list of associations with the word Hobbit. Thus, the invention ...more
Hardcover, 92 pages
Published August 15th 1997 by Turner Publishing, Inc. (first published January 1st 1997)
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Eline Hoskens No, it's a prequel. It's the adventure of Bilbo that is mentioned a couple of times in The Lord of the Rings. So if you want to avoid spoilers, you…moreNo, it's a prequel. It's the adventure of Bilbo that is mentioned a couple of times in The Lord of the Rings. So if you want to avoid spoilers, you might want to read The Hobbit first. I would recommend that anyway if you haven't read any of it yet. But it works both ways. You should realise that both books have a very different tone to them. Tolkien had always been planning to rewrite the Hobbit as it's more of a children's book than The Lord of the Rings, which has politics and many more in depth characters. The story is richer, more 'meaty' than the simple adventure story of The Hobbit. But both are really worth your time. I also recommend watching the Peter Jackson movies after reading all books, if you haven't already done that. :-)(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jonathan

The Hobbit Companion is a charming guide for anyone who has just read The Hobbit or read it many years ago. However, unlike other guides it features watercolour paintings and analyses the world of The Hobbit from a slightly different perspective.

This companion guide goes into (albeit briefly) the history of the Hobbit families and how they came to live in the Shire, commenting on the similarities between their history and that of the Anglo-Saxons. However, what makes this guide stand out is what
...more
Kinturray
Mar 29, 2015 Kinturray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“La verdad es que las palabras, como los anillos mágicos, tienen cierta voluntad o finalidad en sí mismas que las dirige a través de la historia”

La palabra hobbit fue inventada por Tolkien, quien como buen filólogo se dedico a “investigarla” y a partir de ahí caracterizo o subcreo a los hobbits y su mundo.

Este libro está dedicado a explorar los acertijos y juegos de palabras que como apasionado de estas, inspiraron a Tolkien. Merecen una mención aparte las ilustraciones y otros elementos gráfic
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Britta
Dec 06, 2012 Britta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard about David Day’s The Hobbit Companion, I was expecting just that – a companion volume to either Tolkien’s story or Peter Jackson’s film adaptations. However, when I opened my copy –a beautiful hardcover edition featuring some unique, eye-catching artwork by Dutch artist Lidia Postma – I was pleasantly surprised: instead of simply following the storyline of Tolkien’s book or Peter Jackson’s films, Day’s book focuses on the “verbal hocus-pocus” Tolkien used in both The Hobbit a ...more
Sara
Aug 24, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very special for me. I read it soon after finishing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. And I guess one could say that these three books changed my life in a way I still can't believe myself.
Had my parents known I would decide to become an English philologist after reading this book, I wonder if they would have bought it anyway. I hope they would.
The book is interesting and easy to read. The illustrations are, of course, beautiful. As far as I remember, it was a very good introduc
...more
Jeremiah
Jan 23, 2010 Jeremiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My copy of this book is special, in a way. When my parents bought it for me, it wasn't until they were at the checkout that it was discovered that the cover is upside down and backwards, compared with the inside. So, when I read it normally, it looks like I'm reading it upside down. Go figure.
Jennifer
Feb 23, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, non-fiction
As I've made it my mission this year to read as much Tolkien as possible, I thought David Day's companion piece would be a fun side venture. Day has clearly done his research, going into painstaking lengths to delve deep behind the names and words of Tolkien's characters, namely the Hobbits. This isn't the first time I've read this book, but it's the first time I have while working through The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The illustrations are especially whimsical and a nice touch. A must-have for ...more
Mr.
Jun 17, 2013 Mr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, tolkien
Philology is awesome.
Les Wilson
Dec 29, 2015 Les Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A must for all J R R Tolkien readers.

I think it best to quote from the publisher:

Illustrated in full colour (illustrations by Lidia Postma), including a number of double page prints, this is an intriguing and interesting investigation into the world of words used by Tolkien in The Hobbit. It explores the clever web of wordplay Professor Tolkien used to create hidden meanings and delves into the mythical associations that lie beneath the tale's thrilling surface.
Starting with the word "hobbit" it
...more
Leonardo
Dec 02, 2008 Leonardo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle-earth fans and linguists
Recommended to Leonardo by: Cecilia
One could certainly accuse David Day and Christopher Tolkien of making a living out of J.R.R. Tolkien's work, but at least they constatly put out interesting additions to the Middle-Earth legacy. And this book is a particularly entertaining and illuminating compendium of the linguistic undercurrents that provide a delightful background to the adventures of hobbits and other races of Middle-Earth. Additionally, it's beautifully illustrated and it doesn't recourse to the more known Tolkien illustr ...more
Aleta
Jan 21, 2013 Aleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Very interesting analysis of the linguistics that drove J.R.R. Tolkien's characterizations and even plotting of The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings.
Dominick
Nov 06, 2012 Dominick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an accessible and illuminating exploration of the various ways Tolkien uses multiple punning as the basis of character names and actions. While this could have been a conventional academic study, it is instead a lavishly illustrated, pleasant read, aimed at the general reader but full of fascinating information.
Carlita MF
Jun 29, 2014 Carlita MF rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El libro es una delicia. Las ilustraciones son hermosas y el estilo del libro es sencillo de seguir, te atrapa con los datos y la información, llevándote por el mundo de los hobbits.
Muy interesante todo lo que se indica y de verdad, para los fanáticos de Tolkien, este libro entrega mucha información etimológica muy interesante acerca de ese mundo lingüístico detrás de los regordetes Hobbits.
Theresa Ramseyer
I had high expectations for this book. I usually like history and learning where words and things come from. Flipping through at the library, the artistry is cute, and close to what I had in mind as Hobbits before watching LOTR.

But for some reason, again something I can't pinpoint, I struggled through the book. I started it several times, and finally managed to skim through to the end.
Abel
Jun 07, 2015 Abel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En ciertos pasajes lo leí sólo por encima, pero es una opción muy interesante para profundizar el conocimiento del mundo de Tolkien. Centrado en la lingüística y el orígen de los nombres de varios personajes de El Hobbit y ESDLA
Talbot Hook
Certain things about this book are quite good. Some illustrations, interpretations, and passages are very lovely, however, there is an unpleasant amount of speculation- about names, etymology, and the reasons behind Tolkien doing as he did.

Also, three dollars, and autographed. :3
Tiina
Sep 08, 2012 Tiina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
As the two-star rating suggests, the book was okay. I had high expectations for the book, yet it failed to meet most of them. Despite my personal disappointment, the book is quite interesting for the readers who get a kick out of philology, historical linguistics, and/or etymology.
Sarah
Jan 18, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you didnt know that JRR Tolkien was a genius, you do now. The man literally had a way with words.
Mark
Feb 15, 2015 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful art and musings on the possible linguistic puns and puzzles that may have inspired some of Tolkien's creations.
Nathalie
Sep 22, 2015 Nathalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting to read if you want to 'know' more about Hobbits and the genius J.R.R. Tolkien himself.
Feather Mista
Mar 09, 2010 Feather Mista marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Veremos...
Recommended to Feather by: Que me gustó el Hobbit
Se ve que le había pifiado poniéndolo como leído. Ahora lo pongo en "To read" como corresponde, a la espera de que algún día lo consiga y lo lea.
Eucaris
Nov 06, 2014 Eucaris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's great companion since it makes you suddenly realize things you didn't notice before, and I read it like in two hours :D
Sophia
Sophia rated it it was ok
Apr 17, 2015
Marie Jenkinson
Marie Jenkinson rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2014
Magda
Magda rated it liked it
Sep 17, 2009
Woo Jae
Woo Jae rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2008
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Sep 12, 2012
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David Day (b. 14 October 1947 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian author of over forty books: poetry, natural history, ecology, mythology, fantasy, and children's literature. Internationally he is most notably known for his literary criticism on J. R. R. Tolkien and his works.

After finishing high school in Victoria, British Columbia, Day worked as a logger for five years on Vancouver Isla
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