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The Proverbs of Middle-Earth

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4.54  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The works of JRR Tolkien are unique in English Literature, as they are filled with hundreds of original proverbs. 'Not all those who wander are lost, ' 'Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens, ' and 'Never laugh at live dragons' are all poetic, wise, and convincingly real-sounding, but they are also a lens, through which more can be seen. These proverbs b ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published August 2016 by Oloris Publishing
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4.54  · 
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Thomas Salerno
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Proverbs of Middle-earth turned out to be a delightful surprise. What I thought would be merely a compendium of wise sayings from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium turned out to be so much more! The Proverbs of Middle-earth is in fact an extended and detailed discussion of the origins and cultural context of the unique wisdom traditions of the various Free Peoples of Middle-earth. The nations and races covered include Hobbits, the Breelanders, Wizards, the Half-elven, Elves, Dwarves, the Rohirrim ...more
David
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, I expected just a brief list of proverbs from different characters in Tolkien’s Legendarium. This book is actually a deep dive into the cultures of Middle Earth, analyzing their wisdom and making connections to real world philosophies. It’s definitely a must read for any Tolkien fan. The only negative is that the two appendices, which are lists of the proverbs, should have been in the body of the book. Throwing them at the end, after the footnotes, was disappointing. It would have been much ...more
Dr. Andrew Higgins
I really enjoyed this exploration of the many proverbs found in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and what they tell us about the peoples, cultures and languages of Middle-earth. A brilliant analysis with some very interesting insights and some excellent appendices summarizing the proverbs by type and which peoples spoke them. Think my fav remains Faramir’s Do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory… Love only that which they ...more
Nick K
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This delightful book pulls one thread--proverbs--out of Tolkien's woven Middle-Earth and explores their significance both for Tolkien's canon and for us as its appreciators. I wouldn't recommend this to those who don't love Tolkien, but for devotees, this is a must read. Rowe writes with care and love for the tradition, but with an eye to teach us from a carefully constructed series of fictional wisdom traditions. Thoughtful, thorough, insightful, and deeply moving. I'll be back to reread it aga ...more
Fantasy Literature
5 stars from Jason, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

Disclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers

The Proverbs of Middle-Earth is a smart, readable literary analysis of J.R.R. Tolkien’s use of proverbs in his worlds of Middle-Earth, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and (less so) The Silmarillion. If you’re a passionate fan of Tolkien, you’ll absolutely adore this book. Period. If you love the Peter Jackson films, this book will p
...more
Jeff Bridgforth
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this journey back to Middle-earth. Really liked the approach David used to explore the different cultures through their Proverbs. Very insightful book that will enhance my reading of the books the next time I re-read them.
Erin
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about Middle Earth and the characters that I didn't know before, in addition to enjoying the proverbs themselves.
Stano
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.", and this was time well spent. Not only it is nice collection of proverbs and quotes that you might have missed while reading, it also provides insight into how different peoples of Middle earth though, based (also) on their proverbs, showing the immense depth and creativity of Tolkien's world-building.

It was a bit harder reading, this thing could have been a thesis, but while "Advice is a dangerous gift", I think that it is n
...more
The Mole
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Initially I did not like this book and I thought it was being a little bit too much tongue-in-cheek. However, the more I read the more I realized that this book is extremely insightful and the author has done a wonderfully detailed job of explaining both the cultures and languages that appear within Tolkien's writing.

I found myself, time-after-time, struck with some deep insight or revealing character-development that I never saw in my first 10 readings of LotR and it forces me to realize that e
...more
Anna
Once I have developed deeper interest in Middle-Earth, I started to look for books touching the subject. Reading other people's interpretations and perceptions can make my own more detailed and complex. And this book is a great example of what I've been looking for.
Even if you don't notice all character's behaviour's reasons, this book will in clear (and enjoyable) way explain complexity of characters we know from both "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". As an example which should prove th
...more
Bob Cooling
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Middle Earth's Ethos in Its Proverbs

This book will help you to understand Tolkien's writings and his cosmic viewpoint. Only serious and dedicated readers of Tolkien's work will fully appreciate this in depth look into the author's cosmic viewpoint that informed his writings.
Robert Morganbesser
Scholarly

Not for the average fan, this in-depth look at the proverbs that abound in Tolkiens writings could be a text book in a college course.
Leaflet
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tolkien
Much more in-depth and perceptive than I had expected. A must for every Tolkien fan's bookshelf.
Andrew LaNeve
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David is a US-based Englishman (and erstwhile resident of New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Scotland, before he married a Lebanese-American) who first read The Lord of the Rings at the age of seven and has been re-reading it ever since. He is a farmer-cum-teacher-cum-musician, cuts his own hair, and is a committed utiliser of the Oxford Comma.
“Such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.” 1 likes
“Curb your pride and your greed, or you will fall at the end of whatever path you take, though your hands be full of gold.” 0 likes
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