The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: From The Hobbit Through The Lord of the Rings and Beyond Paperback – Dec 4 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
With the release of The Fellowship of the Rings in movie theaters this December, Tolkien enthusiasts might consider Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: From The Hobbit Through The Lord of the Rings and Beyond as essential to their viewing pleasure as popcorn. For anyone who's ever wondered "who's Beren?," "where's the Great Shelf?" or "what's the Council of Gondor?," this A-Z reference describes every person, locates every place and explains everything in Tolkien's saga.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
'Middle-earth is the country of J.R.R. Tolkien's tales -- the territory of Sauron, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Sam Gamgee -- whose legends, history, geography and inhabitants combine to make a unique fictional world. This Guide is a comprehensive reference work to every name and event in Tolkien's books, from The Hobbit to The Silmarillion.' Daily Telegraph 'Mr Robert Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth supplies, as I have found through frequent use, an admirable work of reference.' CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Some may think this guide is geared towards those that already have a basic knowledge of Middle earth. But upon exam one finds it is like any other dictionary those with a large vocabulary may need an occasional glance; while others may have to look up the words that explain the words.
I find it indispensable.
-Including guide words on the top of pages would make finding terms easier.
-The genealogical charts at the end are full of errors - mostly typographical - including obvious ones such as switching the names "Aragorn II" and "Arathorn II".
-Maps would make geographical descriptions so much easier. They may have not been included for other reasons, but would make this truly a superb reference.
In conclusion, this book may be misleading in its appeal and not be so well suited to the casual reader. It may also spoil some events you have not yet read if you are reading Tolkien for the first time. It is great for that occasional (aka frequent) confusion though. It is a useful reference and with a good edit would be vastly more excellent and accurate.
One "fault" I did find with the book was like many have mentioned, the lack of maps. It has been extremely difficult to find a "complete" map of middle earth and perhaps if Mr Foster should read this, the addition of maps in the future would surely improve my already high opinion of this beautifully put together book.
The only thing that this guide does NOT encompass are the literary changes in the legends that occured as Tolkien developed them throughout his life. For example, in the Silmarillion it is Gwindor who guides Turin to Nargothrond after Beleg dies, but in the Lays of Beleriand, written much earlier, his name is Flinding (Tolkien changed the names of people and places a lot during his writings). Foster's encylopedia only has Gwindor and not Flinding. This is in keeping with Foster's goal to stick to the published and official accounts of Tolkien's work: the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion proper (along with some other reputable sources). This is probably a good thing though, otherwise the guide would need to encompass the entirety of the 12 volume HoME series, causing its sheer size to become unwieldy.
If you are anything more than a causal one-time reader of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this book definitely belongs in your collection.
Most recent customer reviews
There are three 'guide' books of Tolkien - The Complete Tolkien Companion by J.EA. Tyler, The Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster and A Dictionary of Tolkien by David... Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Monk
We play Tolkien trivia in one of the websites I frequent and this is an absolute gem when it comes to stumping other players. It's comprehensive and useful.Published 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is a must have for all Tolkien Fans. It has everything you need to know about characters and places to make you a Middle Earth expert!Published on July 14 2004
My thirteen-year-old daughter has become a solid Tolkien fan, and picked up this book for further study. Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Kurt A. Johnson
When I bought this book my focus was not on the history (which there was much of), but the elves and their languages. Read morePublished on May 16 2004 by Tina
This is a very well written though guide book for the Middel-earth world. I personally think that it's great for any one who wants to learn more about the world that Tolkien... Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by Ametisti
The book has a well thought out design in a dictionary form. You find information on every character, every place, and every thing. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2004 by Bernie
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