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The People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien Paperback – May 20 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Press (May 20 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892975904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892975904
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,168,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

All contributors are part of TheONeRing.net staff, the leading Tolkien fan website in the world. The editor of this book, Erica Challis, is a featured columnist on TheOneRing.net. She hails from New Zealand

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Two things must be understood about the people behind theonering.net before buying a book from them: #1 The success of their site is not because of their own work or ingenuity, but because of their partnership with New Line Cinema. #2 Most of the staff serving the site are techies pretending to be writers.
And thus they made the biggest mistake an author could make: they screwed up the title of the book. This collection is not about J.R.R. Tolkien, nor is it a guide at all. It is a collection of thoughts about the fictional world Tolkien created.
Sadly, theonering.net is only popular because of its links to great information; not because of any information it presents itself. And so there's not much reason to read the thoughts of its staff. In fact, if someone is interested, he or she can read the same sort of thoughts for free all over the internet with little searching.
"The People's Guide" is not a bad book. It's just an unneccesary book. It's a chance for the techies to cash in on the popularity of the movies, and it's a chance for them to call themselves authors. My advice for consumers is to spend the money on real authors.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book expecting it to be what its title says it is: a GUIDE and introduction to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Well, guess again! This is NOT a "People's Guide," nor is it any other kind of "Guide." It is simply a collection of essays in which a group of fans associated with the website [...] spout their personal opinions on various issues connected with the books and movies. This book does NOT provide any sort of "Guide" to Tolkien, nor is it an introductory work by any stretch of the imagination. It actually presupposes a substantial amount of Tolkien knowledge, and those who lack that are not likely to get much out of reading it.
I'm sure this book will be enjoyable for many readers, notably those who are big fans of the website for which its authors write. I found some of the material in it entertaining myself. But I must strenuously object to its has being so misleadingly titled. With the burgeoning popularity of the books bolstered by the release of the Peter Jackson films, I'm concerned that there may be lots of people new to Tolkien looking for something to read that will help them make sense of it all, who will be attracted to this book because of its fallacious title. To anyone who is new to Tolkien's world, I can't emphasize more strongly that this book is NOT going to help you become oriented to the history, geography, mythology, of anything else concerning Middle-earth...or do much of anything else other than confuse you.
Fortunately, the helpful folks who put out the "For Dummies" series have risen to the challenge and provided a REAL guide to Tolkien's work, which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone who is looking for a clear, systematic introduction to Tolkien: The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies.
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Format: Paperback
Well, I feel compelled to defend this book. Yes, it is a collection of writing from a highly popular fan website, written by "amateurs" (by which I assume is meant someone who is not a university professor with stacks of publications to his/her credit). The book's title is the key here, the "People's Guide", not the "Academician's Guide". I may be old-fashioned, but I really prefer holding a book in my hands to reading from a computer screen. I like to underline key passages, put tabs on pages, return often to something that caught my curiosity. As a collection, the book is a mixed bag. Some writers are better than others, some chapters are frivolous, some are humorous and some are as good as anything you're likely to find in a scholarly journal. That's what makes this book so interesting, it's the voices of all the website creators, who are the people. I put myself in the same category, Tolkien fans who are educated, literate and don't have a university appointment but do have a lot of ideas. So I admire their bravery for putting their thoughts on paper and on the Internet, for others to tear down or hold up. Also, I want to express kudos to Cold Spring Press for a very elegant attractively designed volume. The publisher obviously put more than the ordinary effort into the production of this very nice trade paperback.
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By Mark on Sept. 1 2003
Format: Paperback
I purchased "The People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien" thinking I would find interesting facts and information regarding Mr. Tolkien. I was very disappointed and afterward felt that this book's title was very misleading since the book is mostly about LOTR and not Tolkien himself.
It is compilation of comments that are posted on a LOTR web site. As you would expect, there is little information that could be accepted as reliable. The writing style is difficult at times and occasionally very arrogant.
There is very little about Tolkien himself in the book. What it does provide in lieu of information about Tolkien are many opinions about LOTR books and movies. In fact, it spends a great many pages providing reviews of Peter Jackson's recent films.
It appears that little effort is made in the production of this book other than organizing the web postings into categories and adding cartoon illustrations of LOTR characters.
Regardless what the title suggests, this book doesn't provide information about J.R.R. Tolkien.
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