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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about Middle Earth
The book has a well thought out design in a dictionary form. You find information on every character, every place, and every thing. There is a section on how to read the sources and abbreviations in the book. There are appendixes with A Chronology of the First Age, Genealogical Tables, and Conversion of page references to Houghton Mifflin Editions.

Some may...
Published on Sept. 20 2006 by bernie

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2.0 out of 5 stars For die-hards and Tolkien scholars only
Having read The Hobbit and being about half-way though The Fellowship of the Ring I purchased this book expecting to use it as a reference on my way through this great story. From the first paragraph of the introduction, this book assumes you have read the whole of Tolkien's writings. Instead of breaking down the descriptions of characters and places into sections...
Published on Sept. 6 2000


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about Middle Earth, Sept. 20 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The book has a well thought out design in a dictionary form. You find information on every character, every place, and every thing. There is a section on how to read the sources and abbreviations in the book. There are appendixes with A Chronology of the First Age, Genealogical Tables, and Conversion of page references to Houghton Mifflin Editions.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Geographic, character, and metaphysical names explained!, Dec 28 2003
By 
Tami "ghart27" (Winnipeg Manitoba CANADA) - See all my reviews
As the editorial review says, this is essentially a dictionary for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion. It does also include data from some of Tolkien's other writings. A very useful appendix explains dates given during the First Age, based upon the inclusion of events predating the Years of the Sun, such as the Spring of Arda. This book will be a valued reference for those fascinated by the events of Middle-Earth and the Changes of the World. It may leave you desiring even more information, but that is what you will find in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, as well as in such reference material as Karen Wynn Fonstad's revised Atlas of Middle-Earth. You will surely enjoy the answers provided and the new searches begun by reading this guidebook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest!, July 15 2004
By A 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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of fascinating information, June 30 2004
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (North-Central Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My thirteen-year-old daughter has become a solid Tolkien fan, and picked up this book for further study. Organized into dictionary form, this wonderful book contains all of the information on people, places and things found in J.R.R. Tolkien's books on Middle-Earth. Do you want to know more about Elrond or the great Wizards? What about the Grey Havens or the Rings of Power? Well, it's all here!
The information is nicely organized, including translations (where necessary) and source reference. Now, the one thing I must say is that if you have not read the Silmarillion, then a good deal of the information here will not mean much to you. If you have read it, then this book will be a great resource for you. If you haven't read the Silmarillion (like my daughter), then you will still find this a treasure trove of fascinating information. My daughter and I both highly recommend this book to you!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Language, May 16 2004
When I bought this book my focus was not on the history (which there was much of), but the elves and their languages. This book contains lots of their words and helpful comments on the origins and developments, but no distinction between the words as to which languages they fit into. Overall helpful as far as history (and very extensive character explanations).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book To Understand the Middel-earth World, May 11 2004
By 
Ametisti (Chicago,IL,USA) - See all my reviews
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 created. It answers a lot of questions that aren't difficult to understand.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good... could be better., Feb. 26 2004
By A Customer
I agree with others that the definitions aren't often that clear and require that you know the character/item ahead of time. But there are a few areas of improvement that would really make this book shine:
-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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about Middle Earth, Jan. 31 2004
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The book has a well thought out design in a dictionary form. You find information on every character, every place, and every thing. There is a section on how to read the sources and abbreviations in the book. There are appendixes with A Chronology of the First Age, Genealogical Tables, and Conversion of page references to Houghton Mifflin Editions.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost everything included, Jan. 19 2004
By 
Kimberly A. Bateau "We Must Be The Change We ... (Buffalo, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I give kudos for this book. I truly enjoy it. The only complaint I have is I feel it is incomplete. There are characters I'd care to know more about from Simarillion that aren't included. It is a great resource otherwise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth purchasing, Jan. 1 2004
By A Customer
What can I say except that this is truely a 1st rate book. Of the many "Tolkien companions" available I found this one perfect as unlike many others Foster has not forgotten the "lesser characters and places". The A-Z format is easy to use and understand and makes finding certain characters a breeze. The addition of dates, page references and language origin is a bonus I personally found which was lacking in many other companions available. As I mentioned before, what makes this a stand out addition to any Tolkien fan is that Foster has not forgotten the lesser known characters and such. Other companions tend to "omit" things in order to elaborate more on the main characters etc which I feel goes against the point of the book (To help readers learn abit more on characters and places etc). Foster has to the the joy of readers included ALL characters, places, battles AND foods and included the many multiple names and terms of characters so it doesn't matter whether you look up for example Strider instead of Aragorn as Foster will include the various names at the end of each section so you can look up them as you wish.
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.
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Compl Gde To Middle Earth Illus Ed C
Compl Gde To Middle Earth Illus Ed C by Robert Foster (Hardcover - Nov. 6 2003)
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