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Master of Middle-earth: The Achievement of…
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Master of Middle-earth: The Achievement of J.R.R. Tolkien (original 1972; edition 1974)

by Paul Harold Kocher

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697713,645 (3.53)7
Member:InigoMontoya
Title:Master of Middle-earth: The Achievement of J.R.R. Tolkien
Authors:Paul Harold Kocher
Info:Harmondsworth Penguin 1974 222p 18cm pbk
Collections:Your library, To read
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Tags:Main, LitCrit

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Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien by Paul H. Kocher (1972)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
From the title, I'd thought this book would be a biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, so I was little disappointed when I sat down to read it and realized that it was more of a literary analysis of Tolkien's works.
Still, after I accepted it for what it was, I found it to be quite an enjoyable book. It reads rather like a series of seminar lectures - what you might hear from a (rather entertaining) professor if you signed up for a class on Tolkien. (The author was a professor, so this is not surprising).
As might be expected, some of the observations are rather obvious, but others are quite insightful, and indicative of well-done research. Kocher obviously loves and respects Tolkien's work, but not to the point of sounding 'fannish.'
The book was published in 1972, so some of Tokien's posthumously published works are not spoken of, but overall, I have to say this book is worthwhile for any Tolkien fan. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
A competent, but not lively study of JRRT. Useful for the literary scholar, but as usual, there's not much exploration of why he chose the genre for the work he did. It remains unknown whether he felt betrayed by some circumstance in his own life, or whether he was simply so constrained by his class and familial structures that a world of pure make-believe was the way to proceed. Still we have the stories, after all. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 11, 2014 |
According to my bookmark, I was a chapter from finishing this when I finished my essay and never looked at it again. Oops. And, for some reason, I don't recall referencing this book at all, even though actually it would have been useful -- it makes some handy links and the author understood Tolkien's work and aims very well. I think at the time I actually preferred this to Shippey's accounts, which is probably blasphemy in the world of Tolkien mania.

I love that Tolkien never wears thin under investigation, only yields more. I was tempted to reread LotR again straight after I finished my essay, and flicking through this book again makes me really want to do that. Hmm... ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
A review and background of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings books. This isn't fantasy, its a book about Middle Earth. ( )
  Karlstar | May 14, 2011 |
As is the case with all great works of art, J. R. R. Tolkien’s masterpieces generously repay close attention and study. In this thoroughly entertaining and perceptive volume, winner of the prestigious Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award, Professor Kocher examines the sources that Tolkien drew upon in fashioning Middle-earth and its inhabitants—and provides valuable insights into the author’s aims and methods. Ranging from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings to The Silmarillion and beyond, Master of Middle-earth opens the door to a deeper and richer appreciation of Tolkien’s magnificent achievement. Inside you will discover

• Why Aragorn is the most misunderstood character in The Lord of the Rings . . . and its true hero.
• The origin of Sauron—and the nature of evil in Tolkien’s universe.
• The opposing forces of destiny and free will in Frodo’s quest.
• The Cosmology of Middle-earth—is it our world at an earlier time, or does it exist in a fantastic Elsewhere?
• How Tolkien’s ideas of morality, religion, and social order underlie every aspect of his life’s work.

Plus a fascinating look at such lesser-known works of Tolkien’s as “Leaf by Niggle,” “Smith of Wootton Major,” and many others!
  jan.fleming | Dec 3, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345272420, Mass Market Paperback)



As is the case with all great works of art, J. R. R. Tolkien’s masterpieces generously repay close attention and study. In this thoroughly entertaining and perceptive volume, winner of the prestigious Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award, Professor Kocher examines the sources that Tolkien drew upon in fashioning Middle-earth and its inhabitants—and provides valuable insights into the author’s aims and methods. Ranging from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings to The Silmarillion and beyond, Master of Middle-earth opens the door to a deeper and richer appreciation of Tolkien’s magnificent achievement. Inside you will discover

• Why Aragorn is the most misunderstood character in The Lord of the Rings . . . and its true hero.
• The origin of Sauron—and the nature of evil in Tolkien’s universe.
• The opposing forces of destiny and free will in Frodo’s quest.
• The Cosmology of Middle-earth—is it our world at an earlier time, or does it exist in a fantastic Elsewhere?
• How Tolkien’s ideas of morality, religion, and social order underlie every aspect of his life’s work.


Plus a fascinating look at such lesser-known works of Tolkien’s as “Leaf by Niggle,” “Smith of Wootton Major,” and many others!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Identifies and describes the people, places, and events in the Lord of the Rings.

(summary from another edition)

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