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The QPB Companion to The Lord of the Rings…

The QPB Companion to The Lord of the Rings

by Brandon Geist (Editor)

Other authors: Isaac Asimov (Contributor), Maureen Bayha (Contributor), Alida Becker (Contributor), Harold Bloom (Contributor), Julian Dibbell (Contributor)9 more, Ursala K. Le Guin (Contributor), C.S. Lewis (Contributor), Chris Mooney (Contributor), Philip Norman (Contributor), Mel Rosen (Contributor), Judith Schulevitz (Contributor), Tom Shippey (Contributor), Janet Smith (Contributor), Edmund Wilson (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
283163,155 (3.06)1
This handy volume---a QPB exclusive, the likes of which you'll find nowhere else on or beyond Middle-earth---is more than just a footrest to the snug club chair that is The Lord of the Ring's it is a friend who drops by to share choice gossip about one of your favorite subjects.
  1. 00
    J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: Many books have tried to get "behind" Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, but since Tolkien's work is fundamentally linguistic, who but a philologist can really help us see fully inside it? Tom Shippey's works are the best available for understanding Tolkien.… (more)
  2. 00
    Tolkien and the Critics : Essays on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings by Neil David Isaacs (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: There has been a lot of Tolkien criticism over the years, but one of the best volumes remains one of the very first: the collection of essays by Isaacs and Zimbardo.

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» See also 1 mention

You know an author has become too popular when there start to be discussions over whether he is too popular.

"The 'Deplorable Cultus'" is only one of the sections of this book, and one of the shorter ones, but it gives a taste of the sort of desperate scratching for content you will find here. "The Middle-Earth Gourmet" featuring "Scotch Eggs Strider," anyone?

Fortunately, most of it isn't that irrelevant. But there is little that is very useful, either. The first major section, "The Author," has only two items, and one of those is an interview with Tom Shippey -- whose excellent books on Tolkien will give you far more information than this five-page conversation. Then comes "The Critics," which includes both positive and negative reviews (the infamous "Oo, Those Awful Orcs!" by Edmund Wilson immediately follows an article of great praise by C. S. Lewis), but it seems to me that only Ursula K. LeGuin adds anything substantial to the discussion -- and she has more to say in The Language of the Night. There follow the deplorable "The 'Deplorable Cultus'" and the miscellaneous section "The Reader," which includes a set of discussion questions, two word puzzles (which aren't really very relevant to Tolkien, who, I guarantee you, never paid the slightest attention to either William Howard Taft or Robert A. Taft!), and those recipes.

If you want to learn about Tolkien the Man, read one of the biographies (Humphrey Carpenter's is probably the best). If you want to know about Tolkien's sources, read Tom Shippey. If you want a reference for Middle-Earth, A Companion to Middle-Earth should serve you well. If you want silliness, then -- and only then -- is this book for you. ( )
  waltzmn | Nov 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geist, BrandonEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asimov, IsaacContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayha, MaureenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, AlidaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dibbell, JulianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursala K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, C.S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mooney, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norman, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosen, MelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schulevitz, JudithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shippey, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, JanetContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, EdmundContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Ever since I arrived at Cambridge as a student in 1964 and encounerted a tribe of full-grown women wearing puffed sleeves, clutching teddies and babbling excitedly about the doings of hobbits, it has been my nightmare that Tolkien would turn out to be the most influential writer of the twentieth century," Germaine Greer wrote in 1996.
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This is The QPB Companion to The Lord of the Rings. It is not The Lord of the Rings itself; please do not combine them. And J. R. R. Tolkien is not the author; this is a collection of essays and other materials, none of them by Tolkien.
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