Monday, March 25, 2013

Tolkien Reading Day Summary

For my day of Tolkien reading I picked a somewhat unconventional book called The Magical Worlds of The Lord of The Rings, written in 2002 by David Colbert. I say unconventional because it was not written by Tolkien himself, but I think he would have approved since he himself was famous (as I learned from this book) for reading and researching things when he really should have been doing something else. He even wrote down the iconic first line of The Hobbit when he was supposed to be grading a student's exam booklet! Regardless I thought it a fantastic read and I literally devoured the entire book in one day. It is basically a collection of short essays based on certain popular questions about the wonders of Middle-earth. Questions such as 'Why do Dwarves and Elves dislike each other?' - 'What's the Origin of the word Hobbit?' - 'How many Languages did Tolkien invent?' - and - "Why are there so many Towers?' Each of these questions were answered by referencing the historical legends and tales that inspired Tolkien to create his epic works. There were even some stories from Tolkien's childhood that helped shed light on certain artistic choices such as the fact that Shelob (the giant spider that attacks Frodo and Sam in LOTR) is Tolkien's manifestation of a giant tarantula that attacked him when he was just a young boy. I would recommend this book to any and all Tolkien fans or fantasy fans in general. Keep it REAL!

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