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Thread: Shippey's Tolkien Author of the Century on Sale as Ebook

  1. #1
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Shippey's Tolkien Author of the Century on Sale as Ebook

    Tom Shippey is one of the leading scholars writing about Tolkien. He's a Medievalist, and in fact has held the same position as Tolkien.

    He loves LOTR and The Hobbit, and is deeply versed in both Tolkien's inspiration in Medieval literature, and Tolkien's own writing.

    And Shippey's knowledge and love shine.

    Tom Shippey's Tolkien Author of the Century is one of my favorite books about Tolkien by one of my favorite writers, and it's currently on sale as an ebook at pretty much all the major ebook retailers for 1.99.

    Here's an AW affiliate link to the Amazon page for Tom Shippey's Tolkien Author of the Century.

  2. #2
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    I bought J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century through the link above based on your rec, Lisa. It's no longer on sale, but I'ma gonna recommend it anyway. The book provides amazing insight and explanation into the choices Tolkien made wrt Middle Earth and pretty much blows misconceptions and opining criticisms of LOTR out of the water. I've disagreed with all criticisms I've read and it was good to understand Tolkien's own reasons for the choices he made; he did indeed have reasons. Valid ones.

    I knew Tolkien drew on Norse mythology for his books. I didn't know just how much he drew on it. This book was fascinating in that regard, too. Looking at mythology through Tolkien's eyes fired off synapses and helped me make connections I hadn't made in all my lifelong love of mythology . . . and even of fairy tales. So, of all the wonderful books I've bought this year, that one has become my #1 favorite.

    *sigh* Why the sigh? Weel, having read J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, I now want (and have on my wish list) Shippey's The Road to Middle-earth and Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created (Shippey was a contributor to this one) and they're going to send this month's book expense into . . . well, let's just say it's gonna be out there. That's okay 'cause I spend on books instead of clothes, shoes, and "girly stuff". The Road to Middle-earth is said to contain much of the same info as Author of Century but delves into philology in greater detail—and, c'mon, use of language, philology, and etymology compose the air I breathe. Also? Who can resist a book with a review that begins with the sentence, "Have you wondered where Gandalf got his name, or what Tom Bombadil IS?" J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century touches on those, but I want moar there too.

    Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created strikes me as a possible indispensable companion for the lover of fantasy—both for readers and for writers of the genre. (I'll let ya'll know.)

    So. So, once I figure out how to get those two through AW's affiliate program and feel confident AW is getting the affiliate credit, they're coming off my wish list into my grubby li'l paws.
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  3. #3
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created is not bad, but I gave my copy away. It's in lots of libraries.

    The Road to Middle Earth is one of my favorite Tolkien books; I'd get it instead.

    For people interested in a deep way in Tolkien, Verlyn Flieger is one of the other authors to watch for.

  4. #4
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created is not bad, but I gave my copy away. It's in lots of libraries.
    But . . . but, you didn't give it to meee.

    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    The Road to Middle Earth is one of my favorite Tolkien books; I'd get it instead.
    You haven't steered me wrong yet, so okey-doke. And, thank you, ma'am!

    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    For people interested in a deep way in Tolkien, Verlyn Flieger is one of the other authors to watch for.
    As I sed, you haven't steered me wrong yet, Lisa, but yer killin' me here. Verlyn Flieger's A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkien's Road to Faerie seems fascinating, too.

    Tolkien’s concern with time―past and present, real and “faerie”―captures the wonder and peril of travel into other worlds, other times, other modes of consciousness. Reading his work, we “fall wide asleep” into a dream more real than ordinary waking experience, and emerge with a new perception of the waking world.
    gah!
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  5. #5
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Gandalf's name is indeed very fun. And, I've always thought, very true to who he really is, like all good character names.

    The Road to Middle-earth will definitely be worth it. I've only read a couple excerpts, for a course I took in undergrad. But the course was worth it for including Shippey and many of the other texts Tolkien drew on. One of my favourites. I think I wrote a fairly muddled essay on Tom Bombadil for it.

    What's really fun is you start seeing where other fantasy writers have borrowed from and extended on Tolkien in a way that goes far beyond the cliche elements of prose style that people usually think is his main legacy. Ex: I love Guy Gavriel Kay's work (he helped edit The Silmarillion) and he's used a lot of the same source material but in very much his own way, so that, reading it, you get these links but also something quite unique and original on its own.

  6. #6
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    hmm. Guy Gavriel Kay—another name to explore. Thank you, VeryBigBeard.
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