J.R.R. Tolkien Author of the Century Paperback (24.06.10 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Because it seems the week of talking about paperbacks, let us look at another one today, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey. This paperback was already released in May, but it is good to mention it now. Before I say much more I wish to say that any serious Tolkien fan or anyone who is interested in the man behind The Lord of the Rings, should read this book. Buy this paperback edition and take it along on your holiday!

Author of the Century originally came out in 2001. The publication date is in this case very easy to remember, since at that time, during the millenium celebrations, there were numerous polls that consistently declared that J.R.R. Tolkien as "the most influential author of the century," and The Lord of the Rings as "the book of the century."

In support of these claims, the prominent medievalist and scholar of fantasy Professor Tom Shippey wrote a fascinating companion to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, focusing in particular on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

This book examines The Lord of the Rings as a linguistic and cultural map and as a response to the meaning of myth. It presents a unique argument to explain the nature of evil and also gives the reader a compelling insight into the unparalleled level of skill necessary to construct such a rich and complex story.
J.R.R. Tolkien author of the Century paperback


Tom Shippey also examines The Hobbit, explaining The Hobbits' anachronistic relationship to the heroic world of Middle-earth, and shows the fundamental importance of The Silmarillion to the canon of Tolkien's work. He offers as well an illuminating look at other, lesser-known works in their connection to Tolkien's life.

This book is the definitive critical study of Tolkien’s greatest works. If you ask any serious Tolkien fan to make a list of 'must-read' books on Tolkien, then this one is always in the top 10, if not the first book they mention!

Written in a clear and accessible style, Tolkien: Author of the Century reveals why all of these books will be timeless, and shows how even such complex works as The Silmarillion can be read enjoyably.

Taking issue with the uninformed criticism that has often been levelled at Tolkien and fantasy in general, Professor Shippey offers a new approach to Tolkien, to fantasy and to the importance of language in literature, and demonstrates how his books form part of a live and continuing tradition of storytelling that can trace its roots back through Grimm's Fairy Tales to the Elder Edda and Beowulf.

Title: Author of the Century
Author:
Tom Shippey

Publisher:
HarperCollins; New Ed edition

Publication Date:
7 May 2010

Type:
paperback, 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0261104012
ISBN-13: 978-0261104013

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