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Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit"

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"An admirable and thought-provoking consideration of the underlying themes of The Hobbit, following the there-and-back-again progress from its famous first line on through to Bilbo's return home at the story's end." -- Douglas A. Anderson, author of The Annotated Hobbit The Hobbit is one of the most widely read and best-loved books of the twentieth century. Now Corey Olsen takes readers deep within the text to uncover its secrets and delights.

Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” is a fun, thoughtful, and insightful companion volume designed to bring a thorough and original new reading of this great work to a general audience. Professor Corey Olsen takes readers on an in-depth journey through The Hobbit chapter by chapter, revealing the stories within the story: the dark desires of dwarves and the sublime laughter of elves, the nature of evil and its hopelessness, the mystery of divine providence and human choice, and, most of all, the transformation within the life of Bilbo Baggins. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” is a book that will make The Hobbit come alive for readers as never before.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 02, 2012 – Since 2009, Washington College English professor Olsen s Web site, The Tolkien Professor, has provided accessible insight into the works of famed academic and fantasist J.R.R. Tolkien. Fans of that site will be pleased to discover Olsen narrowing his focus here to The Hobbit, the children s book in which the first tentative steps that would eventually lead to Mount Doom itself were taken. Olsen studies Tolkien s work chapter by chapter, illuminating details of character and plot that might otherwise escape the reader; the various versions of the work in question and the reasons why Tolkien altered his work are likewise examined. A work of love backed up by professional experience, this book is packed with information; the author s infectious enthusiasm pervades his words, ensuring that what could have been a dry work in other hands will retain even a casual reader s interest. The result is a text suitable for fans and scholars alike.

Customer Reviews

Augments my fascination for M.E.

Thank you Dr Olsen for your examination of JRRT and his motives behind writing some of my favorite works of literature, primarily The Hobbit w/this book, but also your podcasts and classes on other works. But The Hobbit is my fav classic work and my favoritism has been helped further along by your dedication. Mercí monsieur!

A Very Good Close Reading of a Classic

Professor Olsen does a very nice job of walking the reader through each chapter of The Hobbit. He goes into enough depth to make reading this book worthwhile, while he doesn't get so theoretical that his discussion can only be appreciated by English professors.

Reading this book is like taking an undergraduate English course with a teacher who loves the subject and would like nothing more than to make it accessible to students who aren't all literature majors. I recommend it and hope that a similar study on The Lord of the Rings is forthcoming.

Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit"
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Published: Aug 06, 2013
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings