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.
About Corey Olsen
Corey Olsen is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland and the President and founder of the Mythgard Institute, a new online teaching center for the study of Tolkien and other works of imaginative literature. Through podcasts and his teaching website, The Tolkien Professor, Professor Olsen brings his scholarship on Tolkien to the public. Join the conversation at http://www.tolkienprofessor.com, or on iTunes.
Olsen, (English/Washington Coll.) who both teaches Tolkien courses and hosts a popular website (The Tolkien Professor), reveals his affection for—obsession with?—Tolkien’s texts in numerous ways. He directly praises passages as “brilliantly executed” and “masterful,” but merely by giving this young people’s book the full attention of his scholarly skills, he imparts to it an elevated status. Olsen declares he is more interested in explanation than in literary theory, so he offers a chapter-by-chapter explication of the characters, events, landscapes, traditions, conflicts and songs that fill Tolkien’s enormously popular 1937 novel. (The Peter Jackson two-part film opens in December.) The author also refers continually to the original edition, which Tolkien later revised when he decided to integrate The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings. Olsen rarely finds anything negative to say (he does observe that one moment is not “completely successful”) and sometimes even twists himself a bit to defend Tolkien. The author traces the conflict between the Baggins and Took sides of Bilbo, emphasizes the lust for treasure that nearly results in all-out war at the end, and observes the changes in Bilbo’s character as he moves from his safe hearth to the fiery furnace of the dragon’s lair. He spends lots of time with the songs, revealing meanings in them that would generally escape most readers, young and old. – Kirkus Reviews
A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love
NPR Book Review – October 21, 2012 (Excerpt)
Seventy-five years ago, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a book for his children called The Hobbit. It isn’t just a landmark piece of fantasy literature; it’s a movement — a work that’s inspired everyone from director Peter Jackson to the band Led Zeppelin to Leonard Nimoy (who recorded his own homage to the book in the late 1960s — “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins“).
Yet though it’s widely celebrated, The Hobbit’s always kind of existed in the shadow of Tolkien’s other great work, The Lord of the Rings. Corey Olsen, self-described “Tolkien professor,” tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that Tolkien fans tend to fall in love with The Hobbit as children, then move on to The Lord of the Ringsand never come back.
That’s a great shame, Olsen says, so he’s written his own book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. [Read the full article...]
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Vampire Valeria Trumaine must confront old demons and face new possibilities as she struggles to bring a rogue vampire to justice. Her best friend and powerful Sidhe princess, Irulan, joins the hunt. Valeria will find that Irulan’s motives for keeping her safe are not what she thinks. And soon she is faced with an undeniable attraction that makes her question everything she knew about herself. [Read More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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