Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

by Corey Olsen


Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is an insightful companion volume to the original work, designed to bring a thorough and unique new reading of The Hobbit to a general audience. Corey Olsen, host of the popular podcast "The Tolkien Professor," takes readers on a compelling, in-depth tour of Tolkien's novel, illuminating the secrets and stories behind the characters within the enchanting prelude to The Lord of the Rings.

 

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544106635
ISBN-10: 0544106636
Pages: 336
Publication Date: 08/06/2013
Carton Quantity: 24

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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.

Corey Olsen

COREY OLSEN is president of Signum University and founder of the Mythgard Institute, an online teaching center for the study of Tolkien and other works of imaginative literature. Through podcasts and his teaching website, The Tolkien Professor, Olsen brings his scholarship on Tolkien to the public. Join the conversation at http://www.tolkienprofessor.com, or on iTunes. Read More




"Succeeds spectacularly. . . Olsen's highly accessible writing on such a beloved classic will appeal to Tolkien fans at all academic levels, while the detailed and thoughtful analysis of the original text will keep literary scholars and fantasy lovers engaged." -- Library Journal

"I cannot imagine a more patient, astute and well-informed guide to the world of The Hobbit than Corey Olson. His readers are lucky." – Patrick Curry, author of Defending Middle-earth

"Sharing Corey Olsen's personal view of The Hobbit is like having a long conversation with someone who shares the love of a favourite book and is excited to talk about it. His exploration of the journey of Bilbo Baggins will encourage readers to think more deeply about Tolkien's classic tale." -- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, authors of The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

"Most readers race through The Hobbit at breakneck speed, drawn onward by the exciting plot. Professor Olsen encourages us to slow down and take the scenic route, savoring each chapter. Through close, careful explication, he points out significant details and draws attention to hidden themes; he's particularly good at pointing out how Tolkien uses poems as characterization. Recommended to hobbit-fanciers everywhere." – John D. Rateliff, author of The History of the Hobbit

"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

" Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's ‘The Hobbit’ moves step by step through the text, explaining references, pointing out themes and clearly and carefully showing how Tolkien's book—although one of the most beloved children's book of the past century—isn't just for kids. Neither is Olsen's book, which will be as useful to adult readers as it is to students." – Michael Drout, Editor of J.R.R. Tolkien's Beowulf and the Critics and the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia

"In clear, accessible language uncluttered with academic jargon, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit does just that.  Corey Olsen conducts the reader on a guided tour through this seminal work, pointing out crucial plot points and themes, analyzing characters, acquainting first-time readers with the appeal of Tolkien's bumbling hero, and helping returning readers enjoy Tolkien's classic even more more.  An informative companion to an enduring classic." - Verlyn Flieger, author of Green Suns and Faërie

"Tolkien’s roads, it seems, go ever, ever on, but with as amiable and knowledgeable a guide as Olsen, the weather remains fine and the journey sweet." - Kirkus 

"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." - Publishers Weekly