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 Post subject: Essential Tolkien
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Having finally found the time to read Arda Reconstructed in its entirety, I find that I must now update my list of the most Essential works in my Middle Earth reference library as follows:

The History of Middle Earth 1-12 ~ Christopher Tolkien

The Letters of JRR Tolkien ~ Humphrey Carpenter & Christopher Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide ~ Wayne Hammond & Christina Scull

Arda Reconstructed ~ Douglas Kane

The Annotated Hobbit ~ Douglas A. Anderson

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion ~ Wayne Hammond & Christina Scull

The Atlas of Middle-Earth ~ Karen Wynn Fonstad

The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth ~ Robert Foster


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Wow, that's incredibly rarified company. I am extremely flattered, and gratified that you enjoyed the book so much!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:38 pm 
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I just picked up The Annotated Hobbit. I'm interested to see how it compares to "History of the Hobbit"

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:07 pm 
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They are very different books, so they complement each other rather than compete with each other. I found both of them to be top-notch for what they did. I'll be interested to hear your opinion of Doug's efforts.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:28 pm 
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Well I finished reading it and I'd have to disagree. I think there's absolutely no reason to read The Annotated Hobbit if you have History of the Hobbit. Apart from the format of notes sprinkled round the text of the novel, which I despise, its also inconsistent. Sometimes a note refers to a notation number from the previous page, or earlier, depending on how long the previous note was. Sometimes the explanations are in the margins, while other times they take up the space normally used for the text. Pictures seem to follow no rules at all in their placement. All in all it's a copy of the Hobbit, cluttered up with distracting trivia.

The History of the Hobbit suits me far better, with two separate books detailing the changes and influences, and then the final novel to see where they led. Its far more readable and immensely more satisfying.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:30 am 
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I'm sorry you didn't like it!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:39 am 
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Its worth noting that I would probably feel differently if I had read The Annotated Hobbit first, but after HoTH it feels very simplistic and badly laid out.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:53 pm 
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That's a good point. I did read The Annotated Hobbit well before The History of the Hobbit came out, and so it is certainly possible that had that been reversed, my reaction would have been more similar to yours. And I do agree that the layout of the book is difficult to follow, at times. But I still found it chock full of fascinating information of a different sort that that contained in Rateliff's book (which by the way, is being re-released as a single volume), and so I still would recommend. On the other hand, if someone asked me which of the two I would recommend getting if they only wanted to get one, I would say The History of the Hobbit.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:25 pm 
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I read The Annotated Hobbit a while ago too. Way before Rateliff's books came out. I thought it was pretty good, but I guess I'm not an "annotation" kind of guy since I don't like being distracted from the story.


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