Tolkien’s World A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster Hardcover

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This book was recommended to me on Amazon for obvious reasons. With the internet and Google, this book could easily be seen as obsolete. That’s not a sentiment I entirely agree with. The same might be said of books in general, and yet many people (myself being one of them of course) prefer the smell and feel of dried, old, sometimes tattered pages. It’s always convenient to have everything you need in one place. If you happen across name, word or place your mind can’t seem to recall, this is a great tool to have. Robert Foster has done a magnificent job of collecting every obscure word (that I can think of anyway) and providing in-depth definitions and descriptions of. I’ve glanced through several of these types of books, but Foster’s is my favorite. My copy is hardcover, published in 1978 by Ballantine Books. The Ballantine editions were first published in 1974 but the copyright goes back to 1971. These are either very inexpensive books and not very collectible, or the dates on the information page are not an indication of when the book was actually printed. There is no number line, or statement of printing’s number. I bought my copy for very cheap. If it is as old as it claims however, it’s in great condition with just once small negligible stain on the inside of the cover. Regardless of its collectibility, it’s a great tool for avid readers. My only complaint is that sometimes a term will refer you to another term for a better description, without actually providing a few lines to give you even a basic idea of what you’re looking for. This is a small complaint, especially given the size and work that had to have gone into this dictionary. The cover art is illustrated by The Brothers Hildebrandt, and reminds me of the Ralph Bakshi animated film. I do prefer my Hobbits to look a little older than illustrated, but that isn’t a complaint, just a preference. I’d recommend this book to any fan, even if it’s just for watching the films in a deeper way. As always, happy reading and happy collecting!

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