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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.
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.