Rateliff, John D. The History of The Hobbit. 2 vols. London: HarperCollins, 2007. Wyke-Smith, E. A. The Marvellous Land of Snergs, ed. Douglas A. Anderson. Baltimore, MD: Old Earth Books, 1996. The Riddles of The Hobbit, by Adam Roberts. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. vi, 186 pp. $28.00/£18.00. ISBN 9781137373632. This book is not only about riddles, it is a bit of a riddle itself--though probably not in the playful sense that the author, Adam Roberts, would have liked. Roberts is probably best known to Tolkien readers from his 2003 parody The Soddit. He is an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy novels and also a professor at Royal Holloway, London, where he teaches courses on nineteenth-century literature and creative writing. I am stressing his literary and academic background because it may explain some of the sometimes rather baffling characteristics of The Riddles of The Hobbit. First, there is no clear (linear) structure to the book. The chapterheadings may suggest so, but once Roberts gets started, he takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of associative arguments ranging from entertaining and insightful to free and wildly unlikely. He opens with a lengthy introductory chapter where
Tolkien Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Nov 27, 2014
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