I had stopped in a town called Mission (BC, Canada) on my lunch break, and walked in to this used book store. And as always the first thing I ask for is "Where's your Tolkien section?" because you never know what you'll find. Being a book collector, you have to always look just in case. Sure enough it was the same story as in most shops. fifty plus copies of the Lord of The Rings, and thirty of the hobbit. But they also had ten copies of this More Peoples Guide to Middle Earth . Glorious! I don't even own the first one. But I purchased it and started reading it during my lunch break.
This book is written by the folks at theonering.net It seems appropriate for them to write something like this since they kept us in the loop with what was going on in NZ at the time of filming the trilogy.
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of the Meditations on Middle Earth. the book is broken up into
5 parts. the first Message and Meaning is kind of short essays. The second is kind of the same but very informative.
Part 2 Escape to Middle Earth is unique as all of us Tolkien heads can related to the authors (manly Anwyn) description of our need of fantasy (well in so many words)
Part 3 is a Q &A with the folks of the One Ring.net and Authors.
Part 4 is a section on film reviews, mainly Return of the King.
And last part 5 is miscellaneous writings and a great section on the Oscar party the OneRing.net hosted after the great sweep from the Return of the King.
The book isn't very big. One can read it in two days.It's light reading, and entertaining. But it's a good read and I should press the issue that fan's of Tolkien's work should read books like these more often. To expand their knowledge and take part of the greater community of fans out there. I would like to get my hands on the first Volume of People's Guide to Middle Earth. But it seems a rare thing in British Columbia. I might just have to order it in.
I do hope the folks at theonering.net will write another book like this after the Hobbit movies are done. I think their fans expect them to.
I give this book a solid 9 out of 10 for the sheer entertainment value alone.