Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

Front Cover
Douglas Allen Anderson
Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 2003 - Fiction - 436 pages
12 Reviews
Once upon a time, fantasy writers were looked down upon by the literary mainstream as purveyors of mere escapism or, at best, as producers of bedtime tales fit only for children. Today fantasy novels stand atop the bestseller lists, while fantasy films smash box office records. Fantasy dominates the role-playing and computer gaming industries, and classic works in the genre are taught in school and universities throughout the world. Credit for this amazing turn-around belongs to one man more than any other: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the beloved author of 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings'. Terry Brooks, David Eddings, George R. Martin, Robin Hobb. The top names in modern fantasy all acknowledge J.R.R. Tolkien as their model and master, the author whose work first fired their imaginations and inspired them to create their own epics. But what writers influenced Tolkien himself? Sir Isaac Newton once wrote, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." As with the scientific genius of Newton, so, too, with the literary genius of Tolkien. Now internationally recognized Tolkien expert Douglas Anderson has gathered the fiction of some of those giants togethers for the first time in a collection destined to become a classic in its own right.

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Review: Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

User Review  - Risa - Goodreads

I think my two favorites were "The Coming of the Terror" and the "Christmas Play" at the end, which reminded me a lot of Midsummer Night's Dream, as it was probably meant to. And I don't like horror stories or anything but "The Coming of the Terror" was fascinating. Read full review

Review: Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

User Review  - Goodreads

I think my two favorites were "The Coming of the Terror" and the "Christmas Play" at the end, which reminded me a lot of Midsummer Night's Dream, as it was probably meant to. And I don't like horror stories or anything but "The Coming of the Terror" was fascinating. Read full review

About the author (2003)

Douglas A. Anderson, a leading American Tolkien scholar, is acknowledged as the worldwide expert on the textual history of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed the textual notes for all Houghton Mifflin editions of these titles for more than a decade. He has been a bookseller, in Ithaca, New York and northwest Indiana. He now lives in southwestern Michigan. He is the editor of The Annotated Hobbit.

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