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People's Guide To Tolkien An Amazon Bestseller

People's Guide To J.R.R. Tolkien' An Amazon Bestseller

'The People's Guide To J.R.R. Tolkien' On Bestseller List

Last Week, leading Tolkien fan website announced the upcoming release of The People's Guide to JRR Tolkien, written by its own staff writers and published by the new imprint Cold Spring Press, whose fantasy titles are already receiving critical acclaim. Within a two days the book climbed the Amazon '100 Top Bestsellers' to 30th place.

There is a flood of new titles about Tolkien and the recent Lord of the Rings movies, however it's unusual for a website - and one run entirely by volunteers in their spare time - to produce a book that is so immediately taken up by the public. The fact that logs over 800,000 pageviewson any given day is one reason; the other is that the website has been distinguished by the quality of its articles and essays since its inception four years ago.

Never content to simply report news of the New Line film project, the website offered a blend thoughtful scholarship, imaginative inquiry and critical analysis concerning everything to do with Middle-earth. In four years of lively correspondence with its fans, the website staff had a great opportunity to learn exactly what it is about Tolkien that fascinates and intrigues his fans, and in doing so collected a wide readership.


THE PEOPLE'S GUIDE TO J.R.R. TOLKIEN by Editor-in-Chief, Erica Challis

Foreword by Professor Tom Shippey Publication Date: May 2003 Trade Paper $16.95 416 pages Illustrated ISBN 1-892975-90-4

Cold Spring Press is pleased to announce its new book "The People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien." This book of essays fills the void between the release of the second and third Lord of the Rings movies. Passionate, ardent, well-informed, and unlike any other book on the subject, this is an indispensable handbook for people who consider themselves experts -- or who wish to become experts -- on the lore of Middle-earth and the man who made the myths.

The People's Guide is written by five contributing writers of -- the leading fan website devoted to Tolkien, his books, his lore, the New Line Cinema movies, and the fan community that centers on Middle-earth. has always been distinguished by the quality of the original articles appearing on its Green Books ( and Tehanu's Notes ( pages. This book adapts some of the most popular articles on the as well as offering readers completely new articles that are not available online.

Readers will find essays ranging from a spirited defense of fantasy as a genre, discussions of Tolkien's views of good and evil, an examination of the cultural norms we bring to the understanding of the themes and characters in Middle-earth and much more. There are insightful reviews and critiques of the two Peter Jackson films released to date, and a Q&A section answering both classic and obscure questions from fans the world over.

The foreword is written by Tom Shippey, the world's foremost Tolkien scholar, author of "The Road to Middle-earth" and "J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century." Shippey says: "The Internet, the experience of continually answering questions and receiving comments ... give the organizers of a perspective which is uniquely broad, and uniquely full of surprises, some of which would have pleased Tolkien very much, but which he could not have expected."

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon (

For further information or to interview the authors, contact either Erica Challis at or Jonathan Stein, Publisher, at or 631/692-7172

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