Format Hardcover
Publication Date 09/05/23
ISBN 9781639365036
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 480

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Tolkien in the Twenty-First Century

The Meaning of Middle-Earth Today

Nick Groom

An original and thought-provoking journey into J. R. R. Tolkien’s world, revealing how his visionary creation of Middle-Earth is more relevant now than ever before.

*Finalist for the The 2023 Tolkien Society Best Book Award*

What is it about Middle-Earth and its inhabitants that has captured the imagination of millions of people around the world? And why does Tolkien's visionary creation continue to fascinate and inspire us eighty-five years after its first publication? Beginning with Tolkien's earliest influence—and drawing on key moments from his life, Tolkien in the Twenty-First Century is an engaging and vibrant reinterpretation of the beloved author's work. Not only does it trace the genesis and inspiration for the original books, but the narrative also explores the later film and literary adaptations that have cemented his reputation as a cultural phenomenon. Delving deep into topics such as friendship, failure, the environment, diversity, and Tolkien's place in a post-Covid age, Nick Groom takes us on an unexpected journey through Tolkien's world, revealing how it is more relevant now than perhaps Tolkien himself ever envisioned.

Nick Groom is currently Professor of Literature in English at the University of Macau, having previously held positions at the universities of Chicago, Stanford, and Exeter, where he holds an Honorary Professorship. His is the author of The Vampire: A New History (Yale University Press) among other books published in Britain.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"An excellent, perceptive and superbly crafted analysis of the way our ever-changing world has responded to Tolkien. A stunning achievement." Brian Sibley, award-winning author of The Fall of Númenor
"A modern journey through Tolkien’s work, which has engendered a rich field of cultural activity. A thought-provoking examination. the authority of extensive research, Groom unpacks the reasons for the appeal of Tolkien to a new generation."
Kirkus Reviews
Praise for The Vampire: A New History:
"An authoritative take on the history of the vampire.” The New York Times Book Review
"Colossally smart. Groom is interested in undead Byron, but he is more interested in the aspects of vampirology that pop culture tends to neglect. It is a great relief to meet Groom’s vampire, still icy from the void and unburdened by the aesthetic of Gothic nightingale-lite.” The New Yorker
“Impressively manages to analyze vampires’ influence on almost every facet of private and public life—social, theological, political, medical, cultural, sexual, literary—over the span of four centuries." Commonweal
“A vast undertaking—a tapestry of history, science, pseudoscience, theology, politics, and art.” Weekly Standard
Advance praise from England for Tolkien in the Twenty-First Century:
“Fascinating. Wonderfully exhilarating. In a rousing finale, Groom suggests that Tolkien is exactly the writer we need at this particularly perilous moment, as we emerge, Hobbit-like, from our holes and try to imagine a new kind of life in this post-pandemic age." The Mail on Sunday
"Each chapter displays a mastery of both the works in question—whether books or adaptations—and of the vast corpus of Tolkien scholarship. Narratives of literary production or of Hollywood bureaucratic processes rarely come as absorbing as Groom's. Illuminating. Groom's explorations of Tolkien's sources. are always provocative and often ingenious." The Literary Review