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Meanderings by josh m. shepherd
[ intro | #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 ]


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Fantasy is for strange folk. Used correctly, the style takes an actual thing (say a ring) and gives it some peculiar power that it never could never realistically have. Or perhaps the writer makes up, with much intricacy, millennia of olden times that seem to culminate in a single moment.

Meanderings was first published in The Oracle, the student publication of Oral Roberts University. An examination of various Lord of the Rings topics, the 5-part series addresses those who say that fantasy is "A load of 'what ifs' on the same level with Mary Poppins!" Yes, and no. Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's work does depend on bending reality, and he saw nothing unholy about using his mind for sheer enjoyment. Brilliance shines in how the professor's beliefs play out in the story (something P.L. Travers and Walt Disney can't say about Ms. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious).

To return to the examples of a ring and absurdly involved histories, readers might end up considering their present state of mind and spirit—as in, "How do I respond to temptation?" or "Have I gone away from my true destiny?" Muddle through the details of The Lord of the Rings and you'll see lofty ideas made flesh and bone—or at least enjoy the birthday parties and sword fights.

A Disclaimer for the Entire Series.
To those more 'serious' Tolkien fans, I admit to simplifying some of the great Oxford writer's work: it is the only way a non-academic like myself can understand it.

#1: The Hobbit
#2: A Brief Middle-Earth History
#3: Elves and Ego
#4: Sub-creation and Peter Jackson
#5: Fangorn and the Church

The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition DVD - Click to view! THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
No true Tolkien fan should settle for anything less than the four-disc Extended Edition DVDs. As one friend of mine put it, "Really, I don't like the movies much, but I could watch The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions documentaries all day!" Suffice to say, I love the movies, and the commentaries, and the design galleries, et. al.

The Two Towers Extended Cut DVD - Click to view!
Why are the Extended Edition DVDs so good? Well, it just happened that the world's best creator of DVD content, Kurtti-Pellerin, was founded by some guys who are huge fans of the books. But that's a story for another time... what can't wait is you getting your hands on these amazing DVD packages!

The Return of the King Extended Cut DVD - Click to view!
Hitting stores on December 14th, this is Christmas 2004's ultimate gift. The final film of the trilogy runs over 250 minutes and features tons of extra scenes for fans of the book.

The Return of the King Extended Cut DVD - Click to view!
Hitting stores on December 14th, this is for those who need all three. This package has all of the above DVD sets in one box, giving you all three extended editions in one, cheaper package.

The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings - Click to view! THE HOBBIT AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS
While we do not reccomend the small, budget copies of Lord of the Rings for serious reading, we can highly reccomend these for the price-conscious consumer. These paperbacks include beautiful cover artwork by artist and concept designer Alan Lee as well as maps for the reader. However, if you want only the best, we suggest you look below...

The Hobbit Collector's Edition - Click to view!
Tolkien's first book set in Middle-Earth made him an amazing success. This enchanting book introduces the world of Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Wizards and Dragons through the adventures of one unlikely hero, the Hobbit Bilbo. Along the way, Bilbo finds a magic ring that makes him invisible and much more. This hardcover edition features nice artwork and will look really good on your bookshelf.

The Lord of the Rings Collector's Edition - Click to view!
Whether or not you have read the books, you should read them in the ultimate format. Tolkien wrote them as one epic, not three books, so this hardcover, leather-bound edition gives it all in one volume, including some great maps and the full appendicies as well as the unabridged text. This is a must-have for any fan and will ensure great reading and studying of Tolkien's world.

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