Official press release for “The Riddles of The Hobbit” by Award-Winning Sci-Fi and Fantasy author, Adam Roberts.
*See giveaway details at the end of this article
With the second cinematic installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, set for release later this year, the underestimated prequel to the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy is rapidly gaining momentum. In 1947 Tolkien wrote in a letter to his publisher and friend, Stanley Unwin, that The Hobbit is not as simple as it seems. In the spirit of this sentiment, Adam Roberts seeks to fight against the dominance of the trilogy and uncover the fascinating depth of The Hobbit in The Riddles of The Hobbit; the first critical engagement with Tolkien’s great novel to explore ‘the riddle’ as a key principle.
“What is the answer to the riddle of The Hobbit? The intention, in framing the question this way, is not… to suggest that there could be only one answer, only one way of decoding this beautifully entertaining, suggestive, playful novel. It is, rather, a matter of wondering to what extent it is possible to think of the novel as a riddle. It seems to present a straightforward adventure story; but the meat of the whole is much more debatable.”
The Riddles of The Hobbit goes far beyond the chapter ‘Riddles in the Dark’ where Bilbo and Gollum swap riddles. Roberts takes us down new etymological routes and tackles questions academics have squabbled over for decades including, what is a hobbit? What does ‘good morning’ really mean? What is an Ent? What makes Tolkien the father of fantasy? Why a ring and not a crown? And why is The Hobbit an afterthought for most, even for Peter Jackson?
Other ideas under investigation include: The Hobbit as a riddle containing riddles; the novel’s relationship to the LOTR trilogy and the 1930s; the riddle of fantasy’s commercial success; Anglo-Saxon riddles; and the importance of ‘Alvíssmál’, about a riddle contest between a god and a dwarf. In this enlightening exploration Roberts uncovers the nature of Tolkien’s handiwork and illustrates how the act of reading is in fact an act of unriddling.
“It was… Tolkien’s unique vision… of himself as both a mortal man, doomed to die, and a spirit promised hidden, mysterious glory for ever, that addresses, in the most profound sense, the riddle that is The Hobbit.”
Riddles of the Hobbit will be released on November 1st. – ISBN. 9781137373632
Adam Roberts is an award-winning novelist and has been nominated three times for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. Roberts’ most recent book, Jack Glass, won the BSFA Best Novel Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Last September, Roberts was a speaker at the British Library celebration of the 75th birthday of The Hobbit, alongside leading Tolkien experts. He is currently Professor of Nineteenth Century Literature at Royal Holloway University, London.
Press contact: Emma.Bal@palgrave.com
+44(0)20 7014 4228
How can you WIN your very own copy of Riddles of the Hobbit?
We have two copies to giveaway. Go to the Legendarium Facebook Page and click the LIKE button to be entered. Winners will be announce October 7th. Winners will receive their book after it is released in November.
Steve, also known as “Rifflo”, is a University MBA Administrator in Ontario Canada where he lives with his wife, Lisa and two young daughters, Alexa and Ava. Steve has an extensive background in corporate sales. Steve also worked for ISAF: International Security Assistance Force and the Canadian Military as a recruiter in Human Resources for the operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan. When not immersed in Tolkien works,sci-fi, and film, you can find him training in Muay Thai, Italian rapier, German longsword, and Mixed Martial Arts. Follow Steve on Twitter @HobbitSteve