El Hobbit: Etimología de una historia

ISBN: 8448049055
ISBN 13: 9788448049058
By: David Day

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Reader's Thoughts


As the two-star rating suggests, the book was okay. I had high expectations for the book, yet it failed to meet most of them. Despite my personal disappointment, the book is quite interesting for the readers who get a kick out of philology, historical linguistics, and/or etymology.


Very interesting analysis of the linguistics that drove J.R.R. Tolkien's characterizations and even plotting of The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings.


My copy of this book is special, in a way. When my parents bought it for me, it wasn't until they were at the checkout that it was discovered that the cover is upside down and backwards, compared with the inside. So, when I read it normally, it looks like I'm reading it upside down. Go figure.


When I first heard about David Day’s The Hobbit Companion, I was expecting just that – a companion volume to either Tolkien’s story or Peter Jackson’s film adaptations. However, when I opened my copy –a beautiful hardcover edition featuring some unique, eye-catching artwork by Dutch artist Lidia Postma – I was pleasantly surprised: instead of simply following the storyline of Tolkien’s book or Peter Jackson’s films, Day’s book focuses on the “verbal hocus-pocus” Tolkien used in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In essence, it is all about language and how Tolkien utilised it to create a story revolving around the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Day presents us with the “chicken and egg” riddle in his chapter on Bilbo: does a name describe its owner, or does the owner inspire the name? This becomes something of a recurring theme within the book, although as we progress, Day’s focus goes from the Hobbits to the other characters within the story, showing us how language helped create their roles. Regardless of whether or not you have any interest in language or linguistics, this is definitely a book worth reading. It is a remarkable attempt to see into the mind of the man who “discovered” Middle-earth and its inhabitants. In reading it, we gain some insight as to how the mythologies of other cultures inspired Tolkien, although it is sometimes unclear whether a given explanation has actually been made by Tolkien, or if it is just conjecture on Day’s part. While Day’s enthusiasm is rampant throughout, it still feels a bit impersonal when reading. One thing I would have liked to have seen is a preface by the author, or even a paragraph “About the Author” at the end of the book. Day has written many books on Tolkien, but aside from citing one of them in his Bibliography, there’s no mention of any of them. Minor quibbles aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Despite not being a step-by-step guide to The Hobbit, The Hobbit Companion will nonetheless provide you with a greater appreciation for the time and care Tolkien put into his stories. I look forward to reading whatever Day comes out with next.

Federiken Masters

Se ve que le había pifiado poniéndolo como leído. Ahora lo pongo en "To read" como corresponde, a la espera de que algún día lo consiga y lo lea.


slow but intersting

Talbot Hook

Certain things about this book are quite good. Some illustrations, interpretations, and passages are very lovely, however, there is an unpleasant amount of speculation- about names, etymology, and the reasons behind Tolkien doing as he did.Also, three dollars, and autographed. :3


One could certainly accuse David Day and Christopher Tolkien of making a living out of J.R.R. Tolkien's work, but at least they constatly put out interesting additions to the Middle-Earth legacy. And this book is a particularly entertaining and illuminating compendium of the linguistic undercurrents that provide a delightful background to the adventures of hobbits and other races of Middle-Earth. Additionally, it's beautifully illustrated and it doesn't recourse to the more known Tolkien illustrators (I love Alan Lee's work, but one does get a little tired of seeing his work or John Howe's in almost everything Tolkien-related).

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