The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, 1911

"The Opera Ghost really existed!"  So claimed Gaston Leroux in this famous opening line from his most famous novel. Court report, theater critic, journalist, international correspondent.  These are some of the hats that Gaston Leroux wore before turning to detective fiction in 1907.  He wrote Le Fantôme de l'Opéra as a serialized pulp adventure in 1909-1910, … Continue reading The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, 1911

The Lord of the Rings – Prologue: “Concerning Hobbits” and Other Matters

The massive journey that is The Lord of the Rings officially begins.  As much as I thoroughly enjoyed my deep explorations into The Hobbit, I've been looking forward to this leg of the adventure from the beginning.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this is my favorite novel.  And that's how I look … Continue reading The Lord of the Rings – Prologue: “Concerning Hobbits” and Other Matters

The Hobbit – Chapter 4: “Over Hill and Under Hill”

Rivendell is the transition point of Middle-Earth, where fact and legend collide.  To the west are all things hospitable and civilized.  To the east are all things wild, unknown, and dangerous.  For Bilbo, leaving Rivendell is the scariest thing he can imagine, especially in light of how incredible he found it to be.  And yet, … Continue reading The Hobbit – Chapter 4: “Over Hill and Under Hill”

Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-Earth by John Garth

Many a Tolkien fan knows that Middle Earth was forged by the fires of World War I. Some of the Tolkien scholars out there will even know a great deal about what's in this book. But what will separate this book from others is witnessing how Middle Earth evolves in parallel to Tolkien's life and … Continue reading Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-Earth by John Garth