This is a second volume of articles by Mark T. Hooker that picks up where A Tolkienian Mathomium left off. Hooker’s analysis is from a linguistic perspective similar to Tolkien’s. “If you liked the last one, you’re going to like this one,” says the Foreword. Beyond Bree and Hither Shore said that there is “something [in A Tolkienian Mathomium] for everyone with even a passing interest in Tolkien. All of the articles are well researched, insightful, and highly infor-mative.” Tolkien Studies said that it is a “pleasantly eccentric volume ... Hooker has a wide variety of things to say that have not been heard before.” Tolkien Collector’s Guide said A Tolkienian Mathomium “is one of the most unique sets of essays on Tolkien I have read in the past 10 years.” An early review by The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza of the analysis of the origin of the name Tom Bombadil appearing in The Hobbitonian Anthology ranks it as “the best explanation yet of how the name Tom Bombadil came into being.”
That short quotation from the Foreword, as it happens, is mine. Since I had the honor of writing the Foreword to Mark’s new book, that means I have also read it already and can recommend it without reservation. Mark’s translation studies are fascinating (and often quite amusing), while his linguistic explorations are sharp and resourceful. I can honestly say, without hyperbole, that there are interesting ideas on virtually every page of his books. And the price definitely can’t be beat!
Tolkien once wrote that he liked “to wring the juice out of a single sentence, or explore the implications of one word”, and this is exactly what Mark does in his essays. If you’re familiar with him already, from his previous books or articles in Beyond Bree, you’ll no doubt greet The Hobbitonian Anthology like an old friend in a new suit. If you aren’t familiar with him, take my advice and pick up a copy of the book. I think you’ll be glad you did.