Lord of the Geeks

J.R.R. Tolkien Still Feeds the Nerd Nation’s Imagination.

  1. In 1961, five years after publication of the final volume in John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's three-part fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, the formidable English literary critic Philip Toynbee announced with great relief that popular enthusiasm for Tolkien was now thoroughly tapped out and his works were finally on their way to "merciful oblivion." Nice call, Phil: Four years later, the first American paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings appeared, and the modestly bestselling book—the tale of brave little hobbit Frodo Baggins's quest to destroy the Ring of Power and save Middle Earth from the Dark Lord Sauron—blew up to a youth-cultural legend. Three million copies were sold between 1965 and 1968; the curly-haired Frodo and his white-bearded wizardly protector Gandalf became hippie icons; and merry pranksters decked the walls of college campuses with such graffiti as "J.R.R. Tolkien is hobbit forming" and "Frodo Lives." He still does, in case you hadn't noticed. Even as you read th...

The complete text of “Lord of the Geeks” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.villagevoice.com.

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