Paul Genesse left a great review of Middle-earth Madness at Amazon. Here it is!
What do you get a huge fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies? A copy of Middle-earth Madness of course! J.W. Braun and TheOneRing.net staff have put together an awesome collection of essays and inside information that super fans will love to read. The book is largely about the first two Hobbit movies by Peter Jackson, but there is a ton more information about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Middle-earth movies by Ralph Bakshi and Rankin/Bass.
You get to read about the history of The Hobbit films, behind the scenes info, and lots of interviews with the cast and crew. Each major part of the first and second Hobbit movies were summarized and detailed observations were made by the authors. Learning inside information was my favorite part, as I want to know as much as possible about the films and how they were created.
The Q&A with artist and designer Daniel Falconer was a highlight. Learning his feelings about working on the films after being a huge fan his whole life made me smile. The interview with Lord of the Rings producer Mark Ordesky was also fantastic–even though I’d read it before on TheOneRing.net.
I loved the essay by Hobbit girl and fantasy author, Kellie Rice. The essay, Hobbitception, goes over how the video of Kellie and her sister Alex watching the first trailer for The Desolation of Smaug went viral after Peter Jackson promoted it. It has over 450,000 views on YouTube. Jackson showed it to some of the Hobbit cast, filmed it, and that video of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Lee Pace, went viral as well. I remember the event and learning the exact backstory was so fun. Of course I had to re-watch the video of Kellie and Alex again. I laughed and smiled along with them as they screamed and freaked out.
There’s a lot of highlights in Middle-earth Madness, especially the in depth interviews of Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), William Kircher (Bifur), and all the little snippets about the other cast and crew members.
This is a book by fans for fans. The authors put together a great collection of behind the scenes Middle-earth movie lore that will delight readers and especially Ringers.
Tip of the hat to: J.W. Braun, Clifford Broadway, Larry Curtis, John Webster, Kirsten Cairns–who did excellent interviews, Catherine Frizat, John Webster, Kristin Thompson, Nancy Steinman, and all TheOneRing.net crew.