Category “Book Reviews”

Review of The Hobbit Storybook

Saturday, November 10, 2012 16:35

Here’s my latest review for This book is quite a good preview of what to expect in the first Hobbit film:

JW Braun’s Bookshelf

Friday, September 28, 2012 20:23
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Believe it or not, this minute long review didn’t take as long to make as its 5 minute counterparts. I kind of like it, though.

Moving On

Saturday, August 4, 2012 20:38
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Well, I’m selling my house and moving elsewhere, so I’m not sure how many updates I’ll have this month. Here’s a review of The Atlas of Middle-earth:

Harry Potter Themed Book Review

Monday, May 28, 2012 12:27
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I’m glad to get this one finished and out of the way. It’s my June 1 book review for, and it was deceptively complex to do.

Review of “Deep Into the Heart of a Rose”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:00
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Here’s my latest book review for This one has a trivia contest where the question is, “What year was founded?” I’ll give you a hint: it was the same year principal photography began for The Lord of the Rings movies.

J.W. Braun’s Mailbag:

Are there plans for extended editions of The Hobbit films? – Mattie

If I were to take your question literally, my guess is the answer is no. Some years back, Peter Jackson mentioned that he couldn’t have planned the extended editions for The Lord of the Rings because it would have been maddeningly difficult to manage two scripts (and shoot two different versions) for each film. What happened, however, was that the natural process of preparing the films for the theater (where pacing and running times are critical issues) led to the possibility of alternate versions for home viewing (where momentum and time matter less, because the viewer has the option of using the pause or stop button on their remote control.) So even if extended editions for The Hobbit aren’t in the works right now, it’s possible we could still see one sometime next year. – JW

Dear Mr. Braun: In response to your recent post about the continuity problems: if memory serves, Sam is wearing the Ring when he throws himself at the doors which separate him from his master Frodo at the close of Book IV of LotR. At the beginning of Book VI, the next mention of a change in the disposition of The Ring is when Sam puts it back on. No reference is made to Sam having taking the Ring off between the time he puts it on near the end of Book IV and the time he puts it on near the beginning of Book VI. – Bert

It ‘s true that Tolkien does not mention that either the Ring has slipped off Sam’s finger or has been taken off by Sam some time between the end of Book IV and when Sam puts it back on at the beginning of Book VI. While we can infer that this must have happened, it would have been better for Tolkien to have included in the story. Then again, Tolkien puts ten chapters between Books IV and VI, and so most people will never know the difference! (Actually, on a sidenote, I have actually read The Lord of the Rings a few times by skipping Book IV at first, going straight from Book III to Book V – before then reading Books IV and Book VI one after another. It’s not something I’d ever recommend to a first time reader, because there’s a reason Tolkien wrote the story in the order he did; but if you’ve already read The Lord of the Rings, and you want to reread the books with a new twist, I’d give it a try. It’s really interesting to read the story told in Books III and V without having the momentum broken in the middle, and the same is true of Books IV and VI. Also, by reading Frodo and Sam’s adventures without breaking away to read about other characters, I feel I’m able to understand even more how they feel about their isolated journey.) – JW

JW, do you think the creatures in The Hobbit films will talk, unlike the trolls, eagles, and Shelob in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings? – Doug

(Spoiler Alert!) It’s a pretty good bet that Smaug will talk, and probably some goblins too! As for the spiders and eagles, no voice actors have been announced, and it could be that Peter Jackson has decided it would be more consistent with his Lord of the Rings films for these creatures to remain silent in the hobbit movies. Of course, if we’re talking about consistency, then the trolls in The Hobbit should be speaking, right? In the first Lord of the Rings film, Bilbo says the trolls “were all arguing amongst themselves about how they were going to cook us.” And as my TORN colleague Quickbeam has recently reported, that’s exactly what will happen in the first hobbit film! – JW

Book Review for “Magical Worlds of LOTR”

Sunday, April 15, 2012 3:06
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This is my latest review for This month the subject is the book, “The Magical Worlds of The Lord of the Rings: The Amazing Myths, Legends, and Facts Behind the Masterpiece” by David Colbert.

Sean Astin: There And Back Again

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 19:40

It was great to see Sean Astin chat with Cliff Broadway on Cliff’s weekly show yesterday. There were a lot of great moments, such as:

– Sean slipping up and citing the 50th anniversary of the Goonies when he meant to say the 25th. Sean then went into his old man voice, “Way back when we was making that Goonies movie…”

– Sean wowing us all by pulling out props from The Lord of the Rings movies. He had his pack, his pots and pans, his waterskin, and Elanor’s dress. He also had some other nifty LOTR-related items to show us, including his SAG award, and a book with signatures from all the other actors in the films.

– Sean talking about the difficulty of getting verified by Twitter. Cliff mentioned that Elijah’s verified, and Sean launched into a hilarious bit of grumbling about how Elijah in the Grey Havens gets what he wants, but Sean back in Hobbiton writing the damn book doesn’t get any love.

All in all, it was Sean being Sean, and it was a lot of fun.

Book Review

Sometime back I wrote a review of Sean’s autobiography, but it was deleted when I did an upgrade, so I’m reposting it here, especially for Sean’s number one fan:

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Review of Genesis of Oblivion

Thursday, February 2, 2012 17:25
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Here’s my latest book review, from the site of the big game this weekend. It’s about a fantasy series called “Genesis of Oblivion” by Maxwell Alexander Drake. (Be sure to check out and

Latest Book Review

Thursday, December 1, 2011 18:01

I apologize again for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been quite busy! Here’s my latest book review for

Review of J.R.R. Tolkien Artist & Illustrator

Monday, October 31, 2011 7:06

Here’s my latest book review for

Grey HR Line

U.S. Residents Can Now Purchase a signed copy of The Lord of the Films for $5

Or Purchase the Book From These Retailers:
Barnes & Noble | Powell's Books | Amazon: US | US Kindle | Canada | UK | UK Kindle

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