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Andrew O’Hehir’s “Jackson Leaves Tolkien Behind” Is an Epic Tome

In response to Andrew O'Hehir’s 1412‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on

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Though most critics are lamenting the fact that director Peter Jackson chose to take J. R. R. Tolkein’s beloved book and turn it into three separate, sprawling films, Andrew O’Hehir’s review, “‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: Jackson leaves Tolkien behind” could have easily been divided into three reviews without losing a beat.

There’s more content here than most critics provide in a year and this either damns Jackson leaves Tolkien behind or is its salvation, depending on your interest in the source material.

If you have only a passing interest in The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit or don’t know Legolas from Radagast, you’ll be bored (and/or lost) by the second or third paragraph.

Conversely, if you are heavily invested in the Tolkein universe (are Salon fans secret geeks—who knows?), O’Hehir’s opus will be a dream come true. There’s enough depth here to make this the go-to review for anyone with a Galadriel poster on their bedroom wall and O’Hehir’s prose is sturdy enough to carry the extra insider-only weight.

It’s often funny and always flowing, but it’s just a little overlong for folks who only want the straight facts. Decide which camp you belong to and plan accordingly.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation