71. J.R.R. Tolkien - The Return of the King


In this episode of Backlisted Andy and John are joined by Dan Kieran, author and entrepreneur and co-founder of Unbound. Dan is the author of twelve books, including the timeless classic Crap Towns, and the soon-to-be-published The Surfboard: How Using My Hands Helped Unlock My Mind and we welcome back Dr Una McCormack, a British/Irish writer and academic, who has appeared on two previous Backlisteds talking about Georgette Heyer and Anita Brookner. Una lectures in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin and is co-director of the Anglia Ruskin University Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy but is best known as the author of a bestselling series of tie-in novels for Star Trek and Doctor Who. The book under discussion is The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, first published as the final part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1955, and easily the least obscure book yet discussed on Backlisted. Before the main discussion Andy shares his recent reading haul, including the book he enjoyed most (Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban) and John talks about Olivia Laing’s wonderful debut novel, Crudo.

Books mentioned:

J.R.R Tolkien – The Return of the KingThe Lord of the RingsThe Silmarillion
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings (BBC Radio 4 adaptation with Ian Holm, Michael Hordern)
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Silmarillion (audiobook read by Martin Shaw)
Dan Kieran & Sam Jordison – Crap Towns Returns
Dan Kieran – The Surfboard
Una McCormack – Doctor Who: The Way through the Woods
Russell Hoban – Riddley Walker
D.H. Lawrence – Sons & Lovers
Nicola Barker – H(a)ppy
Georges Simenon – The Krull House
Derek Taylor – As Time Goes By
Olivia Laing – Crudo; To the River; The Trip to Echo Spring; The Lonely City
Vladimir Nabokov – Pale Fire
Edward Thomas – In Pursuit of Spring
Douglas Adams – A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
John Garth – Tolkien & the Great War
Ronald Hutton – Witches, Druids & King Arthur

Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson – Games Workshop 1975 – 1985 (Unbound Project Worth Backing)

Other links:

Opening and closing music - Stephen Oliver's soundtrack from the BBC R4 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings
Backlisted survey
Dan's original pitch (awarded a First by Una)
Led Zeppelin – ‘Ramble On’
Tolkien interview clips and the student vox pops, BBC 1968 - Part 1
Tolkien interview clips and the student vox pops BBC 1968 - Part 2
Lynda Snell reviews The Silmarillion on The Archers
Julian Barnes on The Krull House by Georges Simenon (LRB, April 2017)

Thanks to Spoke for sponsoring this episode - Spoke cut trousers in more sizes and custom finish for a flawless fit – delivered in two working days. For £20 off your first purchase, use the code BACKLISTED20 at checkout (valid to 31 August, 2018).