Students: The Hobbit Habit

Holden Caulfield is a moldy fig; the Lord of the Flies has been swatted. This year, the unquestioned literary god on college campuses is a three-foot-high creature with long curly hair on his feet, a passion for six vast meals a day, and the improbable name of Frodo Baggins. And would you believe that Frodo is a hobbit?

Hairy feet and all, Frodo Baggins is the reluctant hero of this year's "In" book—a three-volume fantasy called The Lord of the Rings. Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, 74, a retired Oxford philologist, the Rings trilogy...

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