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Review: 'New' Tolkien splendidly rewarding
cnn ^ | Bruce DeSilva

Posted on 04/17/2007 3:45:21 PM PDT by maquiladora

(AP) -- Six thousand years before the Fellowship of the Ring, long before anyone had even seen a Hobbit, the elves and men of Middle-earth quaked at the power of the dark lord Morgoth...

It is the fruit of 30 years labor by Christopher Tolkien, the author's son, who has devoted much of his life to editing and publishing the work his father left behind. By meticulously combining and editing the many published and unpublished versions of the tale, he has produced at last a coherent, vivid and readable narrative.

His story, released today by Houghton Mifflin, is a publishing event: It is the first new book by the creator of "The Lord of the Rings" in 30 years. The publisher calls it the culmination of an effort to bring to the public the vast body of work J.R.R. Tolkien had left unpublished, and largely unfinished, when he died in 1973.

Tolkien began writing "The Children of Hurin" 99 years ago, abandoning it and taking it up again repeatedly throughout his life. Versions of the tale already have appeared in "The Silmarillion," "Unfinished Tales" and as narrative poems or prose sections of the "History of Middle-earth" series.

But they were truncated and contradictory. Outside of Tolkien scholars and Middle-earth fanatics, few read them.

These works were, after all, largely unreadable -- dense, hard to follow histories and legends of Tolkien's vast, imaginary world, crammed with complicated genealogies, unfamiliar geography and hard-to-pronounce names. Readers who took up such books hoping for another Rings saga or charming yarn such as "The Hobbit" abandoned them after a few pages.

"The Children of Hurin" is the book for which these readers have been longing.

(Excerpt) Read more at edition.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; The Hobbit Hole
KEYWORDS: hurin; tolkien

1 posted on 04/17/2007 3:45:22 PM PDT by maquiladora
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To: Lil'freeper

Ping


2 posted on 04/17/2007 3:48:40 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper (It looks like one of those days when one nuke is just not enough-- Lt. Col. Mitchell, SG-1)
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To: HairOfTheDog

Do I let you know of these things, Hobbit Hole related?


3 posted on 04/17/2007 3:51:23 PM PDT by Old Sarge (+ /_\)
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To: maquiladora

I have read all of Tolkien’s versions of that story, as well as the Kalevala, part of which the story was based on. *sigh* Now I’ll have to go find a bookstore...


4 posted on 04/17/2007 3:54:06 PM PDT by Hyzenthlay (VA Tech, we're praying for you.)
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To: maquiladora

Was Tom Bombadil kicking back then?


5 posted on 04/17/2007 4:33:19 PM PDT by pissant
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To: pissant; ecurbh; JenB; 2Jedismom; HairOfTheDog; Overtaxed

The elves said Bombabil was “oldest” and “fatherless”...

But you know, you really can’t trust an elf.


6 posted on 04/17/2007 5:22:37 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.com)
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To: Corin Stormhands

Was Goldberry the same, or did he have to get a new wife every other century?


7 posted on 04/17/2007 5:24:49 PM PDT by pissant
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To: pissant

I dunno. She was a “River daughter” and was probably older than she appeared. But I’m not sure we knew much more.


8 posted on 04/17/2007 5:29:15 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.com)
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To: Corin Stormhands

I used to remember so much about this stuff as a grade schooler. It’s been 30 years since I read it.

The odd, side characters really made it great for me. Bombadil, Farmer Maggot, Grima, Radagast, etc.


9 posted on 04/17/2007 5:33:21 PM PDT by pissant
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To: 2Jedismom; 300winmag; Alkhin; Alouette; ambrose; Anitius Severinus Boethius; artios; athelass; ...

Ring Ping!!

FrodoHobbit Hole Troop support blog.
Anyone wishing to be added to or removed from the Ring-Ping list, please don't hesitate to let me know.

10 posted on 04/17/2007 5:34:44 PM PDT by ecurbh (Giuliani 2008 - http://www.rudygforamerica.com/)
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To: Old Sarge

My husband pings the list - thanks :~)


11 posted on 04/17/2007 5:35:20 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: pissant

I usually have to ask one of the Hobbits or look it up. If find something “new” every time I read it.


12 posted on 04/17/2007 5:41:09 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.com)
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To: Corin Stormhands

No. No Bombadil.

*fingers in ears* Nah, nah, nah, heigh-derry ho....oh crap!


13 posted on 04/17/2007 5:46:00 PM PDT by Overtaxed (Drown the polar bears!)
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To: maquiladora

Interesting.


14 posted on 04/17/2007 5:49:00 PM PDT by Dante3
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To: ecurbh

That’s great...I need to order it up on Amazon...


15 posted on 04/17/2007 5:56:33 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: Overtaxed

I gotta agree with you there. I never was a big fan.

But I am really looking forward to getting this book!


16 posted on 04/17/2007 6:07:40 PM PDT by 2Jedismom (http://kimsbug.blogspot.com/)
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To: maquiladora
But they were truncated and contradictory. Outside of Tolkien scholars and Middle-earth fanatics, few read them.

I read them, with the understanding that they were truncated and contradictory. The various versions still offered flashes of brilliance and beauty. It was like reading fragments of an ancient saga from differing eras and writers. But in this case, it was from a single genius who developed a universe and mythology that he spent his entire life working on.

Lord of the Rings was a tiny sliver of his universe that still took the author years to complete, despite loyal readers clamoring for the whole story.

17 posted on 04/17/2007 6:08:43 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill never fails)
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To: Corin Stormhands

Does that say Alan Lee illustrated? My glasses are in the living room but there is Algebra taking place in there and I dare not enter.


18 posted on 04/17/2007 6:10:01 PM PDT by 2Jedismom (http://kimsbug.blogspot.com/)
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To: Leatherneck_MT
Have to read this so we'll have something to talk about Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
19 posted on 04/17/2007 6:23:02 PM PDT by Shimmer128 (FR is a party where the guests like you, but the hosts don't.)
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To: 2Jedismom

Yes, illustrations by Alan Lee.


20 posted on 04/17/2007 6:52:44 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.com)
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To: maquiladora; Hyzenthlay

I started reading the series back in the early 70’s in high school. This sounds good. I’ll have to buy myself a copy, too.


21 posted on 04/17/2007 8:17:12 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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related:

New Tolkien epic to be released in April
CBC Arts | March 26, 2007
Posted on 03/26/2007 6:21:35 PM EDT by Caleb1411
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1807121/posts


22 posted on 04/17/2007 9:48:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: 2Jedismom
My glasses are in the living room but there is Algebra taking place in there and I dare not enter.

Sounds series!

23 posted on 04/18/2007 8:57:32 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: maquiladora; All

My copy arrived today! It’s beautiful. The illustrations are fabulous. Of course, I skipped through it to see them first. I’ve only read the preface so far. I’ll start the story tomorrow. I’ve read it before in it’s other forms, but this is going to be fantastic!


24 posted on 04/19/2007 2:51:27 AM PDT by athelass (Proud Mom of a Sailor and a Marine! Frodo Lives!)
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To: maquiladora

Now all I need is Sam Raimi to direct The Hobbit and my Middle Earth life will be complete!


25 posted on 04/20/2007 2:46:00 PM PDT by JohnnyZ ("I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose" -- Mitt Romney, April 2002)
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To: JohnnyZ
There's still no official word on Sam Raimi making The Hobbit, though he has gone on the record recently saying that he'd love to do it if Peter Jackson gave his blessing.

Considering Pete is a huge Evil Dead fan and pretty much resigned to not being able to make The Hobbit with New Line anymore, I can't see why he wouldn't give Sam full support.

26 posted on 04/21/2007 7:32:32 PM PDT by maquiladora
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To: Hyzenthlay
Readers who took up such books hoping for another Rings saga or charming yarn such as "The Hobbit" abandoned them after a few pages.

Now how can you say, "I have read all of Tolkien’s versions of that story, as well as the Kalevala, part of which the story was based on," when it's refuted right there in print!

(Congrats on your hard work.)

27 posted on 06/17/2007 2:39:43 PM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus)
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