Skip to comments.Review: 'New' Tolkien splendidly rewarding
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 By meticulously combining and editing the many published and unpublished versions of the tale, he has produced at last a coherent, vivid and readable narrative.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publisher calls it the culmination of an effort to bring to the public the vast body of work J.R.R. Tolkien had left unpublished, and largely unfinished, when he died in 1973.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 ...
Do I let you know of these things, Hobbit Hole related?
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...
Was Tom Bombadil kicking back then?
The elves said Bombabil was “oldest” and “fatherless”...
But you know, you really can’t trust an elf.
Was Goldberry the same, or did he have to get a new wife every other century?
I dunno. She was a “River daughter” and was probably older than she appeared. But I’m not sure we knew much more.
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.
Hobbit 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.
My husband pings the list - thanks :~)
I usually have to ask one of the Hobbits or look it up. If find something “new” every time I read it.
No. No Bombadil.
*fingers in ears* Nah, nah, nah, heigh-derry ho....oh crap!
That’s great...I need to order it up on Amazon...
I gotta agree with you there. I never was a big fan.
But I am really looking forward to getting this book!
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.
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.
Yes, illustrations by Alan Lee.
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