My thoughts on this book are not entirely clear. It is very much a work of an academic nature, less-so the straightforward narrative of Tuor and Gondolin, but a look by Christopher Tolkien at his father's writing and revision process. Herein are gathered together six drafts of the same story, each of a different length, along with commentary notes.
I would be lying if I called this an exciting read, although the Last Version (pgs 145-239) is beautiful but woefully unfinished. Yet I am glad that I read it. As a storyteller myself, seeing how Tolkien worked over his narratives multiple times helped remind me that no one gets it right the first time.
The ending chapters where Christopher offers up what are now his final thoughts on his father's work (for he died in January of 2020), are perhaps the most engaging overall, but they would only be so to do most dedicated of Tolkienite. I am only on the cusp of such adoration, but I am glad that I read this book cover to cover. In the long run, I do believe it was worth it.
Copied from "People of Middle Earth": Honestly, I learned so much about writing and understanding the world around me by reading these books from Tolkien. Getting this break down of how the world of Middle Earth ran made things so interesting. As I started to get more and more into history, so much of his world building, and the wars going on between Sauron and the free people of Middle Earth, or the wars between the Elves and Morgoth, or (I could continue) were such clear parallels to what was happening in Tolkien's world.... and they are still such clear parallels to what is happening in today's world. We always talk about how Dystopian novels are a way of warning us about the path we're following, and how our future might turn out, but we forget that a lot of Fantasy novels are also reflections of people today, and how we need to get our acts together.
I liked the overall story and structure of "Beren and Luthien" better. This book seemed to tell the same story over and over again, without any change in form (prose). I found myself skipping over many pages. I think you'd have to be an extreme fan of Tolkien to really treasure this book (I'm talking Stephen Colbert-level). The illustrations are good.
Tolkien Society of Kansas City will finish reading this book in October and discuss it on October 26th (location TBD)
There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.
There are no summaries for this title yet.
There are no notices for this title yet.
There are no quotes for this title yet.