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Great Book but the publishers have really dropped the ball on quality. Was looking to buy and build a collection of some great novels. Its nice to be able to buy have a collection at the reasonable price but you also have to be able to read the book as well. The Hard Cover is fantastic but the typeface and font size leave a lot to be desired. Unless you have a magnifying glass, some super strong reading glasses or perfect 20/20 vision give this a miss.
As advertised this is a book of unfinished stories, notes and essays that were left behind by J.R.R Toliken , later picked up by his son Christopher Tolkien. The book assumes you have prior knowledge of The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings, and The Silmarillion. The book isn't an easy read and I found myself skipping back and forth to the note references to make sense of things. Hence why I titled this review as I did. Some of the stories are either more complete versions from the Silmarillion or more consice versions such as the Children Of Hurin. I am a huge fan of Tolkien works and really enjoyed some of the extra insight this book gives. You will need to be patient, persistent and a Middle Earth fanatic if you are to get the most out of this book.
J.R.R. Tolkien's tales of Middle-Earth weren't restricted just to fantasy epic "Lord of the Rings." His life's work was spread over hundreds of stories and invented legends -- some were compiled into "The Silmarillion." But some were left over -- yes, there were even more stories that didn't make the cut. These little odd bits make up "Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth." The stories are not as interconnected as the Silmarillion was, but they are a solid and enjoyable read. Tolkien presents stories spanning Middle-Earth's history, with dragons and mythical heroes like Turin, background information on Elf queen Galadriel and her husband Celeborn, and different accounts of searches for the One Ring, including more exposition about the wizard-turned-bad Saruman and the other Istari. There are also essays about palantiri, wizards, and the family line of Elrond's mortal brother Elros. Best among these is a "lost chapter" where Gandalf talks to Frodo about the Dwarves, which wouldn't have quite fit into the final novel, but is a good read anyway. This isn't a novel, or even a sort of pseudo-history like "Silmarillion." It's more like a patchwork quilt of little odd bits that don't belong anywhere else. Anybody who hasn't read "Silmarillion," "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" will be hopelessly lost. But those who have read and understood those books will eat these right up -- there's plenty of info about favorite characters like Gandalf, Galadriel, and the heroes and villains from Tolkien's sprawling epics. Tolkien's vivid writing is shown in its different states here -- there's the stately semi-mythic writing, and the more intimate conversational style of "Lord of the Rings." He even dabbles briefly in first-person storytelling through the eyes of Frodo Baggins -- something which, obviously, didn't take. Lots of details and ethereally evocative descriptions make it all come alive. "Unfinished Tales" is a fill-in-the-gaps sort of book, and Tolkien's storytelling genius still shines through in this disjointed collection of essays, bits and pieces. For those hungering for more Middle-Earth.
It arrived yesterday and I haven't put it down. The 18 new illustrations from Ted Nasmith, John Howe and Alan Lee are amazing and the finish on the book is to an exceptional standard. The publishers have outdone themselves. There is a seperate map of Beleriand as well as a new illustration. This is a must buy for Tolkien fans.
For a fan of Tolkien this is a must have. Be aware that this is not the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit and the depth of grandeur portrayed in this book is at a deeper and more profound level. It is mythology at its must sublime.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to supplement their knowledge from The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings.
It can be read from cover to cover but i find as they are not full tales but as the title says - unfinished it is perfectly fine to drop in and out. This is especially true when reading the Akallabeth chapter in The Silmarillion - due to the chapters present in this book on the Second Age.
I think if someone is looking for this book then most likely they already know they will like it. If however you have stumbled upon this page having never read, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion then i would suggest reading all or some of those first as this book supplements the stories in their rather than being full blown stories in their own right.
This is a great edition of Unfinished Tales in which the illustrations really add to the words. It's is very well made. Unfinished Tails is a collection of writings by JRR Tolkien for fans who want to know more about Middle Earth and the deep history behind more well known works such as Lord of the Rings.