Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien

The fullest available account of the tale of Turin Turambar is here extracted by Christopher Tolkein from the mass of his father's papers and published as a stand-alone book. The story of the doomed Turin's failure to escape his fate is downbeat in an almost Jude the Obscure-like way so this is far from a fun read. It is, however, a great treat to have the story put forward in this form: largely freed from the entanglements of the surrounding events and the vagaries of composition that crowd in on the various versions presented in the History of Middle Earth. Tolkien enthusiasts will, of course, have bought this book regardless but for those hooked by the Lord of the Rings it might actually be the best available taster for the stories of the elder days and draw in an additional readership for the legends that were central to Tolkien's great creation.


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