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The Book of Lost Tales, Part One: Part One (History of Middle-Earth 1) [Kindle Edition]

J.R.R. Tolkien , Christopher Tolkien
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916-17 when he was twenty-five years old and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for these tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. Embedded in English legend, they are set in the narrative frame of a great westward voyage over the Ocean by a mariner named Eriol (or AElfwine) to Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle, where elves dwelt; from him they learned their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. In these Tales are found the earliest accounts and original ideas of Gods and Elves, Dwarves, Balrogs, and Orcs; of the Silmarils and the Two Trees of Valinor; of Nargothrond and Gondolin; of the geography and cosmology of Middle-earth. Volume One contains the tales of The Music of the Ainur, The Building of valinor, The Chaining of Melko, The coming of the Elves and The Flight of the Noldoli, among others. Each tale is followed by a short essay by Christopher Tolkien, the author's son and literary executor.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Affords us an almost over the shoulder view into the evolving creative process and genius of J.R.R. Tolkien in a new, exciting aspect... the superb, sensitive and extremely helpful commentary by Christopher Tolkien makes all this possible." -- Mythlore

Review

"Affords us an almost over the shoulder view into the evolving creative process and genius of J.R.R. Tolkien in a new, exciting aspect... the superb, sensitive and extremely helpful commentary by Christopher Tolkien makes all this possible." -- Mythlore

Product Details

  • File Size: 1232 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345375211
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (February 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007978NB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 121 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Tolkein fans...wonderful! June 17, 2003
Format:Hardcover
It takes great strength of mind to be able to stick through this book, but if you're a true Tolkien fan, you'll love every minute of it. The Book of Lost Tales Part I tells the story of Eriol, a great mariner who finds his way to the lost island of Tol Eressëa, The Lonely Isle, where dwell a lost tribe of Elves. He finds himself in the company of Lindo and Vairë, who grant him shelter. He becomes a part of their lives, eagerly drinking in the stories they have to tell him of the origin of the world, and the ancient times, of Valinor, the origin of evil, the great works and deeds of the gods, and the creation of the world as it exists now.
For readers of the Silmarillion, many of the stories are familiar. They are told, however, in greater detail than that which is set down in the Silmarillion, and contain several interesting literary differences. (Nearly all of which are expounded on by Christopher Tolkien, who is, of course, the son of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.) Some are as small as name changes, some are opposing details about the events surrounding a character. (Such as Dwarves were originally an evil race by nature, and Beren was an ELF!)
Christopher Tolkien pored through the scribbles and snatches that his father composed in his lifetime, and somehow managed to put it all together in this published form. He even offers commentary on each tale once it is finished. I often found that these commentaries are of little interest; I enjoyed the tales themselves more. Still, there are unique facts to be gleaned, such as such-and-such a page containing differences between this tale and that that Tolkien wrote, and a few interesting facts about his father.
The book contains the very beginning of Middle-Earth, as told to Eriol by Lindo.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Who was Iluvatar? Was he of the Gods?" November 6, 2002
Format:Paperback
"The Book of Lost Tales, Part 1" is the first of two volumes containing the very first versions J.R.R. Tolkien wrote of the legends that ultimately formed "The Silmarillion". He began writing these stories during World War I, and his quest for perfection in their form and presentation was so rigorous that he was unable to publish any version of "The Silmarillion" before his death in 1973. His son Christopher edited "The Silmarillion" for publication and followed it up with thirteen more volumes of his father's writings on Middle-earth and Valinor: "Unfinished Tales" and the mammoth twelve-volume series "The History of Middle-earth," of which "The Book of Lost Tales" comprises the first two volumes.
"The Silmarillion" itself fails to appeal to many readers of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," and the thirteen tomes that followed it will have even less appeal to such readers (except perhaps for the four volumes that show how Tolkien went about writing LotR). However, for Tolkien aficionados the History series (affectionately abbreviated HoMe) is essential reading, and "The Book of Lost Tales, Part 1" is not only its beginning but one of its most important volumes. In it are found versions of the early stories of "The Silmarillion" (the birth of the Two Trees, the coming of the Elves to Valinor, the flight of the Noldoli or Gnomes, later renamed the Noldor by Tolkien, into exile, and the making of the Sun and Moon) which are far fuller than any later versions written by Tolkien, but the plots and nomenclature of which are still far from evolving into their final forms. Reading these stories is necessary to gain a full appreciation of the beauty of Valinor and of the Trees, the Elves' longing for which underlies all of Tolkien's work.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but tough August 3, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It takes great strength of mind to be able to stick through this book, but if you're a true Tolkien fan, you'll love every minute of it. The Book of Lost Tales Part II continues the story of Eriol, a great mariner who finds his way to the lost island of Tol Eressëa, The Lonely Isle, where dwell a lost tribe of Elves. He continues to learn the stories of the ancient world they have to tell him, of the great heroes of the world after its corruption by the Dark Lord Melkor.
For readers of the Silmarillion, many of the stories are familiar. They are told, however, in greater detail than that which is set down in the Silmarillion, and contain several interesting literary differences. (Nearly all of which are expounded on by Christopher Tolkien, who is, of course, the son of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.) Some are as small as name changes, some are opposing details about the events surrounding a character.
I enjoyed reading this book, partly because I am a Tolkien aficionado, and partly because it satisfies the fantasy itch in a lot of people, myself included. The Book of Tales 2 begins (sort of) where Book 1 left off. The stories that the editor, Christopher Tolkien sets forth are less whole and complete than those found in book 1, but this is by no means the fault of Christopher Tolkien. His father, beloved author and scholar J.R.R. Tolkien was perfecting and re-shaping these tales to his death in 1973.
Nonetheless, the stories are enjoyable to read. In Book 2, we read such stories as the Tale of Tinúviel (Or, Lúthien) the elf-maiden who forsook her immortal life for the love of a mortal man, Beren, much as the more popular union between Arwen and Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings books themselves.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not just Elvish history
Heavy read but a must-read for LoTR fans along with The Silmarillion and Book of Unfinished Tales as base for understanding it all.
Published 7 days ago by James S. Kaplan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 9 days ago by angela razo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, although I wanted the official edition and not the book club edition
Published 20 days ago by Michael Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Slow read. Don't stop for a few days or you will get lost (no pun intended).
Published 1 month ago by David Egesdal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant work
Published 2 months ago by Thalis Mantzouranis
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book cover I received is different but it's in excellent...
The book cover I received is different but it's in excellent condition.
Published 2 months ago by Lucas Insfrán Horsch
4.0 out of 5 stars This One's a "Must Have"
This is a "hardcover papaerback" edition -- and is thereby a little awkward to handle, but seeing as how this is the only edition of this book I could find, I'm not... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Russell L. McCollom III
4.0 out of 5 stars Its Tolkien - there is nothing else to really say. Must Read!!
Its Tolkien - there is nothing else to really say. Must Read!!
Published 2 months ago by Jenn RW
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost Tales
Interesting book but I didn't really get or put together the other books and the Sillmarilian.
Overall t h e book was enjoyable.
Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been titled "The Book of First Drafts"
I noticed that many people buy this book thinking it is a "new Silmarillion" or that it has unpublished never-seen-before spectacular stories that rival and compete with... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Juan Pablo
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More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

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