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Unfinished Tales: The Lost Lore of Middle-earth Mass Market Paperback – August 12, 1988
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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But there were also several stories, polished, but not quite complete, which pertained to the events in 'The Lord of the Rings' -- things like the story of how Isildur lost the One Ring; like what, exactly, were the Wizards: who sent them and why? Questions like 'How did Galadriel and Celeborn come to rule Lorien?' and 'Just what happened at the Fords of Isen when Saruman attacked Rohan and Theoden's son, Theodred, was slain?'
All these questions and many more are addressed in the many unfinished tales that are to be found in this book: tales from all three of the ages of Middle-earth; from heroes such as Tuor and Turin in the First Age, to Bilbo and Gandalf in the Third. Almost every tale is told in a different style, but each is satisfying, up to the point where it breaks off: then frustration and speculation set in, but also a deep appreciation for the scope and grandeur of Middle-earth and the man who created it.
The story of the compilation of the book is this: Tolkien's son Christopher collected a mass of writings of his father--notes scrawled on scraps of paper, unpublished essays, even letters dealing with Middle-Earth. He edited and organized them, and prepared them for publication, and the result is this book. Because of this, many of the stories are missing detail and have some speculation, and all of them relate to other events related in Tolkien's other works.
Because of the relation to Tolkien's other work, this book should be read AFTER The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion, and should only be approached by those who want to seriously study and learn all there is to know of the world Tolkien created. For the casual reader this compilation may be somewhat tedious, for there is much detail lacking and it is assumed that you already have a knowledge of the history of Middle-Earth as outlined in Tolkien's other books.
For those who are serious about study, though, this book is a great addition to the already extensive world of JRR Tolkien. Ever wonder where Gandalf and the other wizards came from? Why Bilbo was chosen to accompany the Dwarves in The Hobbit? What the palantiri stones do, and where they came from? If so, then this is the book for you. You will find a collection of stories that will greatly enrich the lore of Middle-Earth (and Numenor).Read more ›
What came next was Unfinished Tales, a less-than-satisfying collection of stories and notes about the heroes and kings of the three Ages. But the disappointment didn't lay in the quality of the stories. Rather, it was only their various states of incompleteness, even though some tales (like "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields") were truly fully formed.
The book is most valuable to people who want to know more about the histories and heroes of Middle-earth. People looking for Hobbit-lore will be disappointed. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien reveals more about Hobbits than Unfinished Tales. But there are exciting moments and awesome scenes, such as when Ulmo rises out of the sea before Tuor, and when Isildur realizes that the One Ring has betrayed him to his doom, which stand alongside the most memorable passages of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
Unfinished Tales shows us Tolkien at his best when he was doing nothing more than just writing out his thoughts concerning various peoples and events only mentioned in The Lord of the Rings.
A particular gem is the story of Aldarion and Erendis, the only story of Numenor before its fall. Through it, Numenor becomes a living place, not just a name from legends.
A map of Numenor is also included in the book.
A lovely book - no other words for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been on the lookout for this book since I became a fan of Lord of the Rings, and I finally found it to match my set!Published 3 days ago by Jenna Johnson
Great book. Adds just a touch more info on Tolkien's world and characters.Published 6 days ago by yazhigrl101
Tolkien was an obsessive genius and I am a life-long fan. But the original Trilogy + Hobbit is more than enough J.R.R. for anyone except other obsessives. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Bought this book to read through some of the missing details and references in LOTR, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Read morePublished 2 months ago by nljam23