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Self obsessed but interesting book
on 23 May 2003
This book continues straight on from the first volume of early versions of the Silmarillion stories.
While the first volume was mostly concerned with the gods of Valinor, here the emphasis is on a more human scale with tales of Turamber, the fall of Gondolin etc… Unfortunately this book is if anything even more inaccessible than its predecessor, due to the increasingly fractured nature of the surviving material (the last two of which consist of little more than fragments) and the editors increasing obsession with the minutiae of these drafts. There really is no need to be informed of every single deviation between drafts unless it is a change of substance – (for example, what benefit is it for us to know that the phrase “ man of greater stature” was originally “a man of great size”?) – and this slows the books reading down to a crawl.
Despite this there is still some very illuminating material here that was greatly compressed in the Silmarillion, so despite the stilted tone this is still worth wading through.