24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (Hardcover)
In this book Tolkien gives us his English versions of the lays of Sigurd (aka Siegfried) and Gudrun - old Germanic stories known predominantly from the Edda. These are written in the style of the poetic Edda. This he really manages to pull off, especially when considering that the English language does not lend itself easily to such an undertaking. As such the English used is of very high quality and at times almost difficult to understand. These lays are the main corpus of the book, however, Tolkien junior threw in some goodies: first and foremost a lecture given by professor Tolkien in Oxford (Introduction to the Elder Edda) that is quite excellent. Then there are appendices such as the fragments of Tolkiens Old English version of the Lay of Attila. This is again brilliant. Also, Christopher Tolkien gives us an account of the genesis of these Eddaic stories. We here have standard scolarship, well written but in effect superfluous. He mistakenly continues on the road that these stories refer to historical facts. Unfortunately, by following standard opinion he gets this all wrong (cf. the research of Ritter-Schaumburg, Schmoeckel, et al.).
The book itself is well bound, good font, good paper quality. Alas, the publishers could have spared half the paper had they not gone to such lengths to waste space in order to make the book a little thicker.
All in all, this is highly recommended for those interested in Icelandic heroic epics. However, if you're only acquainted with the Hobbit DO NOT purchase this!