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Unfinished Tales Paperback – 9 Feb 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Paperback, 9 Feb 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (9 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0261103628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261103627
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 4.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Moments of mythic grandeur’
Sunday Times

‘Another monument to the incredible imagination of Tolkien’
Sunday Telegraph

From the Inside Flap

An extraordinary discovery is waiting for you on these pages. Mythic lore and forgotten legends unearthed by Christopher Tolkien from his father's archives unveil never-before-told stories of the three ages of ancient Middle-earth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
J.R.R. Tolkien's tales of Middle-Earth weren't restricted just to fantasy epic "Lord of the Rings." His life's work was spread over hundreds of stories and invented legends -- some were compiled into "The Silmarillion."
But some were left over -- yes, there were even more stories that didn't make the cut. These little odd bits make up "Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth." The stories are not as interconnected as the Silmarillion was, but they are a solid and enjoyable read.
Tolkien presents stories spanning Middle-Earth's history, with dragons and mythical heroes like Turin, background information on Elf queen Galadriel and her husband Celeborn, and different accounts of searches for the One Ring, including more exposition about the wizard-turned-bad Saruman and the other Istari.
There are also essays about palantiri, wizards, and the family line of Elrond's mortal brother Elros. Best among these is a "lost chapter" where Gandalf talks to Frodo about the Dwarves, which wouldn't have quite fit into the final novel, but is a good read anyway.
This isn't a novel, or even a sort of pseudo-history like "Silmarillion." It's more like a patchwork quilt of little odd bits that don't belong anywhere else. Anybody who hasn't read "Silmarillion," "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" will be hopelessly lost. But those who have read and understood those books will eat these right up -- there's plenty of info about favorite characters like Gandalf, Galadriel, and the heroes and villains from Tolkien's sprawling epics.
Tolkien's vivid writing is shown in its different states here -- there's the stately semi-mythic writing, and the more intimate conversational style of "Lord of the Rings.
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Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have made clear, this is most assuredly not a book for Tolkien neophytes. Therefore I shall assume the prospective buyer has a basic knowledge of the Middle Earth saga.

Unfinished Tales is indeed "the one truly essential set of supplementary/outtake material", and Tolkien scholars are strongly advised to pick this up as soon as they finish reading The Silmarillion. For two reasons:

1. "The Sil" is hard work - its presentational style, half-Bible/half-history-textbook, renders it inaccessible to a lot of people. But if you manage to finish it you can reward yourself with Unfinished Tales, which deepens your enjoyment of "the Sil" by providing more detailed (more gripping, more compulsively re-readable!) accounts of the same events, even though they are fragmentary and at-variance-with-other-writings.

The first section of the book begins with the expanded account of Tuor's early life and his mission to Gondolin which, for some, is the greatest of all Tolkien's obscure writings. But the piece that follows it, "Narn i hin Hurin" (tale of the children of Hurin), is certainly another candidate for the title - an extensive recounting of the disaster-ridden lives of Turin and Nienor. Even with a large section of the story (including the whole of Turin's sojourn in Nargothrond) missing, it winds up being the most emotionally draining thing Tolkien ever wrote.

The third section gives a more detailed background to the events at the end of the Third Age (i.e The Lord Of The Rings). There are accounts of "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields" and of the past tribulations of Rohan, and its special relationship with Gondor. There is Gandalf's perspective on the background to "The Quest of Erebor" (i.
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By A Customer on 8 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
" Unfinished stories " is a collection of stories about Middle-earth that were never published before, and can not be found (in this version) in "The history of middle earth". They are brought together, edited and commented by Tolkiens' son Christopher. It must be said however that it assumes a rather good knowledge of the Lord of the rings and the Silmarillion. Most of the stories are (like the title implies) not completed. But for anyone who loves Tolkiens stories this can't be a obstacle, because it contains very enlarged versions of stories from the silmarillion, and even a fragment from LOTR that was left out of the book. Together with some other short essays and even a long love story this makes an unmissable item to the collection of every Tolkien - fan. If you don't really know Tolkien you should better start with reading his other books.
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Format: Paperback
As mentioned in other reviews of this book, don't expect a fantastic awe-inspiring narrarive from this one. Unfinished Tales simply fills in the gaps and elaborates on aspects of Middle Earth for those who wish to examine the addictive world that Tolkein created. Nevertheless, the book is still a fine piece of work and superbly edited/amended by Tolkein's son, Christopher. Many elements are covered in this book, from the adventures of Elves and Men of the First Age to the events that occured after those that transpired in the Lord of the Rings. It explores in depth many of the unknown characters who are important to understanding the history of Middle Earth, and also goes into tales concerning some now well-established characters (e.g. Elrond, Gandalf, Sauron and Galadriel).
I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys the world that Tolkien created and wishes to gain a better understanding of the characters and events that surround the epic War of the Ring. My only warning is to be prepared for many appendicies, footnotes and indexes that. Their inclusion is often with the intention of providing a clearer picture, but often have the opposite effect and you end up more confused than ever. But, then again, trying to solve the mysteries of Middle Earth adds to the enjoyment even more.
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