It is currently Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:24 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 213 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:37 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39747
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
TORN, that's great! It's nice to see a good book at #1.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 11:52 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 34029
Elizabeth Hand's review in the Washington Post:

Quote:
THE CHILDREN OF Húrin
By J. R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
ISBN 0618894640
313 pages
$26
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reviewed by Elizabeth Hand
If anyone still labors under the delusion that J.R.R. Tolkien was a writer of twee fantasies for children, this novel should set them straight. A bleak, darkly beautiful tale played out against the background of the First Age of Tolkien's Middle Earth, "The Children of Húrin" possesses the mythic resonance and grim sense of inexorable fate found in Greek tragedy.

According to Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien's son and literary executor, "The Children of Húrin" had its genesis in a tale penned by his father in 1919. Tolkien obsessively wrote and rewrote stories over the course of his long life, and slightly variant tellings of this tale have previously appeared in several of his other works. But this is its first stand-alone publication, incorporating all the various versions and attendant fragments into a seamless whole. Does it warrant the attention of readers other than Tolkien purists?

Absolutely. Even casual readers, as well as fans of Peter Jackson's phenomenally successful film adaptation, will find their experience of Middle Earth considerably enriched by this new volume, which also features superb illustrations (both color and black and white) by Alan Lee.

"The Children of Húrin" takes place 6,000 years before the Council of Elrond (a pivotal event in "The Lord of the Rings"), as Christopher Tolkien points out in his useful introduction. Its setting is not your great-great-grandfather's Middle Earth, but the forests and mountains of Beleriand, a country that was drowned, like Atlantis, eons before various Bagginses and their ilk populated the Shire.

There are no hobbits in "The Children of Húrin." The primary players are Men; Elves; Orcs; a few Dwarves; Morgoth, the original Dark Lord (Sauron was his most powerful lieutenant); and Glaurung, "father of dragons," who ranks with the monstrous spider Shelob as one of Tolkien's most terrifying creations. For centuries, Men and Elves have been engaged in a mostly losing battle against Morgoth's forces, whose members -- Orcs but also Men known as Easterlings -- resemble marauding Vikings more than the crude, slightly cartoonish regiments depicted in "The Lord of the Rings." More than any other Tolkien work, "The Children of Húrin" evokes the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon epics that Tolkien loved and studied and taught and emulated. Its central protagonist, Túrin, is one of the most complex characters in all Middle Earth, a tormented, brooding anti-hero who bears hallmarks of a sword-wielding Heathcliff.

Shortly after the book opens, Túrin's father, Lord Húrin the Steadfast, has been imprisoned by Morgoth following a doomed campaign mounted by Elves and Men. In the battle's aftermath, the 9-year-old Túrin and his pregnant mother, Morwen, barely manage to escape becoming thralls of the Easterlings. At Morwen's urging, the boy flees to a hidden Elvish kingdom where he finds sanctuary. His sister is born not long after.

Túrin grows to manhood among the Elves, whose king treats him as a foster son, giving him a dragon-crested helm that is an heirloom of Túrin's forebears. Such treatment, along with Túrin's sternly aloof, even haughty, demeanor, causes resentment among some of the Elves. One of these detractors goads Túrin, then waylays him, and Túrin inadvertently causes his attacker's death. Out of shame and remorse, but also pride, Túrin leaves the kingdom before learning he has been pardoned. He joins forces with a group of outlaws, and in short order becomes their leader, mustering them against the Orcs.

The House of Húrin matches that of Atreus in curses coming home to roost upon doomed and sometimes innocent family members. Readers looking for happy endings will find none in this book. Instead, there is grand, epic storytelling and a reminder, if one was needed, of Tolkien's genius in creating an imaginary world that both reflects and deepens a sense of our own mythic past, the now-forgotten battles and legends that gave birth to the "Aeneid," the Old Testament, the "Oresteia," the "Elder Eddas" and the "Mabinogion, Beowulf" and "Paradise Lost."

Years from now, when our present day is as remote from men and women (or cyborgs) as the events of the First Age were to the Council of Elrond, people may still tell tales out of Middle Earth. If so, "The Children of Húrin" will be one of them.

Elizabeth Hand's eighth novel, the psychological thriller "Generation Loss," has just been published.

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 11:02 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 34029
I finally received by deluxe edition in the mail today from Amazon. It is beautiful. :)

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:57 pm 
Offline
friend to badgers – namer of ponies
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:56 pm
Posts: 1979
Location: The Withywindle Valley
I received my deluxe edition as well. (It may have come Friday, but I was out of the office Friday afternoon.) I opened the box from Amazon, but I'll wait to remove the protective plastic seal until I get home. I can hardly wait! :D

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:56 am 
Offline
of Vinyamar
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm
Posts: 8424
Location: Ireland
I got my deluxe version as well, but I actually went out and bought the standard hardback too, just cause it matches the other Hardback editions really nicely. :oops:

_________________
Image
The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:26 pm 
Offline
Bregalad's Lost Entwife
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:15 pm
Posts: 1091
Location: Rooted in the northern woods
Well, Alatar, you're known as a collector of Tolkien stuff... :D

I found the standard edition a couple of weeks ago, and am content with that one - after all, it's the story that matters. (I haven't even seen the deluxe edition around here, not even in the biggest bookstores, and if I can find something in a shop, I won't order it online.) I've only read the first two chapters by now, I wanted to finish HoME 8 before taking up CoH.

_________________
Image
See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.
~ Lao Tzu


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:20 pm 
Offline
of Vinyamar
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm
Posts: 8424
Location: Ireland
On The Outer Banks I wrote:
I'm reading at the moment. So far I can't see any real difference from what I remember of the UT version. Got chills reading the account of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad though.

The "introduction" on the other hand was a really bad idea. I've read the Sil a number of times, UT a couple and the first 5 of the HoME books, and I still found it confusing! Why did he insist on trying to explain everything mentioned in the story? Tolkien didn't do that with LotR and we managed all right!

We need a "Silmarillion Virgin" to read this for us (without the introduction) and tell us what they think!


Since then I have moved past chapters 3 and 4. Hurins conversation with Morgoth was as I remembered, except I was surprised to see the chapter finish:

Quote:
And taking Húrin back to Angband he set him in a chair of stone upon a high place of Thangorodrim, from which he could see afar the land of Hithlum in the west and the lands of Beleriand in the south. There he was bound by the power of Morgoth; and Morgoth standing beside him cursed him again and set his power upon him, so that he could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should release him.

'Sit now there,' said Morgoth, 'and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom you have delivered to me. For you have dared to mock me, and have questioned the power of Melkor, Master of the fates of Arda. Therefore with my eyes you shall see, and with my ears you shall hear, and nothing shall be hidden from you.'


For some reason I strongly feel that the position of those two sentences should be reversed. I don't know if it was ever structured that way, but finishing on the dialogue seems to weaken the previous sentence, to my mind anyway!

I love that we get to meet Túrin the boy and to see how he was shaped into the man he became. Its to Tolkien's credit that he allows us to see the childs tears and grief, whether born of self pity, or simply sorrow. Too many authors speak of sorrow as something borne stoically. Its nice to see that Túrin, at this stage, can still cry and not appear weak because of it.

_________________
Image
The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:57 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 34029
Alatar wrote:
I'm reading at the moment. So far I can't see any real difference from what I remember of the UT version. Got chills reading the account of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad though.


Not surprisingly, there is already a website up that lists all the differences. I can track it down for you if you would like

Quote:
The "introduction" on the other hand was a really bad idea. I've read the Sil a number of times, UT a couple and the first 5 of the HoME books, and I still found it confusing! Why did he insist on trying to explain everything mentioned in the story? Tolkien didn't do that with LotR and we managed all right!


I SO agree with this. I strongly urge people to skip the introduction altogether. It doesn't tell you anything that you need to know, and it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth (at least in my mouth). Worse, I am utterly disappointed that he chose to leave out the Introductary Preface that Tolkien himself wrote for the Narn (which Christopher refers to and quotes part of in The War of the Jewels).

Quote:
We need a "Silmarillion Virgin" to read this for us (without the introduction) and tell us what they think!


That would be really interesting!

Quote:
Since then I have moved past chapters 3 and 4. Hurins conversation with Morgoth was as I remembered, except I was surprised to see the chapter finish:

Quote:
And taking Húrin back to Angband he set him in a chair of stone upon a high place of Thangorodrim, from which he could see afar the land of Hithlum in the west and the lands of Beleriand in the south. There he was bound by the power of Morgoth; and Morgoth standing beside him cursed him again and set his power upon him, so that he could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should release him.

'Sit now there,' said Morgoth, 'and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom you have delivered to me. For you have dared to mock me, and have questioned the power of Melkor, Master of the fates of Arda. Therefore with my eyes you shall see, and with my ears you shall hear, and nothing shall be hidden from you.'


For some reason I strongly feel that the position of those two sentences should be reversed. I don't know if it was ever structured that way, but finishing on the dialogue seems to weaken the previous sentence, to my mind anyway!


That doesn't bother me.

Quote:
I love that we get to meet Túrin the boy and to see how he was shaped into the man he became. Its to Tolkien's credit that he allows us to see the childs tears and grief, whether born of self pity, or simply sorrow. Too many authors speak of sorrow as something borne stoically. Its nice to see that Túrin, at this stage, can still cry and not appear weak because of it.


Yes, I really agree. I think that the Túrin of The Children of Húrin is probably the best developed character in all of Tolkien's work. For that reason alone, I am thankful that this work has been published (despite the extra work it has caused me in working on my own book!).

And of course it has given Alan Lee the excuse to create some of the best Tolkien-inspired art ever!

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:23 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 34029
I have identified two comments by Christopher in The War of the Jewels that I think may undermine his assertion that The Children of Húrin was created with a minimum of editorial interference, and “without distortion or invention”.

He states:
Quote:
I said in Unfinished Tales (p. 150): 'From the point in the story where Túrin and his men established themselves in the ancient dwelling of the Petty-dwarves on Amon Rûdh there is no completed narrative on the same detailed plan [as in the preceding parts], until the Narn takes up again with Túrin's journey northwards after the fall of Nargothrond: from the existing materials I formed a brief narrative in The Silmarillion, Chapter 21 . . . .
(The War of the Jewels, pp. 313-314.)


This statement appears to contradict statements in the preface of The Children of Húrin. It is difficult to comprehend how the much longer narratives covering these events in that book were created “without distortion or invention” or “with a minimum of editorial presence” (The Children of Húrin, p. 7), if Christopher had to draft the brief account that appears in The Silmarillion because there was no completed narrative regarding those parts of the story. Perhaps, he was able to discover a more complete narrative in the intervening 30 years.

The second is more difficult to dismiss. Christopher notes that he took the story of the dwarf-mask that Túrin wears at Nargothrond's fall from a statement in text in the “vast assemblage of the Narn papers” telling of how Túrin found a dwarf-mask in the armories of Nargothrond and indicates that he “extended Túrin’s wearing of it to the battle of Tumhalad.” (The War of the Jewels, p. 144.) This definitely seems to contradict Christopher’s statement that The Children of Húrin was created “without distortion or invention”, since Túrin’s wearing of the dwarf-mask at the battle of Tumhalad is present in that book (instead of the Dragon-helm that Tolkien repeatedly indicated Túrin was wearing in pencilled notes to the Grey Annals), and Christopher admits that part of the story was invented by him.

Any comments about any of this?

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:58 pm 
Offline
Not Studying At All
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:17 pm
Posts: 1607
I finally got a copy today... :oops:

I've been meaning to get it for so long, but it's expensive, and when I have money I never see it, but today I saw it for a bargain €8.99, so I emptied out the deepest darkest recesses of my wallet to pay for it and now I own it, at last!

_________________
Why is the duck billed platypus?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:07 pm 
Offline
friend to badgers – namer of ponies
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:56 pm
Posts: 1979
Location: The Withywindle Valley
I just received my paperback copy of TCoH. I've had the deluxe hardback edition since it was released but have not gotten around to reading it since I do most of my reading during breaks at work, and am loathe to risk injury to my nice book.

I shall get around to reading it soon, but I have a few other books in my reading queue at the moment. (All Tolkien-related, of course. :D )

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:06 pm 
Offline
of Vinyamar
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm
Posts: 8424
Location: Ireland
The January sale on Tolkien.co.uk has 30% off everything, which given the current Sterling exchange rate means its a very good time to buy. Just enter the following discount code: TOLK31

Also, the signed collectors edition of Children of Húrin is now available to ship to the US, with a discount of over £100

http://tolkien.co.uk/Pages/ProductDetai ... 0007252244


Code:
The Children of Húrin   J. R. R. Tolkien, Illustrated by Alan Lee, Edited by Christopher Tolkien    £350.00   1    £105.00
   £245.00


If anyone would like me to purchase something on their behalf and ship to the US, I'm still willing to do that.

_________________
Image
The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:59 pm 
Offline
Elvendork
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:46 pm
Posts: 1745
Location: The Shire
Bought it two years ago, still haven't read it!!

However, an Indian poster whom I know from a Harry Potter board told me that she'd read The Children of Húrin and really liked it. :)

What impressed me about that was that at the time she'd not read LotR or anything else by Tolkien.

But now she has read LotR, and she loved it. :)

_________________
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Avatar by goldlighticons on Live Journal


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 213 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group