I wholly understand that not everyone is even intoThe Lord of the Ringsseries, much less what amounts to the related ephemera However, if you are, as I am, a deeply unashamed Tolkien dork, then these are a must have These are the first five, which deal with the creation and cosmology of Middle Earth itself, and not the actual writing of the books Perfect for the sort of nutbar like myself who would really like to convince themselves that the world could exist You know.Standouts are The Fall of Gondolin in Lost Tales Vol 2, the whole of the Lays of Beleriand, and the etymologies in The Lost Road, for students of that kind of thing. Long, interesting for those fan who want to know all about middle earth. PP C , C C C C Enchanting books each unique and great all on it s own Silmarillion is in a bible style so not for everyone s taste but an easy read non the less The Hobbit well ment for children it is easy and lite and captivating at the same time The lord of the rings saga well one hell of an experience I personally enjoyed every moment with the books a must read for fantasy fans. I read and reviewed each of the five volumes collected here separately, so this is really just for my own records The rating for the collection is the average of the individual ratings everything got three stars, apart from The Lost Road also the last read which got two It dropped down to two stars because I was, frankly, sick to fucking death of all the repetition It s long been a reading goal of mine to work through the histories of Middle earth, because The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are some of my favourite books of all time, but talk about sucking all the joy out of thingsI would like to credit Christopher Tolkien with all the work he s done on this series and it s been a lot, credit where credit s due but my goodness are his endless notes pendantic, dull, and deeply, deeply repetitive By the time the reader has waded through these five volumes, plus The Silmarillion, they ve had to read through same stories multiple times With only very minor differences in each volume I never liked goddamn Turin but I fucking HATE him now Frankly I m siding with the dragon The original material is genuinely interesting But it becomes ever apparent, as the histories go on, that they are as much a money making exercise as anything else, because the sheer weight of repetition that readers are expected to both buy and swallow as these volumes go on is just plain exploitative It s so bad I ve actually taken a break from reading the histories because I m so fed up with the same damn thing all over again. It was inevitable to afford a copy of this capitally edition, nevertheless I have all XII tomes as individual editions These are my overall impressions about each of these five books, written one by one as I finished each of volumes I The Book of Lost Tales Part One 5 5 In one sentence I m fascinated This book is real gem and beacon to all blurred and unclear parts in the final version of The Silmarillion This book is missing link to onset of Tolkien s creation of his own mythology It s all about Valar and their deeds in creation of Arda Also, Valar and their traits are much developed than in The Silmarillion but many details from The Silmarillion are unmentioned or were unknown then Special part is devoted to Sun and Moon creation, after darkening of the Valinor, and of its hiding From those tales, I finally found the origin and learnt about creation of the Door of Night, and Gates of Morn Also, I recognized many Tolkien s inspirations from Norse mythology that he wove into this tales e.g when Orome created rainbow bridge, or when Vanna cut off her hair for Gods to weave sails and ropes for the boat of Sun etc II The Book of Lost Tales Part Two 5 5 If part one of The Book of Lost Tales was dedicated to Valar and to the World creation concepts, second part is dedicated to 6 pivotal stories for The Silmarillion substance I enjoyed in the first version of the story of Beren and Luthien, where Sauron is mentioned for the first time, but in form of demon Tevildo prince of cats Also, tale about Turin is slightly different than the one in final version The story about the fall of Gondolin is narrated in all its majesty and details Also, full version of the creation of the Nauglafring i.e Nauglamir is present in this book, as well as slaying of king Tinwelint Thingol , that is different than the one in final version, and logical and consecutive III The Lays of Beleriand 5 5 Immense talent and genius of professor Tolkien emerged, once again, among this pages This time in form of epic poems Great, long and unfinished poem Lay of Leithian , written in octosyllabic couplets, so many times mentioned both in official version of The Silmarillion , as well as in The Book of Lost Tales part 12 bursts of beautiful literary expressions and reveals how the story of Beren and Luthien was step by step developed and how the plot and characters were shifted in the long period of time in which it was written Another great poem listed in this volume is The Lay of the Children of Hurin an early Tolkien s work, written in his beloved alliterative stanzas And the most biggest surprise for me is Noldolante i.e The Flight of the Noldoli a poem that is mentioned in official version of The Silmarillion in chapter 9., which is but lament for the doom of Noldoli because of F anor s dreadful oath For all that enjoy in old English epic poems, this volume should be on high position on the reading list IV The Shaping of Middle Earth 5 5 The first part of the book describes, in the scrap book fashion form, sketches of the phases of the birth of the mythology i.e explanations and annotations are organized as re told text of previous versions of the stories that are published in official version of The Silmarillion , along with some versions from The Book of Lost Tales 12 The second part was real chocolate muffin for me I literally devoured those pages And in the passages that are part of The Ambarkanta much is told about the shaping and re modeling of Arda that, of course, official version of The Silmarillion is lacking of along with explanations about the Circles of the World and with six by Tolkien s hand drawn draft maps Also, first and emended versions about creation and purpose of the Walls of the World and The Door of the Night are presented, and now perplexity due to lack of logical explanations and links in previous versions about this structures that tormented me is finally solved The third part are early annals of Valinor and Beleriand useful and interesting data that explain the same events but from different Valar Elves time counting manner V The Lost Road and Other Writings 5 5 Precisely 4.5 stars, for great deal of this 455 pages long manuscript is about creation and derivation of Elvish languages Lhammas , their etymologies and genealogies, that I do not fancy much But, the early version of the N menorian annals where Valar were much involved in the plot contrariwise to both official version of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales , along with Sauron s impact on story line as well as Aelfwinas s song written in the old English poem Pearl fashion I fancied much The second part is dedicated to later annals of Valinor and Beleriand, and gives insight in step by step development of the stories from The Silmarillion, but I found it somewhat tedious and redundant. This was a rereading of the Silmarillion only, in Greek But I cannot chose to reread in another language, since they are all editions of the same book, so I chose this Russian collection to at least give my thoughts on it Well, I don t think I have to say much I loved reading it again since I had forgotten much of it The richness of Tolkien s world and words always astonish me My Greek is not good enough yet maybe never will to judge the translation But from what I saw it was well done, with some special notes from the translator when there could be a misunderstanding I liked the choice of which names should be simply transcribed into Greek or completely translated. These immortal stories have changed my life I have read them well over twenty times and still I discover something new each time The Return of the King is my favorite of the five here listed In particular, the battle of the Pelennor fields is an incredibly touching chapter.If you have not read these books, I suggest you do Starting, of course with the Hobbit.If you want to listen to them then Rob Ingles is the man for the job He sings all the songs and his melodies are just lovely He does every voice with absolute precision and perfect skill His voice brings these wonderful books to life. This is not an easy read and should not be the first book to read if you re new to Tolkien, in fact, it should probably be last, after you ve read The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, then The Silmarillion and probably Unfinished Tales.It is an in depth account of the First Age and the conflict between Morgoth and the elves, men and other gods It is an awe inspiring epic of stupendous scale, and it is hard to believe that one man and his fantastical fantasy mind created such a world If only such tales as The Fall of Gondolin, or Turin Turumbar could be made into movies, what a film they would be The only slight issue I had was it was quite repetitive towards the end, a continual retelling of the same stories, just little tweaks here and there but that s what makes it interesting to a Tolkien fan, the differences, but towards the end I was skimming pages quite often yet I didn t mind Because after you ve read about a battle between hundreds of Balrogs, fire drakes and valiant elves you ve got your money s worth ten times over Now onto volumes two and three. What can I say After a gazzilion people have made every comment known about this book, nothing earth shattering It s a bit on the juvenile side, but well so am I sometimes I ve never read any Tolkien before this book and I selected it as an introduction into the complete rings series Glad I did Read it You won t be sorry it is truly an escape into another world.
The Hobbit and
- 1341 pages
- The Histories of Middle Earth, Volumes 1-12
- J.R.R. Tolkien
- 15 March 2019 J.R.R. Tolkien