TestMarket - Limited-Time Promo: Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien - Now Only £19.59!

Limited-Time Promo: Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien - Now Only £19.59!

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May 20, 2024 12:17 pm
Limited-Time Promo: Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien - Now Only £19.59!
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Rating: 4.60
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Title: Review Of Deluxe Edition
Content: This review is for the Deluxe Edition and I had it shipped to the U.S. It’s a very high quality edition, printed on very good paper and comes in a slipcase. I also purchased the U.S. standard edition of the book and the rest of this review is from the Amazon U.S. posting I made. This book was not what I expected. I must not have read the pre-order description carefully enough. I was expecting another “Children of Hurin”. A narrative built from existing Beren and Luthien sources. But it was not that. It was several versions of the prose and verse story along with commentary and notes by Christopher Tolkien. Had I understood what was contained in the book I still would have ordered it, I just would have had different expectations. And I still will give it five stars. “The Lay of Leithian” is my favorite of Tolkien’s poems, and the fact that it remained unfinished is, to me, a great tragedy. It is actually my favorite of Tolkien’s posthumously published works. This includes “The Children Of Hurin”, which I thought was very well crafted from the various sources. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy “The Children Of Hurin”, I did. But I just liked “The Lay of Leithian” better, both as writing and as a story. But the fact that Christopher Tolkien did such a good job assembling “The Children Of Hurin”, raised my hopes that this new volume would be just like that: a prose story assembled from various sources, including the unfinished “Lay of Leithian”, with minimal editorial commentary. It was not. That is not to say that it wasn’t well done. Because of the story and the material it is certainly going to be a well written and a well plotted story. And that it was. The highlight is the section culled from the “Lay of Leithian” (the 1930s version). These verses are magical to me. Of course I can read this at any time in the previously published “The Lays Of Beleriand”, and I do periodically read through it. The original story, where Beren is an elf, is nice to read, since I was not as familiar with it. And it was interesting to see how many changes the story went through over the various versions. Tolkien seemed to have it in for cats, at least based on this early version of the story. But Tevildo was not quite as menacing as Thu (Sauron). Nonetheless, it was very entertaining. The main characters, Beren and Luthien, are fairly well fleshed out in the poem, at least with respect to their personalities. There’s very little in the way of physical description of Beren, but Luthien is described a little more fully, usually referred to as “the most beautiful” elf-maid ever. But her determination comes through much more than Beren’s. She is the one with the magic and ability to mesmerize even Morgoth. Luthien Tuniviel is just as much a hero in this story as Beren. The characters of the hound Huan and his evil counterpart the wolf Carcharoth, were well developed in the limited space. The description of Carcharoth’s whelping and growth were sufficiently grim and greatly added to the atmosphere around the Gate of Angband. It is a much fuller description than the one in the Silmarillion. And the fact that we occasionally seem to get in to Carcharoth’s head is a nice touch. The ending, as we know it from various notes or short narratives, is possibly the most happy of any of the major First Age stories. Certainly there is tragedy, but nothing on the scale of Turin’s tragic story or the fall of Gondolin. And Beren and Luthien, after their tragedy, explicitly get to live out their days in relative happiness. In spite of the curse of the Oath of Feanor. In Middle-Earth terms this is a very happy ending indeed! As I mentioned above, the story is one of Tolkien’s major stories of the First Age of Middle-Earth. It is foundational to much of what we glimpse in “The Lord Of The Rings”, especially the Aragorn/Arwen love story, which it somewhat parallels. This makes the new volume a very good addition to any Tolkien library. So now the whole story (as it exists) is available in one book, rather than searching through various other volumes. And then there are the Alan Lee illustrations. Starting with the cover, which is a great depiction of Luthien riding Huan with Beren at their side, they are very evocative of the First Age of Middle-Earth. Everything is grim and grey – which is to be expected throughout most of the journey. Though I would have hoped for a little more color in Doriath. But these compare favorably to the illustrations in “The Children Of Hurin”. I would say that this is a worthwhile purchase, if you are looking for a single source for all versions of the story. It is not, however, a stand-alone narrative like “The Children Of Hurin”, which is what I was expecting and hoping for. But that’s on me and doesn’t prevent this from earning five stars. One thing I would point out as a shortcoming (to me) is the lack of a map. It's not like there doesn't exist a map of Beleriand that could easily have been inserted in the back of the book. It would have made the journey of Beren and Luthien that much more real to me. This is apparently going to be the last of his father’s work that Christopher Tolkien publishes, so unless there is a new literary executor, this may be the last we get from JRR Tolkien. Perhaps what I was expecting, a completed prose narrative, is impossible to do with the writings that are left.
Rating:
Title: Deep dive into Tolkien's world
Content: Great book that takes the reader deeper into the world created by Tolkien, and the thought processes behind the writing of this tale. A handy entry point to the sometimes tangled Silmarillion that separates out the tale of Beren and Luthien from the rest. Well worth picking up this book if you love Tolkien.
Rating:
Title: ideal version of your favorite lovestory to use as your working version
Content: Normally one should not scribble into a book but this cheap version of everyones favorite love couple (no NOR Romeo and Juliette) is cheap enough that you can risk it. Get yourself another second luxury edition for the library and have this one on all your journeys and as a working material. Long live Luthien. TIP: It reads best if you listen the same time to Dave Bron's song with the same name.
Rating:
Title: The Book is Broken.
Content: Four stars only, unfortunately. And I never expected to say that about any book with J.R.R. Tolkien's name on it. The book is broken. When I picked up and opened my first copy of The Hobbit, at age eleven, the storyteller took control of my imagination and took me to the home country of the Hobbits, to the home of Bilbo Baggins esq., Introducing me to his worthy self. Then the storyteller introduced me to the wiley Gandalf, and then to thirteen gruff and often grumpy Dwarfs. After this the storyteller took me on a journey across a large swath of northern Middle-earth, through the rocky wooded wastelands to Rivendell, then over (and under) the barren, rocky Misty Mountains to a humongous forest full of huge spiders and gay elves feasting, to a large cold lake on the cusp of Winter, to a lonely dragon ravaged mountain. And on to the end of the story. The storyteller was able to do so because he did his job well. His voice, which sounds so much like the voice in my head (no jokes, now!) guided me safely through so many situations totally unknown to my eleven year old mind. He introduced me to Dwarfs, and not Snow-white's friends (though there are similarities), to tall wise Elves, ugly, brutish Gobblins, great, tall, powerful men who can turn themselves into huge bears, tall, slim woodland Elves, rafts made out of roped-together (supposedly empty) barrels, men that lived in a town built on stilts above a lake, and eventually to a cunning, greedy fire drake . . . and then all the way back to an auction. The storyteller was able to do all that because he was clever, artful, had an amazing talent for describing things using nothing but words, and because he did everything in one homogeneous style. By the time I had read Beren and Lúthien, I knew the story from beginning to end, but it wasn't effortless, as with The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings. In this book there are at least three completely different writing styles. The main story of Beren and Lúthien is written in Tolkien's storytelling prose, but inserted in the story, as a continuation of the story, are hundreds and hundreds of lines from Tolkien's Lay of Leithien, a poem, in at least three sections, the last section being 72 pages long. What I wanted was the story, instead I got a broken book glued together with pieces from other books.
Rating:
Title: Nice product good quality
Content: Nice product good quality
Rating:
Title: Beautiful book
Content: This review is for the Beren and Luthien deluxe edition. It's a beautiful book. Had to get a replacement as the first one had a chip of the gold embossing missing, so make sure that you check yours for defects. You don't want to pay £40-60 for a book for such blemishes. Regarding this book, only buy it if you know what you're getting to. If you just want the story of Beren and Luthien, it's covered in the Silmarillion. This book covers various versions of the same story and is not a single novel such as the Hobbit or Lord of hte Rings.
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