This is the fifth year I've listened to this, and the third year I've used it for Halloween Bingo.
I'm not going to review it here, but I will link to the review I posted five years ago.
I will also post this picture of Tom Mison again, because he's gorgeous.
I wasn't aware until I read this book that Tolkien has become a sufficiently widespread and intensive subject of study to have an academic journal entirely devoted to him and his works! As a direct result of this, we are presented with this book which is not part of Christopher Tolkien's apparent obsession with his father's imagined mythos, being instead edited by Verlyn Flieger.
It's a short, unfinished, stylistically dreadful tale that no sane person would publish alone based on its literary merit - so what's the point? The cynical might argue that for some time now the Tolkien estate has been milking a cash cow that is aging and drying up, producing lower and lower quality product. That may be so, but I don't think Flieger's motivations are cynical at all. This story, which is a very early example of Tolkien's creative output, appears to be a "missing link" between admiration of an existing work (The Kalevala) and inspiration for his own imagined work, specifically the Tale of the Children of Hurin and more generally the Silmarillion as a whole and Flieger sets out to demonstrate this. Hence this book is not really "Here's a forgotten story by the most influential fantasist in history, it's really good!" so much as, "If you're sufficiently interested in Tolkien, his imagined world and creative process, this little, badly written adaptation of a little-known (in English) Finnish folk-tale is important and you should have the opportunity to learn about it."
In that context, this book is worthwhile. Additionally, the biographical aspects of Tolkien's life that raise the personal parallels and significance this story would have had for its author are made clear along with how these developed into what I believe is Tolkien's best story (the above mentioned Children of Hurin). However, even with the attendant notes and essay, one would still have only a very small book. Bulking out the volume (to still very modest proportions) are two versions of an informal lecture on the Kalevala, the source material for the Story of Kullervo and it is this connection that made me interested in this book.
I read a translation of the Kalevala, a collection of Finnish folk ballads assembled into a vaguely narrative sequence, not long after the release of this book and it was amazing! To learn that it was a heavy influence on Tolkien was fascinating and here is the book that is going to tell me what the influences were and what he thought about the source material. So this book may not be for you; if you just want a good story - forget it. If you don't know or don't care about the source material - probably not that interesting. If you don't care about how Tolkien's justifiably famous works came into being - not worth your time. But for me - though the story itself was the least rewarding aspect - well, I ripped through the supporting material in no time, even if the material it supports had me plodding like I was trying to find my way through the Finnish bogs of its setting.
Interesting. A historical PNR with dragons.
The h inadvertently finds out what the H is by virtue of inviting herself over to visit with the housekeeper. She's working class...actually, that might be a stretch seeing as how some of her siblings are maids, etc. So there is class disparity between her and the H - who is titled. That said, I get the feeling that where dragons are concerned, it's less who's appropriate and more who will adapt.
She has attitude - he calls her Cerberus more often than her name. I thought that a bit odd considering said class disparity. Also thought it odd that the H would back off. Then again, perhaps the attraction was behind that.
Eventually the bad guy figured out how to separate them and grabbed her. The H went after him with a good deal of interest, showing him for sure what he was but he didn't come out of that confrontation alive.
I think...I may pursue this one further.
I tried to get into it, but Robert Neville in "I Am Legend" kind of sucks. You feel sorry for him for losing his wife and daughter, but then Matheson will have him talk about how the vampires that are women are trying to seduce him and a few times he has to talk himself out of going outside to them. I am guessing rape? Cause they seem to fall down as if they are dead during the daylight hours. Eh. I don't know. Spoilers: There's also a dog and it dies and I was mad so there was that.
"I am Legend" has Robert Neville as it seems the sole survivor of a vampire virus. Neville spends his days hunting vampires and also trying to find out a cure. You (and me I guess) start to feel sorry for Robert as you realize he has nothing to break up his days and his nights are spent drinking himself to oblivion to block out the noises and yelling the vampires do.
The vampires in this book curiously enough are not like vampires in Salem's Lot. They seem similar to Count Dracula that they have some control over their bodies and reasoning. They don't like garlic though or religious symbols depending on the vampires background before they were turned (which made zero sense).
Things change for Robert though when he sees an actual live dog and then comes across a woman named Ruth. Robert is desperate to just make a connection with someone or anything in order to hold onto what is left of his humanity.
This book takes place during the late 1970s in the U.S. so there is no discussion of cell phones, blogs, the internet, etc. so you definitely can see how in that time and place things and people could be cut off from each other.
The world building works for me since you hear how the virus spread through misquotes (which makes sense when you think about the Zika virus) and how slowly everyone was taking over.
The ending didn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't want to discuss cause of spoilers, but my brain/logic thinks that the whole ending just ruined what came before it.