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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-10-12 12:55
Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien
Unfinished Tales - J.R.R. Tolkien

TITLE:  Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth

 

AUTHOR:  J.R.R. Tolkien

 

EDITOR:  Christopher Tolkien

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DESCRIPTION:

 "Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and provides those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories.

The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf’s lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End; the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand; and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan.

Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Númenor before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantíri and the legend of Amroth. The tales were edited by Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father’s writings."

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REVIEW:

 

<!--block-->********************POSSIBLE SPOILERS**********************


Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth is exactly that - a collection of tales from Tolkien's Middle-earth universe that didn't make it into the Silmarillion, the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings.  The book is split into the First, Second and Third Ages, and miscellaneous sundry material.

We have a more fleshed out narrative of Tuor's journey to find Gondolin, and the trials of Turin son of Hurin in the First Age, followed by a geography and history lesson on Numenor (Tolkien's version of Atlantis) and the tragic love story of Erendis and Aldarion (Erendis is a bitch!).  There is additional information on Galadriel and Celeborn (Tolkien couldn't make up his mind!) and the ruin of Eregion (the elf who made all the magic rings ends up in Sauron's clutches).  
 


I found the sections involving the Third Age most interesting.  These include a fuller narrative of what happened to Isildur on the Gladden Fields (and the interesting things Aragorn finds in Saruman's tower), several extended narratives on the politics and friendship between Gondor and Rohan, a "missing chapter" of the Battle of the Fords of Isen where Theodred was slain, and a hilarious extra "chapter" on Gandalf's quest to convince Thorin to take a hobbit with him to claim his Kingdom Under the Mountain.  There is additional juicy information about Ringwraiths, Gollum, wizards (there were 5 of them!), Seeing-Stones and a peculiar race of humans called the Druedain.  


It really is a pity that Tolkien didn't manage to add some of these "unfinished tales" into his novels, even as appendices.  This book provides a selection of additional material for those who need to know more about Middle-Earth.  However, I do suggest reading The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, before reading Unfinished Tales to get the most out of this book.
 
 

NOTE:  To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the first ever illustrated edition of this collection of tales has been published in October 2020.
 

NOTE:  Re-read.  First copy of this book has been read and loved to death.


 
 
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review 2019-10-16 04:02
Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth - J.R.R. Tolkien

The legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth is vast and not everything was fully written out, however that doesn’t mean the incomplete material isn’t interesting.  Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth is a complication various stories begun and partially revised by J.R.R. Tolkien then edited into a somewhat readable fashion, along with alternate versions, by his son Christopher that reveal backstories from all Ages of Tolkien’s world.

 

The first two-thirds of the book covers the First and Second Ages with focuses in the former on Tuor journey to Gondolin and more details to the Children of Hurin while the latter focused on various elements of Numenorian history and the history of Galadriel and Celeborn.  The last third of the book focuses on the Third Age with background stories and histories to various events and people that feature in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings from the disaster at Gladden Field when Isildur dies and the One Ring is lost to the foundation of the friendship of Gondor and Rohan to the Battles of the Fords of Isen and Gandalf’s view of the Quest of Erebor and the Nazgul’s hunt for the One Ring.  And on top of those backstories are histories on various people and items featured in the four books, namely the order of the Wizards.

 

Unlike The Silmarillion in which Christopher Tolkien edited his father’s writing into narrative chronicle, he left his father’s work unfinished and supplemented them with alternative versions that his father hadn’t rejected.  This decision made the first two-thirds of the book a chore to get through or simple something to skim, however in the last third of the book the tales and histories were essentially complete with only some details not decided upon by the elder Tolkien before his death thus making for a better read.  Frankly it’s this final third which is the highlight of the book especially anything related to the elder Tolkien’s most famous works, in particular is “The Quest of Erebor” that connects The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings together than just the One Ring.

 

Like The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales is for hardcore Tolkien enthusiasts that want every detail they can get from J.R.R. Tolkien.  Though the final third of the book has material that general readers might enjoy if they loved the author’s two well-known books, it might not be worth the money to buy this book new for it.

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review 2019-05-20 05:05
Unfinished Business by Nora Roberts - My Thoughts
Unfinished Business - Nora Roberts

This is an early Nora, a Silhouette reprint from 1992 and boy, does it show. 

The hero, Brady, is a tad overbearing for this day and age, the plot is somewhat dated and the actual writing... OMG, the HEAD-HOPPING!!!  It's so bad... it's SO SO SO bad.  I don't remember any Nora being this full of mexican jumping bean POVs. 

It didn't help that I didn't like the heroine.  She just rubbed me the wrong way. I found her rather self-centred and whiny which, I suppose, is what I'm supposed to feel because she's a high-strung concert pianist, but man... I really didn't like her. 

Anyway, this Nora was a disappointment to me.  I usually enjoy Nora's earlier work but this one... nope.  I guess it's the exception that proves the rule? 

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review 2019-03-14 11:29
Unfinished by Julieann Dove
Unfinished - Julieann Dove

 

 

She didn't realize she lost her voice until a stranger gave her back her heart. There will be tissues, but out of heartache comes hope and Unfinished never gives up on that. Marcie thought she was living the dream, until her happy ending imploded all around her. A chance encounter could be the push she needs to begin anew. Yet when the pain of the past resurfaces, can her new beginning survive the fallout? Dove takes readers from angsty to inspired in the most captivating way.

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review 2019-02-08 13:40
Review: Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth - J.R.R. Tolkien

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien is a collection of stories that further relate to the events in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings and tells more about the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring.

I loved reading Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth as I hadn't read this book before. It added to the stories that I am already familiar with. This is a great addition for collector's of Tolkien's work.

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