Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review- Book of Lost Tales

I've finally finished J.R.R. Tolkien's The Book of Lost Tales! This will go towards my Full House challenge (It's a borrowed book) and my Classic Club challenge.
The Book of Lost Tales is split up into two parts which are in separate books. I read the first part/book last summer and the second this past month.
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads for the two books: The Book of Lost Tales stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Simarillion. Complete with commentary and notes.This second part of The Book of Lost Tales includes the tale of Beren and Luthien, Turin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin. Each tale is followed by a commentary in the form of a short essay, together with the texts of associated poems.
So as you can see from the synopsis, The Book of Lost Tales is basically the early form of Tolkien's better known work The Silmarillion. J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien, compiled the book from notes and writings of his father.
Eriol (later changed to Aelfwine) is a traveler who is shipwrecked upon an isle where the last of the elves dwell. There he stays and every evening he is told of the tales of long ago, the tales of ancient Middle Earth. Many of these tales made it into The Silmarillion but in a more edited and refined version. Personally I preferred the first part better. It reminded me of Greek mythology and I felt like the story telling aspect of it flowed better. In the second part, I felt the stories didn't flow as smoothly and Christopher Tolkien had a lot more commentary, which was understandable as the notes that his father left behind weren't as clear for these sections and sometimes even contradicted themselves. However, this caused the book to flow less smoothly.
Overall I did enjoy these books but I think I prefer The Silmarllion. They earned four out of five stars for me on Goodreads.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! Been meaning to check them out for a very long time now but alas, I haven't yet. Sometime in the (near) future, I suppose :)


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