Book review: No Hobbits, but Tolkien's first Middle-earth tale, 'The Fall of Gondolin,' a powerful tale

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  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 4, 2018 10:30 a.m.

    Thanks for the info; the reviewer should have done some background checking and pointed that out. The review bills this as a "new" story from Tolkien, which it isn't. As nice as it is to have more than one version, along with the associated notes and commentary, it seems to border on a cash-grab by Christopher/the Tolkien estate/the publisher--if it is really being promoted as new. I hope the book contains an Introduction explaining previous published editions. If it does, the reviewer should have noted the fact.

    There is a huge difference between re-released material and new material to some of us hard-core Tolkien fans, and the reviewer should have known it. But I guess he was catering to those young people who have only seen the movies and haven't read the books. Tolkien was a wizard with words; the equal of Gandalf himself.

  • Traveller Farmington, UT
    Oct. 4, 2018 10:04 a.m.

    Yes, most of this material has already been published in other volumes of the History of Middle Earth series. The value in this book to the lover of Tolkien's work is having all of the versions of the Fall of Gondolin in one place, Christopher's commentary, and the lovely illustrations by Alan Lee.

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 4, 2018 7:34 a.m.

    It has been 25-40 years since I studied Tolkien's works deeply, but my feeble memory is that this book/tale was already published in the 70s as part of The Silmarillion, chap. 23, "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin."
    Perhaps I am confusing it with the tale of Beren and Luthien.
    Also, I remember that Christopher released several volumes of unpublished writings/tales of his father's (J.R.R.) 25 or so years ago. I didn't acquire them and haven't checked them to see if this current publication was also part of that offering.

    I wish the reviewer had given us a paragraph of informative history, checking up on possible past editions.

    Whatever the case, Tolkien's work is a treasure to read, in my opinion the finest fantasy fiction ever penned. I was soooo disappointed that the Hobbit movies departed soooo drastically from the book, and that even the LOTR movies got so much wrong. Being a Tolkien purist, I almost cried at the desecration of his absolutely superb works. Great adventure movies they were, but bore too little resemblance to their source material.