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The Children Of Hurin Paperback – Mar 11 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books; First THUS edition (March 11 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007252269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007252268
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

What could be more apropos than hiring the face of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings to read Tolkien's newly complete version of these pre-Rings tales? Christopher Lee, the British actor beloved for his role in Peter Jackson's trilogy as well as his numerous turns in Hammer fright films, reads Tolkien's Rings precursor as if still in full makeup. Booming and vaguely menacing, Lee sounds like Sauron around the campfire, entertaining his minions with a tale of adventure and woe. Even Lee cannot sound entirely convincing bellowing some of Tolkien's invented languages, but his reading is suitably ominous. Tolkien's son, Christopher, who edited his father's book, also contributes a preface and introduction he reads himself. His voice—phlegmy and rough—provides a taste of what it might have sounded like had the author himself been available to read his own work.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–While much of the material here was published posthumously in books like The Silmarillion (1985) and Unfinished Tales (1988, both Del Rey), Tolkien delivered it in a loosely connected way that made it difficult to read. Edited by his son, this new volume draws from both of these earlier sources to pull together a complete single narrative set in pre-Hobbit Middle Earth. Túrin, son of the human lord Húrin and the elven lady Morwen, becomes a pivotal force in the ongoing battle against evil in an epic adventure full of intrigue and clever battle scenes. The early parts of the story focus on Túrin's young life. As an adult, he is wrongly judged for the death of an elf and banished for the rest of his life. He manages to become the leader of a ragtag band of forest outlaws that cause no end of problems for forces of evil trying to usurp the kingdom. Túrin is charismatic, brave, cocky, and as equally skilled at getting into trouble as he is at getting out of it. Lee's black-and-white drawings and full-color paintings come from the traditions of fantasy illustration and offer dramatic visuals throughout the book. The language and vocabulary, especially in the dialogue, might intimidate casual readers, but ambitious fans of fantasy will find a work that reminds them why we continue to place Tolkien at the zenith of fantasy literature after so many years.–Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 19 2007
Format: Hardcover
Just when you think they can't find another draft, note, poem or shopping list written by J.R.R. Tolkien, something new pops up.

But in the case of "The Children of Húrin," the result is a surprisingly solid and lucid story, full of familiar characters from other books about the history of Middle-Earth. Tolkien's timeless, formal prose and richly-imagined world make this novella pop from the pages, especially without his son's stuffier footnotes.

It opens with the story of Huon and Hurin, heroic brothers who lived back in the first age. But when battling the terrible Morgoth (the Middle-Earth Satan), Huor is slain and Hurin is taken prisoner by Morgoth, who torments and curses him. The Easterlings overrun his lands, and in fear for her son and unborn baby, Hurin's wife Morwen sends her son away to be fostered in Doriath.

And so Turin grows up in Doriath, until the day when he feels the need to go out and defend his distant family. His adventures take him through Middle-Earth, encountering great elves, orcs, lives with outlaws, and Mim the petty-dwarf. But his life is cursed by Morgoth -- as is the mysterious girl he falls in love with -- and his downfall will be one of horror and disgrace, even as he slays the most terrible dragon in Middle-Earth, Glaurung.

This book is actually a jigsaw puzzle -- Tolkien worked on the interrelated stories and poetry throughout his lifetime, but he never quite finished a solid cohesive story. So Christopher Tolkien cobbled together these various stories with Tolkien's unfinished works, pasted them together, and the result was "The Children of Húrin."

Surprisingly, the resulting story is very solid and strong, with a darker finale than "Lord of the Rings.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on May 29 2007
Format: Hardcover
There's no way I can top some of the other reviews posted here, so I'll focus on a different question: "Should I, someone who knows little about Tolkien, buy this book for a friend who's a Tolkien fan?"

The short answer is yes. As Tolkien's major tales go, this one ranks in third place after Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (or second for those who don't like the children's flavor of The Hobbit). Unlike The Silmarillion, this is a genuine story with a narrative and character development. The only deficiency is that, without those hobbits, it lacks the light and comic touch they provide, giving it a grimmer and more fatalistic feel. Unless he reads Tolkien only for the hobbits, your friend will be delighted with your gift.

Perhaps the only other Tolkien work that would top The Children of Hurin in value--and one you ought to consider if your friend doesn't have it already--is The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. It's a collection of Tolkien's letters over a six decade span (from 1914 to 1973), and it provides the definitive background to Middle earth. When I wrote the entry on "Magic in Middle earth" for The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, I used it almost exclusively. It was far better to let Tolkien explain what he meant than to make guesses of my own.

--Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien (a book-length LOTR chronology)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sparweb on Nov. 20 2010
Format: Paperback
The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien

I'm a rabid fan of Tolkien, having started with The Hobbit in my teen years, and over the years I think I've read and re-read The Lord of The Rings 3 times. My son is finally old enough that I can read The Hobbit to him, and he is now as captivated by Tolkien's storytelling as I was. The Simarillion is more difficult to read because there is no single character or story thread to tie the beginning to the end, except the inscrutable and immortal enemies. Taken as "short stories" however, it can be digested with some academic effort, and it makes subsequent re-readings of LOTR more enjoyable.

It seemed likely that The Children of Hurin would be more like LOTR than The Simarillion, since the struggles of a single family should focus one's attention upon individual characters throughout the book. I find myself disappointed, because instead, The Children of Hurin is a cataloguing of events more like the Simarillion. The struggles and events in the lives of these characters are confronted as events alone, not as their feelings, thoughts, nor even their words. The dialogue in Hurin, what little there is, is stilted and dull. It is full of lofty declarations and the weight of duty; rarely do the characters share friendly or family moments together.

If I may use an example to illustrate my point, take this exchange between Turin and Sador, best friends about 8 years old:

Turin: "...I shall go as a soldier with an Elf-king as soon as I am able, as you did Labadal."

Sador: "You may learn much of them. They are a fair fold and wonderful, and they have a power over the hearts of Men... In their light we are dimmed, or we burn with too quick a flame, and the weight of our doom lies heavier on us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darren Pelletier on Nov. 16 2009
Format: Hardcover
Those who have read the silmarilion will need no introduction to Turin Turambar, and already are big fans of Tolkien's work. But thanks to Christopher Tolkien (J.R.R's son) he made the story of Turin accessible and entertaining even to those who have not read The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarilion. I really like this book cause of the nice thick pages and the integrated fold out map of most of Beliriand, you can read the book and still look at the map without turning to last of first page.(like in the lord of the rings book). This is NOT a 'happy' story, it is very dark,very sombre, a shadow lies on Turin's life and it shows.
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