As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

March 26, 2011

THE BOOK OF LOST TALES by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1983

The Book of Lost Tales 1(The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 1)THE BOOK OF LOST TALES, I, stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor. Here is the whole, glorious history of Middle-earth that J.R.R. Tolkien brought to mythic and dramatic life with his classic fantasy novels of the Ring Cycle . . . [The] second part of THE BOOK OF LOST TALES includes the tale of Beneren and Luthien, Turin and the Dragon, 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, as well as information on names and vocabulary in the earliest Elvish languages. (Amazon)

A companion post for the review of THE HOBBIT:

Review by Emily, bibliophile and high school student

For anyone who has ever wondered how much back-story Tolkien put into "The Lord of the Rings", the answer is in this book: A lot!


Basically, The Book of Lost Tales is split into volumes, otherwise it would be a veritable tome. In it is contained most of Tolkien's mythology of how Middle Earth came to be created. He details how the sun and the moon came to be, and the rise and fall of Numenor, and just about everything else that anyone could possibly have questions about after reading The Lord of the Rings. I particularly liked his explanation of what Gandalf and his fellow wizards are, what their purpose was, and how they got to Middle Earth. His lyrical language makes the tales quite vividly clear in my head as I read, and I love the beautiful landscapes he paints with his vast palette of words. His attention to the details is clearly evident throughout the various stories.


I was absolutely fascinated by these stories, and they remain some of my favorites to read on rainy days.
Market: Adult fiction

Language: None

Sensuality: Mild

Violence: Moderate

Mature Themes: Destruction, death

Book formats:

3 comments:

Lauralee St. Clair said...

I will have to add that one to the list. I am currently reading The Silmarillion by Tolkien. I am really enjoying it. From what I understand it is the definitive history and something he worked on before and after the trilogy. Now you have me curious though, I am going to have to check it out. Thanks for the idea! :)

Kim said...

This is a really wonderful review, Emily! I didn't know these books existed--I'll have to give them a try sometime when I need my Middle Earth fix (which is more often than a person would guess).

Amoniel said...

Oh man! This looks like a dream come true for any Tolkien fan!
Wonder if my dad has it/will get it?...