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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Although there does seem to be several positive reviews in the mainstream U.S. media, so maybe it will be successful at bringing the story to a wider audience.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Hello everyone. I have been reading through this book, and my first impression was indeed that the introduction was not done well. I can't imagine recommending this book to anyone unfamiliar with at least the Silmarillion, but really as you guys said, all the works discussed.

However, on further reflection, I'm not sure that's the case. One could argue, that this is the story that Tolkien cared more about than any other. He started it very early, and never finished it, despite working on it his entire life. Given what he did accomplish and complete, that itself shows the difficulty in the telling of this tale. That being said, the story deserves its own book, despite the impossibility of that endeavor, which cause the difficulties for Tolkien, and Christopher does a decent job of explaining in the introduction to BaL.

Could a new prose story be written? Of course, but I (it should come as no shock to anyone here) agree with Christopher that this is not how it should be done, although it is what I was expecting when I heard about this book, and was actually looking forward to it. So if it deserves its own book, but it is impossible to tell the story without "the rest of the story" which it really is... what are we to do? The most we can do is understand as much as we can about what Tolkien was trying to tell in his story, and why it was so important to him to get it right.

So far, (and I am not yet halfway through) this is doing an interesting job of that. Understanding where the story started, and where it went through Tolkien's life is an interesting (to me at least) view of Tolkien and this tale.

The bottom line is, you have to understand what a Silmaril is, and who Fëanor was, and what the elves were even doing at this point in the history of the world, before you can even begin to understand the story of Beren and Lúthien. That being said, despite the extremely abbreviated summary of the necessary information, which certainly reads as a scholarly article on literature... Christopher did throw in what connection he could to LOTR, which actually did draw me in more to trying to understand the connection.

So instead of not wanting to recommend the book to people, I have changed my mind. I want to recommend the book to people who I think will enjoy the story, with the reminder that the first part is hard to read, and if they get confused with the names or history, just ask me for an explanation and we'll figure it out. Surely a story and a conversation is better than just the story? :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:00 am 
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Hey, hal! I'm very please to read your thoughts, which are very encouraging. I very much hope this release does bring this story to a wider audience.

And it is nice to see you here!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:08 pm 
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I've been asked by Doug Anderson to review the book for the Journal of Tolkien Research, so I guess I better read it carefully after all. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:27 pm 
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That's wonderful, Voronwë!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Very cool, V!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:35 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I've been asked by Doug Anderson to review the book for the Journal of Tolkien Research, so I guess I better read it carefully after all. :)


WOW. Congrats, V

(have you noticed how often we are saying congrats on this board nowadays?)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:11 am 
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My overall impression of the book was actually a lot more positive than my initial impression. I will have some criticism in my review, probably, but I think that this publication will be fairly favorable towards Christopher, with nothing particularly controversial.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:23 am 
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I actually got less positive as I went on. I think its a pretty pointless publication.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:35 am 
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Finally got round to finishing it (which is a damning indictment in itself). I shall amend my previous review slightly. Pretty, but pointless!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:52 pm 
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My review of this is done and approved by Doug Anderson. It should be posted at the Journal of Tolkien Research site on Monday, and if so, I will post a link (I'll post a link when it is up even if it is later than Monday ;)).

My opinion of it is quite a bit higher than Al's!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:05 pm 
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Congratulations, Voronwë! I look forward to reading it.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:55 am 
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Looks like he put it up early. Here it is: http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolki ... l4/iss2/5/

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:24 pm 
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I'm surprised to see you describe the movies as "Bastardized".

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:50 pm 
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Yes, that word is probably poorly chosen. All I meant by it is that the movies tell a different story (or set of stories) than what Tolkien wrote, which I don't think can be questioned, but it probably comes off as too harsh. squire at TORN called me out on that as well (he also has a less positive view of the Beren & Lúthien book than I do, just as you do).

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:02 am 
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That word surprised me, too, Voronwë, but I see what you meant by it.

It was a good review. I'm among the people who would shamelessly enjoy a complete, well-written, Tolkienesque Beren and Lúthien tale, so this probably isn't a book for me.:P

Maybe I need to go look for fanfic. . . .

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:12 am 
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Still, it might be worth your while to check it out. While I respect the opinion of Al and others who were not impressed, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I felt the book flowed as compared to my expectations. It may not be for everyone, but I do think it is a worthwhile book.

Meanwhile, Doug informs me that he is able to see on a map the location of the IP addresses that download articles at the Journal, and he saw that one of the downloads of the review was in Provence, France, where Christopher lives with his wife Baille ... . ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:52 am 
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Hmmmmm. . . . ;)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:33 am 
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Well, he for one will approve of your choice of word! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:50 pm 
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:)

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