This is the most recent work of Christopher Tolkien which relates to Middle Earth (all his other workings of his father’s works are other tales). And in fact, this story has been told in two other books already. In The Silmarillion and in Unfinished Tales, and in the latter of these, I purposely avoided reading the section which detailed the story since I had this whole novel to read instead. So in reality this book is just a more complete copy, and perhaps more definitive (but not definite seeing as JRR himself did not finish it, and I always wonder what he’d think of the published stuff, and how he’d have written it) version.
The finale. And perhaps the last Tolkien based movie we’ll get in a long while. Much has been said about these Hobbit films, why were there three of them for such a short book? Why did Jackson add in characters like Legolas and a new dwarf-elf romance? And so on. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the latest movie. I mean it was reasonably enjoyable and it was good to see how it all ended. But the fact that it was all split out over three movies made it incredibly drawn out. I really think two movies would have sufficed.
So after reading The Silmarillion, I decided to go a bit further into Middle Earth, any further and I’d be reading the 12 volumes of the History of Middle Earth (which I may well one day do!). So this book is really a step up in the Tolkienite (Middle Earthian? Hobbit?) level. If the appendices weren’t your thing, and the Silmarillion wasn’t, then this book again won’t be your thing. It just contains even more information about Middle Earth, which can be fascinating for some, or boring for others. As the title suggests, these stories are actually unfinished, sometimes they end suddenly, other times they are scraps pulled together by Christopher, with large amounts of his editorial voice.
This is the first of Tolkien’s posthumous publications I have read of Middle Earth. Last summer I read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and I planned to read the Silmarillion also as well as his other works, but it just never happened. So I gave them a chance this summer, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll say straight up though this is definitely only for those people who want more world building, more history, more tales, more information about the elves, and aren’t just interested in a story. If you don’t want these things I don’t think you’ll like The Silmarillion, it’s not a book for you (good way to measure – if you found the appendices a little boring [though everyone is forgiven in finding the language ones a bit much], especially the Tales of the Years, then perhaps it’s not a good book for you). But for me, I really liked it and found it fascinating!
Bookish Topic Tuesday
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
So I finally got around to seeing this movie (hey it came out like 2 weeks later in Australia than most parts of the world!) and I would have written something up yesterday to match Tuesday, but a late post counts, cause it’s Tuesday somewhere right? Anyway, back to the movie. So somehow Peter Jackson got the idea to split a reasonably short book into three movies, the first one was out last year (well actually 2 years ago, but a year before this one) and the last will be out at the end of this year. Having read The Hobbit, his decision actually makes more sense than if you haven’t read the book. There’s plenty of instances where things are skipped over, like the last battle which doesn’t take all that long, or a walk which happens in a sentence. Then there’s all the stuff that happens beyond the scope of the book, like Gandalf meeting Thorin, or going to Dol Guldur or the orcs chasing them down. Since there’s all this stuff, it makes some sense that there is so much movie detail.
Bookish Topic Tuesday
Books Belong to Their Readers (BBTTR)
So recently I was reading a bit of John Green (the author of The Fault in Our Stars among others)’s tumblr (specifically his onlyifyouvefinishedtfios (no link because no spoilers) one where he discusses TFiOS) and I found that quite often (so often that he coined this term BBTTR) he would say something along the lines of ‘books belong to their readers’ and ‘don’t privilege authors’ and ‘I have access to the same material that you do’, etc. Now as I was reading this, my first instinct was anger and frustration. What do you mean John that you don’t know what happens next after your book? What do you mean you don’t know whether thing was a thing (I don’t want to spoil but in rot13: vg jnf n fhvpvqr be na nppvqrag)? You are the author you know all of the things! But now I can see that this is a little silly.
And now we have a trailer for the second Hobbit movie! It looks awesome as always, and comes out in December, again Australia gets it a while later, which annoys me, but oh well. Can’t wait, so many movies coming soon!