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The Children of Hurin

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The Children of Hurin Cover

ISBN13: 9780618894642
ISBN10: 0618894640
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The first complete book by J.R.R. Tolkien in three decades — since the publication of The Silmarillion in 1977 — The Children of Hurin reunites fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, Eagles and Orcs. Presented for the first time as a complete, standalone story, this stirring narrative will appeal to casual fans and expert readers alike, returning them to the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.

The Children of Hurin, begun in 1918, was one of three 'Great Tales' J.R.R. Tolkien worked on throughout his life, though he never realized his ambition to see it published. Though familiar to many fans from extracts and references within other Tolkien books, it has long been assumed that the story would forever remain an unfinished tale. Now reconstructed by Christopher Tolkien, painstakingly editing together the complete work from his father's many drafts, this book is the culmination of a tireless thirty-year endeavor by him to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's vast body of unpublished work to a wide audience.

Having drawn the distinctive maps for the original The Lord of the Rings more than 50 years ago, Christopher has also created a detailed new map for this book. In addition, it includes a jacket and color paintings by Alan Lee, illustrator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Centenary Edition and Academy Award-winning designer of the film trilogy.

Review:

"If anyone still labors under the delusion that J.R.R. Tolkien was a writer of twee fantasies for children, this novel should set them straight. A bleak, darkly beautiful tale played out against the background of the First Age of Tolkien's Middle Earth, 'The Children of Hurin' possesses the mythic resonance and grim sense of inexorable fate found in Greek tragedy.

According to Christopher... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The Children of Hurin is the book for which [Tolkien fans] have been longing....By meticulously combining and editing the many published and unpublished versions of the tale, [Christopher Tolkien] has produced at last a coherent, vivid and readable narrative." The Associated Press

Review:

"[A]n intense and very grown-up manner saves [The Children of Hurin] from the failings of [Tolkien's] other works. The prose is still more gesture than depth, but there is a real feeling of high seriousness....This is Tolkien in Wagnerian mode." The Sunday Times (U.K.)

Review:

"For those who already love Middle-earth, The Children of Húrin will be a chance to return there. For others, it may be an opportunity to question some deeply rooted assumptions and to learn that literature that rejects the canons of modernism and realism can nevertheless have great emotional power." Providence Journal

Review:

"[A] superb addition to the Tolkien cannon....Stunning in its scope, writing and story-telling, it's vintage Tolkien." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"This is a delightful though slight addition to Tolkien's work for several reasons. Hurin is like an appetizer, a tasty tapas to get new readers ready for the heavy-duty feasting provided by far more elaborate and lengthy books such as The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy." USA Today

Synopsis:

Presented for the first time as a complete, standalone story, this stirring narrative will appeal to casual fans and expert readers alike, returning them to the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.

Synopsis:

“There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but that were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.

“In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Túrin and his sister Niënor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves.

“Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Túrin and Niënor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled.

“The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterward, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book I have endeavored to construct, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.” — Christopher Tolkien

Synopsis:

The Children of Húrin is the first complete book by J.R.R.Tolkien since the 1977 publication of The Silmarillion. Six thousand years before the One Ring is destroyed, Middle-earth lies under the shadow of the Dark Lord Morgoth. The greatest warriors among elves and men have perished, and all is in darkness and despair. But a deadly new leader rises, Túrin, son of Húrin, and with his grim band of outlaws begins to turn the tide in the war for Middle-earth — awaiting the day he confronts his destiny and the deadly curse laid upon him.

The paperback edition of The Children of Húrin includes eight color paintings by Alan Lee and a black-and-white map.

Synopsis:

The first complete book by Tolkien in three decades, this book reunites fans of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, Eagles and Orcs. This stirring narrative will return fans to the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.

About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished career as a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University. He is the renowned creator of Middle-earth and author of the great modern classic The Hobbit, the prelude to his epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. Other works by J.R.R. Tolkien include The Silmarillion. J.R.R. Tolkien died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Christopher Tolkien, who formerly taught at Oxford University, is J.R.R. Tolkien's son and literary executor. The editor of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales as well as the twelve-part series The History of Middle-earth, he lives in France.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

pixielate_com, November 9, 2007 (view all comments by pixielate_com)
The Children of Húrin, also known as Narn i Chîn Húrin, is the latest J.R.R. Tolkien book. The stories of Túrin (son of Húrin) appear in earlier works like The Silmarillion, and are now released in full novel form thanks to tireless editing by his son, Christopher Tolkien. The tale takes place in the First Age of Middle Earth, and is somewhere between the Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings in style, audience, and readability.

Húrin defies a god and his entire family is cursed. We experience most of the story through Húrin's son Túrin, who journeys through the entire western half of Arda - befriending Elf, Man, and Dwarf alike - to escape his doom.

You don't have to be a die-hard Tolkien fan to enjoy this book. While you can read The Children of Húrin as a stand-alone work, I do recommend reading The Silmarilion, or at least having some familiarity with the First Age. I do not recommend this as your first experience with Tolkien, due to the book's dreary theme and heavy style.

The language is dense. VERY dense. Dialog and descriptions are highly formal. The number of unique names for people and places is enough to fill a sizable appendix. The main characters change names a good four of five times each through the course of the story. Many of the places have similar names, and some of the important items in the book even have names. Side effects may include bouts of violence in fussy readers. If you feel that committing names to memory is important to your reading, you may want to put a bookmark in the appendix, make some index cards, or have a copy of The Silmarillion handy. For Tolkien fans, this excessive use of proper nouns is expected, and is very important to the charm of Tolkien's works. Tolkien was a linguist, and for every new name, new meaning is bestowed upon the characters and places.

Beyond the language, the themes are familiar and classical. The story is relatively short, but each chapter is almost episodic in structure. Túrin travels to a new place, makes friends, enemies, and horrible mistakes. All of these mistakes occur as a direct result of his rashness, or by dark, coincidental irony. His mistakes force him on to a new locale and new mistakes. People who seem untouched by Túrin's folly inevitably get drawn in later. There's not a lot of internal dialog, so most of the characterizations are created by actions. The overall effect is that you're reading an ancient epic, and I'm sure this is why The Children of Húrin is often classified as epic high fantasy, in the purest sense of the genre.

Christopher Tolkien has a lengthly foreward and appendix, explaining his editorial process, and describing the source materials used to create the novel. Foremost is C. Tolkien's insistence that the novel is published "with a minimum of editorial presence, and above all, in continuous narrative without gaps or interruptions, if this could be done without distortion or invention, despite the unfinished state in which [J.R.R. Tolkien] left some parts of it." (p.7, Preface) I expect that this process may have a deliberate effect on the story, as some of the passages are only summaries of action, contain alternate tellings, or are threads dropped or terminated with little or no pretense.

The posthumous releases have been a subject for hot debate among Tolkien fans, who question how much of the releases have contained creative writing. I have no strong opinions on Christopher Tolkien's editing process, which he's made very clear for readers. I recommend reading the entire work and appendices before forming your own conclusions. I'm a fan of Middle Earth and will happily receive this and any future Tolkien stories set in this rich, fully-realized world.

Read The Children of Húrin if you're a Tolkien fan, or enjoy classic and epic tales of fantasy. Don't read it if you're disheartened by constant tragedy. Few tales of the First Age have happy endings.
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(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Nino, April 21, 2007 (view all comments by Nino)
As far as capturing the voice of his father goes, Christopher Tolkien has done an excellent job of this in The Children of Hurin. The book reads like any classic Tolkien novel down to the way the characters talk to one another and the detailed descriptions of lore and history of Middle-earth. It should be noted to those who liked the lighter-hearted ending of the Lord of the Rings - no such ending occurs here. This a tragic tale from start to finish that makes for a solid read and will have you flipping pages in a non-stop reading marathon.
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(23 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780618894642
Author:
J. R. R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
Illustrator:
Lee, Alan
Editor:
Tolkien, Christopher
Author:
Tolkien
Author:
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Author:
Christopher
Author:
Tolkien, Christopher
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Middle earth (Imaginary place)
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
April 17, 2007
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Eight pages in full color and a black-an
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.5 in 2.34 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic

The Children of Hurin Used Hardcover
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT - English 9780618894642 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The Children of Hurin is the book for which [Tolkien fans] have been longing....By meticulously combining and editing the many published and unpublished versions of the tale, [Christopher Tolkien] has produced at last a coherent, vivid and readable narrative." The Associated Press
"Review" by , "[A]n intense and very grown-up manner saves [The Children of Hurin] from the failings of [Tolkien's] other works. The prose is still more gesture than depth, but there is a real feeling of high seriousness....This is Tolkien in Wagnerian mode."
"Review" by , "For those who already love Middle-earth, The Children of Húrin will be a chance to return there. For others, it may be an opportunity to question some deeply rooted assumptions and to learn that literature that rejects the canons of modernism and realism can nevertheless have great emotional power."
"Review" by , "[A] superb addition to the Tolkien cannon....Stunning in its scope, writing and story-telling, it's vintage Tolkien."
"Review" by , "This is a delightful though slight addition to Tolkien's work for several reasons. Hurin is like an appetizer, a tasty tapas to get new readers ready for the heavy-duty feasting provided by far more elaborate and lengthy books such as The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy."
"Synopsis" by , Presented for the first time as a complete, standalone story, this stirring narrative will appeal to casual fans and expert readers alike, returning them to the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.
"Synopsis" by ,
“There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but that were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.

“In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Túrin and his sister Niënor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves.

“Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Túrin and Niënor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled.

“The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterward, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book I have endeavored to construct, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.” — Christopher Tolkien

"Synopsis" by ,
The Children of Húrin is the first complete book by J.R.R.Tolkien since the 1977 publication of The Silmarillion. Six thousand years before the One Ring is destroyed, Middle-earth lies under the shadow of the Dark Lord Morgoth. The greatest warriors among elves and men have perished, and all is in darkness and despair. But a deadly new leader rises, Túrin, son of Húrin, and with his grim band of outlaws begins to turn the tide in the war for Middle-earth — awaiting the day he confronts his destiny and the deadly curse laid upon him.

The paperback edition of The Children of Húrin includes eight color paintings by Alan Lee and a black-and-white map.

"Synopsis" by , The first complete book by Tolkien in three decades, this book reunites fans of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, Eagles and Orcs. This stirring narrative will return fans to the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.
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