Reviews

The Book of Lost Tales, Volume 1: Part One by J.R.R. Tolkien

krysophylax's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging informative slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

4.0

For anyone who is unaware prior to reading, this is not a traditional cannon book in the Tolkien universe. It is a collection of old and pre-publication stories by Tolkien. His son, Christopher, elaborates on his father’s thoughts and ideas and attempts to justify the posthumous works created by the son. That being said, as a huge Tolkien nerd I still greatly enjoyed reading this. It’s a great aid to delve deeper into the lore and understand the mindset behind the world building. If you’re just looking for another high fantasy read, this may not be for you. 

momreads's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional informative slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

I think the stories could have been good.  Reading it felt rather disjointed though as Chistopher Tolkien interspersed his father's notes throughout the narrative.  Maybe just piecing the story together and then having all of the notes at the end would have made for a better reading experience.  I found trying to simply read the tales difficult.  This would be a good study tool for a student of Tolkien's work.

njdarkish's review against another edition

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2.0

Made almost totally unreadable by Christopher Tolkien's editing.

ollakalla's review

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3.0

If you've read The Silmarilion, you won't find any surprises here. But the book is ok, neither important nor necessary. Are you a Tolken fan, this is a good book to have read.

3.5/5

queerofthedagger's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging informative slow-paced

4.0

I do this every time, but I am once again in awe of the work Christopher Tolkien did on this. That aside, it was also fascinating to read some of the early drafts of what was to become the Silmarillion, the things that would get changed as well as those that stayed as the basis through countless years and rewritings. 

That said, we really are in draft-land now. There are missing sections, words, things that can only be guessed at, and approximately yet another three new/old names for characters that already have five. Personally, this is a feature and incredibly interesting, but it is by no means an on-going narration or tale.

sialia95's review against another edition

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5.0

This is some advanced nerd shit. What an incredible undertaking by Christopher.

monicalaurette's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

While I liked the stories and the world of Middle Earth, it was hard to get through this book with the notes and comments.

unrealpunk's review

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4.0

This really makes you wish the Eriol/Aelfwine frame could have been part of the published Silmarillion.  But there's an extra charm to it's effect in the Book of Lost Tales in the way Christopher's painstaking excavation of these texts is like a meta counterpoint to Eriol's pursuit of the tales and full appreciation of Tinfang Warble's music.  There's a multidimensionality to the presentation of the texts as a heterogenous assemblage of partially formed narratives, palimpsests, and disorganized leaves that befits the profusion of Tolkien's imaginative project into something like a lost cultural mythology that must be carefully studied and cross-indexed to be properly reconstructed.

infinite_harness9030's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

monicadee88's review against another edition

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3.0

This book contains a collection of partially finished stories written by J.R.R. Tolkien that his son Christopher Tolkien does an excellent job of weaving together into an almost comprehensible history of Middle Earth. Like The Silmarillion, this prelude of sorts is tooth-grindingly boring; the web of names and variations is confusing and headache-inducing. Even so, I couldn't help but be awed by the individual stories and the work as a whole. J.R.R. Tolkien was an admirable scholar and writer; his desire to create an entire universe from scratch, his love for and dedication to his art is obvious in every sentence. It's also fascinating to see how his stories and his world evolved as he revised and continued to write.