I was pretty apprehensive about posting this piece of my collection, mostly because I haven’t read it yet. My thesis has kept it out of reach since I bought, but the minute I finish up with that, this is the first thing I am reading. The tale of Bern and Lúthien can of course be found in The Silmarillion, which of course I have read. My copy was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017 and is of course a first edition, with the number line from 1 to 10. The book is also illustrated by Alan Lee, which is always nice. It’s the first original release I’ve had the opportunity to buy on the actual release date, so it will always hold a special place in my collection. Christopher Tolkien is under the impression that this is his last foray into Middle-Earth, but I still hold out hope that there is a fully edited draft of The Fall of Gondolin in his top drawer. There was some confusion about what this book would be before its release. I had believed it was going to be a full telling of the narrative like The Children of Húrin, but Tolkien never finished the tale, making it impossible for Christopher Tolkien to piece it together. Instead, it’s demonstrates exactly how the story has evolved overtime, which should give the reader as great an understanding of the story as can be attained. It also serves a scholarly material for those interested in Tolkien’s writing style, and of course may be read just for the story. It’s an interesting release, and I’m excited to read it when I have the chance. This presentation has caused much confusion and bias against the book on the part of some readers I imagine. For Tolkien, this was an extremely personal story, the names Beren and Lúthien inscribed on the gravestones of him and his wife, so itmust be read by every fan of Tolkien. If I understand its history correctly, all of it has been printed in various texts, but it’s always good to have everything in one place.
A note on my order of this book:
I had preordered the book on Amazon, but Amazon had two listings for the book, both by Amazon LLC, and with Prime shipping. They were listed at different prices, so naturally, I preordered the cheapest listing. On the day of release, the book didn’t ship. The day after release, I contacted Amazon having received no information on its status other than “We’ve got your order.” I was told that their fulfillment center was having difficulties and while everything was being sorted out, I could wait or cancel. I waited three days, and the price actually went up despite the price guarantee! Wanting to avoid bureaucratic nonsense and just own my book, I cancelled my original order and bought from the other listing. I’ve bought from Amazon before (never a preorder) and thought this was strange. Amazon Customer Service is usually great, I was naturally baffled at how little help they were here. I thought I’d share my experience to see if anyone dealt with anything similar, with either this book or another.
As always, happy reading and collecting!