Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Back to Middle Earth with The Children of Húrin

Anyone who knows Fellow-ette, like, at all, knows that back in elementary school, F-ette and her twin brother sat rapt nightly while they read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy with their dad, a fan since the Tolkein-obsessed 60s of his youth, or something. Anyway, he actually read pretty much the entire series to us, and it took nearly an entire year of our lives and was a nice break for my mom, and a wonderful journey for us kiddies. A perfect farewell to nightly family reading times that had spanned from Goodnight Moon through the Moffats, E. Nesbit, and a few fruitless stabs at Dumas.

Since that early indoctrination, LOTR has had an incredibly huge place in my and my bro's lives. We both re-read the whole thing periodically-- when I was a teenager I used to read it so intensely that I would dream about Middle Earth at night. When they appeared, we became completely beyond obsessed with the films. I saw the movies at theaters in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Stowe, Vermont, Galway Irelend, my hometown of New York City and Cambridge, Mass (yeah I saw them in theaters twice each, whatchoo gon' do about it?). Then two years ago when an avalanche warning kept my family locked in our cabin in Alta, Utah, for 24 hours, we watched the three extended version DVDs in a row and were basically hallucinating by the time we were done (replicating that precious childhood experience in quick-time, Freud might say).

So what's a hobbit-lover to do with The Children of Húrin, the new Tolkein book pieced together by JRR's no-longer-a-kid, Christopher, whom Salon's Andrew O'Hehir says is "rather like some Dwarvish smith trying to reforge a great Elven sword from discombobulated needles and splinters?" (Wonderful Tolkienish metaphor, Andrew! But hey, your name could come straight out of the first age of man for goodness sakes, so why be surprised?)

Anyway, according to the review, the book is darker and more sorrowful than LOTR---which is pretty durn dark---but not nearly as mundane as the Sillmarillon, which is a fucking good thing, because the Sillmarillon was a line of boringness that even a hard-coreish fan such as I could not cross. It separated me from the true Tolkein freakazoids. As O'Hehir aptly says, is has a "ye-olde-homework feeling." And true Frodo Lives!ers hate homework above all else.

Methinks I'm going to have to buy this book and read it, ASAP. A Elbereth, Gilthoniel, readers! Til next time. (That's elvish for: "I so heart Viggo Mortenson and this Turin fellow sounds dreamy.")

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried Unfinished Tales? It has a longer, more complete version of the Hurin story (although, I guess not as complete, complete as the new release) than in the Silmarillion and is my favourite stories of the First Age. It also has good stuff about Gondolin and Numenor, bypassing all heavy biblical creationist stuff in the Sil.

    I guess I'm a true crazy because I adore The Silmarillion. :p What I haven't been able to manage is the History of Middle-earth series.