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Early review of The Children of Hurin in The Sunday Times.

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  • Merlin DeTardo
    Bryan Appleyard s review can be read here: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/book s/article1613657.ece There are no spoilers
    Message 1 of 27 , Apr 10, 2007
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      Bryan Appleyard's review can be read here:

      http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/book
      s/article1613657.ece

      There are no spoilers for anyone who's read _The Silmarillion_, and
      hardly any for those who haven't. Appleyard likes CoH for being more
      adult than _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_ (which he
      apparently never finished) but this is less a review of CoH than a
      general commentary on Tolkien's writing. Verlyn Flieger and Michael
      Drout are among the handful who have replied to Appleyard on the
      Times site; Drout expands on his response at his blog:

      http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/2007/04/children-of-hrin-or-tolkien-
      scholars.html

      Drout, taking up a point he's raised before (as at The Gathering last
      July), echoes Tom Shippey in examining how Tolkien's work does and
      doesn't fit the requirements of various modernist theories. N.b.
      Drout does spoil the presumably well-known ending of Turin's story
      about two-thirds through his post.

      -Merlin
    • David Emerson
      ... Drout s essay in reply to Appleyard is a delight to read. emerdavid ________________________________________ PeoplePC Online A better way to Internet
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 10, 2007
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        >...Verlyn Flieger and Michael
        >Drout are among the handful who have replied to Appleyard on the
        >Times site; Drout expands on his response at his blog:
        >
        >http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/2007/04/children-of-hrin-or-tolkien-
        >scholars.html

        Drout's essay in reply to Appleyard is a delight to read.

        emerdavid

        ________________________________________
        PeoplePC Online
        A better way to Internet
        http://www.peoplepc.com
      • Merlin DeTardo
        ... and hardly any for those who haven t. Hmm. I m sorry, but taking another look at Appleyard s review, I realize that, almost certainly without himself
        Message 3 of 27 , Apr 10, 2007
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          >>---"Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:
          >>There are no spoilers for anyone who's read _The Silmarillion_,
          and hardly any for those who haven't.


          Hmm. I'm sorry, but taking another look at Appleyard's review, I
          realize that, almost certainly without himself realizing it, he has
          included what might be a _Children of Hurin_ spoiler for even --or
          for only?-- the most sophisticated _History of Middle-earth_
          connoisseur. Or so I would guess, not being so qualified. (If I
          were, I would have noticed sooner.)

          It concerns not the plot but its presentation. If you wish to
          remain utterly unspoiled where such questions are concerned, skip
          Appleyard's review for now, because the one direct quotation he
          includes from CoH might not be as innocuous as it seems.

          On the other hand, if you really want to know, read Appleyard's
          review in light of last month's CoH speculation in the following
          discussion thread from another site--

          http://forums.theonering.com/viewtopic.php?t=90396&start=90

          --specifically the comments there by contributors
          nicknamed 'Voronwe_the_Faithful', 'scirocco', and 'dna'.

          I'm sorry if this note sounds arch; it's tricky rounding up the cats
          I might have unbagged. As one partipant in that discussion
          wrote, "This is worse than the LOTR casting rumors!"

          -Merlin
        • William Cloud Hicklin
          ... _The Silmarillion_, ... Appleyard s review, I ... realizing it, he has ... spoiler for even --or ... Middle-earth_ ... That s a pretty eenie-weenie
          Message 4 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
            DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:
            >
            > >>---"Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@> wrote:
            > >>There are no spoilers for anyone who's read
            _The Silmarillion_,
            > and hardly any for those who haven't.
            >
            >
            > Hmm. I'm sorry, but taking another look at
            Appleyard's review, I
            > realize that, almost certainly without himself
            realizing it, he has
            > included what might be a _Children of Hurin_
            spoiler for even --or
            > for only?-- the most sophisticated _History of
            Middle-earth_
            > connoisseur.

            That's a pretty eenie-weenie spoiler. At most it
            might disappoint those who were hoping for
            something that was never there.
          • Merlin DeTardo
            ... those who were hoping for something that was never there. Ah, but something that was never where? Appleyard s quote, and his description of it, seem to
            Message 5 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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              >---"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
              >That's a pretty eenie-weenie spoiler. At most it might disappoint
              those who were hoping for something that was never there.


              Ah, but something that was never where? Appleyard's quote, and his
              description of it, seem to reveal that _The Children of Hurin_ uses
              one possible source over another for a particular passage. It's
              pretty eenie-weenie to you and me, but the _History of Middle-earth_
              devotees in the discussion to which I linked, commenting on, say, the
              possible appearance of "valiant Fingon" versus "prevaricate
              Fingolfin" (to quote one of the discussants) might find more meaning
              in Appleyard's citation than we do. The spoiler advisory was
              directed at anyone here who might have a similar interest.

              Given that most of the material in CoH has probably been published
              before, there may not be much to spoil except the nature of the
              selection. Well, only five more days of idle speculation.

              -Merlin
            • Jeremy Edmonds
              ... If you are really itching, check your local bookstores. Evidently there are a large number of stores that already have their copies up for sale. A number
              Message 6 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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                --- Merlin DeTardo <emptyD@...> wrote:

                > Given that most of the material in CoH has probably been published
                > before, there may not be much to spoil except the nature of the
                > selection. Well, only five more days of idle speculation.
                >

                If you are really itching, check your local bookstores. Evidently there are a
                large number of stores that already have their copies up for sale. A number of
                the UK trade copies have the first section bound upside down, so something to
                be aware of.

                In Holland, Rene already has some copies of the Houghton Mifflin edition
                available: http://www.tolkienshop.com

                Hope this helps,

                Jeremy

                --
                Rown's Books
                * Tolkien, SF&F and more *
                872 Loyalton Drive
                Campbell, CA 95008 USA
                (408) 396-6996
                www.rowns.com
              • Oberhelman, D
                That will be a detail for collectors to note. Now I will be scouring bookstores here to see if there are any such variants. HM has been sending copies out to
                Message 7 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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                  That will be a detail for collectors to note.

                  Now I will be scouring bookstores here to see if there are any such "variants."

                  HM has been sending copies out to libraries in the US from what I've heard. My library, however, has not yet received it.

                  **************************************
                  David D. Oberhelman
                  Associate Professor
                  Humanities-Social Sciences Division
                  Oklahoma State University Library
                  Stillwater, OK 74078
                  Phone: (405) 744-9773 Fax: (405) 744-7579
                  Email: d.oberhelman@...

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Jeremy Edmonds
                  Sent: Thu 4/12/2007 1:17 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: the eenie-weenie spoiler went up the dragon's snout.


                  If you are really itching, check your local bookstores. Evidently there are a
                  large number of stores that already have their copies up for sale. A number of
                  the UK trade copies have the first section bound upside down, so something to
                  be aware of.

                  In Holland, Rene already has some copies of the Houghton Mifflin edition
                  available: http://www.tolkienshop.com

                  Hope this helps,

                  Jeremy







                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • lakowskir
                  I found Drout s discussion of the limitations of modernism very interesting. (He seems to be following Tom Shippey s lead here.) He also has some extremely
                  Message 8 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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                    I found Drout's discussion of the limitations of modernism very
                    interesting. (He seems to be following Tom Shippey's lead here.)

                    He also has some extremely interesting comments on modernist literature
                    in a "Course" he gave entitled "Of Sorcerers and Men: Tolkien and the
                    Roots of Modern Fantasy Literature" available through the Barnes and
                    Noble Portable Professor series (7 CDs 14 Lectures and a 70 Page Booklet.

                    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?
                    z=y&EAN=9780760785232&itm=1

                    About half the "course" is devoted to Tolkien and the other half to other
                    19th and 20th "fantasy" writers.

                    I'm also rereading Drout's edition of Beowulf and the Critics. A wonderful
                    edition in many ways but I find the level of commentary a bit overwhelming
                    in places. But perhaps it's better to have too much than too little.

                    Romuald I Lakowski

                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Bryan Appleyard's review can be read here:
                    >
                    > http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/book
                    > s/article1613657.ece
                    >
                    > There are no spoilers for anyone who's read _The Silmarillion_, and
                    > hardly any for those who haven't. Appleyard likes CoH for being more
                    > adult than _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_ (which he
                    > apparently never finished) but this is less a review of CoH than a
                    > general commentary on Tolkien's writing. Verlyn Flieger and Michael
                    > Drout are among the handful who have replied to Appleyard on the
                    > Times site; Drout expands on his response at his blog:
                    >
                    > http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/2007/04/children-of-hrin-or-tolkien-
                    > scholars.html
                    >
                    > Drout, taking up a point he's raised before (as at The Gathering last
                    > July), echoes Tom Shippey in examining how Tolkien's work does and
                    > doesn't fit the requirements of various modernist theories. N.b.
                    > Drout does spoil the presumably well-known ending of Turin's story
                    > about two-thirds through his post.
                    >
                    > -Merlin
                    >
                  • William Cloud Hicklin
                    I don t think it s ever been any secret that CoH is in all essentials the Narn i Chin Hurin- augmented from other sources, perhaps, but the Narn (both as found
                    Message 9 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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                      I don't think it's ever been any secret that
                      CoH is in all essentials the Narn i Chin Hurin-
                      augmented from other sources, perhaps, but the
                      Narn (both as found in UT/HME XI and in
                      unpublished material) is always the primary
                      source.

                      NOW, as to Bryan Appleyard- isn't it curious
                      where he got a text? The publishers have not
                      sent out advance review copies. Could
                      Appleyard be bluffing- basing his vague
                      commentary on Unfinished Tales?


                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
                      DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >---"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@>
                      wrote:
                      > >That's a pretty eenie-weenie spoiler. At
                      most
                      it might disappoint
                      > those who were hoping for something that was
                      never there.
                      >
                      >
                      > Ah, but something that was never where?
                      Appleyard's quote, and his
                      > description of it, seem to reveal that _The
                      Children of Hurin_ uses
                      > one possible source over another for a
                      particular passage. It's
                      > pretty eenie-weenie to you and me, but the
                      _History of Middle-earth_
                      > devotees in the discussion to which I linked,
                      commenting on, say, the
                      > possible appearance of "valiant Fingon"
                      versus
                      "prevaricate
                      > Fingolfin" (to quote one of the discussants)
                      might find more meaning
                      > in Appleyard's citation than we do. The
                      spoiler advisory was
                      > directed at anyone here who might have a
                      similar interest.
                      >
                      > Given that most of the material in CoH has
                      probably been published
                      > before, there may not be much to spoil except
                      the nature of the
                      > selection. Well, only five more days of idle
                      speculation.
                      >
                      > -Merlin
                      >
                    • David Emerson
                      ... Aw, darn. I was hoping for a spoiler along the lines of Darth Melkor turning out to be Turin Skywalker s real father. emerdavid
                      Message 10 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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                        >...possible appearance of "valiant Fingon" versus "prevaricate
                        >Fingolfin" ...

                        Aw, darn. I was hoping for a spoiler along the lines of Darth Melkor turning out to be Turin Skywalker's real father.

                        emerdavid

                        ________________________________________
                        PeoplePC Online
                        A better way to Internet
                        http://www.peoplepc.com
                      • Merlin DeTardo
                        ... Melkor turning out to be Turin Skywalker s real father. Well, Appleyard does reference Jabba the Hut in his review.
                        Message 11 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
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                          >>---David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                          >>Aw, darn. I was hoping for a spoiler along the lines of Darth
                          Melkor turning out to be Turin Skywalker's real father.


                          Well, Appleyard does reference Jabba the Hut in his review.
                        • Mattie G.
                          Recorded Books, Inc. also produced the Michael Drout lecture series under the title Rings, Swords and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature. Libraries
                          Message 12 of 27 , Apr 13, 2007
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                            Recorded Books, Inc. also produced the Michael Drout lecture series under the title "Rings, Swords and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature." Libraries might have a copy of this one.

                            Mattie G.


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • William Cloud Hicklin
                            This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of Words). Much better informed than Appleyard s, without being a puff piece:
                            Message 13 of 27 , Apr 14, 2007
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                              This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of
                              Words). Much better informed than Appleyard's,
                              without being a puff piece:

                              http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
                              arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
                              article1649664.ece
                            • David Bratman
                              The ritual posthumous Tolkien is boring genuflection at the start is annoying, but once you get into it it s pleasant to see that Marshall knows what he s
                              Message 14 of 27 , Apr 14, 2007
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                                The ritual "posthumous Tolkien is boring" genuflection at the start is annoying, but once you get into it it's pleasant to see that Marshall knows
                                what he's talking about (no surprise). I'd rather thought this was mostly a repackaging, and that there was no major cache of new material, and Marshall confirms this.


                                -----Original Message-----
                                >From: William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...>
                                >Sent: Apr 14, 2007 2:14 PM
                                >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                >Subject: [mythsoc] Another Children of Hurin review
                                >
                                >This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of
                                >Words). Much better informed than Appleyard's,
                                >without being a puff piece:
                                >
                                >http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
                                >arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
                                >article1649664.ece
                              • Jeremy Edmonds
                                Another review at the TimesOnline.com site: this one falls in the category of brutally against Tolkien. Sentences with a gnomic brevity derived from the
                                Message 15 of 27 , Apr 15, 2007
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                                  Another review at the TimesOnline.com site: this one falls in the category of
                                  brutally against Tolkien.

                                  "Sentences with a gnomic brevity derived from the sagas are overwhelmed by
                                  pages of self-indulgent feebleness."

                                  http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/article1639071.ece


                                  Jeremy
                                  --- David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:

                                  > The ritual "posthumous Tolkien is boring" genuflection at the start is
                                  > annoying, but once you get into it it's pleasant to see that Marshall knows
                                  > what he's talking about (no surprise). I'd rather thought this was mostly a
                                  > repackaging, and that there was no major cache of new material, and Marshall
                                  > confirms this.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > >From: William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...>
                                  > >Sent: Apr 14, 2007 2:14 PM
                                  > >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                  > >Subject: [mythsoc] Another Children of Hurin review
                                  > >
                                  > >This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of
                                  > >Words). Much better informed than Appleyard's,
                                  > >without being a puff piece:
                                  > >
                                  > >http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
                                  > >arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
                                  > >article1649664.ece
                                  >
                                  >
                                • William Cloud Hicklin
                                  A much more balanced piece in The Independent: http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/reviews/ article2450332.ece ... this one falls in the category of ...
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Apr 16, 2007
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                                    A much more balanced piece in The Independent:

                                    http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/reviews/
                                    article2450332.ece


                                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jeremy Edmonds
                                    <jeremy@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Another review at the TimesOnline.com site:
                                    this one falls in the category of
                                    > brutally against Tolkien.
                                    >
                                    > "Sentences with a gnomic brevity derived from
                                    the sagas are overwhelmed by
                                    > pages of self-indulgent feebleness."
                                    >
                                    > http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
                                    arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
                                    article1639071.ece
                                    >

                                    One wonders why on earth this person was tabbed
                                    to review it. Vide Lewis's comments regarding
                                    reviewing and detective stories. In this case,
                                    it reads like a review of /Amazing Grace/
                                    written by a Klansman.
                                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                                    I received my copies of both the US (Houghton Mifflin) and UK (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of Húrin_ today, and wanted to let interested
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
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                                      I received my copies of both the US (Houghton Mifflin) and UK
                                      (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of Húrin_ today, and
                                      wanted to let interested readers know that while identical in
                                      contents, the UK edition is larger in page size (also in plate size,
                                      for the illustrations), in better boards, on better paper, and with
                                      better (sewn) binding. For my money, in terms of attractiveness and
                                      durability, it's well worth the additional cost to get the UK edition
                                      instead of the US one.

                                      FWIW.

                                      Carl
                                    • Jason Fisher
                                      Wow. Color me surprised. Thanks for letting us know, Carl. I figured the exact opposite would be true. I m looking at my copy of the extended edition of Smith
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
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                                        Wow. Color me surprised. Thanks for letting us know, Carl.

                                        I figured the exact opposite would be true. I'm looking at my copy of the extended edition of Smith of Wootton Major as I write this � printed as it is on what appears to be heavy, recycled newspaper; in fact, I think it might have been used by a homeless person to keep the rain off before the text was printed on it. And the binding is clogged together with the kind of glue that ... well ... let's just say, the Rohirrim wouldn't be too happy about it.

                                        Jason

                                        ----- Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@...> ----

                                        I received my copies of both the US (Houghton Mifflin) and UK
                                        (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of H�rin_ today, and
                                        wanted to let interested readers know that while identical in
                                        contents, the UK edition is larger in page size (also in plate size,
                                        for the illustrations) , in better boards, on better paper, and with
                                        better (sewn) binding. For my money, in terms of attractiveness and
                                        durability, it's well worth the additional cost to get the UK edition
                                        instead of the US one.

                                        FWIW.

                                        Carl

                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Jeremy Edmonds
                                        Hi all, I am interested in getting some back issues of the Tolkien fanzine Tyalië Tyelelliéva, run by Lisa Star but currently inactive. Her webpage has an
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
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                                          Hi all,

                                          I am interested in getting some back issues of the Tolkien fanzine Tyalië
                                          Tyelelliéva, run by Lisa Star but currently inactive. Her webpage has an email
                                          contact address on it, which does not bounce but she has not responded to any
                                          inquiries that I am aware of in over a year (though she has updated the website
                                          since then.) Does anyone have a better contact method for her that they could
                                          share, or pass on to her that I would like to contact her?

                                          http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/9902/

                                          Thanks,
                                          Jeremy
                                        • Oberhelman, D
                                          I just received the HarperCollins Deluxe _Children of Hurin_ today and really like its construction. The paper is heavy, the binding firm, the helm design on
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Apr 23, 2007
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                                            I just received the HarperCollins Deluxe _Children of Hurin_ today and really like its construction. The paper is heavy, the binding firm, the helm design on the box is very sharp. The color in the plates is more vibrant and the details are crisper than the Houghton Mifflin trade edition (Lee's paintings look rather dull and muddy to me there). It costs a little more than the UK trade edition Carl mentioned last, but is well worth the price if you want a very nice collectible edition. It also is the same height as the other HarperCollins Deluxes/LOTR 50th.


                                            David Oberhelman


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Elena Rossi
                                            ... Are you sure of that? I received my copy today (I had pre-ordered it long ago but for a misunderstanding the bookshop set aside my copy and didn t send it
                                            Message 21 of 27 , May 19, 2007
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                                              --- "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:

                                              > I received my copies of both the US (Houghton
                                              > Mifflin) and UK
                                              > (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of
                                              > Húrin_ today, and
                                              > wanted to let interested readers know that while
                                              > identical in
                                              > contents, the UK edition is larger in page size
                                              > (also in plate size,
                                              > for the illustrations), in better boards, on better
                                              > paper, and with
                                              > better (sewn) binding.

                                              Are you sure of that?
                                              I received my copy today (I had pre-ordered it long
                                              ago but for a misunderstanding the bookshop set aside
                                              my copy and didn't send it for some weeks), it's a
                                              HarperCollins but it's not sewn, pages are just glued
                                              to the spine, which I find very very disappointing!
                                              :-(
                                              Is it possible that there are several batches produced
                                              by HarperCollins, some sewn and some glued? My copy
                                              should be a first edition as far as I can tell, there
                                              is written "Published by HarperCollins Publishers
                                              2007" and then, on the line below, "I".

                                              Oh, well, it's not that important, but I hate such
                                              "false paperbacks" that fall into pieces after a few
                                              readings!

                                              Regards
                                              Elena





                                              ____________________________________________________________________________________Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
                                              Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search
                                              http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=oni_on_mail&p=graduation+gifts&cs=bz
                                            • hisilome
                                              ... Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven t received my copy yet, and I can tell you that like you I ll certainly be disappointed if the pages are
                                              Message 22 of 27 , May 20, 2007
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                                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Elena Rossi <rossiele@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > --- "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > > I received my copies of both the US (Houghton
                                                > > Mifflin) and UK
                                                > > (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of
                                                > > Húrin_ today, and
                                                > > wanted to let interested readers know that while
                                                > > identical in
                                                > > contents, the UK edition is larger in page size
                                                > > (also in plate size,
                                                > > for the illustrations), in better boards, on better
                                                > > paper, and with
                                                > > better (sewn) binding.
                                                >
                                                > Are you sure of that?
                                                > I received my copy today (I had pre-ordered it long
                                                > ago but for a misunderstanding the bookshop set aside
                                                > my copy and didn't send it for some weeks), it's a
                                                > HarperCollins but it's not sewn, pages are just glued
                                                > to the spine, which I find very very disappointing!
                                                > :-(
                                                > Is it possible that there are several batches produced
                                                > by HarperCollins, some sewn and some glued? My copy
                                                > should be a first edition as far as I can tell, there
                                                > is written "Published by HarperCollins Publishers
                                                > 2007" and then, on the line below, "I".
                                                >
                                                > Oh, well, it's not that important, but I hate such
                                                > "false paperbacks" that fall into pieces after a few
                                                > readings!

                                                Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven't received my copy
                                                yet, and I can tell you that like you I'll certainly be disappointed
                                                if the pages are just glued together! This seems to happen a lot
                                                these days, though, take the Houghton Mifflin (hardcover) editions
                                                of "The History of Middle-earth" series, for example--but I'd have
                                                expected a bit more from HarperCollins. In particular, I don't see
                                                how they can sell both "sewn" and "glued" copies for the same price.
                                                (I've already written to both Amazon and HarperCollins to inquire
                                                about this, maybe you want to do that, too? Costs nothing...)

                                                On that note, I just received my copy of the first volume of John D.
                                                Rateliff's "The History of the Hobbit", and guess what: also a "false
                                                paperback", as you call it. Now I'm not sure in this case if all the
                                                hardcover copies have glued spines, or if there are properly sewn
                                                copies out there as well? Maybe others on this list who also ordered
                                                this book can satisfy my curiosity...

                                                Greetings,

                                                David
                                              • Jason Fisher
                                                ... This is interesting because when I got my U.S. Houghton-Mifflin copy from Amazon – I too had it preordered – I noticed it was a *second* printing. This
                                                Message 23 of 27 , May 20, 2007
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                                                  > --- Elena wote: ---
                                                  > Are you sure of that? ...
                                                  > it's a HarperCollins but it's not sewn,
                                                  > pages are just glued to the spine ...
                                                  > Is it possible that there are several
                                                  > batches produced by HarperCollins,
                                                  > some sewn and some glued?

                                                  This is interesting because when I got my U.S. Houghton-Mifflin copy from Amazon � I too had it preordered � I noticed it was a *second* printing. This was very annoying � until I went to the bookstore and compared it to the first printing. Strangely, the second (and perhaps all subsequent?) U.S. printing was of better quality (better paper, better binding � though still not as good as Carl and David have made the first British printing sound) than the *first*! So, this sounds like the opposite situation with HarperCollins, whose first sounds better than its subsequent printings. You say you think yours is a first printing, Elena, and it may be, but I've found it's sometimes harder to tell with some publishers. Houghton-Mifflin's printings are more clearly identified.

                                                  So, second U.S. printing though it is, it's the one I'm keeping. For now, anyway. Whims of the publishing industry, I guess.

                                                  Jason

                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • Elena Rossi
                                                  ... I too expected much better! Actually, I expected something like the edition of the Hobbit illustrated by Alan Lee... It s very similar as layout (both
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , May 20, 2007
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                                                    --- hisilome <david.vdpeet@...> wrote:

                                                    >>
                                                    > Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven't
                                                    > received my copy
                                                    > yet, and I can tell you that like you I'll certainly
                                                    > be disappointed
                                                    > if the pages are just glued together! This seems to
                                                    > happen a lot
                                                    > these days, though, take the Houghton Mifflin
                                                    > (hardcover) editions
                                                    > of "The History of Middle-earth" series, for
                                                    > example--but I'd have
                                                    > expected a bit more from HarperCollins.

                                                    I too expected much better!
                                                    Actually, I expected something like the edition of
                                                    "the Hobbit" illustrated by Alan Lee... It's very
                                                    similar as layout (both have pencil drawings at the
                                                    beginning of each chapter, and some full-page coloutr
                                                    plates.
                                                    But The Hobbit is printed on a beautiful glossy paper
                                                    (with sewn binding, even for the paperback!) that
                                                    makes every single pencil stroke stand out even if
                                                    the drawings have very delicate shades of grey... In
                                                    COH on the contrary, such detailed reproduction is not
                                                    possible because (it's only just a normal paper, not
                                                    especially bad quality but simply not suitable for
                                                    such illustration), and details disappear in a sort of
                                                    grey cloud that makes a very poor service to Alan
                                                    Lee's art :-(.
                                                    And if you try to look closer, you just see the dots
                                                    of the halftone screen :-(

                                                    I thought that with COH they would do the same as for
                                                    The Hobbit, but obviously the temptation to save a few
                                                    cents on each copy by making a cheap edition (cheap
                                                    for them, not for the readers!) was too strong.


                                                    > In
                                                    > particular, I don't see
                                                    > how they can sell both "sewn" and "glued" copies for
                                                    > the same price.
                                                    > (I've already written to both Amazon and
                                                    > HarperCollins to inquire
                                                    > about this, maybe you want to do that, too? Costs
                                                    > nothing...)

                                                    Oh, well, I think now it's too late...Now I have it
                                                    and I'll keep it...And hope that by the time it start
                                                    losing pages, there will be another, better edition...
                                                    Also, I didn't buy it from Amazon but from Forbidden
                                                    Planet (London), because Alan Lee would be there to
                                                    sign copies on 19th April and it was possible to order
                                                    signed copies even from the internet... And my copy
                                                    was signed (I'm a fan of Alan Lee), so it's
                                                    necessarily one that was already in the library on
                                                    that date (which together with the 'I' printed near
                                                    the copyright, makes me think it's a first edition...I
                                                    really don't care about first editions, but I only
                                                    wonder whether the stitched/sewn may depend from the
                                                    edition).

                                                    >
                                                    > On that note, I just received my copy of the first
                                                    > volume of John D.
                                                    > Rateliff's "The History of the Hobbit", and guess
                                                    > what: also a "false
                                                    > paperback", as you call it.

                                                    I haven't bought it yet, but I'm rather disappointed
                                                    to hear that :-(
                                                    (I meant a "false hardback", but probably the concept
                                                    is the same).
                                                    Another sad example of this is the extended edition of
                                                    Somith of Wootton Major edited by Verlyn Flieger...
                                                    The book is magnificent; there is the reproduction of
                                                    all the first edition (with illustrations by Pauline
                                                    Baynes), then notes and commentaries, then the
                                                    original draft by Tolkien (pictures of every single
                                                    page, with transcription on the opposite page)...All
                                                    this ruined by a binding where pages (made of rather
                                                    rigid paper) seem to fly away from the first time you
                                                    open the book.


                                                    > Now I'm not sure in this
                                                    > case if all the
                                                    > hardcover copies have glued spines, or if there are
                                                    > properly sewn
                                                    > copies out there as well? Maybe others on this list
                                                    > who also ordered
                                                    > this book can satisfy my curiosity...

                                                    Well, I've never heard that a book was issued in two
                                                    such different forms at the same time by the same
                                                    publisher, that's why I asked Carl if he was sure that
                                                    the COH he owns is really sewn (sometimes the
                                                    difference is obvious, but sometimes pages are packed
                                                    very strictly and it's not easy to see the
                                                    difference!); or maybe he has the Deluxe edition? (I
                                                    think the Deluxe edition is sewn, or what Deluxe
                                                    edition is it?)

                                                    Regards
                                                    Elena



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                                                  • hisilome
                                                    ... Well, I don t own or have seen the Lee Hobbit , but it sounds like a nice edition! This is exactly what bothers me, there are enough examples out there of
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , May 21, 2007
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                                                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Elena Rossi <rossiele@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > --- hisilome <david.vdpeet@...> wrote:
                                                      > >>
                                                      > > Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven't
                                                      > > received my copy
                                                      > > yet, and I can tell you that like you I'll certainly
                                                      > > be disappointed
                                                      > > if the pages are just glued together! <snip>

                                                      > I too expected much better!
                                                      > Actually, I expected something like the edition of
                                                      > "the Hobbit" illustrated by Alan Lee... It's very
                                                      > similar as layout (both have pencil drawings at the
                                                      > beginning of each chapter, and some full-page coloutr
                                                      > plates.
                                                      > But The Hobbit is printed on a beautiful glossy paper
                                                      > (with sewn binding, even for the paperback!) that
                                                      > makes every single pencil stroke stand out even if
                                                      > the drawings have very delicate shades of grey...

                                                      Well, I don't own or have seen the "Lee Hobbit", but it sounds like a
                                                      nice edition! This is exactly what bothers me, there are enough
                                                      examples out there of how it can be done, incl. also the first and
                                                      second edition of Anderson's "Annotated Hobbit" [my copies published
                                                      by Unwin Hyman / HarperCollins, respectively--truth be told, in terms
                                                      of paper quality and reproductions, the second edition is superior to
                                                      the first, which is considerably larger in page size and comes with a
                                                      very different dust jacket, but has only B&W / two-color
                                                      illustrations which are often a bit small for my taste].
                                                      Or there is the second edition (haven't seen the first) of "The Road
                                                      Goes Ever On" [George Allen & Unwin, 1978], or the latest works by
                                                      Hammond and Scull, the "LotR Reader's Companion" [here the
                                                      HarperCollins / Houghton Mifflin editions are practically identical,
                                                      at least mine] and the "Tolkien Companion and Guide", or even the
                                                      paperback edition [Houghton Mifflin] of the earlier "J.R.R. Tolkien:
                                                      Artist and Illustrator". All printed on decent to very good paper,
                                                      all sewn and with good quality reproductions of pictures and drawings
                                                      (if present).
                                                      Compare that to later printings of the History of Middle-earth by
                                                      Houghton Mifflin which are usually shoddily glued together and
                                                      consistently leave out color frontispieces, which were originally a
                                                      feature in several volumes (others had no frontispiece [e.g. BoLT 2],
                                                      and yet others had a B&W frontispiece [e.g. BoLT 1])--now
                                                      HarperCollins doesn't issue those single-volume copies anymore (well,
                                                      only as paperbacks, that is).
                                                      Houghton Mifflin used to have the frontispieces in their first
                                                      editions (with the exception of Volume XII, I believe), but now
                                                      they've decided to save money instead. The thing is, they don't tell
                                                      you that if you order the books on their site, or at Amazon, for that
                                                      matter. (On-line) second-hand book dealers often seem to give you a
                                                      lot more details about individual copies, and I've usually found them
                                                      to be quite reliable.

                                                      I'm rambling on and on. If you're still with me, I'd just like to
                                                      encourage everybody that whenever receiving a copy that's not what
                                                      you had a right to expect, or it's just sloppily manufactured, I
                                                      think it doesn't hurt to send the publishers / dealers some feedback.
                                                      Maybe it will make a bit of a difference.

                                                      > In COH on the contrary, such detailed reproduction is not
                                                      > possible because (it's only just a normal paper, not
                                                      > especially bad quality but simply not suitable for
                                                      > such illustration), and details disappear in a sort of
                                                      > grey cloud that makes a very poor service to Alan
                                                      > Lee's art :-(.
                                                      > And if you try to look closer, you just see the dots
                                                      > of the halftone screen :-(
                                                      >
                                                      > I thought that with COH they would do the same as for
                                                      > The Hobbit, but obviously the temptation to save a few
                                                      > cents on each copy by making a cheap edition (cheap
                                                      > for them, not for the readers!) was too strong.

                                                      Exactly! Either they make it cheap (and that also means selling it
                                                      cheap[er]), or they do it right, and then they can charge a decent
                                                      price.

                                                      <snip>

                                                      > Well, I've never heard that a book was issued in two
                                                      > such different forms at the same time by the same
                                                      > publisher, that's why I asked Carl if he was sure that
                                                      > the COH he owns is really sewn (sometimes the
                                                      > difference is obvious, but sometimes pages are packed
                                                      > very strictly and it's not easy to see the
                                                      > difference!); or maybe he has the Deluxe edition? (I
                                                      > think the Deluxe edition is sewn, or what Deluxe
                                                      > edition is it?)
                                                      > Regards
                                                      > Elena

                                                      Carl was explicitly referring to the trade editions, and I think
                                                      those are the "normal" hardcover editions, not the deluxe ones. So I
                                                      think if your copy is really just glued together, then HarperCollins
                                                      did exactly that: issue the book in two different forms at the same
                                                      time.

                                                      It's true that it can sometimes be a little bit tricky to see if a
                                                      copy is sewn or not, but a close examination usually leaves no doubt.

                                                      Amazon actually replied to my inquiry to let me know that I'll be
                                                      receiving a hardcover edition of CoH with sewn binding--so I'm
                                                      keeping my fingers crossed. No word on "The History of the Hobbit",
                                                      though...

                                                      Anyway, I'm sorry I've been reeling way off topic throughout the
                                                      entire post, and of course the content is more important than the
                                                      package. It just adds to the enjoyment when both match each other in
                                                      quality!

                                                      Greetings,

                                                      David
                                                    • William Cloud Hicklin
                                                      FWIW, my trade edition of CoH (obtained through Amazon) is definitely sewn.
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , May 21, 2007
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                                                        FWIW, my trade edition of CoH (obtained through
                                                        Amazon) is definitely sewn.
                                                      • Elena Rossi
                                                        ... Yes, it is... Even the paperback is very solidly bound, with glossy paper and stitched binding...The only difference with the hardback is that the cover
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , May 21, 2007
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                                                          --- hisilome <david.vdpeet@...> wrote:

                                                          > Well, I don't own or have seen the "Lee Hobbit", but
                                                          > it sounds like a
                                                          > nice edition!
                                                          Yes, it is... Even the "paperback" is very solidly
                                                          bound, with glossy paper and stitched binding...The
                                                          only difference with the hardback is that the cover
                                                          (of course) is not rigid.

                                                          >This is exactly what bothers me, there
                                                          > are enough
                                                          > examples out there of how it can be done, incl. also
                                                          > the first and
                                                          > second edition of Anderson's "Annotated Hobbit" [my
                                                          > copies published
                                                          > by Unwin Hyman / HarperCollins, respectively--truth
                                                          > be told, in terms
                                                          > of paper quality and reproductions, the second
                                                          > edition is superior to
                                                          > the first, which is considerably larger in page size
                                                          > and comes with a
                                                          > very different dust jacket, but has only B&W /
                                                          > two-color
                                                          > illustrations which are often a bit small for my
                                                          > taste].
                                                          > Or there is the second edition (haven't seen the
                                                          > first) of "The Road
                                                          > Goes Ever On" [George Allen & Unwin, 1978], or the
                                                          > latest works by
                                                          > Hammond and Scull, the "LotR Reader's Companion"
                                                          > [here the
                                                          > HarperCollins / Houghton Mifflin editions are
                                                          > practically identical,
                                                          > at least mine] and the "Tolkien Companion and
                                                          > Guide", or even the
                                                          > paperback edition [Houghton Mifflin] of the earlier
                                                          > "J.R.R. Tolkien:
                                                          > Artist and Illustrator". All printed on decent to
                                                          > very good paper,
                                                          > all sewn and with good quality reproductions of
                                                          > pictures and drawings
                                                          > (if present).

                                                          That's true! Books by Hammond and Scull have all
                                                          excellent editions, very solid and that won't fall
                                                          apart even after years of use (that's important, as
                                                          being works of consultation, they should resist to a
                                                          "heavy use").

                                                          > Compare that to later printings of the History of
                                                          > Middle-earth by
                                                          > Houghton Mifflin which are usually shoddily glued
                                                          > together and
                                                          > consistently leave out color frontispieces, which
                                                          > were originally a
                                                          > feature in several volumes (others had no
                                                          > frontispiece [e.g. BoLT 2],
                                                          > and yet others had a B&W frontispiece [e.g. BoLT
                                                          > 1])--now
                                                          > HarperCollins doesn't issue those single-volume
                                                          > copies anymore (well,
                                                          > only as paperbacks, that is).

                                                          Yes, I only have them paperbacks :-(
                                                          There are hardbacks made by packing three books
                                                          together, but frankly they seem to me too bulky to be
                                                          practical... Single volumes would be better.

                                                          > Houghton Mifflin used to have the frontispieces in
                                                          > their first
                                                          > editions (with the exception of Volume XII, I
                                                          > believe), but now
                                                          > they've decided to save money instead. The thing is,
                                                          > they don't tell
                                                          > you that if you order the books on their site, or at
                                                          > Amazon, for that
                                                          > matter.

                                                          Well, I'm in Italy and I can't even see such books in
                                                          normal bookshops, so I often have to order them
                                                          "blindly" on the internet.
                                                          Sometimes they are better than I expected (as The
                                                          Hobbit by Alan Lee or books by W. Hammond and
                                                          C.Scull), sometimes they are worse :-(

                                                          > (On-line) second-hand book dealers often
                                                          > seem to give you a
                                                          > lot more details about individual copies, and I've
                                                          > usually found them
                                                          > to be quite reliable.

                                                          I had never thought of that, I'll keep it in mind for
                                                          next time...


                                                          > I'm rambling on and on. If you're still with me, I'd
                                                          > just like to
                                                          > encourage everybody that whenever receiving a copy
                                                          > that's not what
                                                          > you had a right to expect, or it's just sloppily
                                                          > manufactured, I
                                                          > think it doesn't hurt to send the publishers /
                                                          > dealers some feedback.
                                                          > Maybe it will make a bit of a difference.
                                                          >

                                                          Well, a couple of years ago i bought from Amazon a
                                                          "hardback" edition of The Silmarillion, to substitute
                                                          my old Allen&Unwin paperback edition that was starting
                                                          to lose pages (after many readings). I was not
                                                          interested in a "deluxe" or illustrated copy, I just
                                                          wanted a good hardback with sewn binding...Actually
                                                          what I received was a _glued_ hardback :-(; and not
                                                          only that; the quality of the edition was appalling,
                                                          especially when confronted with my old paperback
                                                          edition!! Margins were practically nonexistent, while
                                                          the font used was much smaller than the one of my old
                                                          copy... OK, I still have a good sight :-), but the
                                                          comparison with the old paperback was shameful. And
                                                          the new edition was not even particularly cheap!!
                                                          I wrote a complaint mail to HarperCollins, telling
                                                          them what I thought of their poor edition of
                                                          Silmarillion (I remember I told the the only thing
                                                          that was good was the dustjacket)- not that I expected
                                                          anything, but I think that if people don't start to
                                                          complain, publishers maybe think that we don't even
                                                          notice.
                                                          Actually, very surprisingly, they answered and asked
                                                          my address, apologizing for my disappointing and
                                                          offering a replecement...And they sent me for free an
                                                          illustrated (by Ted Nasmith) copy, which was sewn and
                                                          was a good edition. But I'm afraid they missed my
                                                          point, which was not so much my _personal_
                                                          disappointment over that book, but the fact that
                                                          publishers should try to make _good_ books, not things
                                                          that look cheap in every detail except the price.


                                                          > Exactly! Either they make it cheap (and that also
                                                          > means selling it
                                                          > cheap[er]), or they do it right, and then they can
                                                          > charge a decent
                                                          > price.

                                                          That's right, a cover price of 18.99 pounds is in
                                                          exaggeration IMO for a glued binding.


                                                          >
                                                          > Carl was explicitly referring to the trade editions,
                                                          > and I think
                                                          > those are the "normal" hardcover editions, not the
                                                          > deluxe ones. So I
                                                          > think if your copy is really just glued together,
                                                          > then HarperCollins
                                                          > did exactly that: issue the book in two different
                                                          > forms at the same
                                                          > time.

                                                          >:-(
                                                          In this case I think I'll consider re-buying it...

                                                          >
                                                          > It's true that it can sometimes be a little bit
                                                          > tricky to see if a
                                                          > copy is sewn or not, but a close examination usually
                                                          > leaves no doubt.
                                                          >
                                                          > Amazon actually replied to my inquiry to let me know
                                                          > that I'll be
                                                          > receiving a hardcover edition of CoH with sewn
                                                          > binding--so I'm
                                                          > keeping my fingers crossed. No word on "The History
                                                          > of the Hobbit",
                                                          > though...

                                                          Well, let me know what type is your CoH when you get
                                                          it...
                                                          Although I think that if I buy it again, I'll probably
                                                          choose the Deluxe edition to be sure (and anyway it's
                                                          very discounted at the moment)...
                                                          I'm sorry that the new one won't be signed by Alan
                                                          Lee, but if I have to choose I prefer a better
                                                          binding.

                                                          >
                                                          > Anyway, I'm sorry I've been reeling way off topic
                                                          > throughout the
                                                          > entire post, and of course the content is more
                                                          > important than the
                                                          > package. It just adds to the enjoyment when both
                                                          > match each other in
                                                          > quality!

                                                          Well, of course the content is more important! But
                                                          when the "package" is going to self-destroy, it also
                                                          diminishes the enjoyment of the content...Besides
                                                          that, if there were no alternatives (i.e. CoH was only
                                                          available in glued binding) I would resign myself as
                                                          "either this or nothing", but as it seems there are
                                                          different editions, I hope to get one that is going to
                                                          last...

                                                          Regards
                                                          Elena


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