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Re: [mythsoc] Re: the eenie-weenie spoiler went up the dragon's snout.

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  • 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 1 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
      >...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

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    • Merlin DeTardo
      ... Melkor turning out to be Turin Skywalker s real father. Well, Appleyard does reference Jabba the Hut in his review.
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 12, 2007
        >>---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 3 of 27 , Apr 13, 2007
          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 4 of 27 , Apr 14, 2007
            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 5 of 27 , Apr 14, 2007
              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 6 of 27 , Apr 15, 2007
                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 7 of 27 , Apr 16, 2007
                  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 8 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
                    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 9 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
                      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 10 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
                        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 11 of 27 , Apr 23, 2007
                          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 12 of 27 , May 19, 2007
                            --- "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





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                          • 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 13 of 27 , May 20, 2007
                              --- 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 14 of 27 , May 20, 2007
                                > --- 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 15 of 27 , May 20, 2007
                                  --- 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 16 of 27 , May 21, 2007
                                    --- 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 17 of 27 , May 21, 2007
                                      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 18 of 27 , May 21, 2007
                                        --- 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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