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Books Entertainment

JRR Tolkien Book 'Beren and Luthien' Published After 100 Years (bbc.com) 94

seoras quotes a report from BBC: A new book by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is going on sale -- 100 years after it was first conceived. Beren and Luthien has been described as a "very personal story" that the Oxford professor thought up after returning from the Battle of the Somme. It was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and contains versions of a tale that became part of The Silmarillion. The book features illustrations by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for his work on Peter Jackson's film trilogy. It is being published on Thursday by HarperCollins on the 10th anniversary of the last Middle Earth book, The Children of Hurin.
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JRR Tolkien Book 'Beren and Luthien' Published After 100 Years

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:05AM (#54541025)

    I'll probably buy it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fascinating! I can only speak for myself, but I certainly wondered if you would buy it! Thank you for putting my mind at ease.

      (you're a fucking idiot. go eat some more Cheetos, neckbeard)

  • Hollywood (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:11AM (#54541033) Homepage

    Meanwhile, movie industry starts planning to make 2 trilogies of 150min films out of this book.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Simon Rowe ( 1206316 )
      They can plan all they like, the Tolkien Estate will not sell them the rights. They only got "The Hobbit" & "LotR" because JRRT ended up with a big tax bill.
      • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @05:04AM (#54541161) Journal
        Still? What is the copyright limit these days; universe heat death + 50 years or something?
        • In the UK, 70 years after the death of the author according to S.12 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
        • Re:Hollywood (Score:5, Informative)

          by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @09:49AM (#54541857) Journal

          Tolkien died after the first Mickey Mouse film, so presumably his stuff will never enter the public domain.

          • by Tyrsal ( 3692357 )
            I hate how true this is.
          • That's not what the copyright industry claims. What happened was that the international standard for the copyright term had been the life of the author's grandchildren, with the exception of the United States. In the 1970s, the United States aligned itself with the international standard. But over the course of the twentieth century, health care improvements caused people to live longer and have babies later. This led first the European Union and then the United States to update the details of what "life of

            • Thus the three short films establishing the character Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain in the United States on January 1, 2024, after the end of the 95th Gregorian calendar year after the films' first publication. They will enter the public domain in the European Union on January 1, 2037, after the end of the 70th Gregorian calendar year after the death of Walter Elias Disney.

              So it isn't until the actual grandchildren are all dead, it is until some imaginary, super-healthy grandchild sired minutes

  • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:13AM (#54541039)

    I thought I procrastinated putting things off, good to know someone else has me beat by 99 years.

  • The Silmarillion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SeattleLawGuy ( 4561077 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:40AM (#54541071)

    The Silmarillion is worth a read if you have enough imagination to fill in some of the visual details yourself; it is in a sort of abstract epic writing style one level more removed from the writing in LOTR, so many people have trouble with it, but there are beautiful moments in it if you can read it. For example, it opens with a description of music sung by beings of great power at the beginning of time, and also of the discord that the great enemy tries to sing into the music.

    And there are high hosts of elves, and fights of elven-kings, and brave acts of love.

    Beren and Luthien is one of the classic grand love stories of high fantasy. I hope this version is a good one, but whether it is or isn't you should still check out the other one.

    • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
      No need for sentimentality here, this is anglo-saxon style mythology tinged with as much romanticism as Wagner could ever manage. If JRR wrote most of this, then think Beowulf. Otherwise, see the expanded universe stuff by Herbert Jr. for comparison.
      • You mean the expanded Dune universe stuff by Anderson. Herbert Jr. couldn't write his way out of a paper bag which is why he needed a ghost writer.

      • If Brian Herbert had done what Christopher Tolkien had done, we would have had those various plot lines and notes that were Frank Herbert's plan for the Dune universe, instead of a series of pretty fucking awful novels. Anderson really is a hack, and what they've done to Herbert's pretty majestic writing is a travesty. I'd sooner just read point form chronologies of what happened after Chapterhouse Dune or chronologies of the Butlerian Jihad than have to wade through acres of bad prose.

        • by Boronx ( 228853 )

          "Dune" is schlock. Good schlock, but still schlock.

        • Anderson really is a hack, and what they've done to Herbert's pretty majestic writing is a travesty.

          THEY HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING to Frank Herbert's majestic writing. The original works stand, and Brian and what's-his-name are as entitled to write lame Dune fanfic packed with giant robot battles as anyone.

          I'd sooner just read point form chronologies of what happened after Chapterhouse Dune or chronologies of the Butlerian Jihad than have to wade through acres of bad prose.

          And that's why we have the Dune Encyclopedia, even if Frank Herbert said it wasn't canon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Partaking in cannabis while reading the Silmarrilion is a good idea. I recommend a good couch lock Kush.

      We are talking complete immersion into a fantasy world like no other.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      The important thing with the Silmarillion is to be willing to "skip the begats" (much as with reading the old testament). There's a lot of stuff up front with no plot, just laying out the creation myth and history of the early days. That puts a lot of people off, who never really give the book a chance. And that's a shame, because it's filled with wonderful short stories.

      • "just laying out the creation myth and history of the early days. That puts a lot of people off..." -- you just described my experience perfectly. Thanks for the update, maybe I'll give the book another chance.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          I recommend it. It's still the same long-winded style as LOTR, don't get me wrong, but there are some great fantasy stories in there.

          I found It fascinating, though it was never stated explicitly, that no one ever fought a Balrog and lived. Some heroes killed a Balrog or three, but none survived. Puts Gandalf's last stand in perspective.

      • That's largely because the published Silmarillion is by and large based on chronologies like the Grey Annals which Tolkien used to keep track of events while he attempted to write a proper large-form narrative. The Silmarillion as Tolkien envisioned it was never completed, though you can see what it would have looked like in stories like the woefully unfinished version of the Tuor story in Unfinished Tales, or in the much expanded Turin saga to be found in Unfinished Tales and in the later The Children of H

  • I mean he's dead, the story was written 100 years ago but I guess they will change the law again, so that his grand-grand-grand-grand-children won't have to lift a finger and actually _work_.

    • I mean he's dead, the story was written 100 years ago but I guess they will change the law again, so that his grand-grand-grand-grand-children won't have to lift a finger and actually _work_.

      From the summary even, it was edited by this son. How does that constitute not working? Furthermore, if the story was never published, why should it be placed in the public domain. Seems to me it would be property of his estate.

      • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @07:24AM (#54541475) Homepage
        Say what you like about milking a legacy with copyright, you can't really accuse Christopher Tolkein of failing to earn his share of it or putting the time in - he's in his 90s and still going! Not only did he draw the original maps for Lord of the Rings (they are signed with his initials, C.J.R.T.) but he put in a huge amount of effort editing his father's writings to produce 12-volumes of The History of Middle-earth [wikipedia.org], on top of the effort to finish the various other posthumously published works by JRR Tolkein.
        • by ledow ( 319597 )

          Indeed. The History of Middle Earth bored me to tears, but it's certainly a work in itself, even if it's just the research and collation of someone else's work too.

          He could have just sold off his father's works before he hit 90 himself, and lived off the proceeds but that's not what happened. He worked at them, and it's hard enough to keep track of reading his collations, let alone the effort to collate it all. And, it was all his father's legacy and he gets a bad rap for that because he doesn't write "o

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      You don't understand much about copyright, do you?

  • Is it a new story? I've read somewhere that it's just a re-edition. How much different is it from the Silmarillion's chapter?

    I obviously didn't bother to RTFA.

  • ...and their abuse of copyright.

    If you want to read an important SciFi/Fantasy book, try Never Let Me Go [amzn.to].

  • Will this book make the cut? Time will tell...

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