Book Review: The Children of Hurin

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

They don't write them like this anymore. The Children of Húrin is a work completed by J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher. The story reads like a Greek tragedy or legend, as if it was being told around a fire.

The story follows the life of Túrin, son of Húrin, covering his entire life, and focusing brief passages on his key adventures and misadventures. The book does not give you an in depth "play by play" of everything that occurs and it will summarize years passing in a paragraph or two.

What you get are broad strokes about the feats performed by a single man and the tragedy of his life. Rather than a book written for us, this almost reads like a book written for the denizens of Middle Earth, shared with its inhabitants about a tragic hero from the first age.

The readability this book rates high compared to some of the other incomplete works of Tolkien. This is by no means as easy as the Hobbit or LOTR, but it is much more digestible than any of the Unfinished Tales. The stories will be easy to follow, but the locations and names of many of the characters will leave you confused. The book assumes that you are familiar with the locations of places in the world, (again, perhaps it is written for the people of Middle Earth) and doesn't give you much reference.

Christopher Tolkien does an excellent job providing detailed annotations and notes on his father's work along with background information about how he pieced partial manuscripts together.

Overall, this is a great story for anyone who is a fan of Tolkien. If you have read The Hobbit and LOTR and you are looking for a story to make the jump before getting into the difficult ocean of the Unfinished Tales, this is a great bridge book that will give you a good story and also give you the background information about how the world was created.

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My Year in Books - 2016

Here is a look back at my books read in 2016. I leveraged my local library a lot this year utilizing the audiobooks and access to comic comic-books.  I would highly recommend people go and checkout what digital resources your local library has. My library has three online digital resources for audiobooks, ebooks, and comics that all comes with smartphone or tablet apps. Utilizing these will allow you access to all sorts of audiobooks and comics (even movies and music) that you haven't had before. 

Here's to a good 2017 of read. What was your favorite reading? 

September 2016 - Reading List

The year is coming to a close. We are now in the last quarter with fall quickly coming up upon us. For the past couple of years I have really enjoyed reading one of the Harry Potter books during the late fall, early holiday season. I have read the first four books, so I am just starting to now make the turn into the darker side of the series. That also means that the series starts to get a bit longer as we move on. 

I have had an opportunity to read a lot of books this year, especially since I have taken advantage of my library's audiobooks. I can't say though that anything has really captured me with the exception of Ancillary Justice. The collection of Nebula Award short stories was extremely good and I truly enjoyed the Last Wish, which I just finished a few weeks ago. 

I am currently reading an indie book called Render. It is the follow up with Shatter, which caught me by surprised a few years ago. I am hoping to wrap up some series that I have had hanging out there for a while now before diving deep into any new long standing series. I really want to get the Malayan series wrapped up soon as well, since that one only has a couple of books left in the main series. 

I am struggling so far with Render since I cannot remember pretty much who any of the characters are. One of the troubles of reading a follow up series so many months later. Since it is an indie book, I have also been unable to fins a synopsis online to refresh my memory. It has been a struggle thus far to get into the book. 

I am hoping I might be able to knock out two more books before the end of the year.