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Quarta, 07 Janeiro 2009 20:00

The Best Tolkien books of 2008

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It seems not long ago that I wrote the article on the best Tolkien books of 2007. Time flies when you are having a good time! 2008 was a year which started of with a large amount of paperbacks editions of all major Tolkien works. The middle of the year was the period when we saw the release of some books by Tolkien scholars and the end of the year we saw audiobooks and the Tales of the Perilous Realm come out. All together a very interesting year it was. Let us walk through it again in chronological order.

We started the year with the publication of paperback versions of The History of the Hobbit. Like Christopher Tolkien’s The History of The Lord of the Rings before it, this is a thoughtful yet exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature. Long overdue for a classic book now celebrating 70 years in print, this companion edition offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight those who are about to enter Bilbo's round door for the first time.

History of the creation of this book Hardback slipcased edition of this bookInterview with the author

THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT - VOLUME I by John D. RateliffPublication Date: 03/03/2008 (UK)Price: £8.99 (UK)Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-00-726646-3Extent (approx.): 480 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperFiction

THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT by John D. Rateliff Publication Date: 03/03/2008 (UK)Price: £8.99 (UK)Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-00-726647-0Extent (approx.): 480 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperFiction

In April was released the first ever fully illustrated paperback of the critically acclaimed and beloved children’s classic The Hobbit, featuring 26 colour paintings and over 30 pencil drawings by Alan Lee, winner of the Kate Greenaway medal for illustration, and creator of the fabulously successful Centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings.

This paperback contains all the stunning paintings by Alan Lee, depicting key scenes from this all-time classic (scenes such as Gollum and Bilbo, The Wargs, Smaug the Dragon and The Battle of the Five Armies), and this beautiful volume also includes a wealth of integrated pencil drawings which demonstrate perfectly Alan's genius at work.

Interview with Alan Lee

THE HOBBIT [illustrated paperback edition]Publication Date: 07/04/2008 (UK)Price: £8.99 (UK)Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-00-727061-3Extent (approx.): 384 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperFiction

Together with the Hobbit paperback came also new paperbacks of The Lord of the Rings. They are very lovely and if you want to pick up a cheap set, that still looks good, I'd advise you to go for these. They are paperbacks, but they are also illustrated! Easy to read and all the joys of Alan Lee's artwork!

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING [illustrated paperback edition]Publication Date: 07/04/2008 (UK)Price: £8.99 (UK), $19.95 (CA)Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-00-726970-9Extent (approx.): 576 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperFiction

THE TWO TOWERS [illustrated paperback edition]Publication Date: 07/04/2008 (UK)Price: £8.99 (UK), $19.95 (CA)Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-00-726971-6Extent (approx.): 464 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperFiction

THE RETURN OF THE KING [illustrated paperback edition]Publication Date: 07/04/2008 (UK)Price: £8.99 (UK), $19.95 (CA)Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-00-726972-3Extent (approx.): 624 pages

Imprint: HarperCollinsRights: OMDivision: HarperFiction

Tolkien's Gedling 1914: The Birth of a legend

This was a small booklet that came as a surprise to me. The author was completely unknown to me, but I had seen his name mentioned on the website of Wayne Hammond & Christina Scull. But once I read the first pages I got stuck into the tale and read the book in one day time. It is well written and plaisant to read, and the information was fresh and new... so all elements to please a Tolkien fan.

- Paperback- Publisher: Brewin Books - ISBN-10: 185858423X- ISBN-13: 978-1858584232

As a child in the 1950s, Andrew Morton played on the land a literary legend grew from. The fields around Gedling were home to Phoenix Farm, where JRR Tolkien created the poem some say led to the Lord Of The Rings. Years later, after discovering the author's link to Gedling, Andrew started to research the history of Phoenix Farm - and the result of his work is a new book, Tolkien's Gedling 1914: The Birth Of A Legend.

A little later then expected, Tolkien on Fairy-Stories was released in August 2008. It is a new expanded edition of Tolkien's most famous, and most important essay, which defined his conception of fantasy as a literary form, and which led to the writing of The Lord of the Rings. Accompanied by a critical study of the history and writing of the text. J.R.R. Tolkien's "On Fairy-stories" is his most-studied and most-quoted essay, an exemplary personal statement of his views on the role of imagination in literature, and an intellectual tour de force vital for understanding Tolkien's achievement in the writing of The Lord of the Rings.Tolkien on Fairy-Stories

Title: Tolkien on Fairy-Stories Authors: Verlyn Flieger, Douglas A. AndersonType: hardcoverEstimate: 128 pagesPublisher: HarperCollins Publishers LtdPublication Date: August 2008Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0007244665ISBN-13: 978-0007244669

Tolkien's Oxford

Presented in a handy guide-book format, this is an essential companion for anyone wanting to find the places that influenced Tolkien and his work in Oxford.

The book covers such places as The Bird and Baby, the Old Ashmolean Building on Broad Street and the University Botanical Gardens, which contained Tolkiens favourite tree.

Paperback: 144 pagesPublisher: The History Press (3 Oct 2008)Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0752447297ISBN-13: 978-0752447292Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 12.2 x 1.2 cm

The Children of Hurin Paperback Edition

Since October the bestseller The Children of Hurin was avaiable for the masses in paperback format in the US. It is a very nice and handy edition, that is easy to take along.Paperback: 320 pagesPublisher: Houghton Mifflin Company; Reprint edition Publication date: 14 Oct 2008Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0547086059ISBN-13: 978-0547086057Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm

Exciting times it were for BBC Audiobooks America. For the first time in the US they released The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and the Tales from the Perilous Realm in audio format this year. Have a look here to see all audio editions that were released in the US this year.

The newly released edition of the Tales from the Perilous Realm Radio Dramatization came as four stories on three disks, each containing elements of fantasy and faerie, or in total 3hrs of listening pleasure. This was the most surprising Audio book i listened to this year. I can only recommend it to all audio book fans!

It has exactly the same size as the Hobbit dramatization, so they fit well together on a shelve.

Type: Audio CDPublisher: BBC Audiobooks America

Edition: Unabridged edition Release Date: October 7, 2008

Language: EnglishISBN-10: 1602834784ISBN-13: 978-1602834781

If there is one book that really has impressed me, it is Diana Glyer's The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community.

While the content of the book is very great, important facts are discussed and compared, and there is tons of interesting information, it remains easy and is very enjoyable to read. This book can now already be seen as the standard book when people need to know something about The Inklings. If you are interested in the Inklings, this is the book to read.

You probably are wondering why I add this book that was published in 2007 in this list, but here is why:

After winning the 2006/2007 Imperishable Flame Award the wonderful book by Diana Glyer was also nominated for a Hugo Award as Best Related Book and won The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies 2008 . This year the Company They Keep has been released in paperback with a slightly different cover. Those who had the good sense to buy it in hardcover are lucky-- it sold out last spring and the hardcover went out of print. I don't know of any plan to print more in that format. Good news for collectors, I think.

Interview with the authorReview of the book by Josh B. Long

The Company They Keepby Diana GlyerPaperback: 293 pagesPublisher: Kent State University Press (15 Sep 2008)Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0873389913ISBN-13: 978-0873389914Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 2.3 cm

The Silmarillion Illustrated Edition

Because the Tolkien calendar and Diary had a Silmarillion topic the illustrated paperback edition with the art by Ted Nasmith was reprinted. It is a very beautyful edition and shows Ted's art at his best! If you have not read the Silmarillion, please do try... you will not regret it.

Paperback: 416 pagesPublisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Illustrated edition edition (3 Nov 2008)Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0007284241ISBN-13: 978-0007284245Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.4 cm

Tales for the Perilous Realm Hardback Edition

To say it in David Brawn's words, "the flagship book this year will be The Tales from the Perilous Realm, planned to be the definitive reading edition of Roverandom (10 years since publication), Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf By Niggle, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and Smith of Wootton Major".

Available for the first time in A-format since 1 september 2008, this is the definitive collection of Tolkien's five acclaimed modern classic 'fairie' tales in the vein of 'The Hobbit'.

Roverandom and the four other tales are written with the same skill, quality and hallmarks that made Tolkien's Hobbit a classic. In the past they were largely overlooked because of their short lengths, but will now be finally together in a new volume which reaffirms Tolkien's place as a master storyteller for readers young and old.

The 2008 edition of Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom and Other Classic Faery Stories was released as a hardback edition and a deluxe edition, bot illustrated by Alan Lee!

I am very pleased to announce that it also includes a special introduction written by the world-renowned Tolkien scholar and writer, Tom Shippey. World-renowned Tolkien author and expert, Tom Shippey, takes the reader through the hidden links in the tales to Tolkien's Middle-earth in his Introduction, and recounts their history and themes.

Lastly, included as an appendix is Tolkien's most famous essay, "On Fairy-stories", in which he brilliantly discusses fairy-stories and their relationship to fantasy.

Taken together, this rich collection of new and unknown work from the author of The Children of Húrin provides the reader with a fascinating journey into lands as wild and strange as Middle-earth.


Hardcover: 432 pagesPublisher: Houghton Mifflin Company (17 Nov 2008)Language EnglishISBN-10: 0547154119ISBN-13: 978-0547154114Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.6 x 3.4 cm

Tales for the Perilous Realm De Luxe Edition

Hardcover: 432 pagesPublisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; De Luxe ed edition (7 Dec 2008)Language EnglishISBN-10: 000728618XISBN-13: 978-0007286188Product Dimensions: 24 x 15.4 x 4.8 cm

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