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Beren and Lúthien

Narrated by: Timothy West, Samuel West
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Summary

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and stand-alone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings with elves and men, dwarves and orcs and the rich landscape unique to Tolkien's Middle-earth.

The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.

Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal elf. Her father, a great elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend, and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.

Here, Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded, but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first its original form and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time on audio, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

©2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A seamless editorial construct, the capstone to a job Christopher Tolkien began with The Silmarillion." (New Statesman)

What listeners say about Beren and Lúthien

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this is absolute dross. There is NO STORY ! ! !

If you want to hear the actual story of Beren and Lúthien then you will have to go somewhere else because all of this book is just to promote the alleged writing skills of the people who compiled it. Sorry but I have just wasted my time and month's credit token.

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Wonderful

The narration allows the listener to be enveloped into the world and the initial prose as well as CT's notes allows for the poetry to be better understood. Not just for LOTR fans but worthwhile for anyone interested in poetry and/or legends.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Megan
  • 17-05-20

Not a story, but a study of the evolution of one.

This book alternates between notes by Christopher Tolkien & the various manuscripts his father wrote about the title characters. I loved it, but it is a strange experience to listen to it.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. Rhiannon
  • 02-07-20

very disappointing

Snippets of JRR's storytelling interrupted by Christopher's long winded descriptions of what his father was thinking, and what was happening with the family and what color hat he was wearing when he wrote each passage (okay, that last part was exaggeration but not by much). This is not a book for anyone interested in the story, since the constant commentary made it impossible to follow the flow of JRR's brilliance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-20

Good listen if a bit scattered in presentation.

While narration was very listenable, the story was a little unreachable as it has been too many years since I was a more enthusiastic fan of The Sillmarilion.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jeremy canaan
  • 02-06-20

Too much changed

Changing names and making Beren an elf not a man was really odd. Not great