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Beren and Lúthien cover art

Beren and Lúthien

By: Christopher Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien
Narrated by: Timothy West, Samuel West
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Summary

Presented for the first time on audio, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves, Men and Orcs and the rich landscape unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth in this unabridged recording read by critically acclaimed father and son, Timothy and Samuel West. 

Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, was deeply opposed to Beren, and imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. Undaunted by Lord Thingol’s challenge, Beren and Lúthien embark on the supremely heroic attempt to rob Morgoth, the greatest of all evil beings, of a Silmaril, one of the hallowed jewels that adorn the Black Enemy’s crown. The tale of Beren and Lúthien, which was written shortly after J.R.R. Tolkien returned from the Battle of the Somme in 1916, was an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion

In this book Christopher Tolkien has extracted the various versions of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which they are embedded. To show something of the process whereby this Great Tale of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he tells 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, 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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A Touching Legacy

Having the father and son team of the Wests read a book that began with JRR Tolkien and finished and edited by his son Christopher begins a key work in Tolkien's work to touching conclusion.

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Wonderful Story

The world of the first and Second age of Middle Earth is so rich with characters and wonder and Beren and Luthien is no exception. The story is beautifully read by father and son-West and really well laid out in book structure by Christopher Tokkien who have the arduous job of working through literally hundreds of papers, notes and drawings by his late father. l will say though to get full enjoyment for listener's it maybe need to familiarise themselves with Tolkien other great work The Silmarillion. Overall 5 stars Andrew R

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3 people found this helpful

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entancing ancient tale

updated in the most scho;arly and readable fashion by famed professor and son. dont miss this

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Best love story ever Beren and Luthien ❤️🙌🙌

It was Great i enjoyed it to the end i will listen to it again someday ❤️

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A great dive into Middle Earth and Tolkien's works

This was an amazing book, combining the various iterations of Beren and Luthiens story as Tolkien wrote them. I particularly liked the insight offered by Christopher Tolkien in how and when he assembled his father's disparate works into the final version.
it offers great insight into how scattered Tolkien's writing was, and how the tale was edited and changed over the years.
It goes without saying the poetry and writing is flawless

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Wonderful insight to a beautiful fable

Truly this is an excellent work.
I followed the performance of the poems in the written text and am impressed.

West Snr does a chronicle course weave the words of these Tolkiens.
And of the works that speak direct of Beren and his Lúthien, does West Jnr do more justice than
seemed possible before the start.
By these three hands does spring to life, a joy to read and better hear, so sad a story of ill fate.
A broken song, many times revised, was a hard subject to device
A book, a narrative that is partly lost.
And yet, tis done.

And marvellous.

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5 people found this helpful

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An Amazing telling of the Tale of Tinúviel

But best listened to after the Silmarillions telling as this version includes some of Tolkien's original concepts that were changed (such as Beren being an Elf and Noldor Elves being referred to as gnomes) and more of an insight into Tolkien's writing.
Narration is incredible too!

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Truely excellent, but only for die hard Tolkien fans

Really nice listening to see the evolution of the narrative, in parts a little too much detail maybe but I'm glad it was included to creat a comprehensive understanding of the matter.
If you are seeking just a quick story then maybe this isn't for you as Christopher's intention is to amalgamate an incredible amount of source material from his father.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Deep Insight in the history

A bit slow here and there, but mostly an interesting story. A good story and insight in the history of Middle-Earth.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Worked and reworked to perfection

A fairy-story (in Tolkien's sense) that he told many times in different registers, like a maestro modulating the key of a piece of music. The result is not merely one tale or lay or poem, therefore, but a collection of varied texts each with a very distinctive mood and atmosphere of its own. Well worth the listen. The performance is a little uninspiring in places but the author's love of language.shines through to redeem all.

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4 people found this helpful