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Summary

JRR Tolkien’s legacy of short stories which inhabit the realm of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, on audio for the first time.

Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring and provides those who have read The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories from the 20th century’s most acclaimed popular author.

The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as Gandalf’s lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End, the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand and an exact description of the military organisation of the Riders of Rohan.

Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Numenor before its downfall and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantiri and the legend of Amroth. The tales were collated and edited by JRR Tolkien’s son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father’s writings.

©2021 J. R. R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Another monument to the incredible imagination of Tolkien." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Moments of mythic grandeur." (Sunday Times

What listeners say about Unfinished Tales

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FIX THE CHAPTERS

Other Audible audiobooks consisting of short stories manage named chapters in the app to allow easy navigation so why can’t an important book by a major publisher?

27 people found this helpful

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Excellent Narrative Duo

If you want to have a further exploration into Tolkien's writings beyond the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, this should be priority. Excellent narrative duo helps immensely with the two-author-editor nature of the book. Buy it, and you will not regret!

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Great pair of narrators!

Some minor mispronounciations my only complaint. I want them to do all the other books!

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  • E. Munoz
  • 10-05-21

An Unexpected Surprise, but a Welcomed One

The fact that this audiobook exists is a testament to the classical quality of Tolkien’s genius and the beautiful depth of his work.

Timothy West and Samuel West both perform exquisitely as Christopher Tolkien and J.R.R. Tolkien respectively, and this adds to the experience as a whole.

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  • Sam Caldemeyer
  • 11-05-21

Really good

As a long time listener of the old school Erin Jones narrated version (a cassette version from the early 80s) I was sceptical. But I am pleased with this new version, narrated excellently by Timothy and Samuel West. The content speaks for itself, so I won't rate that here, just the narration. If you make through the genealogy of the Numenorian kings, bravo!

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  • William C. Watson
  • 15-05-21

Editorial roadblocks

All the information one who loves to live in Middle Earth desires to fill in many gaps however, in The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, I wish C.Tolkien would have simply placed all the editorial comments and embellishments at the end as they are hard to mentally smooth into the story as one listens because they just seem to be interruptions like a car horn or siren when one is trying to nap. The puzzling thing is that there are extensive appendices to this segment already!! One does soldier on however when one loves something so.

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  • Joel
  • 15-06-21

They did the best they could with what they had

Hard to push through this one as it largely is more of a reference book than actual tales. this effect may be increased in the audio format as what stories there are get broken into constantly, and often at length, by footnotes. That said they didn't really have a better option for the footnotes as the explanations are often needed and they'd make no sense if saved for the end. This one is almost certainly better in print.

The mariner's wife is pretty good though, as far as it goes, and the parts with Gandalf speaking on his meeting Thorin and the Nazgul hunting the ring are also ok. the stories in part 1 (fall of gondolin and Children of Hurin) are better in their own separate books, also available on audible.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-21

Great for Tolkien Nerds

I really enjoyed this, it’s far more palatable than the Lost Tales, and answers lots of questions you might have about little details of the history of Middle Earth. The reading was excellent, and really helpful for understanding pronunciations.

A strong familiarity with both LotR and The Silmarillion is required to understand anything in this book; I highly recommend rereading both of them before and after listening to this. Enjoy!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-05-21

Despatch for More Middle Earth

None of the ancillary Middle Earth material written by J.R.R. Tolkein and published posthumously compares to his most popular a r works, "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." They are somewhat stale, lacking the compelling characters and themes of the aforementioned classics. These "Unfinished Tales" might be suitable for and enjoyed by readers who are truly desperate for more of Tolkien's world, but they are not nearly as entertaining as the stories for which he is best known. This audiobook is well-produced, however, and I have no complaints about the narration. Two narrators are used: one as the voice of J.R.R. Tolkein himself, and another for Christopher Tolkien—his son—who edited and published his late father's notes in this book and inserts his commentary at certain points.