I've just finished reading Unfinished Tales by Tolkien, and i'm kind of sad that it took me so long to read it. This is kind of long story and i poke fun at a friend who is a hard core Tolkien fan (other hard core fans please do not be offended, she can handle it). The reason it took me so long to read it was because my friend told me to read the Silmarillon first and i did and i didn't like it. basically i felt like i was stuck in a history class but didn't have to pay for it and wasn't going to get any credit for it (the what in the hell am i here for?feeling). it wasn't enteraining and the parts that were fun were few and far far between. so i eyed the Unfinished Tales warily for years. and i've noticed when you ask people about that book, they have no opinion on it or they are like my friend: die hard tolkien fan wearing a legolas t-shirt: and think its a must read.
i guess i'm an in the middle fan of Tolkien and this review is for them. it was a good read and i enjoyed the majority of it. though one or two of the stories were boring. i really enjoyed the parts that expanded the events around LOTR and the Hobbit. i am partial to the Rohan, so this book also expanded the Rohan and Gondor histories. the Children of Hurin was also very good. it has incest in it, but it was done like the Oedipus legend.
the part that concerned me the most was the fact that it wasn't written by him and these stories came from notes and outlines, so i was thinking it would be a horrible confusing mess and it wasn't. his son did a really really good job of presenting the notes. he sometimes would put in the several different versions of a story and then explained the differences in them as well as which version was the most recent. i would definitely recommend this over the Silmarillon any day. yes it may help to read the Silmarillon first, but honestly i can't remember all those names and dates in it especially three years later so it didn't really help me.
so now i'm looking for my copies of the Book of Lost Tales Vols 1&2 and i'm wondering if these are the same stories? i have to unpack them first though. they'll have to wait though since i already started reading Jane Eyre. nothing like switching gears.