July 4, 2016

Tolkien Tuesday: "Unfinished Tales" (30th Anniversary Hardback Edition)

For this week’s Tolkien Tuesday post, I’m going to examine my copy of the last ‘you have to read / own this!’ Middle-earth essential books – Unfinished Tales.

Again, I won’t go into what the book is about; but this should pretty much answer any remaining questions you may have after reading The Silmarillion, and part so The Lord of the Rings. So let’s go into the book.

Much like The Silmarillion, there hasn’t been that many editions of this book since original publication. And, even more focal, I don’t think the text or contents of the book itself has changed at all. Regardless, here’s a look at my hardback edition, which I believe was published to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The cover, like all the others before it, is painted by Tolkien, and is definitely visually excellent. The dustjacket, like the others I've blogged about, has a matte / paper-y feel to it. Removing the jacket, the book underneath is black, and Tolkien’s logo and the title are embossed in copper – brass on the spine.

Now to open the book. The contents, is pretty much identical to any and all other editions. What is different from the rest of them is the maps are in red and black in. At the rear, is a fold out sheet featuring a map of Middle-earth. But, hey, this edition will match the other Tolkien books going all the way from The Hobbit – The Silmarillion.

And that’s pretty much it! I will go into my other ‘main’ Tolkien books in the coming weeks, but with Unfinished Tales, that marks the end of ‘essential Middle-earth books you need to read / own.’ The “complete matching set” has now ended. The other titles I will cover are so ‘new’ that there is really only one edition of them in hardback. They are part of my collection, so I’ll still cover them.

The ISBN for my hardback edition of Unfinished Tales is:
9780261102156. If you want the same editions I own, I suggest: your national bookstore, amazon (uk to be specific), tolkien.co.uk, or bookdepository.com .

Why did I get this edition: much like The Silmarillion, it’s the book in hardback, and it also matches my other titles by the author(s). They all look great on the shelf together.

Who do I recommend this edition to: much like The Silmarillion, anyone who has the other matching editions of Tolkien’s works. They all complement each other quite well, and this is a great title to round off / finish ‘that’ collection with.

“Should I wait for a better one?”: In regards to Unfinished Tales, as well as the rest, unless there’s a newer / better one coming out at some point. But to hold off any of these books in favor for an even better edition? No. This are pretty much ‘the way’ to go (not counting the deluxe editions, which I’ll cover alter. They are essentially the same, content wise, as these editions, except more high end (the paperbacks I’ll cover are the ‘lower end’ versions of my hardbacks)

Overall: I quite enjoy the fact that I’ve got the main Middle-earth books in a matching format and style. They are of great quality, are attractive, and (near as I can tell) error free, in regards to typos etc to the text, or very close to it.

Who knows what lies on the horizon for future editions of the Middle-earth books? And, will they all be uniform once published?

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