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Die Kinder Húrins by John R. R. Tolkien
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Die Kinder Húrins (original 2007; edition 2007)

by John R. R. Tolkien, Alan Lee (Illustrator), Hans J. Schütz (Übersetzer), Helmut W. Pesch (Übersetzer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,156108662 (3.85)1 / 111
Member:Neckarhex
Title:Die Kinder Húrins
Authors:John R. R. Tolkien
Other authors:Alan Lee (Illustrator), Hans J. Schütz (Übersetzer), Helmut W. Pesch (Übersetzer)
Info:Klett-Cotta Verlag (2007), Ausgabe: 6. Auflage, Gebundene Ausgabe, 334 Seiten
Collections:Phantastische Literatur, Gelesen (Siljan), Siljans Bibliothek
Rating:*****
Tags:Tolkien, Arda, als Hörbuch gehört

Work details

The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien (2007)

  1. 80
    The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien (Jitsusama)
    Jitsusama: The Silmarillion is an essential book to better understand the occurrences surrounding the Children of Hurin. It also contains a slightly shorter version of the tale.
  2. 01
    The Whale Kingdom Quest by Ming-Wei (Rossi21)
    Rossi21: Good science fiction book, well worth a read
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English (99)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
This is a great read. The stories give details of history that is only hinted at in The Lord of the Rings stories. You find out more details of these stories. My copy included drawings and pictures. Sometimes these can be too "cartoony" and take away from a story. However, these in my copy showed visually the details and were very well places. I loved having the sketch looking ones as well as the color ones too. The final note is that I had a map that is noted to be what Tolkien used for writing this world. Seeing it also added to it.

I felt like I was reading an old fairytale book with elves, dragons, and far away kingdoms. It's an amazing tale and perfect for those who especially fell in love with his other works. ( )
  jesssika | Sep 9, 2014 |
Of all the mythology of Middle Earth, this is probably the darkest tale. It’s essentially a tale of original sin, with Tolkien’s version of Satan rewarding Húrin’s defiance with imprisonment and a curse on his family which is enacted whilst all he can do is watch. The dark side might lose a few bodies and a battle or two but overall win the day. This isn’t even about some capriciousness of the gods, it’s about the cost of doing the right thing.

Where Tolkien excels is in how Túrin almost always acts with the best of intentions but how his actions turn to darkness. As the author’s aiming for the breadth and sweep of European myth the unlikely coincidences of the story can be put down to chance being corrupted and the curse working its dark magic. Essentially we’re told up front that this will be a depressing read, but the hope that the characters can defy their decreed fate leaves a spark of hope to the end. It’s no spoiler to say that that hope goes unrewarded, with the last few scenes being as heartbreaking as Tolkien gets. Túrin does achieve some minor victories, but the misery he often unwittingly spreads tends to outweigh that. Powerfully written stuff, to the point you wouldn’t know it had to be reconstructed by the author’s son. It won’t convert those who find Tolkien forbidding and off-putting, but for those of us who grew up reading him and have never quite lost the taste for his works, it’s thrilling stuff and arguably a better place to start than The Silmarillion (a more coherent story), The Hobbit (more depth and breadth) or the weightiness of his most famous trilogy. ( )
1 vote JonArnold | Aug 14, 2014 |
It's EPIC so far, and I've read up to page 53 in one day!
  CallMeChristina | Mar 23, 2014 |
One of the fascinations of the Lord of the Rings books is that the narrative is written in the context of a mythology: epic tales of events that dramatically affect the characters, affect them even personally.

The tragedy of Túrin is central to the destruction of the Eldar (Elves) in the First Age, ultimately leading to the flooding of Belariand and defining the west coast of Middle Earth. Wherever he went, men and Elves suffered catastrophe. The irony was that to prevent catastrophe defined his motives. Such was the power of Morgoth: Sauron tried to imitate this strategy. In that lies the danger to the Elves, men and hobbits in the Lord of the Rings. The danger was real; but Sauron was not Morgoth. Frodo (and his companions) succeeded where Túrin failed.

I don't believe it coincidence that the inevitable tragedy of Wotan and Valhalla centered around another Ring of Power.
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
“Thankless fosterling, outlaw, slayer of your friend, thief of love, usurper of Nargothrond, captain foolhardy, and deserter of your kin.”
- Glaurung the dragon taunts fallen hero Turin in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Children of Hurin"

I really didn't enjoy reading "The Hobbit". I loved and have become obsessed with "The Lord of the Rings". Jumping deeper into the nerd world of Tolkien minutiae, I just finished "The Children of Hurin", a short novel cobbled together from J.R.R.'s manuscript pieces by His son, Christopher. And it’s very good.

The story is an expansion of a tale from a previously published story within "The Silmarillion," Tolkien's book of legends and 'history' within his greater Middle-Earth universe. "Children" follows the family of Hurin as they carve out a cursed existence thousands of years before Frodo ever heard of a ring. The family curse, meted out by Morgoth, a First Age Evil who shades the world in a similar vein to Sauron, weighs most heavily on his son, Turin. But neither Hurin's wife, nor daughter avoid it's sting.

“The shadow of my thought shall lie upon them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of the world.”
- Morgoth recites his curse on Hurin’s family

The story reads like thick, weighty and substantive mythology. It's language is a bit archaic, but it only adds to its sense of history. The mythical themes will be recognizable - cursed hero finds that any happiness is merely shadow. Each heroic feat is mirrored by an equally heroic failure.

The characters are quite simple. Subtlety resides within the connective elements of the plot, not within the personalities that are very broadly drawn.

If you’re a fan of LOTR, this is a terrific read to expand your glimpse inside Tolkien’s vast world. ( )
  JGolomb | Feb 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Inspired by the Norse tale of Sigurd and Fafnir, Tolkien first wrote a story about a dragon in 1899, at the age of 7. At school he discovered the Kalevala, a Finnish epic poem, and by 1914 was trying to turn the tale of Kullervo into “a short story somewhat on the lines of Morris’s romances”. By 1919 he had combined these elements in what became the tale of Túrin Turambar.

The book is beautiful, but other than the atmospheric illustrations by Alan Lee, and a discussion of the editorial process, much of what lies between the covers was actually published in either The Silmarillion (1977) or Unfinished Tales (1980). Yet this new, whole version serves a valuable purpose. In The Children of Húrin we could at last have the successor to The Lord of the Rings that was so earnestly and hopelessly sought by Tolkien’s publishers in the late 1950s.
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ciuferri, CaterinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Turris, GianfrancoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, AliceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Principe, QuirinoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hador Goldenhead was a lord of the Edain and well-beloved by the Eldar.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618894640, Hardcover)

The first complete book by J.R.R. Tolkien in three decades--since the publication of The Silmarillion in 1977--The Children of Húrin reunites fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, Eagles and Orcs. Presented for the first time as a complete, standalone story, this stirring narrative will appeal to casual fans and expert readers alike, returning them to the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.

Adam Tolkien on The Children of Húrin

How did a lifetime of stories become The Children of Húrin? In an essay on the making of the book, Adam Tolkien, grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien (and French translator of his History of Middle-earth), explains that the Húrin legends made up the third "Great Tale" of his grandfather's Middle-earth writing, and he describes how his father, Christopher Tolkien, painstakingly collected the pieces of the legend into a complete story told only in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien. "For anyone who has read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings," he writes, The Children of Húrin "allows them to take a step back into a larger world, an ancient land of heroes and vagabonds, honour and jeopardy, hope and tragedy."

A Look Inside the Book

This first edition of The Children of Húrin is illustrated by Alan Lee, who was already well-known for his Tolkien illustrations in previous editions (see our Tolkien Store for more) as well as his classic collaboration with Brian Froud, Faeries, and his Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Black Ships Before Troy, before his Oscar-winning work as conceptual designer for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy brought him even greater acclaim. Here's a quick glimpse of two of Lee's interior illustrations for The Children of Húrin. (Click on each to see larger images.)

Questions for Alan Lee

We had the chance to ask Alan Lee a few questions about his illustrative collaboration with the world imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Amazon.com: How much of a treat was it to get first crack at depicting entirely new characters rather than ones who had been interpreted many times before? Was there one who particularly captured your imagination?

Lee: Although it was a great honor to illustrate The Children of Húrin, the characters and the main elements of the story line are familiar to those who have read The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, and these narratives have inspired quite a few illustrators. Ted Nasmith has illustrated The Silmarillion and touched on some of the same characters and landscapes. This was the first time that I ventured into the First Age; while working on The Lord of the Rings books and films--and The Hobbit--I've had to refer back to events in Middle-earth history but not really depict them.

I'm drawn to characters who bear similarities to the protagonists in myths and legends; these correspondences add layers and shades of meaning, and most of the characters in this story have those archetypal qualities. However, I prefer not to get too close to the characters because the author is delineating them much more carefully than I can, and I'm wary of interfering with the pictures that the text is creating in the reader's mind.

Amazon.com: The Húrin story has been described as darker than some of Tolkien's other work. What mood did you try to set with your illustrations?

Lee: It is a tragic story, but the darkness is offset by the light and beauty of Tolkien's elegiac writing. In the illustrations I tried to show some of the fragile beauty of the landscapes and create an atmosphere that would enhance the sense of foreboding and impending loss. I try to get the setting to tell its part in the story, as evidence of what happened there in the past and as a hint at what is going to occur. My usual scarred and broken trees came in handy.

Amazon.com: You were a conceptual designer (and won an Oscar) for Peter Jackson's film trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, which I think we can safely say had a bit of success. How does designing for the screen compare to designing for the page?

Lee: They both have their share of joys and frustrations. It was great to be part of a huge film collaboration and play a small part in something quite magical and monumental; I will always treasure that experience. Film is attractive because I enjoy sketching and coming up with ideas more than producing highly finished artwork, and it's great having several hundred other people lending a hand! But books--as long as they don't get moldy from being left in an empty studio for six years--have their own special quality. I hope that I can continue doing both.

Amazon.com: Of all fiction genres, fantasy seems to have the strongest tradition of illustration. Why do you think that is? Who are some of your favorite illustrators?

Lee: A lot of excellent illustrators are working at the moment--especially in fantasy and children's books. It is exciting also to see graphic artists such as Dave McKean, in his film Mirrormask, moving between different media. I also greatly admire the more traditional work of Gennady Spirin and Roberto Innocenti. Kinuko Craft, John Jude Palencar, John Howe, Charles Vess, Brian Froud ... I'll stop there, as the list would get too long. But--in a fit of pride and justified nepotism--I'll add my daughter, Virginia Lee, to the list. Her first illustrated children's book, The Frog Bride [coming out in the U.K. in September], will be lovely.

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Visit our J.R.R. Tolkien Store for a complete selection of Tolkien classics, including deluxe editions, young readers' editions, and more.


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(see all 7 descriptions)

A fantasy adventure saga set in the early days of Middle-Earth features humans and elves, dwarves and dragons, orcs and dark sorcerers clashing in an epic battle between good and evil.

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