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Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Christopher Tolkein's The Children of Hurin, "restored" from "manuscripts" of his father, the legendary academic and children's book author, will be translated "initially" into 8 languages. Total sales of Tolkein books to date are estimated at either 150 million (The Scotsman) or 200 million (Reuters).

"In this book I have endeavoured to construct, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention," said Christopher, 82.

It is "barely readable", according to critic Tom Deveson. Murrough O'Brien said "I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology." Yeesh.

Meanwhile, Tolkien fans leapt to the late author's defence, claiming that "elite" critics have always dismissed him.

Which fans, I wonder? Do they insist on anonymity due to fears of retribution?

Australia's environment minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will possibly be one of the die-hard fans queueing to lay their sweaty hands on a copy of this treasure. With only 500,000 copies available in the initial print run, he'd better get a wriggle-on!

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