I just got The Fall of Gondolin for my birthday.
Being the uber Tolkien geek I am, I’ve already read every bit of it, long before the book came out. But that reading occurred from 1976 thru 1996, beginning with the publication of The Silmarillion and ending with The Peoples of Middle Earth and encompassed the various volumes of the History of Middle Earth series (HOMES) which contained info on Gondolin, along with Unfinished Tales. Info on Gondolin was scattered through 14 volumes, so it was tough to embrace the entire coherent narrative.
And now said narrative is out in one volume, and I’m enjoying it immensely. Part of that enjoyment is poignantly knowing it’s the last work we’ll see from CJRT, our esteemed author’s son and caretaker of his works and world. It truly did take someone like CJRT to comb through all the manuscripts, many near undecipherable due to the professor’s handwriting, find the sense of them, and publish them in coherent form.
And yes, it’s mainly us uber geeks that enjoy CJRT’s endeavours. Wading thru the endless footnotes and digressions that are found in HOMES is an act of devotion, but even when such panning leads to only 1 gold nugget (or flake) in 10,000 it’s still worth it.
Be that as it may, these latest releases from the First Age of Middle Earth, The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, and now, last as it was first The Fall of Gondolin have been a delight to me. And they are much more readable than the HOMES series, constructed as narratives and stories, not story fragment analysis. It’s chilling at times for me to know that he was thinking and writing about Gondolin as he was fighting The Great War, over 100 years ago.
Anybody else reading about Ondolindë, aka The Rock of the Music of the Water? (for those who speak some quenya)