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The Story of Kullervo
by J.R.R. Tolkien


Overview -

Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. "Hapless Kullervo," as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him.  Read more...


 
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More About The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
 
 
 
Overview

Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. "Hapless Kullervo," as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruelest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was "the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own," and was "a major matter in the legends of the First Age." Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. Published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.

From our buyer, Margaret Terwey: This is the first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Die-hard fans Tolkien fans will be particularly interested in his notes on the story, mapping out alternate endings and plot points and revealing the beginnings of a dark mythical vision that became The Lord of the Rings a couple decades later.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780544706262
  • ISBN-10: 0544706269
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publish Date: April 2016
  • Page Count: 192
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


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Books > Video & DVD Genre > Fantasy

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-02-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Aimed more at scholars than at the casual reader, this new edition of an early short story—which dates to the years 1912–1916—offers a taste of fantasies to come from the master of Middle-Earth. Tolkien adapted this fragment from an episode of the Finnish epic Kalevala, and his account of the young son of a fratricide and his tragic destiny would ultimately inform the characters and events of the Silmarillion, the narrative framework for all of his fiction. The story is muddled by name changes midway through its telling and completed from Tolkien’s sketchy notes, but it nevertheless evokes the mythic grandeur that would come to characterize his forays into the fantastic. Transcriptions of Tolkien’s Oxford University lectures on the Kalevala, and editor Flieger’s essay, “Tolkien, Kalevala, and The Story of Kullervo”—in which she describes the tale as “an essential step on Tolkien’s road from adaptation to invention”—provide context for appreciating the nascent genius of one of the 20th century’s greatest fantasists. (Apr.)

 
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