Should any of us be surprised that the “lost” J.R.R. Tolkien novel THE CHILDREN OF HURIN (edited by his son Christopher Tolkien) is selling like gangbusters since its worldwide release on April 17th? Certainly, as the AP reports, not Houghton Mifflin, celebrating the news that more than 900,000 copies are in print worldwide – nearly double the original total printed.
The new book, a prequel to Tolkien’s mega-selling epic THE LORD OF THE RINGS, was started by Tolkien in 1918 but eventually abandoned. The author died in 1973, and his son spent the next 30 years working on the manuscript. Excerpts from HURIN, which includes the elves and dwarves of Tolkien’s other works, had been published over the years, but there was never a single narrative until this spring. And now that there is one, it’s topping numerous best-seller lists and Houghton Mifflin has increased its printing from 250,000 to 550,000. In Britain, copies in print have been raised from 250,000 to 360,000 by publisher HarperCollins. How that translates into real (or even Bookscan) numbers is another story, but one that won’t change things by all that much…
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