HarperCollins will release the first new J R R Tolkien audiobook in over a decade this month, edited by Christopher Tolkien and narrated by father-son acting duo Timothy and Samuel West.
The Fall of Gondolin, first published in hardback last year, will be available to download from audiobook retailers on 14th November. Published unabridged, it is the first new recording of the writer’s work since The Children of Húrinin 2007.
Samuel West said: “As a happy explorer of Tolkien’s Middle-earth since childhood, I’m delighted and honoured to bring to a new audience The Fall of Gondolin, whose breadth and skill is matched only by its beauty. I’m particularly pleased to be sharing the opportunity with my father, whose audiobook recordings I think are among the greatest ever made.”
In The Fall of Gondolin, the Elvish city of that name, beautiful but undiscoverable, is central to the enmity of two of the greatest powers in the world. Morgoth of the uttermost evil seeks in vain to discover the hidden city of his Elven enemies, while the gods in Valinor refuse to support Ulmo Lord of Waters' designs to protect it.
The synopsis explains: “Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, and guided unseen by Ulmo he sets out on the fearful journey to Gondolin to warn them of their coming doom. Then Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs.”
Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien, Christopher Tolkien used the same “history in sequence” mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J R R Tolkien, it was “'the first real story of this imaginary world” and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three “Great Tales” of the Elder Days.
The print edition has sold 36,284 copies through Nielsen BookScan since its release, with HarperCollins saying it has shifted 100,000 in all formats in the UK.