The Children of Hurin released on the 17th of April 2007 can be called a bestseller. Reviews, good and bad, could be read in all major newspapers and the book must by now be reaching over 900.000 copies in print in both hardback and deluxe editions. Also the translations did sell very well, for sure the Dutch and Portuguese editions are now already in reprint. Also the UK and the US publishers are reprinting. Now I can announce something which a lot of people will like very much, namely an audio CD of The Children of Hurin! This unabridged edition of The Children of Hurin will be released on the 3rd of September 2007 and is already available for pre-order. As for now it is not available yet at the J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Book Catalogue at iTunes, but since the UK publisher has a deal with iTunes it might also be available there in due time. I'm very happy we will get an audio book, it will give even more people the chance to enjoy this wonderful book!
Some questions also remain. There has not been an announcement yet who will be reading The Children of Hurin. We all know of the competition at myspace.com/childrenofhurin, of which no winner was yet announced. A lucky person will get the chance to record an exclusive extract from The Children of Hurin and have it hosted on the official Tolkien website tolkien.co.uk. For the audio book of The Children of Hurin we can of course make some speculations. My personal favourites are Rob Inglis (who just did the 2006 audio books of Lord of the Rings), Martin Shaw (who read The Silmarillion) and Sir Derek Jacobi (from the Leaf by Niggle and Smith of Wootton Major audio books). At the Children of Hurin Release Event at Waterstone's in London Bernard Hill read the first chapter of The Children of Hurin and he might be the lucky person to read the full book, or maybe another famous actor like Christopher Lee or Sir Ian McKellan. My greatest wish would of course have it read by no-one less the Christopher Tolkien. Not only does he have a fantastic voice, it would really give us 'the real thing'. We can only wait and hear!
[EDIT on 30-05-2007] Today I can announce that one of my guesses was correct. And it really makes me very happy. The person who will read The Children of Hurin Audio Book is Christopher Lee! One of the most amazing things about this actor, Saruman in the Peter Jackson movies, is of course his fabulous voice, and I think he will bring this tale in a wonderful way. For sure I'll now add this audio book on my wish list.
Another question is whether the cover of the audio book will feature the cover image by Alan Lee, but since both the Tolkien Calendar 2008 and Tolkien Diary 2008 feature the same art, we can expect that also The Children of Hurin will show us a similar image.
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