Well...I finally slogged my way through the book. It's definitely an incomplete work that was patched together either as a tribute to Tolkien's unfinished work or it was a money-making ploy by his son. *shrugs* If you can just sort of skim past all of the naming and geography there are hidden gems of stories to be found. I don't know if I should be happy or sad to say this, but I could see at least 3 movies coming out of the book. Of course I have heard that Jackson is using/has used bits and pieces in "LotR" and "The Hobbit." There is a tale involving a character named Beren which could EASILY be a stand-alone movie. There is my furry bias, but there are wolves, werewolves, and a wolf hound all involved. Oh, and a love story involving a Man and an Elf princess. What's not love?!? In the forward it states that since the incomplete works were sort of sewn together as best as they could be, there would be some inconsistencies. It's very obvious where in one story an Elven king is killed by treacherous dwarfs and in another story his death is mentioned as a battle with a balrog. If you attempt to give the book a read, have the map of Middle Earth handy so you can track where people are coming and going. That was probably one of THE most confusing things in reading it. The glossary in the back was an invaluable reference when names were tossed out there like you should remember every single character mentioned, both their regular name and their Elvish name as well as their new names after they do some great deed.