Hobbitus Ille: The Latin Hobbit
$19.99
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
Nov 23
2021/11/23 7:55:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Gosh I am so glad I sat this one out. Honestly. It’s simply way too expensive for what is really a mediocre edition riddled with numerous issues.

Part of the problem lies with us fans. We ought to stop frothing at the mouth and buying every edition HC puts out.

And those of us who have a voice that is trusted by other fans (reviewers on YouTube, Tolkien Society folks, etc.) ought to be honest and brave enough to publicly call this out for what it is - a crap edition of one of the greatest books of all time. Otherwise it’s just sucking up to HC because they have the Tolkien connection.
Nov 23 (edited)
2021/11/23 11:12:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

I agree that this deluxe isn’t very, nor everything I had hoped.

Someone got this response from the customer service team at HarperCollins a few days ago:

We have been advised by our Tolkien team they have taken the issue up with the printer in Italy, who have assured us that their quality control procedures are being tightened, even though they diligently rejected a large number of copies at the production stage and believed at the time they had weeded out the faults. Unfortunately the very complicated specifications – which include real cloth (that can fray if not cut in line with the weave), a diecut with foiling and embossing, full-colour printing (that can cause registration issues), gold edges (that mark very easily) and, due to the number of pages (the book is printed in 128-page sections on the largest sheet-fed size printer available in the EU), a fine 70gsm uncoated paper that is prone to creasing when folded by machine – led to a high rejection rate, but evidently not high enough.

As the publisher we expect our printers to deliver a print run completely devoid of errors, and we are working to resolve any outstanding issues. Nevertheless, clearly some copies slipped through the net, and it takes only one fault on one page in over 1,200 to lead to a copy being returned by a customer.

I had to laugh at their response. While it is good that they made some kind of comment it is sometimes better to say nothing if what you do say boils down to 'our printers are incapable of making books'.

As we all know, this was the first time that Tolkien's images had been set to this text and these editions should have been beyond any Rings printed in the last couple of decades. Yet was we got what one of the worst, and for a premium price.

I know there are some who think this is an excellent edition but I have to conclude that this is an embarassing release. There can be no pleasure in seeing book after book owner report yet more problems.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 15:11:25 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I can confirm that also my copy (purchased on Amazon UK a couple of weeks ago) has the issue of "Helm's D", but some friends, that ordered and received the book in the last days, have their copies (and box) already corrected. So it seems there was at least a first revision. I've asked them for the book info page, to see if it's mentioned somewhere or not.

I've also the issue of the bookmark not centered (but I don't know if it's a real issue or maybe it was intended) and the pages color not uniform (some more creamy, some more white but, honestly, it's something I notice only if I check very carefully).

I've contacted Amazon customer service and they offered a partial refund of 40% of the price if I decided not to return it. For me all these little problems are not so annoying (I call me lucky for not having more serious things) so I accepted the discount. At least it was a good behavior by Amazon, even if it wasn't their fault.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 18:27:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

I know there are some who think this is an excellent edition but I have to conclude that this is an embarassing release. There can be no pleasure in seeing book after book owner report yet more problems.

I like both the Deluxe and Trade editions, but do agree that serious problems have occurred with the printers quality control and I hope that HC are able to ensure that this lapse of quality control can be avoided for future releases.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 18:39:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

I know there are some who think this is an excellent edition but I have to conclude that this is an embarassing release. There can be no pleasure in seeing book after book owner report yet more problems.

I like both the Deluxe and Trade editions, but do agree that serious problems have occurred with the printers quality control and I hope that HC are able to ensure that this lapse of quality control can be avoided for future releases.

I should have made my point a little better. I did not mean the edition, but rather the execution of it. I was very excited for the edition. I hope this is the last edition we see done so poorly.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 19:34:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Eorl wrote:


And those of us who have a voice that is trusted by other fans (reviewers on YouTube, Tolkien Society folks, etc.) ought to be honest and brave enough to publicly call this out for what it is - a crap edition of one of the greatest books of all time. Otherwise it’s just sucking up to HC because they have the Tolkien connection.

This is a critical point for me. I saw a definite lack of objectivity with this release in various quarters (including shying away from it, here, frankly). The people I have spoken to at HC seem like thoroughly nice people. But it doesn't mean that they don't sometimes produce very poor quality books. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with all the links to retailers we have had for this release -- done as a service and with the best intentions, but it also provides an implied stamp of approval. I think we should think very carefully before doing that again.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 20:02:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

Trotter wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

I know there are some who think this is an excellent edition but I have to conclude that this is an embarassing release. There can be no pleasure in seeing book after book owner report yet more problems.

I like both the Deluxe and Trade editions, but do agree that serious problems have occurred with the printers quality control and I hope that HC are able to ensure that this lapse of quality control can be avoided for future releases.

I should have made my point a little better. I did not mean the edition, but rather the execution of it. I was very excited for the edition. I hope this is the last edition we see done so poorly.

Hopefully the trade might be a bit better on the reprint. Fundamentally, other than the paper/image reproduction issue, there is a perfectly good product hiding in there waiting for a better print job. It is a nice looking book let down by the paper stock/printing.

The Deluxe - I don't personally think that is salvageable without going back to the drawing board. The execution of that is just too flawed, and it goes right back to the concept for the product and the raw design choices. All IMHO - obviously some people like it.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 20:53:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

Eorl wrote:


And those of us who have a voice that is trusted by other fans (reviewers on YouTube, Tolkien Society folks, etc.) ought to be honest and brave enough to publicly call this out for what it is - a crap edition of one of the greatest books of all time. Otherwise it’s just sucking up to HC because they have the Tolkien connection.

This is a critical point for me. I saw a definite lack of objectivity with this release in various quarters (including shying away from it, here, frankly). The people I have spoken to at HC seem like thoroughly nice people. But it doesn't mean that they don't sometimes produce very poor quality books. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with all the links to retailers we have had for this release -- done as a service and with the best intentions, but it also provides an implied stamp of approval. I think we should think very carefully before doing that again.

100% agree.

Stu wrote:

The Deluxe - I don't personally think that is salvageable without going back to the drawing board. The execution of that is just too flawed, and it goes right back to the concept for the product and the raw design choices. All IMHO - obviously some people like it.

Ditto.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 21:10:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

This is a critical point for me. I saw a definite lack of objectivity with this release in various quarters (including shying away from it, here, frankly). The people I have spoken to at HC seem like thoroughly nice people. But it doesn't mean that they don't sometimes produce very poor quality books. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with all the links to retailers we have had for this release -- done as a service and with the best intentions, but it also provides an implied stamp of approval. I think we should think very carefully before doing that again.

This site will continue to notify visitors about forthcoming releases, including where they are available for pre-order, as this is a valuable service. We do that for non-HC titles as well. I would think that it is implicitly clear that pre-order links are not stamps of approval for a book that no-one has seen yet. Once the book was released, the quality issues were discussed ad nauseam here, so anyone visiting would well know that the production quality issues exist.

Are you suggesting that we go silent on forthcoming books, and only post about books that 100% of the members here all vote are worthy, after everyone has gotten their hands on one and inspected it for quality issues?
Nov 23
2021/11/23 21:23:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:


Are you suggesting that we go silent on forthcoming books, and only post about books that 100% of the members here all vote are worthy, after everyone has gotten their hands on one and inspected it for quality issues?

We don't normally list every retailer, make it a front-page banner and link to that post from other sites. This was very different from previous releases. We effectively pushed this product and in doing so crossed a line of objectivity. I totally respect your right to take the site in that direction, but I personally think it lessens the value that TCG adds (or certainly changes what TCG is).

I believe TCG is well respected and that people will absolutely think more highly of a product if links to it are on here. That's how marketing works and why celebrities are used in advertising.
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