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Еврей без ярлыков - The Last Ring-bearer
October 3rd, 2010
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The Last Ring-bearer
UPDATE: Second edition!

More than 15 years ago Russian scientist Kirill Yeskov tried to settle certain geographical problems in Tolkien's fantasy world. One thing led to another, and he tackled a bigger project - what if we assumed that it's no less real than our world? His conclusion was that in such a case, the story of the Ring of Power is most likely a much-altered heroic retelling of a major war - but what was that war really about?

The result of this re-appraisal was the publication in 1999 of The Last Ring-bearer - a re-thinking of Tolkien's story in real-world terms. Dr. Yeskov, a professional paleontologist whose job is reconstructing long-extinct organisms and their way of life from fossil remnants, performs essentially the same feat in The Last Ring-bearer, reconstructing the real world of Tolkien's Arda from The Lord of the Rings - the heroic tales of the Free Men of the West written in that world. We have a pretty good idea how well heroic tales map to reality from our own world...

I was impressed enough by this work to spend a few dozen lunch hours translating it to English. (Reportedly, some publishing houses have considered a commercial translation of this book, which had been published in several major European languages, but abandoned the idea out of fear of the Tolkien estate, which doesn't countenance any derivative works, especially in English. Witness the history of its relationship with New Line Cinema. This translation is non-commercial. The Russian original can be found here.) I have been fortunate to establish communication with the author and have the translation vetted (and much corrected) by him. I now offer this work for your perusal. At 139,000 words, this 1 Mb PDF is about 80% of the length of The Fellowship of the Ring. Suggestions for corrections will be appreciated. Please mention how you heard about this translation when commenting. Errata will be published here soon.

UPDATE: I have translated an essay Dr. Yeskov wrote after the first publication of this book. It may answer some of your questions about his motivation and method.</b>

One user has reported a virus intercepted during downloading. The PDF itself is Javascript-free and ought not to have any payload other than the text. It was likely a false positive when a stub of the file matched some virus signature during download. Sendspace has informed me that my account has gone premium thanks to all the downloads, and users should now see no ads prior to downloading. One user has reported encountering Captcha; I've never seen any, but suspect that Sendspace puts them up when the download request comes from a domain associated with bots. There have been thousands of successful downloads; if yours fails, please try again. .odt and .mobi versions are available here thanks to Matthew Wilcoxson.

I have to disappoint the fans of Sauron: His Majesty Sauron the VIII rates only a few mentions in this work, having been nothing more than an enlightened king. Nor does the Ring of Power rate more than a passing mention. Likewise the Hobbits: unlike LOTR, this story is not about them. Finally, no attempt has been made to imitate J.R.R. Tolkien's style - it is deliberately modern and down-to-earth.

I am now working on a second edition, with some corrections (very few, the author was thorough) and, hopefully, smoother prose.


Errata

  • Page 5: read "consciousness" for "conscious." I'm considering a different expression altogether, as it's hard to walk while unconscious. Same on page 71.

  • Page 53: read "Those may very well be needed more than the rest." for "Seemingly, those will be needed no more than all the rest."

  • Page 108: read "had decided to call them Mountains of Shadow" for "had decided to cal then Mountains of Shadow"

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Comments
 
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From:chepurga
Date:February 16th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
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Усиленно читал и Кольцо, и его Беарера, ниче не понял - зачем было это городить?.. Автор специально перенёс действие в несуществующую вселенную, думаете просто так? В общем, лучше бы приложили свои усилия в положительном русле.
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From:Brokensea
Date:February 16th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)

Audio Book Version

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Hi, I'd like to do an audio version of your book (also to be given away completely free) can you email me at paul@brokensea.com
From:sandeep.wordpress.com
Date:February 16th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)

epub format ?

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do you have this in epub format - it would be awesome to read on the kindle, etc.

thanks!
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From:Brokensea
Date:February 19th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)

Re: epub format ?

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Kindle's read PDF documents just fine. Try that.
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From:ildarjahin
Date:February 16th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
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а по нашенскому можно общаться?
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From:ymarkov
Date:February 17th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
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Целевая аудитория - англоязычная. По-нашенскому пожалуйте к автору - afranius.livejournal.com
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From:scratchywilson
Date:February 16th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Another person here via Salon.com (and apparently late to the party). If you're interested there's an older article, also from Salon.com, in which the author also takes a 'counter-reading' approach to LOTR.

Snagging a copy and thanks for the translation!
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From:junijuli
Date:February 16th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
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кстати, набежавшая толпа с идиотскими односложными комментариями - следствие того, что пост попал в топ жж.

thanks for your work! such an amazing amount of time and effort put into a non-commercial project... very impressive)
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From:lestamore
Date:February 17th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
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a friend linked me here on facebook. I am excited to read it!
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From:lady_ganesh
Date:February 17th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
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Saw the link at Salon, am grabbing-- thanks!
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From:Jordan Ha
Date:February 17th, 2011 06:10 am (UTC)

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Linked on geeks.thedailywh.at

I am so looking forward to this read.
From:mdy1999
Date:February 17th, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)

good job!

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Thanks for the work and I can't wait to read it through.
BTW, I learned about your english translation from an article on salon.com.
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From:kenazfiction
Date:February 17th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
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Wow, I'm surprised and disappointed by how many critical -- or even downright rude-- comments have been left.

In any case, this was a serious labor of love on your behalf, and for those of us who have heard about the existence of this book but have not been able to read it before, it's a real present. Thank you!
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From:mirroredsakura
Date:February 17th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
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Got linked through a comment on an ONTD post about this. Snagging the translation, thanks so much! :D
From:necnec.myopenid.com
Date:February 17th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)

MOBI format

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Hello,
Can you release the translation in MOBI format, so Kindle we'll be able to read it?

Thanks
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From:Brokensea
Date:February 19th, 2011 05:07 am (UTC)

Re: MOBI format

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My Kindle reads PDF documents just fine. Why doesn't yours?
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From:bella_the_dark
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Linked here via livejournal. Thanks for doing this, I can't wait to read it.
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From:mightyafrodite
Date:February 17th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
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Impressive...both the write and your commitment to translate the work! I can't wait to read it.
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From:crazyjane13
Date:February 17th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
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Can't wait to read this! I heard about it through a friend, who directed me to the Salon article.
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From:its_ambiguous
Date:February 18th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
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a friend linked me, i'm guessing he saw it on reddit. can't wait to start reading!
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From:she_obstipui
Date:February 18th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
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linked by iulia_linnea. Thank you for sharing!
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From:kisalar
Date:February 18th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)

I've posted a blog post on The Last Ringbearer

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It's in Turkish, http://wp.me/pKuOY-pE . I also mirrored the book in my blog. Hope you don't mind.
Thanks for this work.
turkcebkf.wordpress.com
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From:auri_mynonys
Date:February 18th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
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Found via a link left on my Facebook. Just started reading and am loving it so far. Thanks so much for sharing!
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From:llamachameleon
Date:February 19th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
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I saw the Salon article. This looks awesome!
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From:singsonggirl
Date:February 20th, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)
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Came here from Salon.com, putting the pdf on my e-reader for later perusal. Sounds really interesting, will link my fellow nerdy birdies to it :3
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From:reallyally
Date:February 20th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
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I heard about this on tumblr. I'm really excited to read it! :D
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From:esclar_monde
Date:February 20th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)

Just what I need!

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Thank you very much for making this book available in English! I'm in a LotR mood now and began reading the book once again, as soon as I finish it I'll read The Last Ring-bearer.
I'm a Tolkien fan, but not a fanatic ;) and it's great to see how the world he created can be seen through completely different perspectives (and I love a bit of irony if it fits in the context).

Sorry for my not so good English, but I wanted to thank you badly enough to forget my shyness :)
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From:dglenn
Date:February 20th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
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Top of page 6: "regained conscience" sounds like it should be "regained consciousness".

Followed a link here from [info] - personal amethysta

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