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The Silmarillion

J.R.R. Tolkien's mythopoeic pre-history of the Elves in Middle-earth.

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Words cannot describe. . .

  • Aug 8, 2000
Rating:
+5
"The Silmarillion" is to "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" what the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) are to the Gospels. While it is certainly possible (indeed, probable) to obtain a certain understanding about the life and ministry of Jesus by reading the Gospels and ignoring the entire Old Testament, one obtains a much fuller vision of the meaning of the Gospels if one has an understanding of the Old Testament.

This analogy fits very well with the relationship between "The Silmarillion" and Tolkien's other fiction. In "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" one examines in close detail two specific episodes at the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth, just like the Gospels give an account of the brief life and ministry of Jesus. "The Silmarillion", like the Old Testament, provides a grand, sweeping background of thousands of years of history, making the later stories come alive in a new, more deep, more rich fashion.

Like the Old Testament, "The Silmarillion" is not always an easy read. But who says that great books have to always be easy? And "The Silmarillion" is indeed a great book. I've read it now about 20 times, and re-read it usually about twice a year. I can no longer go through it without being literally reduced to tears.

Who can fail to be moved by the creation of the world? Or by the great duel between Fingolfin and Morgoth? Or by the love and devotion of Finrod Felagund? And who can even begin to claim to understand any of Tolkien's thought without having been immersed in the tale of Beren and Luthien?

My heart is moved, and my emotions rise to the surface merely by writing these words. If you do not read "The Silmarillion", you will be turning your back on one of the greatest, most beautiful works of fiction ever written in the English language.

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More The Silmarillion reviews
review by . July 23, 2010
I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend, i thought it looked and sounded good since i absolutely love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm really sad to say how mistaken i was. This book was dull, slow, and nearly impossible to get involved in reading. Its long drawn out lackluster chapters had me literally falling asleep at several points. It totally lacked the long loved Tolkien story telling. It was super hard to follow and even harder to understand even at the end. It took …
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
If you liked LOtR and The Hobbit, there is a chance you will dig this. If you enjoy mythological epics like the Finn's Kalevala or the Prose Edda, you will certainly like Tolkien's Silmarillion. To truly enjoy this tale, you have to have a bit of the historian's pleasure in arcane detail.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
A bit slow and ponderous, it can be tough to wade through this book. It's an excellent example of an epic mythology, though, and fans of Tolkein's world will appreciate this legendary prehistory.
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
It is kind of tough the wade through but is past worthwile for the big Lord of the Rings fans.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Awesome book....a lot of the backstory is written here....it is a bit dry, but I like it.
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
Well written...my husbands fav. book.
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
boring
review by . September 23, 2004
Pros: Wow.     Cons: Whoa, confusing...     The Bottom Line: It's going to take more than one reading to get everything in this book - but it's worth it!     As usual, Tolkien's past work comes alive.       If you ever wanted to know how Middle Earth came to be (as well as it's inhabitants) then The Silmarillion will tell you. In a way, it is almost like the Bible of Middle Earth and Beleriand.       …
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About this book

Wiki

The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay,who later became a noted fantasy writer. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R. Tolkien's other works, forms a comprehensive, yet incomplete, narrative that describes the universe of Middle-earth within which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place.
After the success of The Hobbit, and prior to the publication of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's publisher requested a sequel to The Hobbit, and Tolkien sent them an early draft of The Silmarillion. But through a misunderstanding, the publisher rejected the draft without fully reading it, with the result that Tolkien began work on "A Long Expected Party", the first chapter of what he described at the time as "a new story about Hobbits", which became The Lord of the Rings.
The Silmarillion comprises five parts. The first part, Ainulindalë, tells of the creation of , the "world that is". Valaquenta, the second part, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar, the supernatural powers in Eä. The next section, Quenta Silmarillion, which forms the bulk of the collection, chronicles the history of the events before and during the First Age, including the wars over the Silmarils which gave the book its title. The fourth part, Akallabêth, relates the history of the Downfall of ...
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Details

Editor: Christopher Tolkien
Author: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien), Christopher Tolkien
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Adventure, Classic Literature
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, Ballantine Books, Houghton Mifflin
Date Published: 1977
Format: Novel
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