Tolkien's Middle-earth
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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 Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age. The final part, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and were presented in The Lord of the Rings.
The five parts were initially separate works, but it was the elder Tolkien's express wish that they be published together. Because J. R. R. Tolkien died before he finished revising the various legends, Christopher gathered material from his father's older writings to fill out the book. In a few cases, this meant that he had to devise completely new material in order to resolve gaps and inconsistencies in the narrative.
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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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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.       …
review by . August 08, 2000
"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 …
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