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The Silmarillion [Kindle Edition]

J.R.R. Tolkien , Christopher Tolkien
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,509 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, THE SILMARILLION is the core of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work whose origins stretch back to a time long before THE HOBBIT.
Tolkien considered THE SILMARILLION his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. The story of the creation of the world and of the the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in THE LORD OF THE RINGS look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. THE SILMARILLION is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.
This second edition features a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien describing his intentions for the book, which serves as a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages of Middle-earth.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Majestic!... Readers of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will find in The Silmarillion a cosmology top call their own, medievel romances, fierce fairy tales, and fiercer wars that ring with heraldic fury... It overwhelms the reader." Time Magazine

"Heart-lifting... a work of power, eloquence and noble vision... Superb!" The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.


CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2745 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reissue edition (February 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007978PGI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,919 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,112 of 1,142 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
In the Tolkien canon, "The Silmarillion" is the most highly contested of all his works. Constructed as a prehistoric history of the Universe, the book has the cultural significance of the Bible in Tolkien's universe. It is Tolkien's primary work, but it's also his most troublesome, in more ways than one. One thing you need to know. In Tolkien scholarship, there are two primary ways to refer to the "Silmarillion". One is the Silmarillion, the legendarium proper, and then the 1977 "Silmarillion", which may or may not be what Tolkien envisioned.

"The Silmarillion" , the book Tolkien spent all of his adult life writing, was, sadly, incomplete when Tolkien died at the age of eighty one in 1973. Naturally, this begs the question why did it take him decades to write the book, and it still be unfinished after all that time? Well, to understand that, you need to understand two things: the scope of the project, and how Tolkien worked.

The scope of the book was a complete imaginary history, a totally self-contained mythology, all written and developed for his home country, England (my home country as well). Imagine the Greek and Roman mythologies, all those myths and gods, developed by one man. Imagine Homer completely inventing all the gods for his stories. Imagine how hard that would be to come up with your own mythological traditions as such. No wonder Tolkien had such a hard time completing the work.

Now, the scope (which is extremely ambitious for any artist) was compounded by how Tolkien worked. First, he was a philologist first and foremost, and so before the stories he invented languages.
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324 of 334 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien's bible October 23, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Consider this -- J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastical epic "Lord of the Rings" is only the tail end of his invented history.

Yes, Tolkien spent most of his adult life crafting the elaborate, rich world of Middle-Earth, and coming up with a fictional history that spanned millennia. And "The Silmarillion" was the culmination of that work -- a Biblesque epic of fantasy history, stretching from the creation of the universe to the final bittersweet departure of the Elves from Middle-Earth.

A complete summary is impossible, because the book spans millennia and has one earth-shattering event after another. But it includes:
*The creation of Tolkien's invented pantheons of angelic beings under Eru Iluvatar, also known as God.
*How they sang the world into being, and the creation of Elves, Men, and Dwarves (hobbits are not really covered).
*The legendary love story of Beren and Luthien, a mortal Man and an Elf maiden who gives up her immortality for the man she loves.
*The attempts of the demonic Morgoth and his servant Sauron (remember him?) to corrupt the world.
*Feanor and his sons, and the terrible oath that led to Elves slaying one another.
*The Silmarils, the glorious gems made from the the essence of the Two Trees that generated the world's light.
*Elves of just about any kind -- bad, mad, dangerous, good, sweet, brave, and so forth.
*The creation of the many Rings of Power -- and the One Ring of Sauron.
*And finally, the quest of the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins, and the final battle that would decide the fate of Middle-Earth.

If you ever were confused by a reference or name mentioned in "The Hobbit" or "Lord of the Rings," then chances are that "The Silmarillion" can enlighten you about what it meant. What is Numenor?
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427 of 451 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy classic, but not for everyone November 1, 2002
Format:Hardcover
"The Silmarillion" is perhaps the most unique and difficult-to-explain book I have read. It is among the books I love the most, but this might not be the case if I had not read it in a bizarre way that I can hardly recommend to anyone else, and yet may be the best way to read it. For ten or twelve years I skimmed through "The Silmarillion," "The Hobbit," "The Lord of the Rings," and many of Tolkien's posthumous books (many of which present the stories of "The Silmarillion" in different forms which Tolkien wrote at various times in his life) without reading the books verbatim. Only in the last twelve months have I read these books all the way through.
This was a wise way of approaching Tolkien's most famous works because of the odd nature of "The Silmarillion," which must be understood by anyone desiring to enjoy it. "The Silmarillion" is not a "novel," as are "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" (Tolkien preferred the word "romance" to "novel" for LotR). "The Silmarillion" is well described by the subtitle on the front of the jacket of the Ted Nasmith-illustrated edition: "The Myths and Legends of Middle-earth". "The Silmarillion" is the equivalent, for the imaginary world in which "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" take place, of a work like Hamilton's or Bulfinch's "Mythology". It does not tell one single story; rather it tells many stories in a briefer form, almost as though the stories are being synopsized rather than told.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The Story - 5 Stars | The Hardcover - 1 Star
I was better off getting the paperback, it was much cheaper. The "Turtleback cover" is only slightly thicker then a mass market paperback. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by BS601
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book.
My favorite book. Epic in so many ways. It took a few tries to get into it, and several of the chapters can be cumbersome, but every time I finish it I want to immediately go... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Thomas Rowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very enjoyable for Tolkien fans but recommend reading The Lord of the Rings first.
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Mythos-Making from Tolkien
This pre-history of Tolkien's Middle-Earth is a must-read for any Tolkien fan, and for any fan of imaginative fiction. Magisterially written and full of adventure.
Published 4 days ago by Alfredo D'Agostino
5.0 out of 5 stars It's worth it...
This book is a masterpiece by J.R.R. Tolkien. It includes the creation of the Gods, the world, Elves, Orcs, Dwarves and Men. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sasha Stephen Blair
2.0 out of 5 stars So small
Very frustrating as the type is so small. Disappointing
Published 7 days ago by Virgil Bolton
5.0 out of 5 stars Fill in the gaps!
Tough read for those that only watched the movies.
Published 7 days ago by Ted Jones Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great addition to any fan of JRR Tolkiens books. Describes the background history that occurs in middle earth
Published 9 days ago by Nick
4.0 out of 5 stars The stories and concepts are wonderful and I find it really engrossing
Approach this for what it is: a collection of ideas and essays and notes that Tolkien's son put into book form. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Listening to Everything
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book
Published 9 days ago by Mitchell
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More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

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