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190 of 191 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The many facets of Tolkien's genius. Don't miss it!!!
This box set is the next logical step for those Tolkien readers looking to see where there is beyond THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT. I'll deal with the four works individually.
THE TOLKIEN READER: This book contain's Tolkien's shorter fiction and works, including a play and Leaf by Niggle. There are four works in total:
1. The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth,...
Published on June 4, 2004 by Mike London

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Geeky hubby says, "Eh."
My husband didn't care for the books in this set. The only one he enjoyed, but said was difficult to follow was, The Silmarillion.
Published 24 months ago by Mollyana Ward


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190 of 191 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The many facets of Tolkien's genius. Don't miss it!!!, June 4, 2004
This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
This box set is the next logical step for those Tolkien readers looking to see where there is beyond THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT. I'll deal with the four works individually.
THE TOLKIEN READER: This book contain's Tolkien's shorter fiction and works, including a play and Leaf by Niggle. There are four works in total:
1. The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm's Son: a play dealing with two men after the Battle of Maldon. Interesting, and shows more of the scholarly side of Tolkien.
2. TREE AND LEAF: This is a book consisting of two things: his essay on faerie tales, and Leaf By Niggle. Tolkien's essay is now considered one of the main centerpieces of literature defending and validating fantasy and faerie tale (as if THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT weren't enough). Leaf By Niggle is a very deep work, and basically it deals with his despair of mortality and not being able to finish his mythology, his great work. However, in the end Tolkien shows his glorious hope.
3. FARMER GILES OF HAM: a mock medieval story. Everything that THE LORD OF THE RINGS represents, this story pokes fun at and parodies. Very funny story, and shows Tolkien's sense of humour. This was written originally for his children (as much of his stuff was).
4. THE ADVENTURES OF TOM BOMBADIL: This is a very misleading title. It is a collection of poetry, and only the first two poems have anything to do with Bombadil. The rest of the poetry deals with Middle-earth, or set therein. It is a nice selection of his verse.
Overall, a well put together anthology. However, it would have been better had it included SMITH OF WOOTTON MAJOR. That, along with the two works constituting TREE AND LEAF, is the closest thing to autobiography he ever wrote, and all three are vitally important in any serious study of Tolkien.
THE SILMARILLION: The heart of Tolkien's mythology, providing the vast, mythic backdrop that made THE LORD OF THE RINGS so satisfying. As important to Tolkien as LOTR, THE SILMARILION is long, epic history of the Satanic Morgoth, the far more deadly lord of Sauron, and his dealings with the three tribes of Elves (The Noldor, the Teleri, and the Vanyar.). Difficult and dry, but immensely rewarding for those who love mythology. There are four short works, plus THE SILMARILLION proper. These are:
1. The AINULINDALE: Tolkien's beautiful creation myth. Details how Iluvator (God) brought the world into being through song, with the vast angelic hosts (the Valar) adding their special touches to Arda, or Creation. Tolkien gives us an account of the fall, showing how Morgoth created strife and war musically, and introduces the main Valar. A wonderful creation myth.
2. VALAQUENTA: A who's who of the major gods.
3. QUENTA SILMARILLION: The major account of the Elves' fall from grace, and how Feanor, crafting three jewels called the Silmarils, leads his tribe to war after Morgoth steals them. Complex, beautiful, and amazing, this is hard-core mythology that, while difficult for the modern reader, will prove wonderfully fulfilling for those persevere.
4. The AKALLABETH: The downfall of Numenor, Tolkien's version of Atlantis. Woefully short, the events of the Second Age would have made a wonderful successor to LOTR. Deals with Sauron's enslavement of men's hearts and how men became corrupt with the lust for immortality. Much more focused on men instead of elves.
5. THE RINGS OF POWER: The account of the Lord of the Rings.
Overall, a very highly comperessed text, with thousands of years compressed relative short chatpers. As you can see, the half a million words that Tolkien tells LOTR in is compressed to a very short text. How Tolkien taken the same conventions with THE SILMARILION as he did with LOTR, we would have an extremely long book. Arcane, written in a very elevated style, this takes a special kind of reader to make it through Tolkien's tough, deeply tragic, and incredibly beautiful vision of Middle-earth's history. The book stands as a definitive history of Middle-earth, covering all the ages and its creation. Highly recommended for the Tolkien student.
UNFINISHED TALES: Exactly what it says it is. A compendium of unfinished narratives, further detailing the three ages of Middle-earth. Especially illuminating are "Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin" (which would have been in the 1977 SILMARILION had it been completed, "Aldarion and Erendis," a story very unique in Tolkien's work because it is an actual story from the Second Age, wonderful revelations from the Third age, including much information about the Palantiri, the ever elusive other three wizards, new information about Theodred, Theoden's son, and revelations about the hunt for the ring. One of the most interesting sections is 'The Quest for Erebor," which another version is now included in THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT. This is the last scene we get of Gandalf and the hobbits. Told after the coronation of Aragorn in Minas Tirith, Gandalf discusses arranging for Bilbo to join with Thorin, and gives an hitherto unknown account of how the events of THE HOBBIT really came to be. Highly interesting.
Very interesting reading, but in the end UNFINISHED TALES is more lost lore than anything. Read only after you've read the big three (LOTR, HOBBIT, and SILMARILION).
SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT: Three medieval poems. Great for the student and acadmic, but may not be real appealing to a mass audience. Due to Tolkien's remarkable linquistic skills, these are very accurate modern translations of the ancient texts. Sir Gawain is an Arthurian tale. Also includes the two shorter poems, "Pearl" and "Sir Orfeo".
In the end, a wonderful introduction to Tolkien's other works. Shows the more academic, scholary side of Tolkien. The most important work included here for the LOTR fan is THE SILMARILION. The rest are for the fans looking to go beyond Middle-earth.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than Middle-Earth, September 25, 2003
This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
J.R.R. Tolkien was the literary giant whose "Lord of the Rings" trilogy turned fantasy books from slightly odd literary blips into a full-blown genre. Not quite as well-known are his smaller fantasy tales, translations and the backdrop of Middle-Earth itself. Now his lesser-known (but still wonderful) books are released in a boxed set.
"The Tolkien Reader" is a mishmash of material both by and about Tolkien, including an essay by noted fantasy writer Peter Beagle, a short play, a story/reflection on writing and mortality, the hilarious comic fantasy "Farmer Giles of Ham," and a series of poems -- ranging from gloomy to cute to sad -- focusing on Tom Bombadil and Middle-Earth.
"The Silmarillion" is a the type of book that many authors have tried to emulate, but still stands unrivalled: The Bible of Middle-Earth. This is the history of the Elves and Middle-Earth, from Eru (God) creating the world and the races on it, through wars and disasters, until the events of "Lord of the Rings" itself, when the Elves finally leave Middle-Earth forever.
"Unfinished Tales" fills in a few of the mystery gaps in "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." Want to know more about Gandalf, Bilbo, Galadriel, and other people in Middle-Earth? This collection of writings, organized by Tolkien's son, offers more insights into the world of Middle-Earth.
"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" steps out of Tolkien's imagination, and into classic Arthurian fantasy. It's the story of Sir Gawain, and how after being challenged by a mysterious Green Knight, must forfeit his own head. Added on to it are Tolkien's translations of the beautiful poem "Pearl," and "Sir Orfeo," a tale rooted in the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Tolkien's full writing range is put on display in these books. He wrote comic fantasy about inept farmers and easily-intimidated dragons, and he also wrote sweeping fictional histories that spanned thousands of years. He wrote cute poems about dancing elf kids, melancholy poetry, and upbeat songs about the Man in the Moon. He wrote elaborate backstories for Middle-Earth, but also translated the classic Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain. In these stories, he proved that he could write (and translate) just about any style of fantasy imaginable, without it seeming stale or strained.
From charming to mind-bogglingly complicated, the "Tolkien Fantasy Tales" are a great way to introduce yourself to the full range of Tolkien's genius. Think you've seen it all with "Lord of the Rings"? You ain't seen nothing yet...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Broad Range of Tolkien, February 12, 2009
This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
This box set contains four volumes which seem somewhat oddly assorted. The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales are compilations published after Tolkien's death by his son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien. They primarily deal with the early history of Middle earth. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is Tolkien's translation of a long medieval poem, while The Tolkien Reader is a compilation originally published in the 1960s including Tolkien's essay On Fairy Stories, his short stories Leaf By Niggle and Farmer Giles of Ham, and the poems which make up The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Taken together, the volumes in this box set do reveal different aspects of Tolkien's writings.

While I hope that no one will ever be introduced to Tolkien's works with this box set, those who are already familiar with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will appreciate these additional glimpses of Tolkien's creative abilities.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien Fantasy Boxed Set, March 7, 2011
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a nice boxed set that includes: The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Tolkien Reader.

The first two I mentioned are for those who really like The Lord of the Rings. However, if you are looking for something else that Tolkien wrote, the last two are good also.

These books are all very interesting and if you are a Tolkien fan, you will like these books.

The only negative things that I can say about this set is that the print is small in some cases and may be difficult to read at times because of this. Also the box was a little bent on one side when I recieved this set, but the books inside were in good condition. One where the box was bent was a little creased on the very edge, but not torn. I bought this set new.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Collection, September 5, 2010
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
At a price this low, any Tolkien fan should take a look! The collection is wonderful, expanding upon the realm of Middle Earth as well as providing fans with some of Tolkien's other, more over-looked material. The insight some of these works provide (especially The Silmarillion) into the genesis of Tolkien's ideas and world are truly fascinating. For those, like me, who were searching for an inexpensive copy of The Silmarillion and found this great bundle, you will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old favorites, April 22, 2014
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ALB (Abington, CT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
Nice to see the "Tolkien Reader" still gets around. Just gave this set to a friend who was asking me about the "Silmarillion". It also gave me a chance to talk with him about "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and the old mystery of its authorship. They really ought to re-do the cover of "Unfinished Tales", though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien Set, October 26, 2012
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
A must-buy...can't read one without the other! Stretches the imagination! I recommend this for early high schoolers to adults. Immerse yourself in these stories; better than video games!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, May 17, 2014
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
Was perfect and brand new like if it had been bought at a book store. These really are not for the average reader. But if you have read the other books then you will be fine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as Expected, December 30, 2013
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a box set of paperback novels. It is exactly as explained in the product description. This is a very good price for four books, plus they come with an enclosure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, good., December 14, 2014
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This review is from: Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) (Mass Market Paperback)
It was really good, although at first, I didn't understand the purpose of having one of the books in their (The one with Sir Gawain), but I have enjoyed it.
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Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight)
Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinishe
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by J. R. R. Tolkien (Mass Market Paperback - July 29, 2003)
$26.47 $22.62
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