- Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; 2nd edition (January 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345325818
- ISBN-13: 978-0345325815
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,080 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Silmarillion Mass Market Paperback – January 12, 1985
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The Silmarillion is J.R.R. Tolkien's tragic, operatic history of the First Age of Middle-Earth, essential background material for serious readers of the classic Lord of the Rings saga. Tolkien's work sets the standard for fantasy, and this audio version of the "Bible of Middle-Earth" does The Silmarillion justice. Martin Shaw's reading is grave and resonant, conveying all the powerful events and emotions that shaped elven and human history long before Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf and all the rest embarked on their quests. Beginning with the Music of the Ainur, The Silmarillion tells a tale of the Elder Days, when Elves and Men became estranged by the Dark Lord Morgoth's lust for the Silmarils, pure and powerful magic jewels. Even the love between a human warrior and the daughter of the Elven king cannot defeat Morgoth, but the War of Wrath finally brings down the Dark Lord. Peace reigns until the evil Sauron recovers the Rings of Power and sets the stage for the events told in the Lord of the Rings. This is epic fantasy at its finest, thrillingly read and gloriously unabridged. (Running time: 14 hours, 6 CDs) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
The action of this volume predates even the above History titles as it relates the creation of Middle-earth, its beings and the coming of evil. Tolkien's Paradise Lost.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
First, I'm not what people call a "Tolkien purist" or a "Tolkien fanatic" or whatever. I read "Lord Of The Rings" only once (liked it a lot), "The Hobbit" only once (liked it, but less than "Lord Of The Rings"), watched the movies, and, only now, I stared "The Silmarillion" in the eye!
And I loved it. With all my heart. The book is majestic, breathtaking, excting. Let me get to some points:
a. I completely understand those who not enjoy the writing style or the book itself, even thoso who KNOW that this is not a novel, but almost a history book of a fictional mythology.
b. There is violence. A lot. A lot of violence. It's tragedy after tragedy after tragedy, after betrayal, etc. But there is no gore. There are no cheap George R.R. Martin moments here.
c. The Glossary is amazing. All one needs to do, in order to rembember all the names that appear in the book, is to consult the glossary at the end of the book.
d. I think one should understand the following, about the writer's writing style: for Tolkien, EVERY WORD COUNTS. There's no verborragia, no filler. He is set on a mission to tell a fable, and he does so with economy of word, but with deep impact.
The negative aspect of reading this book is that, day after day, I enjoy LESS the movies!
The Silmarillion will remind the fan of mythology of tales from the Romans or the Greeks especially. Truly, Tolkien's fantasy should really be termed mythology or history instead, for there is very little of what most would term to be magic. Any power that any being has is derived of its nature. For instance, Manwe may have some power over the winds and the skies, however, he is termed a god, or in reality an Ainur and so it is logical that he have this power.
The book is written in a very archaic form of language, which to some may be annoying, but I personally find it quite pleasing to the ear. It indeed makes sense that it is written in such a way when you consider that it is to be ancient history. It is not necessarily an easy book to read. Aside from the somewhat difficult language, there are a multitude of characters, many of which have several names, and it is somewhat difficult to keep up. I have found the chart in the back of the book to be of great assistance. Also, the map in the front is easy to read and will help one who cares to do so, keep track of the action.
Lastly, I will argue for the purchasing of this illustrated edition over the simple paperback. First, it makes reading so much easier as it will simply lay open, which is nice if you like to read in bed. Second and most importantly, Ted Nasmith is a fantastically talented artist. His illustrations are just breathtakingly beautiful. They make you feel as if you were there. (I might mention that I own the edition before this one, or at least it has a different cover, Maglor tossing a Silmaril into the Sea. Not that that makes a difference.)
The jewel of this book is the context it gives to "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." It yields a greater understanding of the works of higher powers, the origin of people, and all that lay the framework for these epic stories.
If you want to get to know Middle-Earth much deeper, then give it a read.
This is very dense so you might need to read multiple times or take notes to get it all.
Prepare to be the "well, actually" guy in your LOTR conversations.