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The Silmarillion Hardcover – November 15, 2004
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
I was completely amazed when I read The Silmarillion. I was completely captivated by the story of the Noldor and their deeds in Beleriand. The story is written in truly masterful style, and even (primarily) without dialogue, the richness of the story grips the reader and immerses him in the Elder Days and the great War of the Jewels. The images of the story are powerful and will stay with the dedicated reader forever. I can still vividly picture Fingolfin doing battle with Morgoth, Yavanna crying over the ruin of the Trees, Beren in Thingol's hall, as well as Mablung sorowfully wandering the shores of the sea; and most of all I can see Feanor and his sons swearing their oath by torchlight in the court of Tirion.
Just a word on the content: this is not happy stuff. The world of LotR contained an aura of lost greatness and the certain knowledge that the world was in slow but irreversible decline. This story has that aura in spades, in addition to the fact that the reader gets to see the fall from greatness firsthand. The terrible sadness of the whole story and the tragedy of Tolkien's irreparably marred world is enough to make even the most dry-eyed (and I count myself as one of these) break down. (I cried at least four times during my last reading of The Silmarillion, which is perhaps the highest praise that I can possibly give it.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a HUUUUGE Tolkien fan, this is a quintessential piece of my collection! It's not the easiest read, but once one is able to get through it, their knowledge of Middle-earth and... Read morePublished 4 days ago by matthew arnold
When this book had good reviews and it was only a penny I thought, "Why not give it a try?" I managed to hack through the first chapter and put it away. Read morePublished 6 days ago by J-Bane
Reads like the bible in the beginning of every chapter and like the lord of the rings 3/4 of the way through each chapter. Read morePublished 10 days ago by D. Arno
it was a good book all around, not just the plot but also the hard coverPublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Third time reading it. It is awesome. Thor more I read Tolkien the more I understand that his philosophy is not as simple as many think .Published 15 days ago by Timothy Scott Gore
The JRR Tolkien Bible. Truly a beautiful piece which gives the backdrop for his other famous works such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.Published 17 days ago by Luke Sagers