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The Silmarillion

J. R. R. Tolkien

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : George Allen & Unwin

Published : 1977

Copyright : George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd 1977

ISBN-10 : HB 0-04-823139-8
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-04-823139-0

Publisher's Write-Up

The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's world. It 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 tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor.

About the Author:
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Finchen (310711) Rating (8/10)

Review by Finchen
Rating 8/10
If you are reading this review it is more than likely you have already read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. If you have not got around to it yet I would say start with the Hobbit even though it may seem to make more sense to start with The Silmarillion. It may seem this way because The Silmarillion collection covers the early history of middle earth. However, without reading the more popular, entertaining and blockbuster film books first, The Silmarillion may be lost on some.

Tolkien never stopped writing The Silmarillion and really he never started. Christopher Tolkein compiled the book from his father’s many complex notes on his imagined world, legends, genealogies and languages. Tolkein constantly updated the notes and changed them but never got around to publishing them, perhaps at first they were for his own personal pleasure.

Either way, I am extremely glad that Christopher Tolkein put in the effort to decipher and order the sheets upon sheets about Middle Earth. The Silmarillion adds so much intricate depth to Middle Earth and its creation, so I would say anyone who has really enjoyed the more popular Middle Earth books but has maybe wondered at some things, not fully understanding them, should read The Silmarillion. It explains everything; from the very genesis until the first defeat of Sauron, the family trees from which loved characters such as Elrond, Arwen and Aragorn are born and solves some mysteries surrounding the origins of Gandalf and Saruman.

The book is more a collection because it is split into interrelated but flowing short stories. At times I found the beginning of the book, about the Timeless Halls and the creation of Arda (Earth) a bit slow. Perhaps it was the parallels with religion? However, when the history of Middle Earth picked up I was hooked, and after the story of Beren and Luthien I raced through the rest of the book in a day. This short story was by far my favourite and apparently the characters are based upon Tolkien himself and his wife, which makes it all the more moving.

As the book was edited from unordered notes, there are some points where the book ‘hiccoughs’ in flow or the tone changes but it is near imperceptible and does not detract from the value of the book to readers eager to discover more about Tolkien's legends. I am now ready to move onto the other related stories of Middle Earth such as The Children of Hurin as I feel The Silmarillion has given me a deep understanding of Middle Earth and its peoples that one cannot gain from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit alone, nor from the films.
Finchen (31st July 2011)

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