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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best!
This is definitely one of the best books in my posession. The Silmarillion is astonishing in its philosophical and theological depth. It should not be labeled as merely "phantasy".
While this book is about all kinds of creatures, it is definitely also a metaphor on the human condition, with all its highs and its many lows. One failure after another of the...
Published on Aug. 28 2004 by Michael Stolz

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3.0 out of 5 stars Dry but Informative
So vast is the history of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy realm of Middle-Earth, that it spawned over a dozen offshoot volumes editted by Christopher Tolkien from his father's notes. The largest and most acclaimed of these is "The Silmarillion." It is most defineately complete... the scope and detail is utterly astonishing. However, to date I have not been able to...
Published on March 17 2002 by Adam Lenhardt


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best!, Aug. 28 2004
By 
Michael Stolz (Buffalo, NY, USA) - See all my reviews
This is definitely one of the best books in my posession. The Silmarillion is astonishing in its philosophical and theological depth. It should not be labeled as merely "phantasy".
While this book is about all kinds of creatures, it is definitely also a metaphor on the human condition, with all its highs and its many lows. One failure after another of the elves and men trails through the history of middle earth, and once in a while, a hero redeems his or her race by a spectacular act of goodness. Important questions about our mortality and Tolkien's christian ideas about the meaning of our lives are woven into the stories without becoming a lecture.
This book is more than a "historical" background for the Lord of the Rings. It could stand alone as a collection of fables in which JRR Tolkien provides more than merely the mythology to the Lord of the Rings.
I do not recommend this book to the casual reader, for they will be dissappointed. I had to read this book twice to begin (!) to appreciate it, and as with the Lord of the Rings, I expect I will discover new things, whenever I re-read this book.
It should be noted that the Silmarillion is a collection of stories by J.R.R. Tokien, masterfully edited by his son Christopher Tolkien, to approach some semblance of continuity between chapters. As C. Tolkien writes in the foreword, however, the Silmarillion is not one cohesive story, but a collection of several stories, written by J.R.R. Tolkien over many years.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only a book, but a Piece of Art, Feb. 28 2005
By 
Gonzalo Morán (Havana City, Cuba) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Silmarillion (Hardcover)
It is quite difficult to write something about "The Silmarillion" when there are already so many people that have read it. But to write something about this new illustrated edition is completely different.
The whole book is a work mayor fantasy, created by J.R.R. Tolkien and it has been for all of us possible to read it, thanks to his son Christopher. The book should be read after having been read "The Hobbit" and The Lord of the Rings in that order, because if not its reading it could a bit difficult. Doing it this way you can feel as if you live each one of the histories like something that was made for us to know, but somehow didn't fitted in the previous books.
Now let's take this classic book and let's add it illustrations... Can someone request for more? This edition overcomes the previous by arriving to 45 marvelously painted illustrations, made by Ted Nasmith. Some of the paintings are awesomely real. They caught my eyes from the very beginning. It's a pity that some paintings made by Nasmtih, like the ones entitled "Eärendil Searches Tirion" and "Luthien Escapes the Treehouse" haven't been included in the final edition. On the other hand it was a big surprise to see the high-scaled map of this one. Not even the illustrated edition of LOTR has such a big and wonderful map.
To tell the truth it's a privilege to have this book in my bookcase beside the illustrated editions of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".
Once again thanks Tolkien for give us such a wonderful world to live in, and thanks Mr Nasmith for put it into images.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most precioussssssssss!, Feb. 29 2004
By 
norin (Ateneo, Philippines) - See all my reviews
I was so lost for words the first time i ended reading this book. Close to tears, even. I actually highlighted all terms i found significant. Almost the entire book is actually highlighted! Read it, love it, read it again and so it will NEVER come to pass when you'll grow tired of such wonderful material...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Requires repeated reading, Dec 9 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Silmarillion (Hardcover)
This collection of lose knit tales of the history of Middle Earth and those that live there. We learn many things as what different names of beings and places mean. This helps add a dimension to the stories that take place there.

I would say that it would help to read Lord of the Rings first because it is more comfortable when getting to know the area and characters. Then we can see where they came form; relationships are better understood.

Much of The Silmarillion can be taken in small bits and then sit back and contemplate how it could have been.

One does not just cut through any cultural history book for light reading and just shelving it. This is a cultural history book and will require rereading.

When people talk about the war I think back to which one they are talking about. Or are they just referring to one of the many orc skirmishes.

You do not have to be a Tolkien fan to find interest in this collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Requires repeated reading, Sept. 24 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This collection of lose knit tales of the history of Middle Earth and those that live there. We learn many things as what different names of beings and places mean. This helps add a dimension to the stories that take place there.

I would say that it would help to read Lord of the Rings first because it is more comfortable when getting to know the area and characters. Then we can see where they came form; relationships are better understood.

Much of The Silmarillion can be taken in small bits and then sit back and contemplate how it could have been.

One does not just cut through any cultural history book for light reading and just shelving it. This is a cultural history book and will require rereading.

When people talk about the war I think back to which one they are talking about. Or are they just referring to one of the many orc skirmishes.

You do not have to be a Tolkien fan to find interest in this collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Requires repeated reading, Aug. 18 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Silmarillion (Hardcover)
This collection of lose knit tales of the history of Middle Earth and those that live there. We learn many things as what different names of beings and places mean. This helps add a dimension to the stories that take place there.

I would say that it would help to read Lord of the Rings first because it is more comfortable when getting to know the area and characters. Then we can see where they came form; relationships are better understood.

Much of The Silmarillion can be taken in small bits and then sit back and contemplate how it could have been.

One does not just cut through any cultural history book for light reading and just shelving it. This is a cultural history book and will require rereading.

When people talk about the war I think back to which one they are talking about. Or are they just referring to one of the many orc skirmishes.

You do not have to be a Tolkien fan to find interest in this collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Testament of Middle-Earth, June 18 2003
Ok. For most people their opinion of The Silmarillion, I think, depends on one specific question. Do you like reading history? Now I'm not saying that you have to like history, but if you are a person who likes history you will love this book.
It begins with the creation of the world. Titled Ainulindale. It was very original for the time(and still is), and many writers have leaned heavily on it for their own creation stories.
It continues with the Valaquenta which is an account of the major gods and lesser gods of middle earth.
The book then proceeds with the Quenta Silmarillion. Now to me, the Quenta Silmarillion is the most original collection of essays/literary works that I have ever read. Except for a small portion, it covers the events of the first age. During which it concerns mostly the creation and history of the elves. I won't go into details because that would take up too much space. There is just too much knowledge in this book. If that is possible.
If you have read The Lord of the Rings and want to know more about the elves this book is for you, because this is their story. Later in the Silmarillion the race of men come into the picture. My personal fav is the essay on Turin Turambar.
In many ways these stories are very tragic, but that is what makes it all the more real. You become immersed in the story because the tragedy of it reminds you of your own lives and world.
The book ends with geneologies, an index of names, and an appendice on the different elements of Sindarin and Quenya names.
Of all the books I own. This is one that I read over and over again and never get tired of. It is a wonderful work of art. However, don't expect another Lord of the Rings. It is a work in its own class. Enjoy it as such.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SOME OF THE BEST READING THIS SIDE OF THE PELORI, June 8 2002
By 
This review is from: The Silmarillion (Hardcover)
This is an amazing story told in a grand and beautiful style. The lyric "Music of the Ainur", the painfully beautiful "Beren and Luthien" (my personal favorite-I'm sure I'm not alone) and the grand story of Numenor, hideously glorious, even in its fall are some-but not all-of the highlights. The geneologies are a bit confusing (I'm still not sure how Galadriel is related to Feanor, but I think she is his half-brother's daughter or something)but the characters- Valar, Maiar, Elves, Men, Dwarves, monsters, etc. are truly absorbing. From Feanor's challange in the royal square of Tirion to the fight of Huan and wolf-Sauron to the monumental voyage of Earendil to the awakening of elves at Ciuvienen to the enchantment of Thingol by Melian the Maia...This book is just absolutely full of grand and exciting moments. Don't be put off by the antique style, that is one of the beauties of the book. Also one last piece of advise-don't read about Ungoliant just before going to bed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book..., May 12 2002
By 
First off, let me say that if you couldn't read or didn't like the writing style in book 5 of Lord of the Rings, you won't be able to make it through this book. However, once you get past the distant, biblical writing style, you get the greatest prequel-type story I have ever read. The main reason I read this book was that I was extremely interested when reading The Lord of the Rings by Legolas, Aragorn, and the mysterious backgrounds of their races. Unfortunately, I turned first to Unfinished Tales to satisfy my craving for Elven and Numenorean knowledge. I read the book and greatly enjoyed the stories of Tuor and Turin... but without background info or a map of Beleriand I was lost as to where these tales fit in to the history of Middle-Earth. I finally bought the Silmarillion and read it in about a week. While it undoubtedly was in need of some editing by the original author, I am glad that Christopher Tolkien still made this available.
Simply put, this is a great book for anyone who has interest in the elves, especially the speakers of the Quenya and Sindarin languages, or for anyone who wants to learn about the mysterious West and the great enemy of old, Morgoth. Most people I have talked to are less interested in the elves than I am. I believe this is because their first introduction to the Firstborn was the conflicting profile presented in the Hobbit- are elves good or not?- while my first sight of an elf was of Glorfindel on the approaches to Elrond in the first book of LotR. This book taught me all I wanted to know about the history of the elves and the first and second ages. I knocked off the star for two main reasons: First, the book told me (I felt) far too little about the Dwarves, Numenoreans, and Hobbits. I realise this is a history mainly of elves, but it wouldn't have hurt to put in more than a passing reference to the Halflings. If you want to know about the men of Westernesse, buy Unfinished Tales. The information on the Dwarves is very interesting, but seems too little and slightly biased against them. Second, the narrative style of this book was a little too high and mighty/biblical for me. The similar names (Haldar, Haldir, Haldad, Haleth, Halmir, Handir, Hador, Hareth, Hathal, Hildor), the multiple names (Thingol is Sindacollo is Singollo is Elwe) and the lack of dialog (except in the notable stories of Luthien, Tuor, and Turin) all make this reading you have to really think about to like. However, this is still by far the best companion story to The Hobbit and LotR out there. If you are new to Middle- Earth and Tolkien, this is the order I would recomend reading the books in: The Hobbit, LotR, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, LotR, The Book of Lost Tales (1&2), The Shaping of Middle Earth, The Lays of Beleriand, LotR. This is great stuff, the best I have read, and I would recomend it all to almost anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not another LOTR, but fascinating, April 28 2002
By A Customer
THE SILMARILLION was Tolkien's first and last work of fiction. He began writing it during World War I as a way of providing a history for the "fairy languages" he had created. During his life he continued to refine these legends, but it wasn't published until his son Christopher Tolkien put together his notes after JRRT's death. Essentially, the Silm is like a Bible of Middle-Earth, recording its history from its creation through the epic conflicts of its First Age, thousands of years prior to the events in LOTR. Whereas that series was written like a standard close-quarter narrative novel, the Silm is written as though compiled from records and tales handed down over centuries - there is a feeling of distance and a lack of concrete detail. Despite that, many of the stories here are quite moving, including the massive battles of the Elves with the first Dark Lord (Morgoth) and the tale of Beren and Luthien, which is a prototype for the story of Aragorn and Arwen in LOTR. When the Silm is good, it's poetic and larger-than-life; when it's not so good, it reads like a history textbook. But this can definitely be an interesting book so long as one doesn't expect another book exactly like LOTR.
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Silmarillion
Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (Paperback - Dec 15 2008)
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