march boutiques-francophones Unlimited cloud storage snsflyout Furniture Introducing Kindle Oasis Music Deals Store sports Tools Registry

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars348
4.5 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on June 5, 2011
The Silmarillion is not for the neophyte or faint of heart. It is the core of the mythological world created by Tolkien. In fact, Tolkien began this work well before he began to weave it into the more familiar Middle Earth of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He dispaired of its ever being published, and yet desired its publication more than any of his other works. It was not until LOTR achieved greatness that this could be released to an audience already demanding more of Hobbits and the Middle Earth.

Few but the most die hard fans are aware of the background of how Tolkien created this world. A philologist, (study of language development) Tolkien took the Elven language he had created as a young boy and teenager and determined that no language could truly develop without a corresponding mythology. The two were inseperable in his understanding.

The Silmarilian is that Mythology. It is a labor of love and one, while no doubt influenced by the Norse mythology and life long pursuit of Sir Gawain and the Green Dragon, as well as Beowulf, it is more than that. A work of genius by one of the greatest and most influential writers of the 20th century, it demonstrates the love and attention to detail that have set apart the works of Tolkien from all others in the Genre.

Buy it, read it and marvel at the creativity and machinations that most readers are introduced to in the narrative greats of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. You'll come to understand why those stories, monumental as they are, are only the tip of the iceberg waiting to be discovered.

After you've read the LOTR and Hobbit and other of Tolkien's smaller works, come to this work and when you've read it, you'll read the others again with greater understanding, appreciation and even a sense of awe that were not there the first time. You'll have the pleasure of reading these great books like you read them the first time!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
It's more than slightly staggering to consider: the epic fantasy "Lord of the Rings" to be the tail end of Tolkien's invented history. The "Bible" of Middle-Earth, the "Silmarillion" stretches from the beginning of time to the 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; the creation of Elves, Men, and Dwarves (hobbits are, I think, 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 demonic Morgoth and Sauron; 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; the Two Trees that made the sun and moon; and finally the quest of the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins.

Many old favorites will pop up over the course of the book, such as Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, and so on. Fans of Elves will find plenty to feed their hunger; fans of Hobbits or Dwarves will not find as much here. It will also answer some questions that "Hobbit" and LOTR may raise, when references to long-ago incidents and people are made -- what is Numenor? Who are the Valar? This includes those things, and much more.

The writing style of Silmarillion is more akin to the Eddas, the Bible, or the Mabinogian than to "Lord of the Rings." It's more formal and archaic in tone; Tolkien did not get as "into" the heads of his characters in Silmarillion as he did in LOTR, and there is no central character. Needless to say, this is necessary as a more in-depth approach would have taken centuries to write, let alone perfect. If readers can bypass the automatic dislike of more formal prose, they will find enchanting stories and a less evocative but very intriguing writing style. This style strongly leans on the Eddas, collections of story and song that were unearthed and translated long ago. Though obviously not as well-known as LOTR, it is clear that these collections helped influence the Silmarillion.

It's clear to see, while reading this, the extent of Tolkien's passion for his invented history. Someone who had a lack of enthusiasm could not have spent much of his adult life writing, revising, and polishing a history that never was. It's also almost frighteningly imaginative and real: It isn't too hard to imagine that these things could actually have happened. In a genre clogged with shallow sword'n'sorcery, Tolkien's coherent, carefully-written backstory is truly unique.

If you can take the formal prose and mythical style, this is a treasure, and a must-read for anyone who loved LOTR or "Hobbit." Only after reading "The Silmarillion" can readers truly appreciate Tolkien's literary accomplishments, and the full scope of the Middle-Earth that is glimpsed in his more famous books.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 2009
There have been complaints about this book being boring, dull, hard-to-get-through, etc. This book is obviously not for everyone, but no book ever is. To all who love 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings', be forwarned that this doesn't resemble them, meaning hobbits are entirely absent, which does take away from the story. However, we finally get to read those legend and tales which were so teasing and tantalizing to us in 'The Lord of the Rings'. We learn where Aragorn came from, the Witch-King, Sauron, Morgoth, Elrond, and many others. It is well worth the read! I for one, LOVED this book, and have read it over again, though not as many times as 'The Lord of the Rings'. I would say the most difficult part I found was the beginning, where the earth is created. For some reason I couldn't get into that, but as soon as it moves past that, the books becomes more alive. Oh, and another thing was all the names. There are a lot of Elvish names that begin with 'F', all related of course, and for me it was a bit hard to keep track of who was related to whom. Names such as 'Feanor', 'Fingolfin', 'Finarfin', 'Finwe'...etc. In the end I made a rough and hasty family tree, just to make sure I knew who actually was where in the universe! But all in all, this is a satisfying and wholesome work. I just wish Tolkien had more time to complete it!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
It's more than slightly staggering to consider: the epic fantasy "Lord of the Rings" to be the tail end of Tolkien's invented history. The "Bible" of Middle-Earth, the "Silmarillion" stretches from the beginning of time to the 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; the creation of Elves, Men, and Dwarves (hobbits are, I think, 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 demonic Morgoth and Sauron; 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; the Two Trees that made the sun and moon; and finally the quest of the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins.

Many old favorites will pop up over the course of the book, such as Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, and so on. Fans of Elves will find plenty to feed their hunger; fans of Hobbits or Dwarves will not find as much here. It will also answer some questions that "Hobbit" and LOTR may raise, when references to long-ago incidents and people are made -- what is Numenor? Who are the Valar? This includes those things, and much more.

The writing style of Silmarillion is more akin to the Eddas, the Bible, or the Mabinogian than to "Lord of the Rings." It's more formal and archaic in tone; Tolkien did not get as "into" the heads of his characters in Silmarillion as he did in LOTR, and there is no central character. Needless to say, this is necessary as a more in-depth approach would have taken centuries to write, let alone perfect. If readers can bypass the automatic dislike of more formal prose, they will find enchanting stories and a less evocative but very intriguing writing style. This style strongly leans on the Eddas, collections of story and song that were unearthed and translated long ago. Though obviously not as well-known as LOTR, it is clear that these collections helped influence the Silmarillion.

It's clear to see, while reading this, the extent of Tolkien's passion for his invented history. Someone who had a lack of enthusiasm could not have spent much of his adult life writing, revising, and polishing a history that never was. It's also almost frighteningly imaginative and real: It isn't too hard to imagine that these things could actually have happened. In a genre clogged with shallow sword'n'sorcery, Tolkien's coherent, carefully-written backstory is truly unique.

If you can take the formal prose and mythical style, this is a treasure, and a must-read for anyone who loved LOTR or "Hobbit." Only after reading "The Silmarillion" can readers truly appreciate Tolkien's literary accomplishments, and the full scope of the Middle-Earth that is glimpsed in his more famous books.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
It's more than slightly staggering to consider: the epic fantasy "Lord of the Rings" to be the tail end of Tolkien's invented history. The "Bible" of Middle-Earth, the "Silmarillion" stretches from the beginning of time to the 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; the creation of Elves, Men, and Dwarves (hobbits are, I think, 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 demonic Morgoth and Sauron; 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; the Two Trees that made the sun and moon; and finally the quest of the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins.

Many old favorites will pop up over the course of the book, such as Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, and so on. Fans of Elves will find plenty to feed their hunger; fans of Hobbits or Dwarves will not find as much here. It will also answer some questions that "Hobbit" and LOTR may raise, when references to long-ago incidents and people are made -- what is Numenor? Who are the Valar? This includes those things, and much more.

The writing style of Silmarillion is more akin to the Eddas, the Bible, or the Mabinogian than to "Lord of the Rings." It's more formal and archaic in tone; Tolkien did not get as "into" the heads of his characters in Silmarillion as he did in LOTR, and there is no central character. Needless to say, this is necessary as a more in-depth approach would have taken centuries to write, let alone perfect. If readers can bypass the automatic dislike of more formal prose, they will find enchanting stories and a less evocative but very intriguing writing style. This style strongly leans on the Eddas, collections of story and song that were unearthed and translated long ago. Though obviously not as well-known as LOTR, it is clear that these collections helped influence the Silmarillion.

It's clear to see, while reading this, the extent of Tolkien's passion for his invented history. Someone who had a lack of enthusiasm could not have spent much of his adult life writing, revising, and polishing a history that never was. It's also almost frighteningly imaginative and real: It isn't too hard to imagine that these things could actually have happened. In a genre clogged with shallow sword'n'sorcery, Tolkien's coherent, carefully-written backstory is truly unique.

If you can take the formal prose and mythical style, this is a treasure, and a must-read for anyone who loved LOTR or "Hobbit." Only after reading "The Silmarillion" can readers truly appreciate Tolkien's literary accomplishments, and the full scope of the Middle-Earth that is glimpsed in his more famous books.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon December 9, 2006
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon September 24, 2006
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon August 18, 2006
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 8, 2002
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

$7.55