The Silmarillion Hardcover – Nov 5 2007
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Although The Silmarillion takes place in the same imaginary world as J.J.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and was originally published four years after the author's death and over two decades after the former book, it is set much earlier, in the First Age of the World. The tales and the book which reads as a fusion between a story collection and historical chronicle, are a matter of legend even to the characters of The Lord of the Rings:
In the beginning Eru, the One, who in the Elvish tongue is named Ilúvatar, made the Ainur of his thought; and they made a great Music before himTolkien wrote the heart of this material very early in his career, and continued to work on it throughout his life. It fell to his son, Christopher Tolkien, to edit it into book form, and such proved the unquenchable public appetite that he subsequently oversaw 12 volumes of The History of Middle-Earth. This edition features 20 highly evocative colour plates by Ted Nasmith, themselves worth the price of admission, while reinforcing the sense of a historical work are genealogical tables, an extensive index, appendix and colour map. Far removed from the genial style of The Hobbit, this is Tolkien at his most formal, his prose austere, poetically beautiful, his storytelling capturing the epic scale, high drama and melancholy wonder of myth. These stories of elves and heroes and old gods are quite literally the foundation of the entire modern fantasy-publishing revival, and are therefore essential reading. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-The epic history of the elves, and the grand creation story of Tolkien's magical world.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the time of this Review I've not completely finished the book but I'm soon nearing the end starting it only a little while ago. From this you can definitely be assured this book is a page turner and beautifully written. This book contains several stories within the Middle-Earth mythos and is organized in four Parts 1) Ainulindale 2) Valaquenta 3) Akallabeth 4) of the Rings of Power and the Third Age. Within these sections we will learn of Eru (Illuvatar) and the creation of the earth, it's people and their histories, the Valar and the original dark lord, as well as the various histories in the ages of middle earth.
In terms of difficulty I would not recommend this book for a younger teen unless they are an avid reader and if you are just casual reader who's not interested in googling grammar structures and searching for words in the dictionary this book may not be best suited for you (but I'd still give it a try). There is much information given out at one time in certain points such as the naming of an entire lineage of elves in which the names become important later on in the book, so it does take some careful review or you might find yourself getting lost on who's who or where someone comes in during the stories. Another more complicated (but interesting) occurrence is that everything in the book has different names/references depending on who's account is given for instance the elves are known by various names such as Eldar, Quendi, Avari etc. each one denoting certain types of elves or simply just being known by a different name, in which case if you're not careful you might miss the references or become confused.Read more ›
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.
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. All of these languages (which would have taken a life-time to develop on their own) had their own history, and are so interlocked with the mythology that you cannot remove them.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
What Tolkien has achieved is nothing short of mythology. When people talk about "fantasy" and include his name, I have to object. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Not really a clear book and its easy to tell it was put together from notes but still a solid read for a lotrs fan.Published 2 months ago by Harley
I love this story even more than LOTR, it's more complete and there is more fantasy. I read it 3 times and counting!Published 4 months ago by Mathieu Morin