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Hardcover The Silmarillion Book

ISBN: 0395939461

ISBN13: 9780395939468

The Silmarillion

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

The background to the entire Lord of the Rings epic, and the world of middle-earth. The Silmarillion is Tolkien's first book and his last, the core of his imaginative work that underlies all his writings about Middle-earth. Here are the legends of the Elder Days, the central stories that give meaning to the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tolkien began The Silmarillion in 1917 and worked on it, changed it, and continued it throughout...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Tolkien's true life work, ultimately unfinished though it is

In the Tolkien canon, THE SILMARILLION is the most highly contested of all his works. Constructed as a prehistoric history of the Universe, the book has the cultural significance of the Bible in Tolkien's universe. It is Tolkien's primary work, but it's also his most troublesome, in more ways than one. One thing you need to know. In Tolkien scholarship, there are two primary ways to refer to the "Silmarillion". One is the Silmarillion, the legendarium proper, and then the 1977 SILMARILLION, which may or may not be what Tolkien envisioned. 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. He developed the main body of legends around these languages. Many features of the central body of legends changed relatively little over the years, but he wrote different versions of them at different times and in different styles. Some of the legends were set in poetry, those in annalistic histories, others in condensed summaries, and others in the more traditional (at least, for modern readers) novel format. A lot of these writings are also unfinished, due to Tolkien's perfectionist tendencies. Christopher Tolkien said that for most of his father's writing there existed a stable tradition from which Tolkien worked from, but there was no such thing as a stable text for the primary legends. All this is tied to how Tolkien worked. C. S. Lewis famously stated that you did not influence Tolkien, you may as well as try to influence a bandersnatch. Tolkien would either take no notice of your criticism, or else he would start all over from the beginning. And so he did. A lot. Tolkien would reach a certain portion of the draft, be unsatisfied, and began the whole thing over again, while never reaching the end. Or Tolkien would have two copies of the same manuscript, one to be

The Epic Tales of Middle Earth - On CD !

The Silmarillion is a epic tale of the first three ages of Middle Earth, before the domination of men. It lays the groundwork for the Lord of the Rings trilogy with an intricate series of tales of love, betrayal, and magic. Chief among these stories is the rise and fall of Melkor and curse of the Silmarils, the priceless jewels that cause nothing but woe to all who wish to possess them. However, the most memorable story is probably the love story of Beren and Luthian, in which love tries to conquer insurmountable odds to survive.The CD version is an excellent way to become acquainted with the Silmarillion. The Silmarillion is not an easy book to read; the prose is sometimes terse, the names of characters confusing, and the story occasionally at odds with itself. The narrator, Martin Shaw, does an admirable job pronouncing all of the names of beings and places consistently. If you you've enjoyed the other Tolkien tales, and craved more about the worlds hinted about in the songs of their heros, the Silmarillion is the place to begin. If you've already read the Silmarillion, and want another approach, the CD version is a viable option.


The story of "The lord of the Rings" is spectacular,because it took me to a whole other world where I felt I was in the adventure myself.I believe this is one of the best books I have ever read.

Both Tolkien and Martin Shaw shine in this audio edition

A long-time Tolkien fan, I have always enjoyed The Silmarillion, though it's never been my favourite. Martin Shaw's reading may just change that! Hearing Mr Shaw's rendering of Tolkien's prose is a truly magical experience. I enjoyed his reading of The Hobbit, but this text is much more moving. Mr Shaw manages both the high linguistic style and the Elvish words with dignity and makes the text come alive in a way that is simply amazing. (We can only hope that Mr Shaw has plans for The Lord of the Rings.) The decision of the publisher to release the text unabridged is also very welcome -- the mythic style and scope of the book demand that every story in it be told, and it is well worth the cumulative price of the volumes.

The Silmarillion Mentions in Our Blog

The Silmarillion in Are You Afraid of Big Bad Books?
Are You Afraid of Big Bad Books?
Published by Bianca Smith • March 26, 2018

Big books have fabulous stories, but are intimidating to start. Here are some tips to help you read big books.

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