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Paperback The Silmarillion Book

ISBN: 0618126988

ISBN13: 9780618126989

The Silmarillion

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Book Overview

A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, THE SILMARILLION is the core of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work whose origins stretch back to a time long before THE HOBBIT. Tolkien considered THE SILMARILLION his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. The story of the creation of the world...

Customer Reviews

3 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

awesome

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 A Lord of the Rings Review: 10 Obscure Facts That Only Diehard Fans Would Know
A Lord of the Rings Review: 10 Obscure Facts That Only Diehard Fans Would Know
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 11, 2022

We've been nerding out about Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings series premiering on September 22. So, we're reading everything we can about the history of these epic stories and we've learned some pretty interesting things. Here are ten little-known facts we've uncovered.

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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