The Silmarillion (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Silmarillion (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by J. R. R. Tolkien, Tolkien J. R. R.


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The Silmarillion (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite fiction book that I have ever read. If someone described it though it might not sound too interesting, there isn't really any singular central character throughout the book since it takes place over a very large span of years. It is the history of the world which Tolkien created right from the shaping of the earth. It is wonderfully written and contains one of the greatest tragedy stories I have ever written. I highly recommend picking up this book. The only trouble is there are a lot of names so it can be difficult remembering who is who but the glossary at the back helps a ton with this. I recently read it a second time and I think I loved it more than the first.
ncgraham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
J. R. R. Tolkien¿s epic The Silmarillion (published posthumously and edited by his son Christopher) tells not one story but many, and is divided into several sections. AINULINDALË narrates the creation of the world by Ilúvatar with the assistance of his servants the Valar, using the metaphor of music in much the same manner as Hebrew Scripture employs language. Also picturing the rebellion and fall of the Vala Melkor, this section contains some of the most beautiful and philosophical writing in the whole work. The VALAQUENTA details the characteristics, powers and dominions of the various Valar; it adds nothing in terms of plot to the volume but enriches one's understanding of these angelic/god-like beings. QUENTA SILMARILLION is both the longest section and the heart of the book. It focuses on the race of the Elves and the terrible doom laid upon them by the agency of those three powerful jewels, the Silmarils. Most of interest to me were the longer, more focused chapters involving individual characters and their often-tragic fates, e.g. everything involving Fëanor and the forging of the Silmarils, the tale of Beren and Luthién, and of Húrin and his son Túrin Turambar. With AKALLABÊTH, Tolkien turns his attention from the Elves to Men, specifically the noble Edain or Dúnedain and the destruction of their beloved island, Númenor. OF THE RINGS OF POWER AND THE THIRD AGE deals mostly with the events surrounding Tolkien¿s best-known works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but tells them from a very different perspective than either of the other books. Though I number Tolkien among my favorite authors, I approached this book with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, not having read any of his work since the release of the Peter Jackson films, and knowing that it had provoked extremely mixed reactions among Rings fans. However, the good reports were so overwhelming in their positivity that they won me over, and my estimation of my own abilities was high enough that I thought myself sufficiently prepared for anything Tolkien could dish out. Well, I finished it, but I can¿t say it was easy going, and I can see why it has aroused the disappointment and frustration of so many people over the years. Is it a stunning achievement? Yes. Is it a work of art? Perhaps. Is it a compelling piece of fiction? Well, it depends on whom you ask. I cannot think of anything like it among modern novels; indeed, the closest parallels that came to mind while reading were Old Testament histories and ancient mythologies. It is simply teeming with long, dogged exposition along the lines of who-bore-who and who-slew-who, and it all gets very old after a while. As I see it, the book has three primary strengths. First, the writing itself is beautiful, which is unsurprising for a linguist deeply concerned with the sound and meaning of words. Even when I was struggling through the lists of names, I found that if I read them aloud they simply tripped off my tongue. Secondly, there are some profound insights to be found within these pages; take almost all of Ainulindalë as an example: the description of Melkor¿s cacophony blending with the great melody of Ilúvatar to create a richer if more sorrowful tune makes for one of the best descriptions of the world¿s state that I have ever read. Last, and most obviously, there is the awe-inspiring world building. No one has ever¿and I mean ever¿created a fantasyland as rich and complex as Middle-Earth/Beleriand. Obviously this book is not for everyone. To whom, then, would I recommend it? In keeping with this review's theme of threes (inspired subconsciously, perhaps, by the Silmarils), I perceive The Silmarillion¿s intended audience as falling somewhere between the following groups: fans of The Lord of the Rings who would like some background, mythology buffs, and fantasy writers. I fall into at least two of the three categories, and in th
MissLizzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I started reading this one day during fall of '05, and could not put it down. I especially liked the first chapter, which detailed the creation of the world--I went back and read it over and over again. I've always enjoyed history, and this book is full with nothing but; it's the history of another time and place that was beautiful and wonderful, and is now gone. It makes me sad in a way, even though there was obviously no such thing as Middle Earth (or was there?).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago