The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)
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The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  98,579 ratings  ·  3,612 reviews
Designed to take fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings deeper into the myths and legends of Middle-Earth, The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The S...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1977)
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Catch-22 by Joseph HellerThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienUlysses by James JoyceMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleHoly Bible by Anonymous
The Most Begun "Read but Unfinished" (Initiated) book ever
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Gundula
May 20, 2012 Gundula rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: serious fans of Middle Earth
I had tried to read The Silmarillion multiple times in the past and had basically given up, but I finally realised that I was attempting to read this book the wrong way; I was trying to read The Silmarillion like I read and reread LOTR, as a story, an epic story of course, but still a story. Now, while The Silmarillion is partially a story, it is (at least for me) first and foremost a religious type document, a biblical, mythological account of the Elder Days of Middle Earth. So this time, I rea...more
The Crimson Fucker
Ever since I joined GR I’ve been putting off the writing of this book’s review… but since I’m high as fuck on cold medicine I feel like I can do it so here suffer thru it!:


Along long time ago a little 3rd world kid with an afro became fascinated of what he read on the internet about some British writer named Tolkien… he wanted his books… it became his obsession… so he embarked on a quest to find his books and read the shit out of them… but alas! The book was no where to be found on his dumb litt...more
Manny
How To Build A Truly Convincing Fantasy World

1. It's all about the language. Make sure your world's language is convincing, and you're pretty much there. Conversely, if your language sucks then everything else will.

2. Your book can't include more than a few sentences in your invented language without losing your audience. But it can include plenty of names. So what people will really judge you on is the quality of the names.

The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other...more
Szplug
Sauron was become now a sorceror of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.
Ah, Sauron, Maia of Aulë—beyond doubt the singularly most enthralling antagonist whom I encountered as a young reader, possessing all of the malevolence and dark charisma and naked power of Satan, but unhobbled by the multi-aspectual morphology of Christian theology and popular c...more
Forrest
Though I had many near-misses with The Silmarillion throughout the years (having been introduced to Tolkien's universe by discovering The Hobbit in my school's library in 5th grade), I finally slogged my way through it during the summer after my sophomore year of college. The first two years of my undergraduate degree were rather gruelling, and I wanted, more than anything else at that time, to just read a bunch of books I wasn't required to read. After making my way through The Complete Sherloc...more
Francis
The first fantasy book I ever read and still my all-time favorite. That said, it's not for everybody. It's been compared to the Old Testament, and that's still the best analogy; if you think that Moses leading his people out of Egypt is the stuff of grand drama, then this is the book for you, Tolkien fan or not. If you don't, then you probably ought to give The Silmarillion a pass, no matter how much you liked Tolkien's other work. This is not Lord of the Rings Plus; it's quite literally the Old...more
Jonathan

In my humble opinion, The Silmarillion is the greatest work Tolkien almost finished. It is by far more difficult to read than The Lord of the Rings (which I already expressed my love for earlier in the year after completing my re-read) or The Hobbit but its greatness is found in the way it mixes together epic fantasy, mythology and linguistics to create a grand tale of creation and destruction.

Part of what I love so much about Tolkien's entire Middle Earth story is that there is a cycle as to ho...more
Chad Warner
Mar 04, 2014 Chad Warner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Recommended to Chad by: Adam Boch
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I love this book more each time I read it. Full of tales of the history and cultures of Middle-Earth, it tells its own engaging legends, and also adds depth to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion contains greater good, darker evil, fiercer rivalries, and vaster armies than those books. Tolkien, a Christian, included many parallels to Christian theology, including themes such as God’s sovereign plan, the consequences of pride, the Fall, divine judgement, and good and evil.

The...more
Carly
A lot of people complain about the complexity of this book, but I think they just need to grow up and/or learn how to read more effectively.

I found it to be one of the best books I have ever read. The back story it provided to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books was highly entertaining, and the style of writing was so beautiful it could have been poetry.

I highly recommend it to anyone that can take something a little more complex, but if you are a less advanced reader you might want to st...more
Elf
This book was probably not the way to be introduced to the LotR world. I'd never seen any of the animated movies. The new movies hadn't come out yet. I'd never even picked up any of the books. Then this book was assigned as part of the course I was taking.

The prolgue about the creation of the world was beautiful and amazing. And it fooled me into think the rest of the book would be just as good.

Parts of it read like the Bible. "And so-and-so begot so-and-so. And so-and-so..."

The rest of it was...more
Peter Meredith
Warning, this book is for Tolkien junkies only. It is not for casual readers of Tolkien... not--the Hobbit was kinda fun, wasn't Bilbo cute--sort of readers. In fact I believe it might be prerequisite that in order to enjoy The Silmarillion, one must have read The Lord of the Rings a minimum of three times. I am one such dedicated dweeb so I love it.
Jake
The Silmarillion is one of those books that I’ve meant to read for years, literally. It is, according to some, the book that separates casual Lord of the Rings fans from truly hard-core Tolkien lovers. My first girlfriend confessed to preferring the Silmarillion over the Lord of the Rings, which she was unable to finish.
[info:]murpheyslaw likewise holds that the Silmarillion is the preferable work, being more true to Tolkien’s desire to create an epic that the Lord of the Rings is. Or something...more
sj
It's not really a review, more of an extra long recap (way spoiler heavy) links to each post are here.
Heavy Spoilers below.

Look. Here's the deal with The Silmarillion.

If you're not a huge Tolkien nerd, you're probably going to throw your hands up in disgust, swearing and tearing your hair out after the first two pages.
Even if you are a huge Tolkien nerd, if you generally skip past the songs in LotR and the Hobbit or can't handle creation myths - you will probably end up like the people in the...more
Kristalia
Final rating: ★★★★★★/★★★★★



So, i finally finished Silmarillion. I thought it would take me longer than 5 days, but i have never been so wrong. What had driven me to read this was the movie adaptation of Hobbit, and since i have never read anything of Tolkien before, i decided to do it now :D. I am glad i did, because this book is epic - really epic and amazing.

The history of Middle Earth was full of tragic stories and tragic families, and especially tragic love stories. Most of them ended trag...more
Terence
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
I first read The Silmarillion when I was young and foolish -- well, perhaps not, but definitely young and unprepared for it. I come back armed with a better knowledge of how to approach it. It isn't a story in the same way as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are. It's closer to the myths that so fascinated Tolkien, closer to Norse sagas and the Old English Beowulf. It helped to see it in that way, to approach it in the same way as I would a Norse saga -- and I can't help but think that Tolkien w...more
Paul Callister
Sep 12, 2007 Paul Callister rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Tolkien thought this was his greatest work, and I agree. In it he develops not characters but millennia of history and an entire cosmology as well as some very touch individual stories (love stories really). The Simmarillion is really an acquired taste, but so worth the effort and so deep.
Werner
Mar 21, 2014 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Tolkien fans; fans of mythology and ancient/medieval epics
Recommended to Werner by: My wife, as a Christmas present
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
For once, the Goodreads description of this book, and the breakdown of its constituent parts, is quite accurate. It may not sufficiently convey the fact, though, that what Tolkien wrote in an array of handwritten notebooks, going back as far as 1917, while it lays out the basic back-story of his Middle Earth fictional world, is not a simple linear narrative that duplicates the one we have here. Instead, the author wrote many variants of the central tales, some longer and some shorter, with thema...more
Brandon Pearce
May 18, 2008 Brandon Pearce rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone over the age of 14
Shelves: inkling
A must read for any Tolkien fan. This one lays out the foundations of Tolkien's amazing world. Here are a few thougths on Tolkien's theory and purposes.
When Owen Barfield read poetry, he would at times come across a passage which would impress him very strongly. It would cause what he called a “felt change of consciousness”. As he began to make an in depth inquiry into this phenomenon, it grew into an epistomology: a theory of knowledge, and meaning. Barfield was a member of the inklings and a...more
Stefan
Let me start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my overall experience with The Silmarillion. So, you might ask, why not give it a perfect rating? Hopefully, I can explain that in the rest of this review.

The Silmarillion is a beautifully written book. It is actually a collection of several works of J.R.R. Tolkien edited and combined into one book by his son, Christopher, and published posthumously. The five works combined in this book are Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, Akallab...more
Jason Koivu
The Silmarillion reads like a foreign language history book. In the modern sense, it is plotless. There is no single narrative with a main character to fall in love with or a satisfying conclusion. This is the history of Middle Earth. You've been warned.

Therefore this is easily argued as being for hardcore Tolkien fans only. If you are absolutely in love with the world the author created and wish to immerse yourself entirely in it, put everything down and read The Silmarillion! All others shoul...more
Christopher H.
I originally read The Silmarillion shortly after it was first published in 1977, and while I remember enjoying it, I don't remember being terribly impressed. Clearly, I am a different reader now than I was then. This is an amazing book on so many levels, and I actually believe that I have read it at just the perfect time in my life. First, I have always enjoyed Tolkien-the-poet, and this extensive mythology that he has created with The Silmarillion just sheds ever so much light on his poetic inf...more
Terry
I’m somewhat dubious of my ability to review this work, but I’m going to do my best. _The Silmarillion_ is the work of Tolkien’s most often viewed with apprehension by readers and, I think, the one most unjustly maligned. It has the reputation of being the most difficult of his published works and I guess this is not without reason, though I think it is often a position based more on preconceptions than due to the inherent value of the work itself.

I’ve read _The Silmarillion_ many times prior t...more
Peter
I read J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in 1976 and have prized it above all since then, yet I didn't finish reading the Silmarillion until 2007, 30 years after having received the first edition as a gift from my freshman English professor.

All that I valued about LOTR was multiplied tenfold by Tolkien's history of the creation if Eà, and early ages of Arda, the world in which Middle-earth exists. If you read the Lord of the Rings and particularly enjoy the sense of history that Tolkien convey...more
Robert Beveridge
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (Ballantine, 1977)

In the sixties, something changed. Perhaps Mother Church realized that people were turning away from her; perhaps a cadre of teachers decided the younger generation needed to get in touch with its cultural roots; whatever. We ended up with a course in either the religion, literature, or both departments at many universities: The Bible As Literature. Seems they decided that the definition of "literature" (as it all too often is) is "something t...more
El
This is one of those books that I'm sort of surprised I never read sooner. Like back in the day when I was reading The Lord of the Rings, or later when I went to see the movies in the theater (multiple times), or even later when I owned the movies (both the fancy extended versions and the regular versions, viewed multiple times). I think Tolkien did alright for himself, but my experience with his writing has gone only so far as The Lord of the Rings. Then again, I'm not a huge reader of fantasy,...more
St-Michel
Now this is my favourite book by Tolkien. LOTR is incredible, but in my opinion, the war of the ring just doesn't hold up to the stories inside The Silmarillion. The heroes inside these pages are so much more mythic, audacious and awe-inspiring than those of the latter age. In the grand scheme of Tolkien's regime, this IS Middle Earth.
Basically, what LOTR did for me for reading in general, this book did the same for the fantasy genre. This is the book that really opened my eyes to not only the f...more
Evan Leach
Unlike The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion is not a typical fantasy story. Covering thousands of years, the Silmarillion tells the story of Tolkien’s universe from its creation to the end of The Return of the King. This is both the history and the mythology behind Middle Earth, told in a high (or baroque) style that will endear it to some readers, while putting others to sleep.

img: Silmarillion 1

The trick to the Silmarillion is to approach it as the author intended. If you're looking for a novel...more
michael spencer harmon
Sep 24, 2007 michael spencer harmon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: those who are fans of: Mythology, Epic, and/or Fantasy (in that order).
9/18: It appears I am through one-third. The book is dense, and its nature is to make one want to pay as close attention as is possible. So far, I am impressed with the skill for continuance and weaving Tolkien possesses here. It is indeed something for those lovers of fantasy, or myth, or high olden language, but it does in fact reveal characters to whom the reader may attach and not realize it until the story turns in some unforeseen emotional way. The intricacy with which Tolkien also gives p...more
Zorena
Sep 14, 2013 Zorena rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Middle Earth Residents
This was a hard read even the second time through it. I think this may require a third time through and as I love to learn about my favourite world I'm willing. I'll admit the first part of the book reminds me of the bible's 'begats' but later as you hear more familiar names you begin to appreciate the detail.

The first mention of Sauron gave me chills and learning his history and Galadriel's are well worth the read alone. I just wish there had been more detail about all the lost rings that go u...more
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  • The History Of Middle Earth Index
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  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • A Tolkien Bestiary
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo
  • Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • The Journeys Of Frodo
  • Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings
  • The Tolkien Companion
  • A Muralha de Gelo (As Crónicas de Gelo e Fogo, #2)
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #3)
  • The Other Wind (Earthsea Cycle, #6)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect of Middle Earth
  • A Gateway to Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
656983
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet,WWI veteran (British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English language and literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a cl...more
More about J.R.R. Tolkien...
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe) The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

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“It is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen.” 100 likes
“Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.” 63 likes
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