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The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  140,039 Ratings  ·  4,984 Reviews
The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this 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 three Silmarils were jewels created by Fëanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the T ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 15th 1977)
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Radu I think you should read them like Hobbit -> LOTR -> Silm -> Children of Hurin -> UT and HOME. It isn't the "chronological order" but it…moreI think you should read them like Hobbit -> LOTR -> Silm -> Children of Hurin -> UT and HOME. It isn't the "chronological order" but it eases you into the world in the best way. Reading Silmarillion or Chilren first and then Hobbit sort of feels weird since those are some very grim books while Hobbit is more relaxed(less)
Dylan I read the Silimarillion when I was your age, and I enjoyed it. It's not complex, it's just somewhat dry and historical in the style of writing.…moreI read the Silimarillion when I was your age, and I enjoyed it. It's not complex, it's just somewhat dry and historical in the style of writing. Imagine that the Hobbit and LOTR were written by hobbits in the Shire, but Silmarillion was written by elves in Rivendell. It is concerned with the kinds of things that the elves would be concerned with, and is written in their formal, archaic and somewhat sad style. If you enjoy the appendixes at the end of LOTR, then you will enjoy the Silmarillion.(less)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
14th out of 2,584 books — 18,695 voters
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
10th out of 1,866 books — 10,760 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manybooks
Feb 21, 2016 Manybooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious fans of Middle Earth
I had tried to read this book multiple times in the past and had basically given up, but I finally realised that I was attempting to read it the wrong way; I was trying to read The Silmarillion like I have read and reread LOTR, as a story, an epic story of course, but still a story. Now, while The Silmarillion is of course 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 re ...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
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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 available elsewhere (the location cannot be g
...more
Markus
Buddy re-read with Shii!

I’ve been contemplating whether or not to tackle the challenge of actually reviewing this masterpiece for quite some time now. In the end, after having finished reading it for the second time, I realised that I should at least throw out my thoughts on it. So here we go…

This is in my eyes the most impressive book ever written.

Notice how I did not say “best”. That was completely intentional. I do not believe it is the best book ever written, even though I know others think
...more
Szplug
May 10, 2011 Szplug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Forrest
Aug 24, 2012 Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 12, 2007 Francis rated it it was amazing
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
این کتاب، نخستین و آخرین کتاب تالکین است، داستان دوران نخست از جهان خیال تالکین، «درام کهنی» که شخصیتهای «ارباب حلقه ها» نیز، رگ و ریشه ی خود را در آن میتوانند بیابند. برخی دیگر از نام آشنایان «ارباب حلقه ها» همچون «الروند» و «گالادریل» نیز از قهرمانان بخشی از یک داستان کوچکش هستند. برای فهمیدنش شاید همیین کتاب را، بیش از ده بار خوانده باشم. انگار پیر شده ام، اما هربار که خوانده ام، نکته ای بر دانسته های پیشینم از جهان خیالی که ایشان برساخته، افزون گشته است. دایر
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Shii
Buddy-read with Markus!

Is this book really that hard to read?
No, if you take it the right way. This books was not written to make readers like an specific plot twist or character. No! This book is solely the recompilation of various tales that happened in the world where The Lord of the Rings was settled in, from the beautifully written Ainülindale and the creation of Eä, to the end of the Third Age and the Fading Years.
That being said, you'll understand that it's not odd at all to find chapters
...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
Scarlet Cameo
Apr 18, 2016 Scarlet Cameo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rc-16
"En el principio Eru, que en la lengua élfica es llamado Ilúvatar, hizo a los Ainur de su pensamiento; y ellos hicieron una Gran Música delante de él. En esta música empezó el mundo

Continuándo con la aventura de leer completo el Legendarium de Tolkien llega "El Simarillion", la clase de libro sobre el que no tengo idea de como hablar ¿Cómo juzgas la obra de una vida? ¿Cómo hablas de la manera que tiene Tolkien de explotar y dar tantos matices a su tema recurrente (a.k.a. la obsesión)? ¿De que
...more
Inge
Jan 30, 2015 Inge rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with TL and Mason.

DNF 19%

I may pick this up at a later time, but for now, I'm giving up on it. I've given Tolkien more than a fair try - I've read the entire trilogy as well as The Hobbit. And while I love Middle Earth (the bigass spiders not so much), I think it's safe to say his story-telling is not for me.
Peter Meredith
Mar 16, 2012 Peter Meredith rated it it was amazing
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.
Jelena
May 08, 2016 Jelena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To me, “The Silmarillion” is the crown jewel of Tolkien’s work – the silmaril, if you will.

I knew the basic themes long before I started the book, and after “The Lord of the Rings” I also knew that “The Silmarillion” would be what I had been waiting for. The concept was not only radically new in its time, but is still unique in any given time-frame: a made-up cosmogony and mythology (well, it always is) of a made-up world, inhabited of made-up peoples, made-up history, made-up languages etc. Ev
...more
sj
Dec 19, 2012 sj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Elf
Jul 02, 2007 Elf rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristalia
Final rating: 6/5 stars

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 tragicall
...more
Chad Warner
Aug 15, 2015 Chad Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Recommended to Chad by: Adam Boch
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
Gypsy
واو بالآخره تموم شد! واقعاً توصیه میکنم هیچوخ تو امتحاناتون کتابای قطور و سنگین نخونین! هم عذاب وجدان ِ امتحان هس، هم اینکتاب ِ طفل ِ معصوم.

خب از قبل هم میدونستم با چیز پیچیدهای طرفم. و بهخصوص که یهبار سوم راهنمایی شروعش کردم و بعد پونزده تا بیسصفحه بهفوبیای تالکین و الخصوص سیلماریلیون دچار شدم، گذاشتمش کنار تــــــــــــــا حالا که بهخاطر توصیه و علاقه یکی از دوستام رفتم سراغش. الحق خیلی عظیمه؛ ینی بخش آخرش که در مورد حلقههای قدرت و ایناس، شما نیگا کنین چطوری شده حاصل ِ ارباب ِ حلقهها؛ در حالیک
...more
Wayne Barrett
Apr 02, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it it was amazing

I love this book.

A a teen in the late 70's I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy and to this day they stand as my all time favorite story ever. I've read them, read them to my children and reread them to my self several times.

Many times I have heard people say that the one thing that bothered them most about LOTR is all the names, places and history mentioned that they do not understand. That is one of the reasons why I love The Silmarillion so much. Even though it is not usually
...more
Terence
Jan 01, 2009 Terence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carly
Nov 21, 2008 Carly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Daniel Ionson
Sil remains my all-time favorite story. Many find it dry and antiquated. I understand what they are saying, but I see it in the light of being Tolkien's true treasure-trove without any of the "bridge-building anachronisms" of LotR.

This is the core mythology of his creation, and it generates the truest feeling of the Faerie Realm above all others.

[Note- for those who are set to read it for the first time, I encourage you to get Children of Hurin and hold onto it. Sil covers the tales of Hurin/T
...more
Laila
Aug 18, 2015 Laila rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Bir adam dusunun yaratilistan sonrasini oya gibi ilmek ilmek islesin duslerinize...

iste o adamTolkien!

Baslangicta karakter coklugundan kurgunun icine girmekte zorlanabilirsiniz. Ama bir kere dalinca sayfalarin nasil aktigini anlamiyor insan.

Luthiel ve Beren'li kisimlarda yasadigim huzun, Melian'in durusuna duydugum saygi, bazen beni kizdirsa da Thingol'un karakterindeki guce saygi duydum okurken. En cok da Tolkien'in zekasina...

ilerleyen zamanlarda bir daha okurum dedigim cok az kitap var. Ama
...more
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
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Werner
Jul 01, 2014 Werner rated it really liked it
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
Note, July 1, 2014: I edited this review just now to correct a typo; I'd written "Gondor" when I meant "Gondolin" in one place. (Pretty big geographical and chronological difference, despite the similar spellings!)

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-st
...more
Wanda
3.5 stars

Reading this volume had the same feel for me as reading the Old Testament—it is the background material for a whole system of thought. I guess that reveals my religious leanings—Middle Earth is where I hope my spirit goes when I die. But seriously, reading this historical background document to Middle Earth reminded me very much of a summer when I was a teenager when I decided to read through the whole Bible, with the thought that if I could understand the whole thing I might find somet
...more
Denisse
Jan 21, 2015 Denisse rated it it was amazing
:')
A fantastical fantasy book. No. THE FANTASTICAL FANTASY BOOK.
You can't describe a work of a lifetime. You just can't. Because that's what MIDDLE EARTH is. A LIFETIME WORK. No one can compete with that.
Any Tolkien fan needs to read this. Is just beyond words.



"...en medio del llanto resplandece la alegría, y a la sombra de la muerte hay una luz que resiste..."


:'D


WOW! después de leer tantos libros, uno cree que ya nada te puede sorprender, El Silmarillion es OTRA COSA! es punto y aparte. Ad
...more
Stefan Yates
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
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
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Around the Year i...: The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien 1 9 May 21, 2016 09:44AM  
J.R.R. Tolkien Ep...: Chapters 7-12 1 2 May 15, 2016 12:55PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Merge entries 3 12 May 05, 2016 10:14AM  
J.R.R. Tolkien Ep...: The Silmarillion 4 5 Apr 24, 2016 10:39PM  
Fairy Tales Eclectic: The Silmarillion by J.R. R. Tolkien 14 14 Apr 01, 2016 08:59AM  
Fairy Tales Eclectic: Buddy Reading of Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien 55 24 Apr 01, 2016 08:56AM  
J.R.R. Tolkien Ep...: Forward, Preface, Ainulindalë, and Valaquenta 1 7 Mar 31, 2016 11:01AM  
  • A Tolkien Bestiary
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth
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  • O Mar de Ferro (As Crónicas de Gelo e Fogo, #8)
  • Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings
  • Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy
  • The Fortress of the Pearl (Elric #8)
  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
  • The Guns of Avalon (The Chronicles of Amber #2)
  • The Place of the Lion
  • The Tolkien Companion
  • Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
  • The Complete Chronicles of Conan
  • The King of Elfland's Daughter
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, 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 lan
...more
More about J.R.R. Tolkien...

Other Books in the Series

Middle-Earth Universe (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Hobbit
  • 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)
  • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
  • The Children of Húrin
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)
  • The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth, #3)
  • The Shaping of Middle-Earth (The History of Middle-earth, #4)

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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.” 191 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.” 124 likes
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