Dan's Reviews > The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Sep 14, 10


This book has already become one of my favorites. When all the "Lord of the Rings" movies came out, I picked up the first of the novels, but only got through the first hundred pages, finding the prose kinda flat and elementary, albeit well wrought. The voice of the Simarillion, however, is a much different animal. Strung with archaic verbs, biblical turns of phrase, and utterly epic in scope, this book reads more like scripture than fiction. And the story of "Beren and Luthiel" has got to be, hands down, the best story of star-crossed lovers I've ever read, seen, or heard about -- period. I wasn't surprised in the least to later find out that Tolkein and his wife's gravestones are inscribed with those names.

Critics might argue this is not a novel-proper, which I suppose is true. It's as much a novel as the Old Testament is. Also, the last chapter, which is actually a summary of the Lord of the Rings novels to follow, is clearly unfinished. That being said, however, I'm amazed I haven't heard more scholarly discussion of this book, which seems to me as thematically potent and rigorous a work of fiction as I've come across.

So yeah, I'm going to give the "Lord of the Rings" another shot.
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David Apparently the professor had his own wife in mind when he wrote about Lúthien.


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