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 Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor.
Included in the book are several shorter works. The Ainulindale is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. The Akallabeth recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Númenor at the end of the Second Age and Of the Rings of Power tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings.
‘How, given little over half a century of work, did one man become the creative equivalent of a people?’ The Guardian
‘Demanding to be compared with English mythologies… at times rises to the greatness of true myth’ Financial Times
‘A creation of singular beauty… magnificent in its best moments’ Washington Post
‘A grim, tragic, brooding and beautiful book, shot through with heroism and hope… its power is almost that of mysticism’
Toronto Globe & Mail
About the author
J R R Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold many millions of copies world wide.
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I’ve read the book 7 or 8 times and listened to this audio presentation countless times now. I waited and searched for this for a few years and was so pleased to see it available here on iTunes. Martin Shaw’s narration is fantastic and added depth to my understanding of this work as a whole. Creation, fantasy, imagination, adventure and sorrow abound in this great literary work. I highly recommend to any fan or to any first time readers. I can not express how amazingly deep and thorough this collection of tales is, and how gracefully it covers countless years and ages of time. This dwarfs LOTR & The Hobbit in my humble opinion.
Not sure what the one reviewer means that it is not a complete work. All this skips is the Foreword, the Preface to the edition, the Letter from Tolkien, the glossary and the “maps” etc. It begins at the beginning and I have followed along in the book while listening. It is complete as far as I can tell.
One of the BIG BOYS!!!!!
Growing up I watch The Lord of the Rings movies and read The Hobbit and absolutely love them. But I never bothered to read the books or much less The Silmarillion. But yet I knew these books were considered of high praise and reverence in literature. Yet I still never heeded to read them. I did most of my reading in school and most of the books they made us read were all boring to me with the exception “Of Mice and Men”. I also noticed that modern literature was very prevalent and popular in my school, but these books were mostly for entertainment rather than trying to provoke thought, imagination or challenging a readers worldview. I even started to grow a liking to them myself until my father counseled me say that these books were of not the same mind as the books of the Inklings (C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Charles Williams) or of the books of old. Arrogantly I still did not read the books but acknowledged what my father said to be true, since he’s very wise and knowledgeable in literature himself. Though now he would claim that at my current stature of 20yrs that I surpassed him at that age. Though I see it not. After High School I went to Bootcamp at 18yrs old, I endured many struggles in my training, but much maturity was wrought throughout that time. So much so after completion of my training I yearned for the knowledge of Academics, Literature, Science, Philosophy and apologetics concerning all of creation rather than just wasting my time with foolish games of youth. So I engulfed myself in reading of Gods word and of the fictional stories he inspired the inklings to write and bring forth. I finally decided to read The Chronicles of Narnia and was shaken to my core, for I witnessed the Kings and Queens of Adam and Eve in Narnia , and other kingdoms such as Calormen, Archenland, Wild Lands of the North, the Underground Kingdoms of Narnia, and of Aslans Country that rests outside the confines of that world. I witnessed the creation of Narnia through song and the destruction of it by time. I was overwhelmed and received it gladly. I wondered through it all that this story was meant for children to experience yet was challenging for even the most mature of men and women. If this is so then what of JRR Tolkien and his stories of middle earth I thought after. So I readied myself and set out mentally for The Lord Of The Rings and was astounded by what I saw and read in thought. For I witnessed the dominions of elves, dwarves, and of men. But also the quest of destroying the one ring that corrupted all who had it. The adventures were perilous and yet enchanting. With all of it concluding to an ending that is forever beautiful. After the completion of The Lord of the Rings I desired to read The Silmarillion all the more. Considering that It was the telling of the beginnings of middle earth, I had no prior knowledge except for the Appendix at the end of The Return of The King, which of I still had unanswered questions concerning the history of middle earth. So I read and listened to The Silmarillion and was dumbfounded, for it was extraordinary . For It’s a fictional magical Genesis of middle earth where stories of God, Origins, Divine Races, Hero’s (Elves,Dwarves,Men), Enemies and monsters, Battles and Wars, Tragedies, Romances, and God’s Sovereignty are on full display in a singular compelling dance of Thought, Imagination and Beauty. That all interweaves into The Lord of The Rings and leads to a conclusion of the world that’s just awe inspiring, that I haven’t witnessed since The Magicians Nephew and The Last Battle in Narnia. The Silmarillion shook me to my core utterly and challenges my worldview still even today. It’s definitely A BIG BOY book. I rank stories that I’ve read or watch in 3 categories, The Big Boys, which are stories that are Compelling and Challenging to a reader, that provoke thought and imagination but reap great reward in the end to the reader or watcher, the stories that are in The Big Boys Category are (The Chronicles Of Narnia, C.S. Lewis The Space Trilogy, The Hobbit, The Lord Of the Rings, and The Silmarillion). The rank below The Big Boys is The Masterpieces, which are made up of One Piece, Marvel and DC comics. These stories can be compelling but not nearly as challenging as the big boys, these stories have great messages and ethics to teach and can be read or watched by anyone. Then the rank below is just everything else, these stories are dumb fun or are very dull and uninspiring. The Silmarillion is a fantasy story like no other, written by an author who loved God and literature, and peers whose stories will be remembered forever by I and by history until the changing of the world. When all of creation will finally be at peace with the Creator and his Son, whose kingdom will reign forever, and takes all those who followed him beyond the confines of the world and into the distant stars of the twilight sky back home, where all is beyond tale, beyond legend, beyond song.
finrod has my entire heart.