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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2001
I read 'The Lord of the Rings' and was so taken with it that when a friend recommended 'The Silmarillion' I immediately bought it (this new version just being released).
The book does do what it says; it is a complete history of middle-earth, from creation to the end of the 3rd age. Unfortunately I found that the appendices are absolutely necessary as the constant introductions of names of people, places and items meant constantly checking who was who and where on the map they were.
It is, without doubt, a very complete history of middle earth but as a historical document almost it is written as such. It is dry and reference like at best and droll and over complicated at worst.
Buy this if you wish to know everything about middle-earth. Avoid it if you are looking for anything nearing a fiction styled story.
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on 27 August 2014
the history of creation according to tolkien is completely and utterly fantastic!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 1999
Simply... if you have ever been interested in mythology, legend, or how we create stories of explanation for our world, then this is a modern example of how they evolve. Tolkein has taken all human yearnings and given it a story which, like a Biblical saga, includes all the philological elements of a modern relgion. He not only shows us how our beliefs have evolved from a storytelling and iconic past, but shows us that imagination and idealism can create an alternative to that which exists in our current literature and society. On top of which, if you pick it up in the first place, you'll find it is a brilliant book anyway!
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on 25 May 2015
takes some reading but fills in a lot of the blanks from The lord of the Rings.
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on 6 April 2015
not perfect condition, but for second-hand and a good price, we can't complain!
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on 6 July 2011
Incredible read. I recommend this to anyone who would like to witness mastery.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have to confess, I didn't manage to make it through this book until my third attempt, though I'm glad I did! It's certainly not an easy read but will appeal to those who love reading classics and ancient mythology, as well as those who have read Lord of the Rings and want to know more about what makes middle earth tick.
This is not, in any way, in writing style like a novel, but instead more like classics or even the old testament, and is hard work to get through. But if you think it might suit you, give it a go and you'll discover some very beautiful writing.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2003
Possibly the most beautiful book ever written?
Certainly the most beautiful I have ever read. The language is amazing; tragedy, war, love and death on an epic scale are sketched into being with simple and powerful words that will never let you forget.
A difficult read at first - it took me many years of putting it off before I finally took the plunge and stuck with it - but the effort of reading will be rewarded a thousand times and you will find yourself re-reading and re-reading.
This is Professor Tolkien's greatest work, his life work, and any fan of Tolkien owes it to him, and to themselves, to read this magnificent work. You will never regrert it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2000
This is not an easy book to start: I didn't read it properly until my third attempt. However, once you get past the rather dull beginning (though even that has its good points) it's a beautiful story that's well worth the effort. If you're looking for detailed character studies or fast-paced action, don't bother. Although dramatic things do happen, they are generally described in a brief and detached manner. I give it five stars for the poetic beauty of the language, and the overwhelming sense of tragedy and loss, which moved me to tears many times.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2007
I wish to state here, briefly but earnestly, that this is the most important and impressive book I've read since, say, The Bible, Dante's Divine Comedy, the Aenid and, of course, Lord of the Rings, but this surpasses LOTR in some respects; a work of such profound and imponderable insights, I find it impossible to believe that there does not lie some universal educational motive, and, fantastic as it may be, a marvellous connection to some real, subconsciously remembered, prehistoric conditions and events on this planet behind presenting it to mankind.
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