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Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for Tolkien fans (especially those who like Elves!), 14 Feb. 2002
This review is from: The Silmarillion Gift Pack (Boxed Set) (Hardcover)
This was my Christmas treat, and I'm extremely glad that I received it. Just to work on what some other people have said in their reviews as regards 'The Silmarillion' itself: it's highly recommended that you read both 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' before you try this, unless you have the kind of reading tastes that mean that the Bible and Old English tales are the top of your list. The language is delightful if you like this sort of thing, and especially if you are interested in the Elves of Middle-earth (be warned that there's not many Men & no Hobbits in these tales!), but if you are looking for your first slice of Tolkienian literature, I wouldn't start here. If you are unsure, then you can read some samples of the beginning of the book at Tolkien.co.uk.
As a recently revitalised fan of 'LotR', this is my first copy of 'The Silmarillion', and it is worth every penny. The book itself is actually smaller than I had imagined, at around the size of a normal paperback, but the cover is minimalistic and tasteful. The delights of this particular edition, though, are the bits and pieces that come with the book: the Map of Beleriand (which is the size of your average Ordinance Survey Map and wonderfully illustrated!), small poster of the heraldic devices, postcard of Taniquetil, and - of course - the CD of Christopher Tolkien reading the tale of Beren and Lúthien. The CD alone is worth half the price of the gift pack.
The new edition of the book comes complete with an edited version of a famous letter from Tolkien to a gentleman who had asked for a "brief sketch of [his] stuff". The resulting 40 or so pages have been cut down for this version, but can be read in more detail in 'The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien'. It is a magnificent summary of Middle-earth, its history and its peoples, and serves as a brilliant introduction.
This pack is for those who are still intrigued about Middle-earth following 'LotR', and who want something extra special. This set will be proudly adorning the front of my bookshelf for many years to come.
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