Harrow, Greater London, UK | Member Since 2003
For lovers of Middle Earth this is the seminal work which collates many of Tolkein's 'lost tales' into a whole. It is a historical account, from the creation of the world on through the arrival of the elves, ents, men and dwarves on earth. It follows the the story of the Silmarils, gems of unsurpassing beauty, and the first rise of Sauron in ages long before Bilbo Baggins sets off on his adventures.
It is written in a biblical style and encompasses many, many characters, some of whom have names similar to others. The listener should also be aware that some characters may have several names which can make it a little confusing and difficult to follow.
It is rich with stories of creation and death, war, beauty, envy, love and enmity and most are told only in brief, as though you were reading these accounts from scrolls held in the Great Library of Minas Tirith.
For those who have read both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and who search for more, The Silmarillion gives depth and context to the stories we know and love. In this spoken form, beautifully read by Martin Shaw, it is most easily absorbed and enjoyed.
I'm an avid reader of Robin Hobb's work and a love the development of this story and the possibilities that lie ahead.
It fits in perfectly to the other books in the series
Although typically teenaged and angsty, Thymara has the most to gain if only she finds it in herself to rise above her own poor expectations of herself.
Selden's plight and the sheer dehumanisation of him. It is not hard to see parallels from our own history.
I like the book, there was little chance of me not doing so, however, it felt too much like half a book. Almost everything seemed to be in progress without anything really substantial happening. A book between books perhaps?
On the whole an enjoyable enough read but one thing bugged me no end, the never ending self doubt of the lead character. I get it, I do, but the teenage angst thing went on and on and got annoyingly repetitive. I felt it interfered with the pace of the book. The narrator is good but she has a slow delivery which fails to pick up speed and energy when the action gets going.
It is classic genre material and good enough in its class.
I felt as though this was a book I should have read years ago and regretted that I did not.
Like many others who have reviewed this book, I also enjoyed Enders Game but took up Speaker for the Dead with no preconceived ideas. The first part of this novel is rightly spent setting up the rest and, since the story that follows is based on the characters experiences and the emotions that arise because of them, they form the important foundation for the rest of the novel. In other words it contextualises it.
If you want another Enders Game, then it is not the same. It is richer, deeper and slower to build. It requires a reader with empathy, a little patience and an open mind.
I will not nitpick the science but it was written a while ago and our collective understanding and expectations have changed in the interim. I do believe, however, that eventually technological development will plateau as we discover all the technology that will serve us and it will remain somewhat similar until something changes to cause the next great cycle of advancement.
It touched me and it made me think which is all I can ask of any book.
The attention to detail that has gone into this book is amazing and although the archaeologists continue to update the sequences of events at the time it stands up soundly in its ability to take you to that place and time and wrap you in its atmosphere.
My only critisism is of the reader, a slightly off kind of British English which to an English ear is slightly irritating, e.g. herbs should be pronounced with an "h", officer is not awfficer, etc. His delivery is more that of someone reading a diary than a novel and there is little change of pace irrespective of the excitement of the events unfolding.
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