Included on the recording 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 Numenor 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.
Have you listened to Volume 1 of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion?
©1977 George Allen and Unwin (Publishers) Ltd; (P)2001 HarperCollins UK
Mind-bending, Enlightening, Soul-Searching
The Bible. I believe Tolkien designed the book to mimic the Bible since he was setting up the stage of another possible realm from which we could see ourselves w/o the constraints & prejudices of orthodox religions of this world.
Simply to be able to properly pronounce names & breathe breath into the characters w/o being bogged down by having to take each name by syllable. He frees the listener from the technicalities of pronunciation.
The book drew me into another world & held me captive. My emotions followed me through every peril the characters experienced.
I have read this book more then ones and it is wonderful to have names and things I have no ide how to pronouns. But the one thing I discovered that was a problem was I lacked the family tree and I read the differences of the names but it is some times is hard to hear. Witch leads to my only problem whit this preferments is that the reader is not always concise about names and he dos not have a clear speech.
"A Must Read"
One of the best book I have listened to. From simple things such as the background music to each sentence, there is just the right emphasis and strength. If you love Tolkien, mythology, history, fantasy- this is the book for you - It is difficult to believe that this gifted writer could create a complete new world, which someone can relate to as if it exists in reality. I am a big fan of Lord of the rings but in my view, this book surpasses the brilliance of LOTR - or at the least provide strong context, base for LOTR to stand on. Definitely worthwhile.
For those who appreciate Tolkien's writings, this audiobook version of The Silmarillion compliments and relays the story in a very pleasing way.
Although it's sometimes hard to follow, I really enjoyed hearing a fuller history Tolkiens World!
"Not worth two credits"
I tried at least 6 times to finish the written book without success and then had the idea that I could manage it by listening to the audio book. I still hope to but I can't get over the po faced prose and wooden delivery of Martin Shaw. I know it is a deeply imagined and coherent synthetic legend and deserves a round of applause for its breath and depth. But as a good read it lacks narrative flow and is a humour graveyard.
In fairness to the narrator, the book itself reads like a museum curators script which has to influence his delivery. I wished I had the book's appendices to hand to follow the family trees and bloodlines, plus the Beleriand map to work out who was where and protecting whose flank. All very confusing when trying to listen as opposed to reading. Perhaps if Audible could append these as PDFs to the download that I could open on my phone or IPod?
All these though pale against the rip off of making it two credits to complete the full book. Another case of taxing Tolkien fans. It is not value for money and I would therefore not recommend the investment for any but the most die hard, or cash rich, Tolkien fans.
"30 years after first reading it got better"
I really enjoyed a second go at this book. I read it first as a teenager. Listening to it as an adult 30 years later I half rememberd much of it. However, the story was so rich and detailed that there was much I had forgotten. Perhaps my middle-aged status helped me understand the themes of loss a little better than when I first encountered it in my teenage years in the 1980s.
The audiobook was nicely read - and it was great to hear many of the names and words from Tolkien's invented languages pronounced.
I read somewhere that Tolkien was disappointed that the Silmarilion was never published in his lifetime. So I guess he too would have been pleased to listen to this audiobook.
"Hard work even for the ardent Tolkien fan"
Martin Shaw deserves a medal for doing this.
The Silmarillion is the work of a genius. It's a tough but rewarding read but I'm not sure it's a perfect fit with an audio format.
As you can imagine, names and places are thrown at the reader like confetti and at times it is virtually impossible to remember if we're meeting a new character or an old one under a different name.
Some of the stories are brilliant and memorable - others are footnotes and too complicated to be enjoyable.
If you are a Tolkien fiend then this is a must, if you enjoyed the movies but haven't read the book, give this one a miss.
"Not a Novel but brilliant"
Don't get this expecting a novel - you'll be disappointed. It is more like a oral-history, semi-reference resource for many of the events that have happened in the ages of world of Tolkien prior to the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - even the creation of the world and the warring of the gods prior to the existence of any other life. There are only two parts that come close to a fully coherent story and those are the tale of Beren and Luthien and the tale of Hurin and his son Turin (now expanded and published as a novel in its own right). It's fantastic if you're curious about the world beyond The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and even lends a good deal more shades to both. It's just not novelistic in style.
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