When You Need More Tolkien in Your Life You Read the Simarillion

simarillionWell hello! So I have to admit I’m being a bit lousy with comments and such at the moment (I blame the heat and Wimbledon and *insert a ton of other lame excuses here*). But don’t worry- I will get on top of it! Eventually… But until then, I wanted to share more Tolkien love!

And since I’m confessing things, it took me *years* to read this book. When I first started it, I was definitely too young- my memory of reading this was divided between the vivid parts that gave me nightmares and the not so exciting bits that sent me to sleep (aka the reason I DNF’d it over ten years ago).

Now when I picked it up recently, I was surprised to find it completely absorbing and really enjoyable. Unnntil I got to the bit where my bookmark had been resting for all that time I wasn’t reading it and I realised my eleven year old self was not as misguided as I thought. In fact, I was tempted to DNF it at *exactly* the same point. Unfortunately, I have to say it went off the boil in a couple of the middle chapters. However, not so long after that it picked up tremendously with the story of Beren and Luthien- and boy was I glad I had the maturity to not give up on it this time round!

I think it’s safe to say I ended up getting a lot out of it in the end. What I loved most about this book was that it was very much in the style of the Old Testament- that religiosity rang strangely true for me and gave the whole story a compelling sense of awe.

I also really appreciated how the thread of the song motif was woven into the entire plot and how it all tied together at the end. The tremendous scope of the story was truly terrific and I would recommend it for that alone.

And if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings and want to know more about Sauron and Middle Earth, then this is definitely the book for you!

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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So are you a Lord of the Rings fan? Have you read this? Let me know in the comments below!

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32 thoughts on “When You Need More Tolkien in Your Life You Read the Simarillion

  1. Krysta says:

    I love The Silmarillion! Maybe a little more than LotR. I think sadly, however, that many people don’t make it past the creation of the world so they never get to the awesomeness that is Beren and Luthien.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Joelendil says:

    I DNF’ed this the first time I tried to read it too, but now I like it every bit as much as LOTR… I think it requires some life experience to appreciate.

    My copy is all color-coded to keep track of which division of elves and men each character comes from (interesting result: Aragorn has the blood of all 3 lines of Eldar and all 3 houses of men).

    My favorite quote that I think sums up a lot of Tolkien’s worldview is from the conversation of the Valar after the elves have departed:
    “…Manwe wept and bowed his head. But at the last word of Feanor: that at least the Noldor should do deeds to live in song forever, he raised his head, as one that hears a voice far off, and he said: ‘So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been.’ But Mandos said: ‘and yet remain evil…'”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Matthew Wright says:

    I have the original hardback edition of the Silmarillion but have to admit it is very heavy going. Largely because of the styling. As I understand it Tolkien never stopped tinkering and on his death his son collated The Most Finished Bits of the book to produce the volume we know and wade through. Its been on my DNF list for ages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      oh cool! And yes, I definitely agree with you there. Yeah that was one of my huge contentions with it- it’s not finished and it’s not entirely by JRR Tolkien. That said, I just needed to know more about Tolkien and luckily discovered it was well worth the wade through!

      Like

  4. R.K. Lander says:

    The Silmarilion Is a test of endurance I think. The first part of the book I would describe as one, humungous prologue. IF you can get to the story proper, then you’ve past the test and will cross the finish line. After the prologue that is not a prologue, it is epic and wonderful, the kind of read you will never forget. Strange no one has made a movie yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. LizScanlon says:

    It sounds by your review and other comments that this book presents a challenge to amots everyone? One of those ‘put yourself to a test as a reader’ thing? I haven’t read Silmarillion ( of course I haven’t, uncultured as I am!) 😀 but one to keep an eye on for the future for myself… I shall keep this review and comments in mind 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah I’m really glad I wasn’t alone in this!! Yeah I didn’t even think of it as a challenge overall, cos all the people that I knew had read it never seemed to have a problem with it, like I had. I just thought of it as a test for me, cos I discovered my old copy when I went hunting for my copy of the Hobbit and thought I should probably give it another go! But yeah, if you end up falling for the Hobbit, give it a go one day 😀 I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna @MyBookishDream says:

    I haven’t actually read The Silmarillion yet! It’s a book that I have wanted to read for years, but I have heard from many people that it’s boring and that they couldn’t finish it – so that has been putting me off quiet a bit. I do hope to read it some time in the future, it’s just not a priority for me at the moment! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zezee says:

    I’ve actually tried to read this one years ago but couldn’t get into it. I think back then I was looking more for writing/story similar to The Hobbit but Simarillion was too dry to keep my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

    Believe it or not I haven’t read this one yet, despite being a LOTR fan… I guess I always got the impression it would be a boring suchandsuch-begat-suchandsuch style history of Middle Earth with no real story to it (I think I might have been put off by some of the extra historical notes at the end of The Return to the King). But recently a few people have told me that it’s actually worth reading, and now you’ve reviewed it positively too I think I’ll have to give it a go! Thanks for the warning about the stagnating middle bit though, I’ll know to push through 🙂

    Btw that’s hilarious you wanted to stop at the exact same place as your eleven-year-old self did!

    Liked by 1 person

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