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Author Topic: The Silmarillion  (Read 1312 times)
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ATB
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« on: September 10, 2008, 01:39:29 PM »

On vacation, I'm working through The Silmarillion by Tolkien.  I'm a recent fan of the novels (I first read through them after seeing the first film) and I have to say that this work is as comprehensively epic as the Rings trilogy and the way that it sets the stage for those events is incredible.

Any fan of Tolkien who hasn't read these should immediately.  The prose is every bit as beautiful as his later works and seeing even glimpses of the prominent characters of the trilogy makes it a fascinating and compelling read and should be elevated to the status of the Hobbit/LOTR trilogy in importance and wonder.

I'm about 100 pages in and it has been just grand.
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Shinjin
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 02:26:14 PM »

Got about half-way through it myself, but just couldn't finish it.  It just read like a grocery list to me.
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kratz
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 03:06:45 PM »

I've read it... it's rough going.  I say this in a non-snarky way, but your bible experience probably helps you enjoy it, because I thought it felt a lot like reading the bible.

There is definitely gold in there, and well worth having read it just in terms of the payoff you experience when reading LOTR and getting all of those obscure references, but I wouldn't say it's for everyone... or even for most.  It took me quite a while to get through it... but it is pretty cool.
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kadnod
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 03:31:26 PM »

The first time I tried to read this, it was painful.  Then I tried again a few years later, after seeing the movies and having re-read the books, and something just clicked.  Much more enjoyable the second time around.

I liked The Children of Hurin, too.  It's depressing, but I guess it's supposed to be.
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 03:43:58 PM »

I couldn't get into The Silmarillion (and I've read the Bible too, Kratz smile ), but I keep wanting to try because there's so much flavor there.  Every time I pick it, I just get lost.
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Zero
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008, 05:29:11 PM »

I just finished reading this a second time last month.  I kept going to the back for the definition and references...as I got lost a lot on who the characters were.  Its a great story if you have the patience, but yeah - it took me a while to finish it.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2008, 06:21:26 PM »

Reading Lord of the Rings was enough of him for me. Ill stick to RA Salvatore's work.
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mytocles
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008, 06:31:20 PM »

I've read The LOR trilogy and The Hobbit more times than I should probably admit.  First time was when my older brother turned me on to them, and about every 5 years after I'd read them again.  I'm not even sure I won't re-read them someday, lol.

There was another book relating to LOR - a title popped into my head, so maybe that is it:  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil... was that a book or am I making that up?  I do remember it had a front cover with a Rip Van Winkle looking character on it. I believe I read that more than once, but not five times, lol.

I'm afraid that the Silmarillion just kept putting me to sleep every time I tried it.  Now you have me wondering if I have a copy of it still...  icon_confused
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Mytocles (MY-toe-cleez)

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Zero
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2008, 07:26:47 PM »

Quote from: mytocles on September 10, 2008, 06:31:20 PM

There was another book relating to LOR - a title popped into my head, so maybe that is it:  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil... was that a book or am I making that up?  I do remember it had a front cover with a Rip Van Winkle looking character on it. I believe I read that more than once, but not five times, lol.

That book is out of print now - worth about $100.  Its a good story.  If anyone wants to read it, look for "The Tolkien Reader" - which is a collection of 3 or so short stories and includes the Adventures of Tom Bombadil.  Tom's an interesting character that he put in Middle Earth - if I remember right, he didn't exactly fit in the story (in terms of the LOR world).
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mikeg
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2008, 09:59:13 PM »

I too tried reading it and could never get through it.  Had my copy on my shelf for decades and finally dumped it knowing I would never read it.   I have even tried to go back and reread the LOTR and his prose is too...I don't know....old english I guess.  At 16 when I read it the first time it was life altering and is my fondest memory EVER of reading a book....Hell, probably my fondest memory ever.

But now that I am older and have read many many more authors I just can't get into his work.  Obviously, I have changed to where I just don't want to 'work' to read any more.  The only authors I click with anymore, and there are very very few, are those who prose just flows through my brain as if I thought up the words myself.  Any others I give em a few chapters and drop them if it ain't working and pick up another book.  I just don't have time to struggle through a book anymore at this stage in my life. 

Much like games that I get stuck in. 
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Kurt Stevens
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 12:35:58 AM »

Quote from: Shinjin on September 10, 2008, 02:26:14 PM

Got about half-way through it myself, but just couldn't finish it.  It just read like a grocery list to me.

Same here. I love the Hobbit and the trilogy but could never get into this. I have The Children of Hurin in my backlog next to my nightstand but haven't tried to tackle it yet.
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mytocles
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 04:21:47 PM »

Quote from: Zero on September 10, 2008, 07:26:47 PM

Quote from: mytocles on September 10, 2008, 06:31:20 PM

There was another book relating to LOR - a title popped into my head, so maybe that is it:  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil... was that a book or am I making that up?  I do remember it had a front cover with a Rip Van Winkle looking character on it. I believe I read that more than once, but not five times, lol.

That book is out of print now - worth about $100.  Its a good story.  If anyone wants to read it, look for "The Tolkien Reader" - which is a collection of 3 or so short stories and includes the Adventures of Tom Bombadil.  Tom's an interesting character that he put in Middle Earth - if I remember right, he didn't exactly fit in the story (in terms of the LOR world).

Thanks, Zero - now I won't have to tear my house apart looking through crawlspaces and cellar shelves.  $100 would be nice, but I know what I'd say to myself: "If it's worth $100 now, think what it will be worth in a few more years!"

Of course, now I find myself thinking, hmmm, I'd really like to read those stories again.  Sigh...  icon_neutral
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Redfive
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2008, 05:00:18 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on September 10, 2008, 06:21:26 PM

Reading Lord of the Rings was enough of him for me. Ill stick to RA Salvatore's work.

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ATB
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2008, 06:17:59 PM »

I'm 251 pages in and the story is excellent. Yes, there are passages that are lists of names, but they do serve to push the narrative.  The scale and immensity and power of the first born and the first of the second born are wonderful to behold.  It seems that the great powers of Gandalf's time pale mightily to those who reigned at Middle Earth's start.

Also, reading about Sauron back in the day is neat...and the fact that he is a 'just' a great commander of the greater evil is even neater.

Lastly, you hit it right on the head Kratz.  As I've been reading I've totally seen biblical parallels to the narrative and prose.
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BEEFHAMMA
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 04:29:14 AM »

I am curious as to what Tolkien's life was like. How was he able to keep Middle Earth separate from reality, or was he not able? The complexity of Middle Earth and its inhabitants is mind boggling. How's the vaca??
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 06:34:48 AM »

I loved The Silmarillion but I read it over 20 years ago.  I hope I'd have the patience to enjoy it as much now as I did then.
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