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Has anyone read The Silmarillion? 

I'm a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy...curious as to what your opinions are of The Silmarillion?
 

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I have The Silmarillion.

I've never read it all the way through. It's very complex. I'd say it's worth owning if you collect Tolkein, but it's not really a "sit down and read it" book. It provides a lot of backstory to the rest, but it isn't an easy read.
 

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You need to be a serious Tolkien fan to get through The Silmarillion. I read it twice. Loved it. I also picked up The Children of Húrin (and loved it), but I read LOTR like twelve times, so my perspective might be a little biased. :)
 

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As a novel it pretty much sucks. But as a fictional cultural colledction it is priceless. It definitely has to be read in the context of the LOTR as I feel that series serves as the touchstone for all the rest of Tolkiens works. It does work better if aproached as a series of short segments rather than a complete work, though if you can juggle all the places and names in your head it works either way..
 

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If you've really enjoyed Tolkien's LotR give it a try.

Just know beforehand that the language is archaic and the read sometimes difficult.

Why do it then?

Because you'll discover abridged tales as amazing as the LotR, but from Middle Earth's first two ages. Just take your time with it, read the tales one at a time. The work is on a scale that is almost biblical.

The Silmarillion is a read you take gently, it's not a page turner.  
 

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The Silmarillion is my favourite book.  Ever.

Some people find it dry, but the sheer scope of the history and theme of it is brilliant.

Then again some people don't think I'm exactly normal..
 

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I've read it twice.  It is very dry in places, other parts are very good.  I probably won't re-read it in future LOTR re-reads--at least not for many years.

The overarching story of the silmarils etc. is very interesting, but it's told in more of a history book/bible type of fashion so it's a much denser and dryer read than LOTR.  So  I'd say it's really only for major LOTR fans who basically want to read a history book about middle earth full of creation stores, legends etc.
 

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Challenging is a good  word for this.  I slogged through it once years ago, and I was glad I read it, but I was also glad to be finished with it and I can't imagine reading it again. LOTR, on the other hand, I've read several times.
 

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Only for the diehard fans.  I found some bits interesting, but couldn't finish it, just petered out in my effort to read it.

A friend who completed it suggested approaching it as a history book, rather than a novel.
 

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Patrick Skelton said:
Has anyone read The Silmarillion?

I'm a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy...curious as to what your opinions are of The Silmarillion?
The Simarillion is an abridged collection of Tolkien's notes ideas, and so forth, developed while writing his story. They were compiled by his son. It contains a lot of the back story and world history that is only hinted at in The Lord of the Rings, and it is a fascinating look into the mind of one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. If you like Middle Earth, and want to know more of it's history the Simarillion is worth reading, but don't expect it to be an easy read. It's more of a loose quasi-historical-mythological expose.
 

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  It's all in the eye of the beholder of course, but as you can see by every post so far in answer to your question, there's not much variance with this one.  If you absolutely loved LotR, you'll probably find this at least interesting, maybe love it.  Also, you don't really have to read all of it to get something from it.  Or you can read it over time in small bites.  Have you ever read Ovid's "Metamorphoses?"  It's kind of like that. 
 

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Patrick Skelton said:
I'm a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy...curious as to what your opinions are of The Silmarillion?
The Silmarillion is very different from LOTR. In truth, it's different from almost any other book of fiction you will ever read. The closest thing I've ever read to it is Robert Graves' The Greek Myths.

The Silmarillion was written as a concordance of myth. It was meant to be a sort of "source text" for other works, much like the Greek Myths or Arthurian Myths have been the "source text" for a wide variety of other works. (Tolkien's goal was to create a true mythology for England.) Because it wasn't written as a novel or even as a collection of short stories, its narrative functions in ways that can be very strange in their unfamiliarity.

But, with all that being said, I recommend it highly. There are incredibly potent stories within those pages.

Here's my other suggestion: Read it aloud. Savor the words. It's the most poetic prose I've ever read.
 

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Another suggestions: Try for an illustrated editon.

Ted Nasmith's art is very complimentary. I don't know about the kindle edition, but there are DTB editons that have the colour art included. The art works to soothe in contrast to the archaic text.
 

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Justin Alexander said:
The Silmarillion is very different from LOTR. In truth, it's different from almost any other book of fiction you will ever read. The closest thing I've ever read to it is Robert Graves' The Greek Myths.

The Silmarillion was written as a concordance of myth. It was meant to be a sort of "source text" for other works, much like the Greek Myths or Arthurian Myths have been the "source text" for a wide variety of other works. (Tolkien's goal was to create a true mythology for England.) Because it wasn't written as a novel or even as a collection of short stories, its narrative functions in ways that can be very strange in their unfamiliarity.

But, with all that being said, I recommend it highly. There are incredibly potent stories within those pages.

Here's my other suggestion: Read it aloud. Savor the words. It's the most poetic prose I've ever read.
Seconded in full.
The Silmarillion was the second book I read in the original English (I had already read it in Italian) and I fell in love with the prose from the first page.

It's not a novel, it was not meant to be one and it shouldn't approached (IMO) thinking of it as one. It is a compilation of myths and history of the first two ages so readers expecting a cohesive whole or an easy read are bound to be disappointed.

I'm of the kind that reads the Poetic Edda, the Kalevala and the Iliad for fun, it may tell you something...
 

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I loved it.  Then again, I enjoy the Appendices from LOTR, and I think most readers skip that part.
 

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I've read (and own) both the Silmarillion and Hurin, and enjoyed both.

They are pretty heavy / dense. Almost like reading the Bible. It's mostly top-heavy narration. Very little dialog or character development.

But if you really love LotR and Tolkien's world, these other books fill in tons of back story, which I for one found really interesting.
 

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I love The Lord of the Rings and so I read The Silmarillion.  It is good although very sad.  The Children of Hurin is also worth reading if you like The Silmarillion.
 
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