View from this book:
I started reading The Silmarillion while spending Christmas of ’12 in Whitefish, MT, and finished it on New Year’s Eve at my grandma’s house as part of the NYE Read-a-thon. Now, I’m going to be a cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater and also count this as a part of the 2013 Telling Tales Challenge, because although I finished this book at 8pm Pacific Time on 12/31/2012, it was already 2013 all the way from Newfoundland to Kamchatka. So there. Defy that logic.
Really, though, I just want to make sure I have a review posted to include in January’s link-up of the Telling Tales Challenge, because I’m not sure I’ll get to any other fairy tale/mythology reads for the rest of the month.
The Silmarillion recounts the epic mythology of Middle Earth, describing the creation of the world, documenting the early adventures and hardships of the Elves, and telling how Men, Dwarves, Orcs, and other creatures came to be. Many of these events are referred to in Lord of the Rings and it’s thrilling to explore the richness of Tolkein’s realization of Middle Earth.
As I was reading The Silmarillion on the train back from Whitefish after Christmas, my seatmate made the comment, “That’s the capital of nerddom right there,” giving a respectful chin-nod to the tome. (At least, I’ll choose to interpret his comment as respectful. I proudly wear the badge of nerddom, but It’s not like I speak Elvish – I doff my hat to those wonderful nerds that do. The closest I’ll get is as a student of linguistics: I absolutely loved the appendices where Tolkein outlined the etymologies of the two varieties of Elvish he invented. In related news: here’s my homage to The Return of the King.)
The S. is fairly nerdy, and I really wouldn’t recommend it as an introduction to Tolkeindom, but if you’ve read (or watched) both The Hobbit and the LOTR and are a fan, step right up. The S. is beautiful, well-crafted, and thought-provoking: picture the playfulness of The Hobbit having a baby with the elegance of The Silmarillion, and producing a well-balanced Lord of the Rings. The H. is the parent that reads you bedtime stories and takes you sledding, and The S. is the serious parent that rules the fate of the world.
Go read it! 8 out of 10.