The Silmarillion is a slog.

I’ve been trying to finish it for three years now and at this point its basically moved from an ‘intellectual experience’ into a ‘for honor’ category. I’m this close to DNF’ing it. Honestly, gave me biblical Genesis vibes. Yes, I know, very interesting stuff but I just can’t get past the prose. With the LOTR and The Hobbit, character dev and plot kind of pushed me along but lord give me strength with the encyclopedic format.

What2do? Please advise or at least lets discuss so I feel a little bit towards this book lmao

Edit// mayhaps this thread should be moved to the Classic SF and F category? Mods feel free to move it if its in the wrong section.

I would suggest reading the second age material first. It is a much shorter section and will be more familiar to third age readers. Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle Earth can be a very helpful summary of the first age to make the rest of the writing more understandable.

One thing about the Sil is the more you read it, the more you like it. Sometimes it will take a few times to kick in.
 
I would suggest reading the second age material first. It is a much shorter section and will be more familiar to third age readers. Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle Earth can be a very helpful summary of the first age to make the rest of the writing more understandable.

One thing about the Sil is the more you read it, the more you like it. Sometimes it will take a few times to kick in.
It also helps if you have a print out/copy of the genealogies next to you as you read and write all the different names that each character uses under their name in the chronology.
 
It feels less like a novel to me, and more like one of those "Tales from Greek Mythology" -type books. And like real mythology, the stories from the Silmarillion have got into my mind in a way that is curiously detatched from the rather fusty prose I first read them in.
 
I read it when it first came out and was disappointed. Re-read it many years later and liked it much better. One has to remember that little of it is final draft material. There are more satisfying versions of some of the stories in the HoME books.
 
Let me get this straight.

You think "The Silmarillion" is a slog.

What did you think about his other works?

Presumably you raced through them in a couple of hours!
 
If one is traveling on a fascinating journey what is the use of racing through it? I read The Lord of the Rings in a few days, and when it was over, I wished it had lasted longer.

Some of his other works, like The Hobbit, Farmer Giles, Smith of Wootton Major, are actually quite short. I seem to remember reading Farmer Giles in less than a day and then immediately rereading it since I enjoyed it so much the first time.
 
Let me get this straight.

You think "The Silmarillion" is a slog.

What did you think about his other works?

Presumably you raced through them in a couple of hours!
That is a bit unfair. The Silmarillion enchants some people but leaves others cold. It is not as accessible for most as The Hobbit, or LOTR or the Father Christmas letters. I think that is reality, and it is not a test on which to judge someone.
 
That is a bit unfair. The Silmarillion enchants some people but leaves others cold. It is not as accessible for most as The Hobbit, or LOTR or the Father Christmas letters. I think that is reality, and it is not a test on which to judge someone.
A I think you misunderstood (possibly)

I wasn't having ago at the Silmarillion.

It's the durge of a read the ring books make I was having a go at.

All three could be condensed to a 70,000 book IMO. Something the size of the Hobbit would be possible if a decent editor had got hold of it prior to it's release.

But they were different times back then when paper was cheap and ink even cheaper and books could be sent all over the world for the cost of a thre'peny stamp.;)
 
A I think you misunderstood (possibly)

I wasn't having ago at the Silmarillion.

It's the durge of a read the ring books make I was having a go at.

All three could be condensed to a 70,000 book IMO. Something the size of the Hobbit would be possible if a decent editor had got hold of it prior to it's release.

But they were different times back then when paper was cheap and ink even cheaper and books could be sent all over the world for the cost of a thre'peny stamp.;)

Ive always believed that Tolkien should have turned it and into an epic like LOTR.
 
@leorising I couldn't even manage LOTR, so.... ;)

But I understand the urge to want to be a 'completist'. I'm a big Stephen King fan but I will never read The Stand again, nor Under the Dome, and there are a few of his stories I won't even touch (mostly the pyschological horrors like Misery, the Kennedy Assasination one, or the serial killer series (Mr Mercedes?)). It's hard only inasmuch as far as my self-appointed targets go and since I got a Kindle, I now find it far easier to give up on books I'm not enjoying.

Present company excluded, the only person I know who's read the Silmarillion is my sister. I think it's a bit deep if you're not a superfan.
 
Ive always believed that Tolkien should have turned it and into an epic like LOTR.


It's a wonder that it was ever published at all, probably only down the strength of Tolkien's name on it. I'm not sure that Tolkien would have ever wanted it publishing in the format that it was.

If you've read LOTR and The Hobbit and want more, then this is the best that there is. It's really more of a more detailed appendage than a story.
 
Actually................ no. One of the reasons LOTR was published in three volumes was the high cost of paper and typesetting at the time (paper because it still wasn't that long after WWII).

Damn you BunnyNoggin! I was going to post that.

Anyway, I recall being very fond of the Silmarillion, but it's not an easy book in the slightest. Nothing wrong in not finishing it.
 
@HareBrain

So, not because of the near 1200 pages if it was all in one lump? Not to mention the weight, that it would be almost impossible to read the first and last inch of odd/even pages, or that the spine would split every time it was opened.

Man walks into a bar and picks up the spittoon and bets the barman he can swallow the contents all in one go.

"Not before you read the Lord of the Rings before you die of boredom," says the barman. :)

Don't get me wrong. I read LOTR when I was younger (carefully skipping lots of dump) and I enjoyed it, but would it be published today in the same length/format?
 
So, not because of the near 1200 pages if it was all in one lump? Not to mention the weight, that it would be almost impossible to read the first and last inch of odd/even pages, or that the spine would split every time it was opened.
You are describing problems that arise in mass market paperbacks, because of the way the pages are glued together. Trade paperbacks (those are the large format kind) and hardcovers don't have those problems, because of the way they are bound. To be sure, holding a heavy book can be hard on the reader if they haven't developed their wrists through years of reading heavy tomes, but those other problems you cite, no.

I have a number of books on my shelves—dictionaries, thesauruses (thesauri?) and other reference works—and some of them are much longer than 1200 pages and still in good shape after years of use. Would that the same could be said for me.
 
I will add that in my opinion what makes the Silmarillion a difficult read is that it is TOO SHORT, since many of the stories, as I mentioned much earlier, are not final drafts. Nothing is more boring than something that reads like an outline.
 

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