The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 16,995 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 14 hours and 49 minutes
Author J. R. R. Tolkien
Narrator Martin Shaw
Whispersync for Voice Ready
Audible.com Release Date October 29, 2015
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B016N9U37Q
Best Sellers Rank #276 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#38 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#59 in Epic Fantasy (Books)

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
16,995 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 23, 2022
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BL
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardcover versions compared
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 23, 2022
This is a review of the editions, with an image, not the text itself. If I'm wrong about anything let me know and I'll correct it.

1998 edition:
Cover: “Maglor casts a Silmaril …” (male throwing white gem against red background)
18 illustrations by Ted Nasmith
Readable, nice, can be found around $20-$30 used. Crazy that this edition is almost 35 years old.
Art:
1. The Sea
2. The Lamp of the Valar
3. At Lake Cuiviénen
4. The Light of Valinor on the Western Sea
5. Fingolfin Leads the Host across the Helcaraxe
6. The First Dawn of the Sun
7. Maedhros's Rescue from Thangorodrim
8. Eöl Welcomes Aredhel
9. Felagund among Beor's Men
10. By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest
11. Lúthien Escapes upon Huan
12. Morgoth Punishes Húrin
13. Túrin and his Band are Led to Amon Radh
14. Finduilas is Led past Túrin at the Sack of Nargothrond
15. Ulmo Appears before Tor
16. Eärendil the Mariner
17. The Eagles of Manwe
18. The Ships of the Faithful
Front over: Maglor Casts a Silmaril into the Sea
Back cover: Beren and Luthien are carried to Safety

2004 edition:
Cover: “White Ships of Valinor” (white boats sailing in fair weather, island in background)
45 illustrations by Ted Nasmith
Glossy paper, which can be a positive or negative I guess
Can be found around $25 new, which is a DEAL. This is mine for reading without fear of damaging a collector’s item.
Art:
1. The Sea
2. The Lamp of the Valar
3. Aule Prepares to Destroy His Children
4. At Lake Cuiviénen
5. The Light of Valinor on the Western Sea
6. The Ships of the Teleri Drawn by Swans
7. The Kinslaying at Alqualonde
8. Fingolfin Leads the Host across the Helcaraxe
9. The First Dawn of the Sun
10. The Burning of the Ships
11. Maedhros' Rescue from Thangorodrim
12. The Gates of Sirion
13. Eöl Welcomes Aredhel
14. Eöl is Led to the Walls
15. Felagund among Beor's Men
16. Fingolfin's Wrath
17. The Orc-Host is Ambushed in Brethil
18. Tarn Aeluin
19. By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest
20. Lúthien Escapes upon Huan
21. Transformed
22. Beren and Lúthien are Carried to Safety
23. Huan's Leap
24. Morgoth Punishes Húrin
25. The Hill of Slain
26. Saeros' Fatal Leap
27. Túrin and his Band are Led to Amon Rûdh
28. Beleg is Slain
29. Túrin Bears Gwindor to Safety
30. Finduilas is Led past Túrin at the Sack of Nargothrond
31. Túrin Reaches the Abandoned Homestead
32. Up the Rainy Stair
33. Húrin Finds Morwen
34. Tuor Follows the Swans to Vinyamar
35. Ulmo Appears before Tuor
36. Tuor and Voronwe see Turin at the Pools of Ivrin
37. The Escape from Gondolin
38. Maglor Casts a Silmaril into the Sea
39. Earendil the Mariner
40. White Ships from Valinor
41. The Eagles of Manwe
42. Tar-Miriel and the Great Wave
43. The Ships of the Faithful
44. The Forging of the One
45. The White Tree

2021 edition:
Cover: “Ships of the Faithful” ship sailing amidst storm/red sky
49 illustrations by Ted Nasmith
Can be found closer to $40
Regular flat paper, not glossy. More standard book-shaped, whereas the 2004 version is more square, like a coffee table book. Mine was used and did NOT include a fold-out map, but the colorized Christopher Tolkien Beleriand map is in the front plate and endplate (inside the cover, both ends).
Art:
1. The Sea
2. The Lamp of the Valar
3. Aule Prepares to Destroy His Children
4. At Lake Cuiviénen
5. The Light of Valinor on the Western Sea
6. The Ships of the Teleri Drawn by Swans
7. The Kinslaying at Alqualonde
8. Fingolfin Leads the Host across the Helcaraxe
9. The First Dawn of the Sun
10. The Burning of the Ships
11. Maedhros' Rescue from Thangorodrim
12. The Gates of Sirion
13. Eöl Welcomes Aredhel
14. Eöl is Led to the Walls
15. Felagund among Beor's Men
16. Fingolfin's Wrath
17. Turgon at Fingolfin's Cairn
18. The Orc-Host is Ambushed in Brethil
19. At Tarn Aeluin
20. By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest
21. Lúthien Escapes upon Huan
22. Transformed
23. Beren and Lúthien are Carried to Safety
24. Huan's Leap
25. Lúthien at Tol Galen
26. Morgoth Punishes Húrin
27. The Hill of Slain
28. Saeros' Fatal Leap
29. Túrin and his Band are Led to Amon Rûdh
30. Beleg is Slain
31. Túrin Bears Gwindor to Safety
32. Finduilas is Led past Túrin at the Sack of Nargothrond
33. Túrin Reaches the Abandoned Homestead
34. Up the Rainy Stair
35. The Slaying of Glaurung
36. Húrin Finds Morwen
37. Tuor Follows the Swans to Vinyamar
38. Ulmo Appears before Tuor
39. Tuor and Voronwe see Türin at the Pools of Ivrin
40. The Escape from Gondolin
41. Eärendil Searches Tirion
42. Maglor Casts a Silmaril into the Sea
43. Eärendil the Mariner
44. White Ships from Valinor
45. The Eagles of Manwe
46. Tar-Miriel and the Great Wave
47. The Ships of the Faithful
48. The Forging of the One
49. The White Tree

2022 edition:
Blue cover with circular design
59 illustrations by Tolkien himself – BUT more than half of these are “devices,” neat little square symbols at the start of a chapter and so on—not big full color paintings or drawings.
Around $40. Be aware, Tolkien’s artwork consists more of drawings and sketches with limited color. They are not the epic Ted Nasmith paintings you see in others. If you value his quaint older sketches, these are great. Personally, Nasmith’s objectively better work is more inspiring and helps me engage in the story. Tolkien is a GREAT writer, and a pretty good artist. Nasmith is a GREAT artist.

I like them all. If I was only going to get one, I’d get the 2004 version because you get a ton of great Nasmith artwork for an insanely cheap twenty-five bucks (today). Tolkien’s own art is neat, but if you want to be encouraged through a dense book, Nasmith’s art helps pull you in and pull you along.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 2, 2023
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Top reviews from other countries

EMR
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent masterpiece
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 22, 2018
206 people found this helpful
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S. Lornie
4.0 out of 5 stars The Middle Earth Bible!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 23, 2022
46 people found this helpful
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Djilly L.
1.0 out of 5 stars The one uncompleted book in my vast book collection
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 1, 2019
52 people found this helpful
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Mr Pyndah Vickers
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely essential purchase for any Tolkien fan.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 12, 2022
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Mr Pyndah Vickers
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely essential purchase for any Tolkien fan.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 12, 2022
Note: this review is for the 2022 ‘illustrated by the author’ version.

I’m going to imagine that most people who are obsessive about Tolkien’s works will already have this book in some format or another. So why buy this one? Well, for a start it’s beautifully illustrated throughout by the author himself. Obviously, Tolkien was clearly not as good an illustrator as Alan Lee, John Howe or Ted Nasmith, but his pictures do give you a much better insight into how Middle-Earth would look, if it were not coloured by later fantasy works.

Second is the book itself, which is absolutely beautiful: case-bound with a foil imprint of the Silmarilli device on the cover and spine. The print is of a very high quality in two colours: black with blue titles and headings. The paper is premium, white and smooth – not the pulp used in the other tales of the First Age Series. There are two pull-out maps included as well: a reprint of the original hand drawn version by J.R.R. Tolkien himself and a revised version by his son Christopher. The finishing touches are that the edges of the pages are tinted green with Tengwar (Elven) Script emblazoned down them, as well as a built-in bookmark.

If you are new to Tolkien and have come here from the films or the TV show — or simply want to find out more about the history of Middle-Earth — then this is the place to come. I am not going to lie: The Silmarillion can be a hard read compared to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and even more so when compared to ‘The Hobbit’, as it has an almost biblical style. My advice is to check out the tips on pronunciation in the back of the book before starting — it’ll make your progress much easier. There are five sections overall, but the main part is the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’, which is the story of the Elves and the holy gems known as the Silmarils, and is set during the First Age of Middle-Earth. The other sections deal with the creation of Middle-Earth, the various gods and goddesses, the Second Age and the downfall of Numenor, and a brief synopsis of the events leading up to the end of the Third Age.

As I said earlier it’s not the easiest read in the world but it is absolutely essential if you wish to know more about Middle-Earth and, especially, the Elves. I highly recommend this version.
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M. Dowden
4.0 out of 5 stars Back in the Mists of Time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 19, 2022
7 people found this helpful
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