Hail Tolkien

These days I am hooked to “The Silmarillion”. It is a prequel to “The lord of the rings” and “The hobbit”. I tried reading this book few times in the past and gave up. The reason being that Tolkien dumps too many new characters at the beginning of the book. That kind of intimidates anyone trying to read the book. Initially, I was bored as the story and the characters did not make sense to me. But as I progressed, I understood that he was a genius.

Silmarillion-cover

I love fantasy and I love epic tales. Tales which are so intertwined and intricate that you end up discussing for hours about them. Tales like Mahabharata and Ramayana. No matter how much you discuss, you still have some sub plot to discuss. This book had a letter written by Tolkien which said that he came up with these novels only because there were no epics written in English, epics which were not confined to a particular country or religion. My respect for him has increased in magnitude as I am slowly progressing through this novel. Even though the book is very small, hardly 300 pages, it is taking lot more effort to read it. There are way too many characters and these characters have multiple names – elvish or dwarvish names. But I am loving the journey.

The more I read his works, the more I wonder. How could a single man conceptualize so much? How could he create such a wonderful world, not even a small part of which is real? This book spawns for so many ages. He covers events from 500 years in 50 pages or less. If he were to expand these stories, it would have taken up 1000s of pages easily. And there are so many characters, sub plots with treachery, politics, war, kingdoms, creatures, maps and places that never existed. In 30 pages or so, you read about three major battles that took place. Only someone who was a genius could have come up with them.

Husband loves the world created by Tolkien, as much as I love it. So every morning, I read few pages from the book and then we discuss the story. Whether you believe it or not, my mom loves his stories. I remember watching the first “the Lord of the rings” movie with her and gasping at the scene where we think Gandalf has died. I read the books after watching the movies. The movies were great, but the books were mind-blowing. Never have I read any book that can match the intricate story line of these books.

Coming to this book, it is about beginning of everything. How did Elves, men and Dwarves come into existence? Who is Sauron and how did he come to power? What are Balrogs and Orcs? Who created Orcs? Even more interesting are the tales about Elvish kings, reading about Galadriel and her father was something I had not expected from this book.  Clearly I had not read well written reviews of this book. Had I known that this book held answers to my questions on Middle-Earth, I would have picked it earlier. If you are a fan of Tolkien, you should start reading this book as soon as you can get hold of a copy.

I am still confused about the usage of Goblins and Orcs in his other books. In this book, I did not see any reference to Goblins so far. I found this link, which made me more confused. I am yet to complete the book.

My complaint from life is that I do not get enough time to read books. I somehow try to spend at least half an hour a day for reading books, which is too less. There was a time when I would read books before sleeping. Gone are those days, thanks to the evil TV.  I wiill come up with a proper review of the book, once I am done reading. I am also planning to create few family trees and post them on the blog, as I did not find any good ones when I searched. I had to draw my own trees in order to understand the story.

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12 thoughts on “Hail Tolkien

  1. Ditch the TV Ash. You know its worth it. 🙂

    We are blessed to have these authors. Without them, it would be impossible to live these stories. I bought the Game of thrones series after you mentioned it. I finished some 200 pages few days back and didn’t get a chance to go back to it again. But, I know I am so waiting.

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  2. I should also read Game of Thrones, at least the first book in the series, soon. The issue is, I have too many books to read these days! I’ll have to increase my reading speed drastically. I too find it difficult to follow a story if there are too many names/characters.

    Destination Infinity

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  3. I wanna read Tolkein. But I have seen all the movies already, and i know that’s a bad practise. But your recommendation here, and the review has tempted me! 🙂 I will read this! 🙂

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  4. I love fantasy and EPIc talessssss.. but I cant read a book on them, I dont have that much patience to sit and read a whole book and then memorise the characters in it all …

    I will wait for the movie to be made but then here’s the irony When I see the movie I feel the Book would have done more justice .. So ahhhhhhhhhh welll just ignore me 🙂

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