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The Silmarillion

Narrated by: Martin Shaw
Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The complete unabridged audiobook of J.R.R Tolkien's The Silmarillion.

The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien’s world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor.

Included in the book are several shorter works. 'The Ainulindale' is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. 'The Akallabeth' recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Númenor at the end of the Second Age and 'Of the Rings of Power' tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings.

©2015 The Tolkien Estate and CR Tolkien (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"How, given little over half a century of work, did one man become the creative equivalent of a people?" ( The Guardian)
"Demanding to be compared with English mythologies...at times rises to the greatness of true myth." ( Financial Times)
"A creation of singular beauty...magnificent in its best moments." ( Washington Post)
"A grim, tragic, brooding and beautiful book, shot through with heroism and hope... its power is almost that of mysticism." ( Toronto Globe & Mail)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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I really wanted to enjoy this...

I really wanted to enjoy this but clearly it’s not for everyone. I absolutely loved the LOTR series of books and was looking for something similar but I found the million unfamiliar names a pain and for me the creation of the characters and the world FAR to long winded. I think I also found it less enjoyable because a great deal of it is in Shakespearean language. Clearly going by the reviews this book is going to be very popular with some people but I just struggled with this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cameron
  • 21-11-2018

HUGE GLITCHES IN AUDIO

Gaps of 15-45 seconds skip in the chapters... they even overlay sometimes 3 or 4 layers of people talking all at once! Please fix this issue @audible.com

Martin Shaw is amazing - performance is because the file is corrupted! Never experienced this once in a book.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • TheSuz
  • 01-11-2018

Finally!!!

I’ve been waiting forever for an English version of The Silmarillion! I was so close to learning German just so I can listen to this amazing book. The wait was worth it. Martin Shaw did an amazing job narrating and I shall listen to this about ten more times before deciding to go onto another book. Beautiful performance for a beautifully written piece of work.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Soul
  • 09-12-2016

Pretty good

For some reason part of the audiobook is weird. in that it repeats the title of the chapter throughout the whole chapter. which is annoying. otherwise, great book!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-05-2018

Awesome book

Sometimes I could hear the chapter name spoken in the middle of the chapter. Apart from this weird error, awesome book!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Castellano
  • 22-10-2018

One of the best readings I've ever heard

This is, by far, one of the best readings of the best books I've ever heard!

If you're familiar with Tolkien and haven't read this book, look no further than this audiobook narrated by Martin Shaw. I've listen to over a dozen male narrators of fantasy books (Michael Kramer is a good one, particularly his Mistborn performance), and no one has topped Martin Shaw's performance with the Silmarillion. I definitely recommend listening to this book and then actually reading it (if you want to read the hard copy or Kindle editions), as Shaw gives you the proper pronunciations of the literally hundreds of names of people and places. Also it would be a good idea to have a map of Beleriand/pre-LOTR Middle-earth handy while listening, as on the first listen it can become difficult to keep places straight.

Beyond the performance, this is my favorite work of Tolkiens' to date. It has so much packed in, particularly the Ainulidale ( the first part) that I have gone back and listened to the whole book three times now, and the first part eight times.

I'm so glad they brought this to the US store, as before it was only available in the UK Audible store and had to jump through a few hoops to get at it. It's worth every penny (or credit) and more to add this title to your collection! I can't recommend this highly enough. Enjoy!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-10-2018

Remarkable in it's epic form,it's depth and beauty

My favorite Tolkien book.
Great story telling. great theological and mythical exploration. tackles everything from the meaning of life through the problem of evil to the problem of free will.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 22-11-2018

Finally!

I’ve been waiting for a good audiobook version of the Silmarillion for a while. Here it is, and it’s great! The narrator does a good job, I think. You could argue that his delivery is a tad too stentorian or declaratory, but the text is a hard one to read naturally, and this way of reading it is not inappropriate. As far as I know, he gets all the pronunciations right, which is nice. The music may not win an academy award, but it feels appropriate in tone.

The Silmarillion is not for everyone. Even people who consider themselves fans of The Lord of the Rings may find it pretty off-putting, because it’s written in an extremely “high mythic” style. But if you want to understand all the obscure references in LOTR and The Hobbit to the elder days (Gondolin, Elbereth, Eärendel, Gil-galad, etc), then this is the place to come.

There are a few small audio glitches as of this writing, although they don’t impact the overall experience significantly. I’ve notified Audible about them and they say they are looking into it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • thomas irvin
  • 07-11-2018

As good as Lotr

Having read The Hobbit & The Lotr many times over the years I'd always wanted to read the Silmarillion but had never gotten round to it. listening to it on audible for first time was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it. From the war of powers, to the kinslaying, to beren/lucien, the children of hurin, the fall of doriath, fall of gondolin, rise of numenor etc.. Wrapping up nicely and satisfyingly to the conclusion of the third age that we all know and love.

The history of Middle Earth is fascinating to me and it was such a pleasure listening to this I was bummed when it finally ended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kyle cacurak
  • 30-10-2018

classic

at first this is a difficult book to grasp however, after the second or third time through it's awesome!! normally it's not available for purchase in the US and,I travel to California for work and lo and behold it was available to purchase on Audibe. that was a great day!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike Sullivan
  • 16-10-2018

Beautiful from beginning to end

An absolute delight to hear the story told verbally truly bringing to life the beauty that is the world tolkien created.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart Shaw
  • 07-01-2016

awesome

fantastic listen, only issue is that in one of the (luckily) more boring chapters, the title replays about 20 times

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Rasmus Jensen
  • 30-08-2017

Great book. Shameful production.

The stories were great, but that's to Tolkien's credit and not the creators of the audiobook. Numerous times throughout the audiobook I encountered glitches in the track where suddenly the narrator would be repeating the title of the chapter or other pieces of the story in the background, thus resulting in near gibberish as the doubled tracks made it impossible to hear what was being said. I went back a few times to check if it had simply been my phone that glitched out but found that each instance of this glitch occurred consistently at the same timestamp. In other words it's a production error. And considering how many times this occurred, the production company have no excuse not to be absolutely ashamed of their work. Had it happened once I would have shrugged it off as a simple mistake, but when it happens just about a dozen times it becomes negligence. I recommend Tolkien's The Silmarillion, but I can't say I recommend this particular edition of the audiobook.

37 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Adrian Allpress
  • 28-08-2017

Great but with random audio glitches...

Great way to read the silmarillion as the book itself can be a bit impregnable to read. Great performance as well, but one thing that did start to get a bit annoying was the frequency of audio glitches throughout. Examples being:

- Chapter intro music playing randomly mid chapter
-The chapter title repeatedly being said over the top of the narrator.
- Audio jumping in the final few chapters.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • MR RAJDEEPR S RAI
  • 10-02-2016

Fantastic

Truly loved it, though it was a struggle to get into at first. Martin Shaw helps bring to life one of my most beloved epics in such an engaging and atmospheric way.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • jasper elwes
  • 20-11-2015

Only for Tolkein fans.

If you aren't really into middle earth, this isn't for you, but personally I enjoyed it, it's well performed and interesting.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie Baker
  • 02-11-2016

Get yourself a map

Brilliant, the world from the begining of middle earth. Do have a map handy though and perhaps a pen and paper to write some family trees. It certianly fills in a few blanks from There and Back Again.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-07-2016

A Tale of Good, Evil , Gods and Men

I've always wanted to read The Silmarillion, but could never get past the first chapter as the story was so complicated. Listening to it via Martin Shaw's soothing tones enabled me to keep a grip on the characters and plot. I may even read the book, now!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • simon j vanhinsbergh
  • 16-06-2016

AWESOME

fantastic. Tolkien at his best The world of middle earth and full history
I believe

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica S
  • 11-12-2015

Epic Stuff

Great mythic tales on a grand scale from the master of ancient storytelling.
LOTR is but a an episode to the scale of The Silmarillion.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Bashy
  • 07-07-2016

Classic

Listen in conjunction with the Silmarillion Seminar by the Tolkien Professor for the full experience

2 of 2 people found this review helpful