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Topic: silmarillion not in top 100

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Dwarves - Rank 1
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Date: Apr 4, 2007
silmarillion not in top 100

as you all probanly know lotr is the no. 1 book ever. i was wondering though silmarillion is also a very good book and to me even better than lotr. is silmarillion not in the top hundred because it was an edited book or because there was not much conversation?? i mean silmarillion is a n amazing book. WHY ISNT IT CONSIDERED AS GOOD AS LOTR AND NOT AS FAMOUS!

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Apr 4, 2007
Perhaps becuase its far shorter or much newer since publishment or too complicated? In my opinion also I think its a better book but it is very in-depth.

Is Lord of the Rings as 'best book ever' an official title or personal opinion?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Apr 4, 2007
Depends what top this is.
Tops for books can't be made as objectively as for music or movies because some books have been around for much longer, so they might have sold much more or might have been complusory.
But as it seems if we were to consider sales a top five would like this:

1# The Bible
2# Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Little Red Book)
3# American Spelling Book by Noah Webster
4# The Guinness Book of Records
5# The McGuffey Readers by William Holmes McGuff

Pretty clear why, The Bible is pretty much a must for every Christian, #2 was a complusory book in China, #3 in USA.
The Guinness Book of Records would come in fourth as the next more widely known book, but not LotR.

If we were to consider how much a book sold in a short period of time after being published (which again is unfair as some books became very popular only after a longer time) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would win.

So as you see, book tops aren't objective, and not always fair.
Personally LotR is #1.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Apr 4, 2007
The books you listed are not novels TM. Top 100 novels.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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mos, where were novels mentioned in this thread. As far as I see from the first post we are talking about posts in general
Anyway, if we would only be talking novels, the Silmarillion wouldn't make the top in either sales or critic appreciation since it was neve published by Tolkien, but only edited by CT, and because there are many other books that had much more success and sold more. Of course as Tolkien fans we probably consider the Sil would have earned itself a spot, but all in all, it's just not good enough.

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Dwarves - Rank 1
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Date: Apr 5, 2007
actually lotr is no.1 its not my personal opinion it is no.1 in top 100 novels.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Can I ask what list this can be found in? I have searched through a few on the internet but none list LOTR as number one.

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Apr 12, 2007
The Silmarillion requires a serious mind. It is to be studied and reasoned thought is important. I read it because somebody in another book tried to discourage the readers of their book. I fell in love with it as soon as I read it.

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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This doesn't surprise or upset me. While The Silmarillion is an amazing book, I've accepted that it is not for everyone. Not only in its subject matter and style, but the difficulty of the text. I've read it in its entirety two or three times and skimmed through certain parts countless others, and I don't feel that I fully comprehend all the sections, nor can I always make cohesive sense of them. It isn't the fault of the book - the book is excellently written, it's just incredibly erudite and detailed. I also don't feel it's due to any lack of intelligence or dedication on my part. It's simply a work of immense depth that requires more commitment than your average novel. I am most familiar with Ainulindale and the Quenta Silmarillion and feel I have a sufficient understanding of those, but the rest of the book still remains a bit foggy.

I'm not tooting our own horns here, but I think that you need to be all of the following things to understand the Silmarillion and appreciate it deeply:

- Quite intelligent
- Have excellent reading comprehension, and the ability to make logical connections between names, places, and events
- Be patient and willing to read it more than once

The Silmarillion is the kind of book you take notes on, as you would a real ancient text, and the last time I began reading it I did so. It helped immensely.



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Chief Maiar
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You brought a smile on my face with those 3 points biggrin

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Oct 5, 2007
I wouldn't say it is amazing. That is the voice of quenched thirst for basic information.

Not to engage in listing flaws. The form and the language is good. The story is often lacking -- I do not mean "holes", only original text.

It is a romantic work.. perhaps a mighty writer would take it up for a massive redaction. But that would maybe injure the dignity of the redactor.

Good book, though, to evade reality OR as an aesthetic piece.
OK I sound arrogant. But I do not mean to provoke.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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The Elvish guy is back! Haven't seen you much recently Avantguard. As usual the English is very complex so I will leave another person who understands it to respond...(backs out shamefully)

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: May 10, 2008
I'm not tooting our own horns here, but I think that you need to be all of the following things to understand the Silmarillion and appreciate it deeply:

- Quite intelligent
- Have excellent reading comprehension, and the ability to make logical connections between names, places, and events
- Be patient and willing to read it more than once

I would add;

- an exterme Fan of Tolkien

I've loaned out my Silmarillion to several people and only one has finished it. Even with the preface of, you need to keep at it and once the Noldor return to M-e it will be more readable.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Sweeper,
I agree with you and "the Secret Fire".
Scholarship, Patience and Perseverance, Be a Tolkien fan, and I add having a powerful imagination.
I've seen different top 100 lists from different genre and different countries. While not always on the top 10 I observed the title "Lord of the Rings" many times. I am sorry to say I only saw the Silmarillion on lists of fantasy or Tolkien specific lists.

Right now my favorite is Unfinished Tales...I am so lost in Arda and Middle Earth....

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: May 25, 2008
UT does have a lot of good info in it.

Chris talks a bit about the Sil. and it's readership in the forward to tBoLT1. I don't have it here so I'll just have to point the rest of you to it.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 28, 2008
I'm guessing The Silmarillion is just too specialised and not well enough known thats all. Indeed with many of the people I know who have read both the Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion more often than not turns out to b the favourite.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 22, 2011
Getting into this late, I know, but I'm a new member. The Silmarillion is a great book, but not as great of a novel as LOTR. BTW, as of this writing the current rankings show LOTR as number 2, behind Dickens' Tale of Two Cities. Of course, that doesn't diminish it at all. I love the Silmarillion, but it's just not as accessible. I have friends who have read LOTR but say they can't "get into" The Sil. Of course, there are levels of understanding LOTR you can't reach without The Silmarillion, but for most people that's okay. I think anyone can read LOTR and enjoy it on its merits as a novel, but not so with Silmarillion.


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Rick Nagy
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Oct 22, 2011

btownhobbit,

I see your point. And that is exactly the reason that his son had the guts to publish what was an incomplete, not polished, not yet edited work and get away with it. As a die-hard Tolkien fan, who loved The Lord of The Rings, I went crazy when the Silmarillion became available ...

To strike a note for your point ... I read aloud for a group of people at our local library ... the books are chosen by popular demand ... but sometimes I hedge my bets with the head librarian ... what the kids love is Harry Potter and The Hobbit ... The teens (some of who are blind) ask for The Lord of The Rings and The Twilight series (vampires are a big hit) The Silmarillion isn't even on the shelves and has never been asked for ... it seems to be a Tolkien fan book ... I haven't met a soul who started their Tolkien experience with the Silmarillion.

I think what hooked me on the Silmarillion was Eru creating the world through music. Then he created a mythological pantheon and I haven't stopped reading and re-reading it since.



-- Edited by Bear on Tuesday 25th of October 2011 04:24:59 AM

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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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Date: Oct 22, 2011
As amazing as the sil is, I'm not at all surprised its not on any top 100 lists. I agree with the secret fire and sweeper as to what's needed to enjoy the book and that its not as easy to read as LotR but I personaly enjoy it.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 25, 2011
Hi Bear,

I wonder sometimes what The Silmarillion would have been like if JRRT had finished it himself. Not to knock Christopher Tolkien's achievement at all. The world, both ours and Middle Earth, would not be as rich without it. Even so, there are some passages in The Silmarillion (there's a great youtube video of CT talking about it, and I love the way he says the title -- you should check it out), that are achingly, sublimely beautiful in a much different way than LOTR.

As a musician, I also appreciate the creation myth in The Sil.

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Rick Nagy
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Oct 25, 2011

btownhobbit,

Thanks for the tip. I will check it out on you tube tonight.

I'm grateful the his son keeps pushing out more as time goes by.  I really enjoyed "The Children of Hurin" that came out not so long ago.

And being the dad I loved "The Father Christmas Letters."

There always seems to be something new or looking at the old in a new way ... I guess that is why I like Tolkien so much ... I mean aside from having a crush on Galadriel.



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Peoples of Beleriand - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 26, 2011

It's really a matter of personal opinion. The Silmarillion is a much harder read than LOtR, so I'm sure that keeps some casual readers and even fans away. And of course the Sil was never completed, so there are many factors.

 

Here is a bit of an off-topic question but...............

The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales,

Your thoughts?          

Which do you prefer?

I find the latter fascinating, despite many things obviously being non-canon.

 



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"Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring." - Samwise Gamgee

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 26, 2011
Bear,

I wanted to name my daughter Galadriel, but her mother kiboshed that.
I love her just the same, though.

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Rick Nagy
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 26, 2011

btownhobbit,

I guess it is part of the contract that since they gave birth they have veto powers.

But my daughter, Meredith, grew to love Tolkien, still plays D&D, and sometimes shows up here as "sheildmaiden."

Her mom can't figure why she is such a Tolkien fan ... Meredith insists that she has her own Tolkien works ... I love being her Dad!

By the way ... I did check out that you tube interview with CT.  Interesting ... thanks for the tip!



-- Edited by Bear on Wednesday 26th of October 2011 09:36:23 PM

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Date: Oct 28, 2011

Another reason that the Sillmarillian does not make many "favorite" lists is that it is seen as a history of the Elves which may turn many off at the onset. I may be wrong but not every Tolkien fan is a lover of the Elves.

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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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I found that the Silmarillion actually fortifies The Lord of the Rings as well as the Hobbit. It gives more weight to the words of Gandalf, Saruman and Aragorn when they speak of histories and lays. Without the Silmarillion I think most of those references would just sound like random name dropping. As far as it not reaching top 100 in written works; I think it's only a matter of time, and will be given its just desserts due to longevity. Besides, has there been another author who has put out so much work about one single concept? Tolkien stands alone. I think even people who aren't fans of the greatest author of all time would have to give him recognition for his extensive creation.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Our Tolkien was an avid lover of history. Middle-earth grew and benefited from his fertile imagination and love of detail and we are the favored heirs of that devotion.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I hope this will not sound too awkward - IMHO The Silmarillion is not really a novel. It is a highly compressed account of events with limited elaboration. It is not really fair to rank it among novels. it is a genre of its own. Just recently I read (Of Maeglin in The War of the Jewels if I am not confused) that Christopher Tolkien was intentionally removing most references to timing in the published Silmarillion. As a result, it is very misleading - to me at least - concerning timing and duration. I was surprised to learn that it took Feanor about 7 years (of the Sun) to get to the Middle-Earth...

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Lorelline wrote:

I hope this will not sound too awkward - IMHO The Silmarillion is not really a novel. It is a highly compressed account of events with limited elaboration. It is not really fair to rank it among novels. it is a genre of its own. Just recently I read (Of Maeglin in The War of the Jewels if I am not confused) that Christopher Tolkien was intentionally removing most references to timing in the published Silmarillion. As a result, it is very misleading - to me at least - concerning timing and duration. I was surprised to learn that it took Feanor about 7 years (of the Sun) to get to the Middle-Earth...


 

That's accurate. It does have some mini novels within it like Beren and Luthien and Turin Turambar but as a whole it is more like a compilation of novels and accounts.

Wasn't it supposed to be written by Bilbo Baggins in Rivendell? This would account for it's format.



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I love The SIlmarillion, but still, you have to consider one major factor. It's more of a history book than a novel.

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