Oh man, Cuddlebear’s life is not getting any better.
Finished reading the Silmarillion the other day. If you’re not familiar, it’s sort of a precursor history to the Lord of the Ring books, covering everything that ever happened in Middle Earth to a little before the Hobbit starts. I don’t know that I’d recommend reading it unless you’re a huge LOTR fan, although some parts of the books are fascinating and beautiful. The first quarter of the book is this really clever creation story that kind of mixes Greek and Christian mythology in a way that I thought was engaging, fun and insightful. It’s somehow a more plausible creation story, if that makes sense? I mean obviously it’s silly and dumb and about made-up gods, but within that silly world, what these do makes a lot of sense. Their motivations, reactions, goals, all that stuff, it just clicks. I dunno, in a small way, the Simarillion is a bit of a thinking man’s creation myth? Or myth snob’s creation myth? Maybe that’s a little more accurate.
As for the rest of the book? It’s a little hit or miss! The middle of the book is just a lot of elves doing a lot of things that don’t very much matter. There are a couple beautifully written and imaginative fight scenes, but they amount to about 8 paragraphs out of the 4,000 where the elves are just building forts in places or talking to each other about rivers and shipbuilding. The end chapters are kind of cool, they deal with Sauron, explaining what he was and what he did before the hobbit and during the main books. Kind of cool, but very short compared to the creation myth and all the elf stuff. Worth reading I suppose if you really want to know the backstory on every character, from what Gandalf’s deal is to why Galadriel is such an all-powerful badass.
Just a word of warning: Don’t read the forward to the book. It’s a fascinating and wonderful letter from Tolkien to his publisher, but also spoils pretty much everything that happens in the book.
“Clavicle (Damnesia version)” –Alkaline Trio