Lord of the Rings: Further reading?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by AndyVX, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Hello,

    Well I read The Hobbit as a kid, and later on in my teenage years read The Lord of the Rings. I've re-read the books many times since then, and now with RotK just having come out, seen all the movies.

    I now have a great desire for more! From browsing through the book store, there are many other books available either writen by Tolkien himself or completed by his son.

    What would everyone suggest for further reading? I just basically want to learn more about Middle Earth, its history and its people.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  2. Ron C

    Ron C Stunt Coordinator

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    The Silmarillion has a lot of history about middle earth. Also, if you haven't read The Hobbit yet, pick that up first. It is the prelude to the lord of the rings series.
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Reading is fundamental! [​IMG]
     
  4. Graham Perks

    Graham Perks Second Unit

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    The Silmarillion, naturally, is the next book to read. In terms of scale it dwarfs even The Lord of the Rings. It can be tough for the first few chapters, but stick with it and you're in for a terrific story. Stories, actually. You'll find out how Middle Earth was created, all about the Elves and their battles, who the really bad guy was (Sauron was just his lieutenant), some amazing love stories, it drips with tragedy, sadness, and melancholy. It's completely inspiring.

    You'll also find out about Numenor and Aragorn's heritage. Why does he live so long? Why are the Kings so revered? Where do the Palantirs come from? Who's this Gandalf chap? What's a Balrog?

    For the tiniest teeny preview of some of the Silmarillion, dig into the LOTR appendices, in particular the time line. See all that stuff before LOTR starts? It's all in the Silmarillion!

    Awesome book. After that, try Unfinished Tales and the Book of Lost Tales 1, and maybe 2. After that point you're getting obsessive, the books become less about the story and more about how they were written - but there are some gems to be found.

    Read The Silmarillion! And let us know what you think of it [​IMG]
     
  5. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I'm hoping to get The Silmarillion for Christmas. I was reading the appendices in RotK, but realized it would all be in The Silmarillion so I stopped.

    BTW, my boss at work (loved the LotR books) said that if you want to look at LotR as being the New Testament, The Silmarillion is the Old Testament.
     
  6. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Ok, I picked up The Silmarillion today while Christmas shopping... can't seem to ever go Christmas shopping without picking up something for myself. [​IMG]

    I'll let you all know what I think once I'm finished reading. From what you've described Graham, I'm in for a great story. Can't wait!
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    WARNING: The Silmarillion is not written in the style of LOTR, and a lot of folks find it unreadable. I remember eagerly buying The Silmarillion on the day it was released (the first hardcover book I'd ever bought) and being so disappointed. It reads very much like a description of events in a rather portentious style rather than a narrative like LOTR. Think of the bits of rather leaden prose in LOTR (and face it, there are a few) and imagine that for several hundred pages. I've tried going back to it several times since over the years and am always incapable of getting further than the first few pages.

    If you're in this group, then an alternative is to read up on Tolkein's life (there's an excellent biography by Humphrey Carpenter; I know a couple of people who knew Tolkein well who say it's as good a protrait of the man as you're likely to get). Or you could look at some of Tolkein's academic works - he translated several of the better-known Anglo-Saxon poems. I'd be careful though about reading his stuff for kids (Tree and Leaf, etc). You may find it enchanting or rather saccharin whimsy.

    Incidentally, several of Tolkein's pieces of artwork are being used on a set of British stamps coming out early 2004.
     
  8. Brion Lydon

    Brion Lydon Stunt Coordinator

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    I made it through the Silmarillion. But I will say it was hard to get into the book. Although it does get pretty cool after the first few chapters. If you can stick it out you're in for a great book with some great history of Middle Earth.

    Brion
     
  9. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I was about to post the same warning Andrew did. The Silmarillion certainly is in another league than The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

    Cees
     
  10. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    As pointed out it's a difficult read at first but do stick with it. The payoff is incredible. I hae so much more of an appreciation for the LotR movies, because of reading The Silmarillion.
     
  11. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    At least I can say I've read The Hobbit, FOTR, and I'm about halfway through The Two Towers right now. I'd really love to try and read ROTK before I actually see the movie, though.
     
  12. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Ok, just thought I'd give a little mini update of sorts.
    I'm just over 60 pages into The Silmarillion, and I so far think it's great. I know I'm really not far enough in to judge anything, but I've already learned quite a bit, and it leaves me wanting more... so I keep reading.

    Had I not already read Hobbit and Rings, I probably would have put the book down and never given it a second thought after page 10 though. But so far so good. Those first 10 pages or so left me thinking "oh man... this is different". The way it's writen is quite different, and I wasn't really sure what to make of it. But then... Sauron and Balrogs
    were mentioned, and I was hooked! [​IMG]

    In any case, back to reading for me. I'll let you all know what I think once I'm done reading.

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestion(s).
     

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