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Publisher's Summary

Presented for the first time on audio, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves, Men and Orcs and the rich landscape unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth in this unabridged recording read by critically acclaimed father and son, Timothy and Samuel West. 

Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, was deeply opposed to Beren, and imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. Undaunted by Lord Thingol’s challenge, Beren and Lúthien embark on the supremely heroic attempt to rob Morgoth, the greatest of all evil beings, of a Silmaril, one of the hallowed jewels that adorn the Black Enemy’s crown. The tale of Beren and Lúthien, which was written shortly after J.R.R. Tolkien returned from the Battle of the Somme in 1916, was an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion

In this book Christopher Tolkien has extracted the various versions of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which they are embedded. To show something of the process whereby this Great Tale of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he tells the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

©2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the critics say

"A seamless editorial construct, the capstone to a job Christopher Tolkien began with The Silmarillion." (New Statesman)

What listeners say about Beren and Lúthien

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Text, Strange Format.

This story is really wonderful and tragically romantic. The narration is lovely. That being said, the format of the text is rather confusing as it is a collection of various versions of the same story. If you want to simply read the story, you can stop after about the first third. However, this collection does provide a fascinating insight into Tolkien's thought process and world building.

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Beautiful

One of Tolkien's greatest tales. I didn't know I loved poetry this much! This book is like drifting away to music.

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Please do the History of Middle-Earth Series!!

Timothy and Samual are now the voices of Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien for me. This and the Fall of Gondolin are so well done. It makes the experience so great having them both. If the History was to be done in this way.. it would be amazing.

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  • Ms. Rhiannon
  • 2020-07-02

very disappointing

Snippets of JRR's storytelling interrupted by Christopher's long winded descriptions of what his father was thinking, and what was happening with the family and what color hat he was wearing when he wrote each passage (okay, that last part was exaggeration but not by much). This is not a book for anyone interested in the story, since the constant commentary made it impossible to follow the flow of JRR's brilliance.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Megan
  • 2020-05-17

Not a story, but a study of the evolution of one.

This book alternates between notes by Christopher Tolkien & the various manuscripts his father wrote about the title characters. I loved it, but it is a strange experience to listen to it.

12 people found this helpful

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  • papa k
  • 2020-12-23

Beautifully written with Academic Narrative

I was hoping for a synthesis, a beautifully integrated story of these two characters. We get the academic considerations of Tolkien’s variations. While I appreciate the scholarship, my heart just wants a good tale told straight through. Both narrators make it work.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy Hogan
  • 2020-11-16

great and bad same time!

how to explain the parts that were excellent great poetry, but unfortunately it felt a lot like a book report at other parts. If you love Jared talking to work, I recommend it, I just I don't know

2 people found this helpful

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  • grampa
  • 2020-10-25

best poetry I've ever heard. enjoyable

best poetry l ever heard .best-known work of artists poetry I've ever heard authors poetry

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-10-12

Love this!

I love hearing the progression of this story and the different iterations that were made throughout Tolkien’s life. It also shows all of the work that Christopher had to put into the Silmarillion to get a final story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-06-08

Good listen if a bit scattered in presentation.

While narration was very listenable, the story was a little unreachable as it has been too many years since I was a more enthusiastic fan of The Sillmarilion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leigha M Shaw
  • 2021-02-03

Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a totally beautiful book! This is quite an interesting and powerfully romantic. I definitely recommend it!!!!!!

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  • Brenda Wood
  • 2021-01-25

What a treat!

This book contains a most beloved story of Beren and Luthien in poem form, and Tolkien shows such mastery of rhyme and rhythm to delight the ears and heart!

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  • Basil klock
  • 2020-11-22

JRRT "too much of a man's man for a tail of love "

I personally would have liked to known this man his hart ablaze with passion, but the world to gruff for him to show.