Get a free audiobook

The Silmarillion

Written by: J. R. R. Tolkien
Narrated by: Martin Shaw
Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A thoroughly enchanting tale that sets the trajectory for the cosmos of J.R.R. Tolkien's magnificent fantasy series Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Like the dark matter at the centre of every origin story, this is a must-listen for fans who want to delve deeper into this mythical world.

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

What the critics say

"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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books in the English cannon!

Thank you audible for finally offering one of the best books ever written! This book is always a delight, and the narrator is perfect for the text's mythic flavour.

I recommend listening to this with a list of names or appendix to hand, if you are new to the history of Tolkien's world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cameron
  • 2018-11-21

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TheSuz
  • 2018-11-01

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Soul
  • 2016-12-09

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-05-25

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul Castellano
  • 2018-10-22

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-15

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 2018-11-22

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • thomas irvin
  • 2018-11-07

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kyle cacurak
  • 2018-10-30

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike Sullivan
  • 2018-10-16

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roel Vinckens
  • 2017-07-15

Masterfull

What the Old Testament is to the New, The Silmarillion is to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. From the making of the universe, Ea, and the world, Arda; true the history of Dwarfs and Elfs and Men and the various battles between good and evil in the first tree ages; to the dawn of the fourth age and the unexpected role of the Halflings: this is a must-read for all who love Middle Earth.
Martin Shaws performance is outstanding and more than just a great help in the lecture of this work. It brings this history to life. You can read along or close your eyes and watch the stories unfold in all their splendour. So great an experience that I will probably start anew tomorrow...
A sincere thank you to JRR and Christopher Tolkien and to Martin Shaw.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Onirik
  • 2017-09-21

bien

voix agréable. ton chantant. merci musique fin de chapitre inutile. car parfois elle y est parfois non.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Salvador
  • 2018-08-11

je suis dégoûté je croyais qu'il était en français

j'ai l'impression de m'être fait avoir je ne comprends pas comment un des meilleurs livres de Tolkien n'est pas due traduction en français

2 of 6 people found this review helpful