Review From User :

These stories contain Tolkien's first conceptions of Middle Earth, written in notebooks, the first of which he started in high school. These don't look like ramblings of a young man, but rather, a learned adult of deep, profound intelligence. It appears obvious Tolkien read a mass amount of mythology and fell in love with it in childhood and in his young-adult years. The skill of his storytelling overwhelms me.

Eriol, a mortal man visits Tol Eressia (an ancient Elvish city of Middle Earth) and sits to listen to tales of history. The book contains stories within the story. It made me remember "The Lord of the Rings," when Frodo and Bilbo discuss finishing up Bilbo's notes. That may be a literary reference to his son, Christopher, who compiled and edited these stories and provided exhaustive commentary. I didn't read the commentary because I anticipated the stories.

The stories give me overwhelming, intense pleasure. They make me happy. Have you ever had a dream you wake up from and you feel a sense of loss because you wanted it to be true Reading this, for me, is like entering that dream and attaining that unreachable desire.

He covers content in the Silmarillion, but in-depth. It starts with Eriol coming to The Cottage of Lost Play, a place for storytelling, which reminded me of the places ancients Greeks would discuss philosophy. The content includes: Illuvitar, the creator, and his creation of a pantheon and their struggle with Melkor, a rebellious member of that pantheon (if this sounds familiar, Tolkien was Catholic). It also covers periods of change over the creation which will inevitably become Middle-Earth. Melkor's original rebellion introduces the reader to the primary antagonist in the entire collection of Tolkien's Middle-Earth works. He introduces elves and their lands, Melkor's further corruption in darkening the creation, the creation of sun and moon by the Valar, the origin of the rainbow from a lock of female Vala hair, and the introduction of time. It covers the sad withdraw of the Valar to hide from Melkor and further corruption, which gives him potential rulership over what will become the place of men, dwarves, gnomes, elves and hobbits.

The stories demand concentration, and it can be difficult to read. Tolkien uses archaic, old-style language. The stories unfold as adult fairy tales that rely more on telling than showing. If a person can get past these potential hindrances, the stories can take you to another place and bring incredible pleasure, as well as temporary and necessary escape from stressful reality.

Media Size : 49.3 MB