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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

Critic Reviews

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

What listeners say about Beren and Lúthien

Average Customer Ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. Rhiannon
  • 02-07-20

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.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Megan
  • 17-05-20

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • papa k
  • 23-12-20

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • jeremy canaan
  • 02-06-20

Too much changed

Changing names and making Beren an elf not a man was really odd. Not great

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy Hogan
  • 16-11-20

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-20

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-20

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • grampa
  • 25-10-20

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-03-21

More like a thesis reading rather than a story

Don't get me wrong , the information presented here are great and you gain great insight about the myth of Beren and Luthien and how it came to pass BUT it is not -at least for my taste- a good audiobook in a sense that there is a lot of "commenting" by Cristopher rather than actual storytelling. I picked this up (and was very excited) after listening to The Children of Hurin audiobook and was a bit dissapointed as I expected a bit more. But it is great!

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  • Leigha M Shaw
  • 03-02-21

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

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

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  • Robert Luke
  • 16-05-20

this is absolute dross. There is NO STORY ! ! !

If you want to hear the actual story of Beren and Lúthien then you will have to go somewhere else because all of this book is just to promote the alleged writing skills of the people who compiled it. Sorry but I have just wasted my time and month's credit token.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Nigel C. Cox
  • 28-02-21

Wonderful insight to a beautiful fable

Truly this is an excellent work.
I followed the performance of the poems in the written text and am impressed.

West Snr does a chronicle course weave the words of these Tolkiens.
And of the works that speak direct of Beren and his Lúthien, does West Jnr do more justice than
seemed possible before the start.
By these three hands does spring to life, a joy to read and better hear, so sad a story of ill fate.
A broken song, many times revised, was a hard subject to device
A book, a narrative that is partly lost.
And yet, tis done.

And marvellous.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dan Sands
  • 12-06-20

Wonderful

The narration allows the listener to be enveloped into the world and the initial prose as well as CT's notes allows for the poetry to be better understood. Not just for LOTR fans but worthwhile for anyone interested in poetry and/or legends.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-04-21

entancing ancient tale

updated in the most scho;arly and readable fashion by famed professor and son. dont miss this

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  • Adam
  • 13-03-21

Wonderful companion to the book


This audio-book is narrated by father and son acting troupe Timothy West and Samuel West. This is wonderful, as it echoes the dynamic of J.R.R and Christopher Tolkien that underpins this book. West senior reads the interlinking narrative detailing the evolution of the story, often speaking as Christopher, whilst West Junior narrates the story with real poetic grace and gravitas. He gets the metred verse beautifully, and you are swept up in the dramatic power of poem and prose. He is a great character actor, vividly capturing, for example, the menace of Morgoth, the sinuous, hissing predation of Tevildo, and the grit and suffering of the heroes.

A wonderful companion to the book.

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  • Stephen Russell
  • 05-03-21

Excellent

Classic Tolkien and well narrated. Giving a deeper look into Middle Earth and its history

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-21

A Touching Legacy

Having the father and son team of the Wests read a book that began with JRR Tolkien and finished and edited by his son Christopher begins a key work in Tolkien's work to touching conclusion.

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  • Byron
  • 12-12-20

Loved it!

Another step deeper in to middle earth and the tales of the legends who lived.

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  • Cerebum
  • 15-11-20

not as good as expected

Starting with the positives, the performance was superb. as for the story, parts of it were magical but as a whole it was far more fragmented than others in the series. I frequently found myself taking a break. I don't regret buying it but would struggle to recommend it to others

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-20

loved it

loved all the ways the story was read all the diffrent versions and the poems beren and lúthien was a brilliant story and I intend to.listen to all the others both readers had me emersed completely