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Roverandom Hardcover – 5 Jan 1998


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (5 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0261103539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261103535
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 28.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,043,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description

Review

‘This is an old-fashioned story, yet it still speaks freshly today… would leap to life when read aloud to a child’
Independent

‘Lord of the Rings buffs will enjoy picking out bits of Nordic mythology and will relish Tolkien’s fabulous sense of landscape’
The Times

From the Back Cover

While on holiday in 1925 young Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach. To console him, his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, invented a story about a real dog who is turned into a toy by a wizard and sent by a ‘sand sorcerer’ to the moon and under the sea.

More than 70 years later, the adventures of the dog Rover, also known as ‘Roverandom’, are now published for the first time. They have been edited from the original typescript by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, who relate the story to sources ranging from the Norse sagas to E. Nesbit, and link it also to Tolkien’s other fiction, including 'The Hobbit ', the ‘Father Christmas’ letters, and ‘The Silmarillion’. The book also includes five illustrations by Tolkien himself.

Entertaining and rich in wordplay, 'Roverandom' will delight all readers who love a clever tale, and will be welcomed by Tolkien’s many admirers of all ages.

Christina Scull is the former librarian of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London and the editor of the magazine 'The Tolkien Collector'. Her husband, Wayne G. Hammond, is Assistant Librarian in the Chapin Library of Rare Books, Williams College, author of the standard bibliography of Tolkien’s works, and a regular contributor of Tolkien notes to the journal 'Mythlore'. The couple live in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Their acclaimed study of Tolkien’s paintings and drawings, 'J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator', is also published by HarperCollins.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. M. D. Lancaster on 24 Jan 2004
Format: Paperback
Reading Roverandom, by J.R.R. Tolkien, was like opening a dusty box of childhood memories left under my bed. It has a sort of playful side to it. When Rover was journeying to the moon on the back of a seagull named Mew, and almost traveled an actual road in the sky to get there. Tolkien dragged you into the plot by drawing you in as a part of his outrageous world, giving you a sense of belonging. For instance, he'd mention the names of the flowers on the moon, as if it were nothing and as if they were common knowledge. Fairbells, tinklebells, ringaroses, pennywhistles, tintrumpets, feathergrasses, fairy-fiddlestrings, etc... Roverandom was short and extremely fast-pace. Tolkien consumed big slices of time like homemade bread. He would say, "Rover and the Sea-dog had many more adventures under the ocean, but we can save those for another time." It left a lot of room for your imagination to run wild. Strangely, it was very entertaining. When Rover is under the ocean and causes the sea serpent to awaken on accident, his shy little attitude makes you sad for him. But, of course, good books are the ones that make you feel something. They are the ones that make you feel like you're the main character without ever having been in their position.
This little novel is about a little dog that goes on many strange and magical adventures. It starts off with Rover biting Artaxerxes's trousers. Artaxerxes is an old grumpy wizard who just happened to be strolling by, and some say it wasn't coincidence. The old wizard become furious with Rover and turns him into a miniature toy puppy. Rover goes through many bizarre complications trying to get back to his original form. The entire journey not only turns out to be a lesson for Artaxerxes and his anger-control, but for Rover as well.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
For a little kid, losing a favorite toy is downright traumatic. So in 1925, when four-year-old Michael lost his little toy dog on the beach, fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien made up a story to comfort his son. It explained away the loss of the toy, and wove a magical story around a little dog named Rover.

Rover is an ordinary little puppy near the seaside in England, until he runs into a grumpy old man and ends up biting off part of his pants. The old man happens to be a wizard (Artaxerxes by name), and promptly transforms Rover into a toy dog (and no, I don't mean a tiny dog -- I mean a real toy). Rover subsequently gets picked up and sold to some little boys (presumably the Tolkien kids).

Fortunately, Rover encounters another magical being, a crusty, kindly sand-wizard named Psamathos. That wizard, in turn, gets Rover (who is renamed Roverandom) flown to the moon, where he spends time with the Man in the Moon and his winged dog Rover. And then he's heading off to encounter a talking whale, a mer-dog, a sea serpent -- and a dragon.

Like the vastly underrated "Farmer Giles of Ham," "Roverandom" is a charming little bit of whimsy. No deep themes, no epic clashes, not even really a villain. The writing is charming and magical, with phrases like "There was a cold wind blowing off the North Star" sprinkled through it. It almost gives the feeling of being in another world. Best of all, in the middle of the book are Tolkien's own illustrations, cute little drawings and ethereal paintings.

Rover is well-named, since his adventures are all over the map and don't really progress from one to the other. It's merely a cute little dog roaming over the moon, the ocean, and the land, conversing with shrimps and bothering wizards. He's an outspoken little guy, but likeable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 5 Jun 2003
Format: Paperback
In 1925, during a vacation on the Yorkshire coast, J.R.R. Tolkien's four-year-old son Michael lost his favorite toy dog. To console Michael, his father spun out a tale of where the toy dog had come from and where he went. This is that story.
A young dog named Rover is happily playing with his yellow rubber ball when he meets a cross old man. Rover sends the man on his way, tearing his trousers in the process. Sadly for Rover, the old man is Artaxerxes, a powerful wizard from Persia. (When Artaxerxes had become lost and asked for directions, someone had become confused and gave him directions to Pershore!) Artaxerxes turns Rover into a toy dog, and sends him off. This is the start of an epic quest for Rover, who meets a sand-wizard, the Man-in-the-Moon, the great dragons that live on the moon, the many merfolk living at the bottom of the ocean, and a delightful little boy.
This gentle story is quite entertaining. The story is wonderful in a slow, gentle way that seems irreproducible today. It is great for children. Complete with a group of illustrations drawn by the great J.R.R. himself, and some notes at the end to explain certain names and so forth, this is a great buy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yomalyn on 28 Nov 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
This story is a wonderful tale that can be enjoyed by all ages. The writing is more similar to "The Hobbit" rather than "Lord of the Rings", although it is less descriptive, as it was originally made for a small child. It is a wonderful bedtime story that can be read to little children (and it even explains how dreams are made) and could probably be read by an intelligent 8-10 year old. Teens and adults will enjoy the whole-hearted cuteness of the story as Rover "randomly roves" through many wonderous places :)
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