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The Marvellous Land of Snergs [Kindle Edition]

E. A. Wyke-Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Joe and Sylvia have run away—just for fun—in search of adventure, and the elusive Snergs, small, dwarf-like creatures who inhabit a nearby forest realm. Joe and Sylvia find not only the Snerg Gorbo, but also kings, knights, ogres, and an evil witch intent on capturing them. A favourite bedtime tale of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Marvellous Land of Snergs is a magical story reminiscent of the world that used to be, and a must-read for fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.


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Review

I should like to record my own and my children’s love of the Snergs.. -- JRR Tolkien

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2945 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (14 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007679754
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #546,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The only reason, and it is indeed a sad reason, that this long forgotten novel has come back into print is because it has a (slight) connection with Tolkien, one of this century's most popular writers. I say sad because it aptly displays how a fine writer of children stories can write a really good tale but remain obscure. Had Tolkien not read him, although it would have quite possibly change the course of modern literature because he would not think of the hobbits as halfings (well, he might, but he said this was their source) and create them as a viable race in Middle-earth.

As for the book itself? It is a fun, light read appropriate for children about ten or so. There is some violence in the end which may be rather frightening to young children, but nowadays they see worst on the television, and the violence is not real explicity. E. A. Wyke-Smith incorporates the Arthurian myth of the land across the river, which Tolkien did not like. Shame-facedly, my aquaintance with the Arthurian cycle lies much closer to dimly knowing as opposed to being an expert thereon.

One thing that marks this book is Wyke-Smith's assimilation of various children's traditions into a cohesiave whole. The Flying Dutchman, that mythical ghost ship, is here, and witches and an ogre are present as well. One interesting little facet are the children that are kept there (in a sort of schooling organization) are taken because they are superfluous children. I think it is for the regulation of superfluous children. I do not have my book with me, so I cannot say for sure. The most memorable character for was Golithos, an ogre who lived off poorly grown cabbage and was a 'reformed' ogre.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How much other literature has been forgotten? 27 Sept. 2001
By Mike London - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The only reason, and it is indeed a sad reason, that this long forgotten novel has come back into print is because it has a (slight) connection with Tolkien, one of this century�s most popular writers. I say sad because it aptly displays how a fine writer of children stories can write a really good tale but remain obscure. Had Tolkien not read him, although it would have quite possibly change the course of modern literature because he would not think of the hobbits as halfings (well, he might, but he said this was their source) and create them as a viable race in Middle-earth.
As for the book itself? It is a fun, light read appropriate for children about ten or so. There is some violence in the end which may be rather frightening to young children, but nowadays they see worst on the television, and the violence is not real explicity. E. A. Wyke-Smith incorporates the Arthurian myth of the land across the river, which Tolkien did not like. Shame-facedly, my aquaintance with the Arthurian cycle lies much closer to dimly knowing as opposed to being an expert thereon.
One thing that marks this book is Wyke-Smith�s assimilation of various children�s traditions into a cohesiave whole. The Flying Dutchman, that mythical ghost ship, is here, and witches and an ogre are present as well. One interesting little facet are the children that are kept there (in a sort of schooling organization) are taken because they are superfluous children. I think it is for the regulation of superfluous children. I do not have my book with me, so I cannot say for sure. The most memorable character for was Golithos, an ogre who lived off poorly grown cabbage and was a �reformed� ogre. His struggle with his reformation proves quite humourous and, for me, is one of the best moments that children�s literature has to offer.
As for it�s relation to Tolkien, this publication will only be of interested to Tolkien scholars and fans, and probably only they will search this book out because of it�s influence on THE HOBBIT. It�s principle influence were the Snergs themselves, who were quite like Hobbits in height and social customs, although they do have a king. It�s a real shame that the only reason this book will be read is because of Tolkien, for it is a quite good children�s book in and of itself.
The question remains, however: how other many worthwhile pieces of literature have escaped the popular canon and sank into the dusty obscurities of time? Who knows how long this will survive. It may interest you to know that Homer wrote a third book which was a comedy and Aristotle wrote a book about comedy and both are now lost. Very tragic. Don't let it happen to this book, because it's a charmer.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marvellous Land of Snergs 31 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a delightful book I read as a child at my after-school babysitter's - and searched for over a 30 year period! I could never remember the title, nor author. But I recalled the jist of the tale and the cover illustration - a knight atop a horse, looking down and to his left at a child. Every town or city I lived in or visited, I would haunt the libraries and used book stores. And even though I had a rough description of a land for "superfluous" -as another reviewer said- children,and the adventures of two of them in another Land ..... no one knew of the book. They were always trying to get me to settle on "Water Babies" (?) or "Flying Dutchmen" - that last one was real close! I cruised through children's sections, card catalogs, dusty shelves and cartons - looking for some hint of a name to open my memories.
It wasn't until an unplanned pre-Xmas stop at Powell's City of Books in Portland (OR){a landmark behemoth of a bookstore - ya gotta see it to believe it!} one evening that I DID stumble across it ! And I HAD to buy it: published 1928, hardcover, stamped on the inside cover with "Withdrawn - Cedar Mill Community Library" - all 220pgs with George Morrow's great illustrations. I think I paid about $10. for it. There it was, here in my adopted Pacific NW just like the book that captivated my imagination and fancy so many years before-far away on the Northeast coast of New England. Of course I read it again! - and was just as delighted. And only then - in my "adult body" - did I see the similarities with Hobbits and the Like. As an 8 yr old I had never heard of Bilbo or Frodo. It would be another 9 years before I was lost in Middle Earth! And may I ever stay the child-at-heart, blissfully lost in those hobbit hills. Highly recommend this early literary treasure trove Tolkien and his kids loved. And the forerunner of all things Hobbit-ish.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy skeptic no longer ! 29 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I received "The Marvellous Land of Snergs" as a gift and reluctantly read it. I postponed getting to the 'meat' of the story by reading the introduction, secretly hoping to be bored and providing an excuse to put it down. I was captured within minutes and couldn't wait to begin the adventure. The chapters are short and decoratively written providing the reader a minds view of the landscape and many personalities the main characters, Joe and Sylvia, encounter on their travels. Joe and Sylvia provided a link with traditional fiction that boosted my enthusiasm for devouring this book. A book I will read to my children!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that inspired Hobbits 22 Jun. 2008
By B. Weaves - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the book that JRR Tolkien used to read to his children, and it inspired him to create Hobbits. It's a wonderful story on its own! You can see where The Hobbit got it's inspiration, but The Wonderful Land Of Snergs is a completely different story.

It was published in 1928, and has a more modern vibe to it than I thought it would. For example, the ogre who used to eat children has gone vegetarian. The seaman's parrot swears in High Dutch. There's also quite a few double entendres for the adults. The Snergs help out the Ladies of the society that saves unwanted children and in return the Snergs benefit from "intercourse with fine ladies." Haha. I believe he MEANT "talking and just being around fine ladies." A knight errant has gone in search of dragons to fight, but can't find any. A miller tells him he knows where a dragon is, but it turns out to be the miller's wife. You get the idea. The kids will giggle, but the adults will get a little more out of it. Several of the words used in the book I had to look up, and I'm a fairly educated adult, so it's definitely a book for an adult to enjoy with children, along with a dictionary by the nightstand.

If you're a JRR Tolkien fan, then you'll definitely want to read this book. But even if you're not, this is a wonderful children's book on it's own, and deserves to be more widely read. If you're a Harry Potter fan, I think you would also enjoy this book. It's on the level of the first or second Harry Potter.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before there were Hobbits 20 July 2007
By Richard C. West - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is easy to see why this 1928 novel was a favorite with J. R. R. Tolkien's young children, and that the short-statured, big-hearted Snergs might well have been in the back of his mind when he created his Hobbits. But aside from that connection, this is a delightful children's book. The avuncular narrator keeps insisting there will be a sound moral to the story coming up eventually, but finally admits there isn't any, except perhaps to be wary of ogres who claim to have reformed. Along the way there is a journey through a magical landscape, the Flying Dutchman and his crew, a cunning witch who gets her come-uppance (as the not-so-reformed ogre gets his), old hostilities that are settled, a dunderhead Snerg who becomes a better and wiser peson, and a good deal of humor.
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