Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom / Farmer Giles of Ham / The Adventures of Tom Bombadil / Smith of Wootton Major / Leaf by Niggle Hardcover – 1 Oct 2008
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‘An old-fashioned story, yet it still speaks freshly today… would leap to life when read aloud to a child’ Independent
Farmer Giles of Ham:
‘A fabulous tale of the days when giants and dragons walked the kingdom’ Sunday Times
Leaf by Niggle:
‘A haunting and successful demonstration of the qualities of faerie’ New York Times
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil:
‘Something close to genius’ The Listener
Smith of Wootton Major:
‘Whoever reads it at eight will no doubt still be going back to it at eighty’ New Statesman
From the Back Cover
The definitive collection of J.R.R. Tolkien's four acclaimed modern classic fairy tales, finally together in a volume which reaffirms his place as a master storyteller for readers young and old.
The fat and unheroic 'Farmer Giles of Ham' is called upon to do battle with the dragon Chrysophylax; Niggle the painter sets out to paint the perfect tree in 'Leaf by Niggle'; hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls partake in 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil'; and 'Smith of Wootten Major' journeys to the Land of Faery via the magical ingredients of a giant cake.
FARMER GILES OF HAM
"A fabulous tale of the days when giants and dragons walked the kingdom"
LEAF BY NIGGLE
"A haunting and successful demonstration of the qualities of faerie"
NEW YORK TIMES
THE ADVENTURES OF TOM BOMBADIL
"Something close to genius"
SMITH OF WOOTTON MAJOR
"Whoever reads it at eight will no doubt still be going back to it at eighty"
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Top Customer Reviews
In this slim volume is: "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," a collection of poems. Some focus on the weird and wonderful Tom himself, and some are poems that are (or might be) in Middle-Earth, like the creepy "Mewlips," the sweet "Princess Mee," and melancholy "Last Ship." There is "Leaf By Niggle," the tale of a painter straining to live up to his hopes. "Farmer Giles of Ham" is a delightful mock-hero tale about a farmer and a not-so-frightening dragon, while "Smith of Wootton Major" is a deeper, more subtle story about fantasy in a person's life.
As always, Tolkien's writing is entertaining and well-plotted if it's a story, just fantastic if it's a poem. (Although some of the poems have plots too). If you're expecting the depth or grimness of "Lord of the Rings," then you'll disappointed; these are more like "The Hobbit" or "Roverandum" in tone, although there are hints of "Rings" in some of the short stories like "Leaf" or "Farmer Giles."
Why four stars? Well, the cover is a bit odd-looking, a bit smudgy for my taste. And the paper felt a bit odd, as if it could have been better. And buyers should be forewarned: If you have purchased the "Tolkien Reader," then know that this book has some of the same stuff compiled in it. Specifically, "Father Giles" and "Adventures."
This is a good compilation of several of Tolkien's lesser, non-"Lord of the Rings" works, and fans shdould check them out. In fact, so should non-fans.
"Farmer Giles of Ham" on the surface seems to be a pleasant Midaeval adventure tale, but there are subversive elements to it. In this sort of story one expects the Brave Knight to be the hero; however, in dealing with the dragon the King and his Knights are worse than useless, and the person who is able to take care of the matter is a fat, redheaded farmer who doesn't like tresspassers.
"Smith of Wooton Major" is also semiallegorical, with smithcraft standing in for JRRT's professional obligations as a professor at Oxford (in which his son Christopher followed his father's footsteps, as Smith's son became a blacksmith, too.) Some of the images are odd and disturbing, but beautiful, too.
The miscellaneous poems are great fun. Some, of course, refer to his private mythology; many had appeared in different forms in various magazines and private printings over the years before they were assembled in this anthology. "Princess Mee" is a retelling of the Narcissus story; "The Shadow Bride" is evocative of several old myths, including Persephone, but doesn't quite fit with any of them.Read more ›
I can heartily recommend to fans of Tolkien, of magic and of 'faery', of Alan Lee or to those wishing to explore Tolkien but who are not yet ready to tackle the mammoth mountain of literature that is The Lord Of The Rings! This collection is fun, at times frivilous and can be read fast. Perfect for relaxation when you don't want to be too taxed!
Try it...you may find you'll fall for it!
I have to say that my favorites were "Leaf by Niggle" and "Smith of Wotton Major". I was profoundly affected by both of them. Tolkien manages to insert moral points without seeming to preach from a pulpit.
"Farmer Giles of Ham" had an interesting twist to it. Here again Tolkien treads the fine line of morals superbly. I have to say that the poems on Tom Bombadil were disappointing. I was expecting something that went further back into history. Something that told me where he was from and what he was. But, then, that is how stories are. Authors often take me where I have not expected to go, and thank God for that.
A superb read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Has lots of words on each page - which when read seem to make sense.
As a paperback book - Was exactly as expected - made of paper and book shaped. Read more
I love the recording (I've been a fan of Tolkien's and of Sir Derek's for a thousand years, so I'm delighted to find this recording), but the copy I received is missing one of the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nancy Delain