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on 11 January 2014
Tales from the Perilous Realm is a beautiful collection of some of Tolkien's finest but most obscure works, illustrated (in my copy, at least) by Alan Lee. Lee also worked with the Tolkien estate on The Children of Húrin, which was edited by Tolkien's youngest son Christopher, and I was impressed by that as well.

Here, five of Tolkien's short stories are gathered together alongside an essay of his On Fairy-Stories - despite being an essay, it's highly readable and a fascinating insight in to both the way that Tolkien's mind worked and the secret history of the fairy tale. You'd be surprised at what is, and what isn't, a fairy tale, for example.

In fact, this entire collection is very easy-to-read and surprisingly enlightening - I'll admit that I struggled through The Lord of the Rings, and I often found it tedious when Tolkien went off on a tangent. Here, he's lucid, entertaining and ready to please children and adults alike with his wonderful words.

In particular, be sure to check out Roverandom, the first story in the collection and possibly the finest. It tells you the story of an adventurous dog who's magicked away on an adventure after biting the leg of a crochety old wizard - along the way, he meets the Man on the Moon and his dog, discovers an underwater kingdom where the wizard has been appointed 'PAM' (Pacific-Atlantic Magician), and learns that 'Rover' is a pretty common name, for a dog.

Farmer Giles of Ham is also pretty epic, a story about a simple farmer who ends up battling giants and dragons to save his honour - it ends happily, and I'm pretty sure it contains a moral, although I'm not sure what that moral might be. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil follows, but it's not as good as you might expect - it's written in verse, and grows tedious after the first thirty pages.

Smith of Wootton Major and Leaf By Niggle round out the collection, and though they're both strong stories, they're not as strong as the others. Still, they're the finishing touches on a killer arsenal that will make you fall in love with Tolkien all over again, a book that's easily enjoyed by anyone, whether they're a fantasy reader or not.
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on 27 November 2001
Alas, whenever Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" is dramatized or abridged, the first part cut is the hobbits' encounter with Tom Bombadil. Bombadil, as every Tolkien fanatic knows, is a fascinating and mysterious figure who fits nowhere into Tolkien's mythology. These tapes contain the "missing episode" about Old Man Willow, Tom and Goldberry, and the barrow wight that was cut from Brian Sibley's BBC production of "The Lord of the Rings." The cast are the same as in the rest of the production, and the tapes are worth the price for this episode alone.
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on 4 April 2010
I'm a big fan of tolkien, but I wasn't sure about these stories. They were alright, but for short stories, they took a long time to get anywhere. I think this is more to do with personal taste than the quality of the writing, because I love lots of description in books and novels, but not in short stories, I prefer them to be a bit more blunt and to the point. Worth a read anyway, but I wouldn't say this is the best of tolkien's work.

But it is a lovely collection, and any fantasy or Tolkien fan should give it a read!
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on 15 January 2002
I have read lots of Tolkiens work and it is all brill!
This book has four stories in it, Farmer Giles of ham is the tale of a farmer who has to go and fight the evil dragon Chrysophylax.
Tom Bombadil is a collection of poems from Tolkiens books.
Leaf by Niggle is the tale of a painter who sets out to find the perfect tree and smith of wooten Major is about a man who finds himself entering the worlds of Faerie.
If you liked the hobbit, then this is the perfect book for you!
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on 5 January 2014
Farmer Giles of Ham is a tale about an ordinary farmer who, through a series of seemingly random events, becomes a mighty hero and ruler. Along the way he befriends a dragon, who appears as a villain through the early parts of the book.

Though the story is quite short and so can not be compared with Tolkein's longer works, it is still a griping and action packed story.

While this is not a classic Tolkien, I found it to be an engaging story nonetheless.
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on 17 February 2013
I know these stories were for the young but I am still reading them when not so young. You can't beat Tolkien he started my imagination and thousands of others have enjoyed these stories - hopefully we olders ones will make sure the young ones are given the same opportunity, forever. The underlying stories of good/evil and hardwork winning are here for all to read. Spoil yourselves and read them to your grandchildren - it will bring benefits!
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on 27 January 2013
Excellent book of short works by Tolkien! Would recommend to all fans of The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit books. Very interesting lecture about faerie stories at the end of the book which is taken from his research and knowledge as an English professor.
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on 14 October 2009
The stories and the illustrations are wonderful! I recommend anyone who love books and who's a collector like me to buy this book and face it... it's Tolkien and illustrated by Alan Lee... it's ACES!!!
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on 7 December 2012
I personally rate The hobbit and Tales of the Perilous Realm far higher than any of Tolkiens other work, even Lord of the rings.

-This book is Brilliant for Children and Adults akin, the first copy I had was simplistic and with no illustrations (which I would reccomend for any children as it is good for the imagination to invent your own version of tolkiens realm)

-This edition is stamped by the genius of Alan Lee (concept Artist of Lord of the Rings movies, I reccomend his artbook sketches from middle earth) and is brilliant for a collector, or as a gift for any age.
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on 1 July 2014
So a chance to read more of his wondrous works, I have already y read The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Tales of Tom Bombadil and of course TLOTR's
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