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Tales From The Perilous Realm: Roverandom And Other Classic Faery Stories [Hardcover]

J.R.R. Tolkien
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 14 2009
This de luxe collector's edition includes the first edition text and features an exclusive colour frontispiece illustration on a fold-out sheet. The book is quarterbound, with a specially commissioned motif stamped in three foils on the front board, and is presented in a matching slipcase. The five tales are written with the same skill, quality and charm that made The Hobbit a classic. Largely overlooked because of their short lengths, they are finally together in a volume which reaffirms Tolkien's place as a master storyteller for readers young and old. * Roverandom is a toy dog who, enchanted by a sand sorcerer, gets to explore the world and encounter strange and fabulous creatures. * Farmer Giles of Ham is fat and unheroic, but - having unwittingly managed to scare off a short-sighted giant - is called upon to do battle when a dragon comes to town; * The Adventures of Tom Bombadil tells in verse of Tom's many adventures with hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls; * Leaf by Niggle recounts the strange adventures of the painter Niggle who sets out to paint the perfect tree; * Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the Land of Faery thanks to the magical ingredients of the Great Cake of the Feast of Good Children. This new collection is fully illustrated throughout by Oscar-winning artist, Alan Lee, who provides a wealth of pencil drawings to bring the stories to life as he did so memorably for The Hobbit and The Children of Hurin. Alan also provides an Afterword, in which he opens the door into illustrating Tolkien's world. World-renowned Tolkien author and expert, Tom Shippey, takes the reader through the hidden links in the tales to Tolkien's Middle-earth in his Introduction, and recounts their history and themes. Lastly, included as an appendix is Tolkien's most famous essay, "On Fairy-stories", in which he brilliantly discusses fairy-stories and their relationship to fantasy. Taken together, this rich collection of new and unknown work from the author of The Children of Hurin will provide the reader with a fascinating journey into lands as wild and strange as Middle-earth.

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Roverandom: '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

About the Author

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Master's material March 8 2003
This stuff goes under the listing of "things most people don't know Tolkien wrote," along with things like "On Fairy Stories," "Bilbo's Last Song" and the charming bedtime story "Roverandum." It's a good collection of Tolkien's lesser-known material, including some cute short stories and poems.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5/5 Jan. 29 2014
By Joy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're a tolkien fan this book is a must to have in your library/book collection. Tales from the Perilous Realm and The Silmarillion are my two personal favorite books by Tolkien.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more could you ask? June 14 2001
Tolkien's four greatest short stories (well, three acutally, plus the poetry) together in one volume.
"The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" involves two long poems with Tom as the main character, a number of poems from "The Lord of the Rings" as well as other assorted poetry concerning Middle Earth.
"Farmer Giles of Ham" is an extraordinary tale about a wise farmer who outwits a wicked (but not overbold) dragon. A wonderful story for children -- and full of delightful (and deliberate) anachronisms for the alert adult.
"Leaf by Niggle" is a profound and powerful story about death, life, Purgatory and eternity. It should be read in conjunction with Tolkien's non-fiction essay "On Fairy Stories".
"Smith of Wooten Major", one of the last works by the Master, tells the story of a very ordinary person who is given a very extraordinary gift. (The story also suggests the presence of the sacramental in the act of feasting).
Altogether, a wonderful collection, and one that is sure to delight. Only those far gone in the desubstantialization of the human race could fail to appreciate these stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Farmer Giles of Ham is extraordinarily good April 11 2000
If you read the LOTR and The Hobbit and miss to read more, this is the book for you. Farmer Giles of Ham is folklorish in style, but the story is much like the other grand adventures Tolkien wrote. Great story! The other stories are a bit so-so. Its Farmer Giles that really makes this book worth the bucks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bite-size Tolkien Oct. 12 2011
By Lyra Tallis TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great little book to satisfy your craving for Tolkien's writing without delving into the tome of the Lord of the Rings. There are 4 short stories that are each easily digested in one sitting, but if the mood strikes, can offer much food for thought after you have set the text aside.

Interestingly, I read this right after re-reading the Narnia series, written by Tolkien's good friend Lewis, and was struck by the many similarities, particularly in philosophical treatments of endings and death.

No matter what you intend to get from reading this collection, I would say it is worth the 10 bucks.
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This handy, cheap collection of Tolkien's fairy tales is a must for everybody who enjoyed the writer's humourous vein of The Hobbit's fame, as well as for Middle-Earth completists. But there's enough there for fans of epic fantasy too, thus for more traditional Tolkien fans, especially because of the hobbit poems from the Tom Bombadil book.
Farmer Giles of Ham is a delicious satirical fairy tale about a farmer who unwillingly, but wittingly becomes a hero of the land by luck and cunning. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is pure Middle Earth lore, as it presents itself as a collection of hobbit poems about Tom Bombadil and many other subjects. More than the poems themselves, the entertainment value rests on the volume being made as a scholarly anthology of poetry. The introduction to Adventures is especially merciless, often stating the simple and derivative nature of the poems, written in some cases by no less than Bilbo, Frodo or Sam Gamgee, that fans of Lord Of The Rings will devour with almost religious fervour.
Leaf By Niggle is the most poetic, allegorical of the bunch. Almost kafkian at some point, it turns into a touching defense of art and literature, as well as of the simple, common-sense based nature Tolkien praised and satirised so often in other cases.
Smith Of Wootton Major is the most traditional of these modern fairy tales and the perfect ending to the collection.
This book is a bit uneven, but overall absolutely charming and very pleasant to read. On the plus side is also its being perfectly suited for children, because there are all sides of human nature here, but the tone is definitely all-ages, and everything is fairly (and fairy-ly) presented.
In closing, a mention of honour to the book's introduction, which is an extract of a 1939 lecture he gave.
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