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Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom and Other Classic Faery Stories [Format Kindle]

J. R. R. Tolkien , Alan Lee
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Available for the first time in one volume, this is the definitive collection of Tolkien’s five acclaimed modern classic ‘fairie’ tales in the vein of ‘The Hobbit’, fully corrected and reset for this edition.

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.

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 Húrin will provide the reader with a fascinating journey into lands as wild and strange as Middle-earth.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 great 12 janvier 2014
Par literate
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This book is just amazing by the cover and the quality. For the ones who are fans of Tolkien you will just love and find it worthwhile.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  123 commentaires
120 internautes sur 126 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Four stories for the adventurous hobbit. . . 24 août 2001
Par Drogo Moss - Publié sur
In this wonderful volume (small and inexpensive enough for frugal hobbits to give away on their birthdays) three short stories and one collection of poems are to be found. The collection of poetry, "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" is drawn from the many poetic examples found in the Red Book of Westmarch and were written or compiled by Bilbo, Frodo, Samwise, and their families. Tom Bombadil is, of course, a well-known figure to those hobbits living in Buckland, and is a figure providing much comic relief. Some of the other poetic examples, however, are darker and more serious in nature. "Leaf by Niggle" is a wonderful short story about a little man (very hobbitlike in his habits) who is a painter whose dream and ambition far exceed the level of his talent. "Farmer Giles of Ham" discusses the adventures of a small farmer living in a town not unlike Bree who gets the best of a devious (but not overbold) dragon. "Smith of Wooten Major" tells the story of how an ordinary man is drawn into the perilous realm of faerie. All in all, this is a book that hobbit fathers would love to share with their children in the evening in front of the fire. I highly recommend this volume.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Tolkien Beyond Middle earth 4 novembre 2008
Par John D. Cofield - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
In Tales From the Perilous Realm we have five short stories or novellas by J.R.R. Tolkien, plus his very famous lecture "On Fairy Stories". Only one of the selections has a direct connection with Middle earth: the poems which make up "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil". The other four are "Leaf By Niggle", a short tale with deeply moving theological connotations which originally accompanied the Fairy Stories lecture; "Roverandom", a story written by Tolkien to comfort one of his sons who had lost a toy dog while at the seashore and not published until 25 years after the author died; "Farmer Giles of Ham," a rollicking tale set in early Britain featuring a bumbling farmer, a near sighted giant, and a dragon which was originally published in the late 1940s; "Smith of Wooton Major", a beautiful story published in the 1960s which is usually interpreted as being Tolkien's acknowledgment that his life was coming to a close and his gifts must be returned or passed on to others.

All of these stories have been published before in different formats, and I have loved them all for many years. I purchased Tales From the Perilous Realm in the interests of completing my collection but with some trepidation, because I knew the illustrations would be different. The late Pauline Baynes illustrated Farmer Giles, Smith, and Tom Bombadil, and her vivid interpretations are so marvelous that I dreaded seeing any depictions by any other artist. But as soon as I opened Tales From a Perilous Realm my fears were allayed. Alan Lee's pencil illustrations are enchanting in their own right, allowing the reader to experience the stories anew with additional pleasure and delight. I will always love Pauline Baynes' illustrations, but Alan Lee's efforts evoke Tolkien's worlds just as vividly. This will be a book to be treasured.
63 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What more could you ask? 14 juin 2001
Par David Zampino - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
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.
38 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 There are better options for the serious Tolkien reader 22 janvier 2009
Par Janet B. Croft - Publié sur
Is this collection worth purchasing?

Tom Shippey's introduction is, as always, incisive and insightful, packed with quotable phrases and interesting observations placing these shorter pieces within Tolkien's oeuvre. But it is aimed at the new reader of these works - it is a guide to how to read them, not ground-breaking new scholarship.

I am personally not a fan of realism in illustration of Tolkien's works; I find that a more stylized approach better suits the atmosphere of his writing. This is perhaps purely a matter of personal taste, but I can't read the stories included in this collection without a deep longing for the original illustrations by Pauline Baynes - particularly for Farmer Giles, where Tolkien himself said he felt her artwork reduced his text to a commentary on the drawings. To my mind, Lee's pale, washed-out pencil drawings hardly hold a candle to Baynes' ability to convey the humor, enchantment, and melancholy of Tolkien's shorter works.

All of the included works by Tolkien are readily available elsewhere. Roverandom, Farmer Giles, Smith, and On Fairy-stories have recently appeared in excellent stand-alone editions with critical commentary and, when applicable, the original illustrations by Baynes or Tolkien himself. All but Roverandom and Smith are included in The Tolkien Reader, which is still in print, though alas only in paperback; I imagine this collection is meant to replace it in hardback.

If you are a fan of Alan Lee, the answer may be yes, though for most of the tales there are actually only two drawings each. But for the scholar or serious reader of Tolkien, the individual volumes with commentary are a wiser expenditure, and have the advantage of including corrected texts (I did not go through the texts in this volume with a fine-tooth comb, but I did spot at least one punctuation error). Is it a good introduction for the new reader of Tolkien, looking to read something beyond The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? Perhaps; it gathers the most important texts conveniently in one place, but the Baynes illustrations (and Tolkien's own illustrations for Roverandom) add so much to the experience that I would hate to see the first-time reader miss them. I'm afraid Tales from the Perilous Realm won't be on any of my gift-giving lists.

Here are the items I recommend instead for the serious Tolkien reader:
Farmer Giles of Ham : The Rise and Wonderful Adventures of Farmer Giles, Lord of Tame, Count of Worminghall, and King of the Little Kingdom
Tolkien on Fairy-Stories
Smith of Wootton Major
The Tolkien Reader
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "For Some the Only Glimpse. For Some the Awaking." 6 février 2010
Par R. M. Fisher - Publié sur
There is a passage in one of the stories collected here that accurately sums up the content of the book itself. In "Leaf By Niggle," Tolkien describes a painting that the artist Niggle has been working on: "It had begun with a leaf caught in the wind, and it became a tree; and the tree grew, sending out innumerable branches, and thrusting out the most fantastic roots...Niggle lost interest in his other pictures; or else he took them and tacked them on to the edges of his great picture. Soon the canvas became so large that he had to get a ladder, and he ran up and down it, putting in a touch here, and rubbing out a patch there."

If the great tree on the canvas is Tolkien's master-work, The Lord of the Rings, then the other little pictures that are "tacked on" to the edges of the bigger one are the stories that are contained within "Tales from the Perilous Realms." Although they are written in the same style and often contain the same themes as the famous trilogy, they are not directly related to Middle-Earth itself. Instead they are self-contained short stories that shed further light on Tolkien's ideas concerning the importance of fairytales, or more specifically, his love of Faerie (not the species, but the place) as a setting for adventures.

Contained here are four short stories, a collection of poems and an essay that explore Tolkien's work outside "The Lord of the Rings," supplemented by illustrations by Alan Lee. Although older editions of the stories were illustrated by Pauline Baynes (better known as the illustrator for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia), Lee's art is not just an acceptable exchange, but somehow even more fitting. Thanks to his work on Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's work, Alan Lee (along with John Howe) has come to be affiliated with Tolkien's work in the same way that we link Quentin Blake with Roald Dahl and John Tenniel with Lewis Carroll, and his beautiful pencil sketches (or watercolours, depending on what version you get) manage to capture the text's blend of whimsy and realism.

The story of "Roverandom" was born out of Tolkien's desire to comfort one of his sons after the boy's favourite toy dog went missing on a holiday to the seashore. Tolkien speculates that the toy was not a toy at all, but rather a real dog that had been transformed by a grumpy wizard, and who was now attempting to find his way home again. Journeying from the moon to the depths of the ocean, and meeting a host of magical creatures on the way, Roverandom's various adventures contain aspects of the ancient mythology that Tolkien admired so much. As the introduction by Tom Shippey points out, the dragons, serpents and wizards in the story all have their counterparts in later works; it is all "connected with the bigger picture."

"Farmer Giles of Ham" is distinctive due to its narrative voice, in which an imaginary editor translates an imaginary narrator, wherein the editor is more interested in the tale's scholarly value on historical place names. With a rather disdainful tone of voice, the editor is ultimately undermined by the spirit of the story itself, which pits a hapless farmer against a wily dragon, entirely against his will. Sound vaguely familiar? Clearer than in any other story we can glimpse Tolkien's love of hearth and home, and the supremacy of simple pleasures and old traditions.

Midway through the book is a segment titled "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," named after one of sixteen poems included here, some of which were included in "The Lord of the Rings" and only two of which involve Tom Bombadil himself. As most readers already know, Tom Bombadil appears within the trilogy as one of its most mysterious characters, most widely regarded as a sort of embodiment of the English countryside; someone who is immensely powerful, but not interested in exerting that power. Tolkien's powers of creating mood and melancholy are at work here, particularly with the poignant "The Last Ship," which involves the passing of the Elves from Middle Earth.

Tolkien presents these poems as the "marginalia" of writing that was found in the Red Book of Westmarch, which most will recall as the book authored by Bilbo, Frodo and Sam at the conclusion of the trilogy, and from which Tolkien himself purported to gather his information on the War of the Ring. It is a clever way of including several of his early poems (many of which were composed before his great trilogy was properly conceived) into the framework of his greater story, and Tolkien even includes a foreword that speculates on which of his characters wrote which poems. This means he has to retcon a couple of details, as when he blames the fake Elvish names in the poem "Errantry" (which was written thirty years prior to the trilogy) as Bilbo's poor grasp of the Elvish language, but also provides intriguing details such as speculation that "The Sea Bell" was written not by, but in memory of Frodo, regarding to his disturbing illness after returned to the Shire. Needless to say, it all adds to the rich tapestry of "The Lord of the Rings."

"Smith of Wootton Major" is my favourite story in this collection. Despite its humdrum name, the tale is one of the deep enchantment that comes with passage between this world and "the Perilous Realms," after a lowly smith swallows a star concealed in a celebratory cake. Endowed with the ability to traverse the Faerie world, the story tells of his experiences there, until the time comes for him to pass the gift onto another. Sad and sweet, the story contains themes that permeate Tolkien's other work, such as the diminishing powers of the Elves due to people willingly reducing them to pretty little dolls, stripped of all their potency. Yet, as the Elf Queen says: "Better a doll, maybe, than no memory of Faery at all."

As mentioned above, "Leaf by Niggle" can be interpreted as a metaphor for the creation of "Rings", with Tolkien as the artist Niggle, a man who is desperate to get his life's work finished. Shippey describes it as an "otherworldly Divine Comedy", in which Niggle is constantly interrupted, first by his own habits, and then by outside forces, finally enduring a sort of Purgatory, before advancing on into the world beyond the frame of his his own work. Although all the stories so far can easily be read to and by children, this is one that may very well leave them baffled. However, this shouldn't stop anyone from actually reading it to them anyway, though it may take a few reads by adults as well in order to derive the full meaning of Niggle's mysterious journey. Having apparently coming to Tolkien in a dream, this story is one that transcends both our world *and* fantasy realms, taking us past death and into the (possible) afterlife.

Finally, the collection is capped off with Tolkien's famous "On Fairy-Stories" lecture, which essentially contains much of the ideology behind "The Lord of the Rings," and the blueprint for its themes and plotting. Here is where Tolkien coined terms such as the "eucatastrophe," and "sub-creations" and argues the full importance of fairytales in the world: "we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart's desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very heart web of story, and lets a gleam come through."

"Tales from the Perilous Realm" will most likely appeal most to Tolkien enthusiasts, particularly in its inclusion of the poems, but anyone with a passing interest in fairytales will most likely appreciate and enjoy this collection. Inevitably there are glimpses and echoes of "The Lord of the Rings," which add depth to Tolkien's later work whether it is read before or after this anthology. If you squint, the star in "Smith of Wootton Major" is almost like a benevolent Ring, which grants insight and a certain degree of power; whilst "Farmer Giles of Ham" has the warmth and familiarity of the Shire in its portrayal of the English countryside. And when Roverandom gets a glimpse of the Western Isles of the edge of the world, I felt a little shiver, knowing that in another time and place, Frodo would be glimpsing them too.
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