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Tales from the Perilous Realm

1 rating: 3.0
A book by J.R.R. Tolkien

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 … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
1 review about Tales from the Perilous Realm

Tolkien's Short Faire Stories Together In One Volume

  • Apr 23, 2009
Rating:
+3
Since they were first published, THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS have always been popular. Those two works combined guaranteed that Tolkien would always have a place at the top of fantasy fiction. Publishers and film studios know that if you just put Tolkien's name on something, you're guaranteed to have more success than without. Not long ago, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt became the prime American publisher of "new" Tolkien works. A couple years ago they published THE CHILDREN OF HURIN which was a very successful book and this summer they will be publishing a new edition of Tolkien's translation of THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN. Last fall (2008), this volume TALES FROM THE PERILOUS REALM was released. The book is a collection of four short stories, a collection of poems, and an essay. Each of the works is available elsewhere, either as a stand alone volume or a part of larger collection. However, this is the first time that these pieces are together in one book. The stories share no characters or settings and are only connected because of theme: each one is a fantasy or "fairy story". TALES FROM THE PERILOUS REALM includes:

"Roverandom"--a story about a toy dog that comes to life, flies to moon, and travels to the depths of the oceans.

"Farmer Giles of Ham"--a tale about a simple early British farmer who using his wits and common sense defeats a giant and a dragon.

"The Adventures of Tom Bombadil"--this is a collection of poems and the only piece that has any association with Middle Earth. A few of the poems are about Tom Bombadil, but most are just poems that are a part of the culture that citizens of Earth probably would have been familiar. Included is the poem about the Oliphants that Samwise talks about in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

"Smith of Wooton Major"--a true fairy tale about how deceiving appearances can be and the passing of gifts from one generation to the next.

"Leaf By Niggle"--an allegorical story about a painter who goes on a long journey.

"On Fairy-Stories"--Tolkien's essay about what is and isn't true fantasy.

The book also includes an introduction by Tom Shippey and the stories are accompanied by illustrations from Alan Lee.
TALES FROM THE PERILOUS REALM is a pretty decent collection of Tolkien's shorter works, especially that not connected to Middle Earth (except for "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil"). Those who consider themselves Tolkien scholars might not get as much from this book as a casual Tolkien fan or reader. The illustrations are nice, but Alan Lee is a different artist than Pauline Bayne and some readers might not like that. However, if you are just a basic fan of Tolkien, are interested in reading more of his work, or have never read any of these stories before, you might want to spend some time curled up under a blanket and reading TALES FROM THE PERILOUS REALM.

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