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Tales from the Perilous Realm Hardcover – November 17, 2008


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Tales from the Perilous Realm + Bilbo's Last Song + Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; F First Printing edition (November 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547154119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547154114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alan Lee was born in England in 1947. Inspired by Tolkien's work to pursue his chosen path as an artist of the mythic and fantastic, he has illustrated a wide range of books including Faeries, The Mabinogion, Castles, Merlin Dreams, the centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. He is a winner of the Carnegie Medal for his illustrated edition of The Illiad.


J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892-1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

Definitely a required read for Tolkien fans.
Amazon Customer
This book has Smith of Wootton Major, Farmer Giles of Ham, Tree and Leaf, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Wayne Crenwelge
The stories are told in a very interesting manner, with various sound effects and actors playing their parts to perfection.
Nishant Agarwal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Drogo Moss on August 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
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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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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
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