The Mouse That Roared
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Mouse That Roared (The Mouse That Roared #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  930 ratings  ·  93 reviews
1956 hushed world political pandemonium when tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick pretty young ruler Gloriana XII sends handsome Tully Bascomb to New York with twenty-odd bowmen. The Expeditionary Force quietly takes the doomsday quadium bomb, bird-lover inventor Dr Kokintz, General Snippett, and four cops. 1959 film. Serial in Saturday Evening Post when US feared Russian invasion.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 10th 2003 by Da Capo Press (first published February 1955)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best Humorous Books
412th out of 2,433 books — 4,682 voters
Lolita by Vladimir NabokovThe Return of the King by J.R.R. TolkienThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisCat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee WilliamsThe Quiet American by Graham Greene
Best Books of 1955
13th out of 51 books — 39 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,443)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Henry Avila
The tiny English speaking Duchy of Grand Fenwick, located in the Alps, may not seem very important. Just three miles wide and five long.But to the proud inhabitants,all 6,000 of them, it's still paradise on Earth. Founded in 1370 by an English knight Roger Fenwick(Sir Roger if you valued your life in his presence!). Trouble begins when their only export Pinot wine is threatened by a copycat from California( I understand a very inferior product).Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, direct descendant of R...more
Kyle
This book is hilarious. Unfortunately it's also out of print, and so difficult to track down. Luckily I managed to find a copy in a local used book store, and I read it very quickly.

I first heard of the movie version of this book many years ago when I was still in high school, and a friend told me about this movie where a small nation invades America and wins, even though they only had spears and things, because nobody took them seriously. I thought it sounded funny, but she didn't know the name...more
Nick Hannon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Van
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Les
I remember the absurdity of this book which I read it back in high school (~1977). I need to find a copy and see how well it has held up over time. Grand Fenwick gets hacked off because America is making a knock-off version of their famous wine, so this little podunk country invades us without anyone noticing. That is until they wind up with possession of the world's most powerful weapon. Suddenly they've got everybody's attention.

An Odd1
"Victory sometimes carries more responsibilities than gains" p 185, raises serious issues, survival of human race over nation. Idealistic, optimistic, sweet tale, more naive than silly. Medieval morals vanquish diplomacy "exactly the right words with which to promise everything and guarantee nothing" p 255. The woods "loveliness of early summer .. rich blossoms .. cathedral columns .. spreading oaks .. squirrels chattering" reminds mere mortals of nature "link with posterity" p 217-219.

In 1956,...more
Charles
I should give it 2 and a half stars. I didn't find it all that funny but it was well written. I'm just a very hard sell for humor.
Wayne S.
When I was in high school, I was never involved in drama, but I did attend all the plays, and one year either the junior or senior class did a drama adapted for the stage in 1963 by Christopher Sergel from The Mouse That Roared, a 1955 satirical novel by Irish-American writer Leonard Wibberley. The imaginary Duchy of Grand Fenwick is a tiny European country, three miles by five miles, supposedly located in the Alps between Switzerland and France, ruled by the 22 year old Duchess Gloriana XII. It...more
Michael Lindy
Although this book was of fairly good quality, most of the things that come to my mind regarding it are criticisms. Though Wibberley's social commentary was genius, I felt that his delivery often missed the mark, and regrettably wonder how much more enjoyable the book would have been in the hands of a superior comic. Furthermore, I felt as if Wibberly couldn't decide if whether or not he even wanted this book to be funny. For example, after a rather humorous debate in which a political prisoner...more
Michael Austin
Like many insufferable teenage geeks, I saw the Peter Sellers movie on TV and thought that that was as good as reading the book. But it wasn’t. The movie was comic genius, but the book is excellent satire, which is not the same thing.
The Mouse that Roared tells the story of the knights of the Grand Duchy of Fenwick, who (around the time of the Marshall Plan) set out to attack the United States, lose the war, and “be rehabilitated beyond our wildest dreams.” They send a small pack of longbowmen...more
Gail Amendt
I first read this cold war era political satire when I was in junior high, and remember enjoying it very much. I wanted to re-read it to see if a more mature and politically informed perspective would diminish its appeal. I'm happy to say that I think I enjoyed it more this time around.

A tiny European nation, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, measuring three miles by five miles, finds itself in dire financial trouble when a U.S. winery starts selling an inferior copy of Pinot Grand Fenwick, the nati...more
Jon
The Mouse That Roared is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. The Duchy of Grand Fenwick is a European country three miles wide and five miles long. It has been independent since its founding by Roger Fenwick in 1370, and has never changed its military. Its warriors even now are fourteenth century longbowmen.The conflict of this farcical novel begins when the country faces an economic crisis. The Council of Freedom, the parliament of the country, meets with the Duchess of Grand...more
Gerald
This book is wonderfully ridiculous - a satire of this finest kind. "The Mouse" in this story is the tiny country of The Grand Duchy of Fenwick - an Alpine country five miles long and 3 miles wide near the borders of France and Switzerland. Their entire economy, based on the successful export of their world-famous wine Pinot Grand Fenwick, is brought to its knees after American vintners in San Rafael, California begins bottling a competitive wine they call Pinot Grand Enwick.

After being laughed...more
Yearning To Read
http://yearningtoread.blogspot.com/

Grand Fenwick is a little known country near France, a small duchy that has flourished for centuries because of their popular wine company. Recently, however, the wine business has failed to bring in enough money to live on.  There are those who wish to dilute the wine, and others who are against this notion. Both parties continue to argue over the outcome until a grand scheme is devised: small, itty bitty Grand Fenwick will declare war on the U.S. - attack, l...more
Erik Graff
Mar 28, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wibberly fans
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Shelves: literature
I saw the 1959 movie with Dad and liked it so much that I picked up the paperback and read it during a typically boring day of my parents visiting Lajla and Christian, his mother and her husband. This was a normal circumstance. Until fifth grade the family had lived in unincorporated Kane County, wellover an hour's drive to the city in those days before expressways. Then the grandparents decided to move from one to another house in Park Ridge, immediately NW of Chicago. They made their old house...more
Antof9
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher Roth
Having only dimly remembered seeing the movie long long ago, and having never read anything by Wibberley other than Encounter near Venus, a strange H.G. Wells ripoff-I-mean-tribute, for children (now an out-of-print rarity), which haunted me after I read it in grade school, I was surprised at how genuinely witty it is. I may pick up some of the other "Mouse" novels if I come across them.
Greg
What a delightful and humorous novel, and a somewhat sly commentary on political and economic practices. It is set in the political and economic climate of the 1950s, and revolves around the plight of the fictional country of Grand Fenwick. Caught in unfair competitive practices in the wine industry, Grand Fenwick finally determines to declare war on the U.S., fully expecting to lose. Their hope is that, as with other countries (e.g., Japan) that have lost to the U.S. in wartime, Grand Fenwick w...more
Art
Jan 31, 2014 Art rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
What a terrific book! It has all the understated humour that I associate with British writing, but some North American brashness as well. If I were still in the classroom, I might consider reading it to a grade 7 or 8 class, with an accompanying unit on medieval life, military conventions and a bit on basic court life of the 14th century. If I could get archers and people from the Society for Creative Anachronisms involved, all the better!
Aaron
This book was fantastic. It reminds me a lot of The Princess Bride in style, and the fact that it is about a tiny made up European country. Wibberley had me hooked after the first chapter. I can't count the number of times that he made laugh with his descriptions even though they all basically had the same punchline, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick is tiny and about five centuries behind the rest of the world but their people are proud. It is very appropriate that towards the end of the book one of t...more
Gerald
"Props" to Baroukh for getting me to read this. It was a worthwhile experience, but everyone is all, "This book made me laugh till I stopped" or some seeming hyperbole about how funny it was --- I didn't think it was that amusing. It was definitely a good, enjoyable book, and therefore contained some whimsy and fancy, but I guess the "rip-roaringest" sections were lost on me. If a book is going to make me laugh, it's gonna have to talk about giant lizards on cocaine playing checkers inside a guy...more
Deborah
Required school reading (sec ll). I loved it much more than the student who had to read it. The movie stared Peter Sellers, I guess I was able to imagine him as I read the book.:)
Alexa Wight
I liked this book, but I wasn't crazy about it. I like a lot of fiction romance novels and writers such as Nicholas Sparks and John Green, so this book was a little different than my usual reading. I studied US History two years ago, so I understand the Cold War but not in great detail. The parody was really funny in the book, but I didn't like some of the strange, old-sounding syntax. Also, the book feels like the story is being told by an elder to a younger generation as a history tale compare...more
James
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
The Mouse That Roared is exactly what I needed to break me out of my reading funk. It's a side-splittingly funny, brilliant satire that manages to be incredibly apt, despite its 1955 publication date. It brought to mind The Pushcart War because it shares that deadpan humor, but The Mouse That Roared deals with war and nuclear proliferation in addition to capitalism and small business. And somehow, it does all that with a deft hand and careful balance.

I will say that the ending was fairly predict...more
Gretchen
This was a great book. It started out as just humorus, which isn't bad, but then it developed into something more. After Grand Fenwick had achieved the Q bomb, it gathered a political aspect that was first formed during the cold war but still holds true today.

I found it politically interesting in today's setting as the League of Little Nations might be comprised of a completely different set of nations, not all neccessarily quailified by their size, but rather by the international pecking order...more
Catherine
This is a satire about a little tiny fictional country in the Alps that declares war on the United States and isn't taken seriously. They invade New York with long bows and maces and the rest is "history." It is also a commentary on the nuclear age and the idea of having more and better nuclear weapons in order to "keep the peace." There are some very humorous parts to the story, such as the invading army leaving the borders of their country in 14th Centry fighting gear and then changing into st...more
Zbhall
Absurd, fun, and a quick read.
Valerie
None of these editions seem to be the one I read. My uncle had a bunch of books which were later made into movies, tv shows, etc. I don't think they were 1st editions, but they may have been the 1st paperback editions.

I'm pretty sure I read this before I saw the movie, but the movie had been out for some time before I saw it. I don't think there's much comparison. Peter Sellers made anything he did different by the simple fact of his performance. The book is another sort of experience, and I lik...more
Travis
One of my favorite books and one of the greatest bits of political satire, as the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick tries to fix their money woes by declaring war on a much larger nation, losing and then fixing their budget and country with the money the larger nation will spend to 'rebuild' the conquered nation.

unfortunately, Fenwick wins and is suddenly a world power...

Witty and entertaining as it points out the absurdity of world politics. Written in the 60's, it hasn't lost it's punch or relevance...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 48 49 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Hangman in the Mirror
  • Semi-Tough
  • The Ransom of Red Chief
  • Topper
  • The Legend of Holly Claus
  • Mash: A Novel About Three Army Doctors (M*A*S*H #1)
  • Red Sky at Morning
  • The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials, #2)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Seven Books Set [Gift Set]
  • Eirelan
  • Cordelia Underwood: Or, The Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League
  • Shoot Low, Boys--They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies: In Search of True Grit
  • Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor
  • Jimmy The Kid (Dortmunder, #3)
  • The Doonesbury Chronicles
  • Tapestry of Spies
  • The Flying Inn
  • North Dallas Forty
3865439
As Patrick O'Connor:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...
Black Tiger series
https://www.goodreads.com/series/4636...
Thomas Jefferson series
https://www.goodreads.com/series/1223...

As Leonard Holton:
He fathered seven children, one by Hazel Holton, hence alias.
More bio at http://www.genordell.com/stores/spiri...
Father Joseph Bredder Mystery series
https://www.goodreads.com/series/1223...
May be ano...more
More about Leonard Wibberley...
The Mouse on the Moon The Mouse on Wall Street The Mouse That Saved the West Beware of the Mouse Feast of Freedom

Share This Book

“The crime which is done now is that war has made a tool and slave of science, and man's knowledge, painfully and laboriously compiled, is made the instrument of man's destruction.” 3 likes
“(F)or it was the belief of the duchy that no nation can be governed well unless there is a majority which can impose its will upon a minority. A complete balance of pros and antis could produce nothing but deadlock.” 1 likes
More quotes…