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

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,234 ratings  ·  119 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)
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  • The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley
    The Mouse That Roared (The Mouse That Roared, #1)
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 2,177)
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    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
    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
    Hysterically funny

    The miniscule Duchery of Grand Fenwick is suffering from a population explosion (4000 to 6000 people), financial woes (Their Pinot is being copied and undersold by a California Winery), and is no longer self sufficient after 600 years of existence. What to do? Declaring war on America is the only honorable decision.

    Thus begins one of the funniest book series of the Cold War period. Made into a movie with Peter Sellers which is definitely worth viewing, the book still contains a
    Nick Hannon
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    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.
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    When I was a kid, my dad had mentioned a book called The Mouse That Roared and for some reason, his description of the premise – a tiny nation captures a nuclear bomb that makes it the most powerful country on Earth – stuck with me. He must have mentioned this thirty years ago, but a few weeks ago I found myself Googling for it and finding it long out of print. I looked on Amazon and people wanted $130 for it. Sometimes, though, it pays to go local. I found it at The Strand for $9. Well, definit ...more
    this is a really fun book, really good I recommend it. It was written as a serial and you can tell when you read it because it feels like dispatches in a newspaper. But it is also really well thought out, there aren't the type of plot holes you would expect in a book of this kind.

    On the other hand it does read as dated which is weird since in theory it is not at all dated. But it is as good as the play.
    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,
    Stanley Phillips
    The reason why I included “The Mouse that Roared” in my list is simply that, not every book has to be a bestselling novel to have a place within your library. In fact, numerous genres should be on the shelf to make one more rounded.

    As for “The Mouse that Roared”, there should be a place on a shelf. Written back in the mid-fifties its importance is that the tale is a satire look back at the cold war.

    The novel itself is a quick read. Some might say the entire plot is silly…how could any author m
    Esther Filbrun
    What happens when a little country is slighted by a bigger country—namely, the United States? Add in the current world events—the cold war—and the little country running out of money to feed their citizens. The government of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick decides the only way to get enough money to feed their citizens—and settle their quarrel with the US—is to declare war on the US. There’s no way such a small country could win the war—but when they accidently seize the most dangerous atomic weapon ...more
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Sierra Abrams

    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, lo
    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
    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.
    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
    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!
    Isaac Jensen
    I thought it was quite funny and energizing. It effectively shows how even the smallest things can make the biggest difference. With its dangerous circumstances and odd little characters, it creates a plot and scenario which you can't leave until you finish it. The Mouse That Roared, in essence, shows a mouse emerging to the most powerful thing ever.
    John Rasmussen
    The Mouse Still Roars

    I read this when I was in high school, I have watched the movie. As usual, the book was better than the movie. As a story of little gaining recognition by the big, it is still valid. I enjoyed the story 50 years ago, and I still do.
    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
    "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
    Absurdist satire. This must've been Mel Brooks' inspiration for The Producers. It goes by pretty quickly and won't weigh you down. It was rendered as a movie around 1960 but I never heard it complimented by anyone who didn't work for the movie's producer.
    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.:)
    jacob hutchens
    Great book!!!

    Amazing and entertaining political satire set in the cold war. Truly a book that all those interested in politics or history should read.
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    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.” 4 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.” 3 likes
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