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Tales from the Perilous Realm

(Middle-earth Universe)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  7,468 ratings  ·  577 reviews
The definitive collection of J.R.R. Tolkien’s five acclaimed modern classic ‘fairie’ tales in the vein of The Hobbit.

Enchanted by a sand-sorcerer, the toy dog Roverandom explores a world filled with strange and fabulous creatures; the fat and unheroic Farmer Giles of Ham is called upon to do battle with the dragon Chrysophylax; Hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls parta
Paperback, 178 pages
Published September 2nd 2002 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1997)
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Cindy Skillman Wonderful story. I believe it tells the story of a journey after physical death. I find it hopeful and lovely and an absolute delight. I also am surpr…moreWonderful story. I believe it tells the story of a journey after physical death. I find it hopeful and lovely and an absolute delight. I also am surprised that Tolkein's theology here seems to comport perfectly with my own understanding of scripture with regard to eschatology.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Sean Barrs
Tolkien is often remembered for his vast fantasy worlds but he also wrote simple things, shorter works more in touch with the humorous themes of The Hobbit rather than the sense of darkness that permeates The Lord of the Rings. I’ve been reading through them again lately and they can all be found in this edition that collects the main ones together.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil is such an enigma. I mean who exactly is he? Some Tolkien fans would argue that he is Eru, the creator
Jason Koivu
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
This collection of Tolkien's shorter works (Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf By Niggle, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and Smith of Wootton Major) rely on England's "tales of yore" and its faery-filled past.

Though not what he is remembered for, they are intriguing reads. Their whimsical nature echos the more fanciful scenes in The Hobbit, but beyond that - and obviously the inclusion of Bombadil in Fellowship - there is little resemblance to these short works and his epics. (For something in the midd
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
I wasn't overawed by this, unfortunately. Or awed, as the case may be.

There was nothing wrong with any of the five stories here, but they all felt a bit average if I'm going to be perfectly honest.

Farmer Giles of Ham was a light romp with nothing but standard fantasy tropes, and I mean, super standard. The hero with the magical sword doesn't quite defeat the dragon, however. He just tames it. *shrug* Not related to LotR.

Smith of Wootton Major was a lightly magical, almost magical realism tale o
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Evelina | AvalinahsBooks by: My mom
No, Tom Bombadil, we just can't get along, no matter what you say. It's not you, it's me. And I do understand it's not your fault you've been written in verse. But it's just all working against you. Life's tough.

Buy anyway. This is a funny book (I mean... a strange one). It's hard to sum it up - to be honest, each of the fairytales deserves its own rating. But like I said, life can be tough, so we'll just have to do with a single one.

I liked most of these fairytales (and hey, you already know wh
Goodreads librarians really need to work on Tales from the Perilous Realm. Some editions contain four stories, others five, and some also contain Tolkien's 'On Fairy-Stories'. I'm not sure they should all be combined.

Anyway, today this arrived -- since my first copy, most irritatingly, did not include 'Roverandom', which is a fun story aimed at younger readers than the others, involving the adventures of a puppy who gets turned into a toy, and his marvellous journeys. It's the longest story in t
Cindy Rollins
Lovely collection of short stories by J.R.R. Tolkien. Great audio by Derek Jacobi. #theliterarylifepodcast #20for2020reads #shortstories

5 Stars for Farmer Giles and Leaf by Niggle
Timothy Boyd
If you a total Tolkien fanatic you would probably like this book. I did not enjoy the collection of poems and shorts. Some are about Middle Earth and some are not. Not recommended
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I will say it time and time again but you can never go wrong with Tolkien. I know that his writing style and the structure and complexity of his narratives isn't for everyone, but this man and the worlds he has created have slowly but surely stolen their way into my heart.

Tales from the Perilous Realm is a collection of three short stories set outside of the realm of Middle Earth and one poetry collection featuring legends and jests of the Shire at the end of the Third Age. I was prepared for ma
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This edition seems to be combined with other editions that have different content -- mine contains only four stories: 'Farmer Giles of Ham', 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil', 'Leaf by Niggle', and 'Smith of Wootton Major'. I've already read the latter in an extended edition. It's worth picking up this book -- or the version with 'Roverandom' in it as well -- to get an idea of Tolkien's real idea of fairy tales. Possibly best read along with 'On Fairy-Stories', which some editions also contain.

Marko Vasić
Exquisite and diverse pearls of Tolkien's less known written word, conjoined under the mutual title. To summarise my reviews for each story:

1. Roverandom was the very first story that Tolkien narrated to his children. Similar to the fates of the other stories within the Tales From the Perilous Realm collection, this one as well originated by chance, as we may learn from The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Volume 3: Reader’s Guide Part 2 by Scull & Wayne: Family Tolkien was on a sea-side that
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tolkien
This is a collection of some of Tolkien's shorter writings. I've read them all before, but never all in the same volume! The works are:

Roverandom: a great children's story that I hope to share with my nieces and nephew soon. Tolkien wrote it for his own son to make him feel better about losing a toy dog. It's a cute story with silly adventures and a happy ending.

Farmer Giles of Ham: another funny story, this one a little more snarky at times, about a farmer who unwillingly becomes a hero and has
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who can design a new leaf? The patterns from bud to unfolding, and the colors from spring to autumn were all discovered long ago. But that is not true. The seed of the tree can be replanted in almost any soil. Spring is not really less beautiful because we have seen or heard of other like events: like events, never from the world's beginning to the world's end the same event. Each leaf, of oak and ash and thorn, is a unique embodiment of the pattern, and for some eye this very year may be the em ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Not bad, quaint wee stories but not on par with his famous works
Tales from the Perilous Realm on audiobook was a delight. It's a BBC production, done up with sound effects and theatrical narration. It makes you feel like a child listening your grandfather tell you tall tales about the fantastical. I'm so glad I chose this for 1971 book read! :)

The book is the telling of four of JRR Tolkien's fairy tales.

"Farmer Giles of Ham"
Farmer Giles is a plump farmer living his quiet life in his village, Ham. One day a giant comes into his village and Giles manages
Jonathan Terrington

This review has been edited to fit right in line with Goodreads' reviewing principles. As such there are no:
1. Hints to any potential censorship
2. Off topic digressions
3. Personal mentions of the author (just to be on the safe side)
If you want the better review, it can be found at my Booklikes profile:

In a serious effort to remain on-topic, for fear of this review not being marketable and so on, I must first say that only one selection in this volume
Fantasy Literature
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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," J.R.R. 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. Soo
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite Tolkien books so far. The story of Roverandom was the absolute cutest and I really adored the poetry as well. The explanatory parts about fairy-stories was extremely interesting as well.
I have picked this up on and off for the past two years or so, and it's been a delightful journey (no surprise there; it's Tolkien).

• Roverandom: I've read this before, and I love it so much. I love Tolkien's imagination. I can't wait to read this to my kids one day. Remember: don't worry the moonbeams and don't kill any white rabbits.

• Farmer Giles of Ham: To be perfectly honest, I remember almost nothing of this story since I read it probably two years ago. But I know I didn't dislike it, and
Clifford Luebben
This one is tricky to review as it is actually a collection of stories and other writings that are unrelated to each other than they have to do with fairy-tales, are written by J.R.R. Tolkien, and are not based in Middle Earth. They are all more light hearted works; especially when compared to works like Lord of the Rings. They are at times a bit more in the spirit of The Hobbit but shorter and simpler (and again disconnected from the Middle Earth lore). I personally found this all a bit refresh ...more
Kerianne Noel
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
I originally bought this book because it contained Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories,” which I wanted in hard copy format. I then quickly passed this on to my kids because clearly the rest of the book was just a collection of children’s stories, and there it remained for a couple of years. I have since changed my mind. I recently pulled it off the shelf to read Roverandom aloud to my kids, and then promptly finished the rest of the book on my own. Farmer Giles is wonderful, Leaf By Niggle was pr ...more
Michael Beck
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Good fun. Tolkien's fiction is almost always enjoyable. ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enchanted by a sand-sorcerer, the toy dog Roverandom explores a world filled with strange and fabulous creatures; the fat and unheroic Farmer Giles of Ham is called upon to do battle with the dragon Chrysophylax; Hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls partake in the adventures of Tom Bombadil; Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the land of Faery via the magical ingredients of a giant cake; and Niggle the painter sets out to paint the perfect tree.

A truly fantastical collection of 5 tales each o
The Perilous Realm of the title is Faerie Land, but Tolkien has not people it with diaphanous butterfly-winged sprites, but by dangerous and enchanting elves, dragons and giants. The four branches of the book are each different from each other, despite the thematic connection.

Farmer Giles of Ham is the most straight-forward of the stories, the tale of a "little man" (though of great girth!) who is reluctantly forced into a heroic role. It is a humorous and somewhat satirical tale, easily enjoyed
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable. Farmer Giles of Ham was my favourite from a reader's point of view. I particularly wanted to read Leaf by Niggle and On Fairy Stories, having had them recommended so often by other authors. On Fairy Stories was longer and more scholarly than I expected, but the last few pages contained the gold -- Tolkien's famous coining of the term eucatastrophe (for a glorious happy ending) and his discussion of the Christian Story as the work of the Ultimate Author, the ultimate story that ha ...more
Joy C.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
My one and only Tolkien read of the year 2014 (that still makes me sad!), but the quality of these stories was worth a thousand! Within it were several treasure troves that I dearly, dearly loved. Roverandom, of course. Farmer Giles of Ham, and Smith of Wootten Major. Tom Bombadil's songs. . . and the Leaf by Niggle. . . I enjoyed each one of them dearly. But I think the crown of this charming collection of more "light-hearted" stories, was Tolkien's own essay "On Fairy-Stories". That was great ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I checked this book out of the library originally for The Adventures of Tom Bombadil as part of a LOTR reading group, but I have to say I really enjoyed all the stories it contained, even those distantly or completely unattached to Middle Earth.
Honestly I was mostly just bored while reading this.

Roverandom - 3
Farmer Giles of Ham - 3
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - 3.25
Smith of Wootton Major - 3.5
Leaf by Niggle - 3.75
On Fairy-stories - DNF
Craig Childs
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First released in 1997, this is the most widely available omnibus of J. R. R. Tolkien's poetry, novellas, and stories for children. The table of contents has varied over the years among the different editions. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Derek Jacobi, whose rich vocals added depth and humor. This is one of few instances where I feel the audiobook is preferable to the printed version.

The stories are delightful. Much like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, they are tinged with darkness
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book caught both my eye and my interest when my mom showed it to me earlier in the year. I told myself I’d get around to it when time allowed and, now that I am back in a Tolkien mood, I decided it was time for me to give this a go.

Rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
At the beginning I thought I’d find this one to be an okay read. As time went on, I soon found myself becoming quite attached to Roverandom and eager to see what would happen next. Definitely a cute and charming story in my opi
Chad Warner
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Recommended to Chad by: Corey Olsen
I quite enjoyed this selection of Tolkien’s “fairy tales” and poems. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors, and I should have read this book years ago. I read it because it’s frequently referenced by Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor.

Roverandom is a children’s story about a dog who encounters magicians and has adventures on the moon and under the sea. It was too silly for my tastes.

Farmer Giles of Ham is about a simple farmer who finds himself fighting a giant and a dragon with luck and wits. I
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English

Other books in the series

Middle-earth Universe (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
  • The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
  • The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)
  • The Silmarillion
  • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
  • The Children of Húrin
  • Beren and Lúthien
  • The Fall of Gondolin (Middle-Earth Universe)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)

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