Tales from the Perilous Realm

Tales from the Perilous Realm

by J. R. R. Tolkien

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Never before published in a single volume, Tolkien’s four novellas (Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, Smith of Wootton Major, and Roverandom) and one book of poems (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil) are gathered together for the first time. This new, definitive collection of works — which had appeared separately, in various formats, between 1949 and 1998 — comes with an illuminating introduction from esteemed author and Tolkien expert Tom Shippey as well as Tolkein’s most celebrated essay, “On Fairy-stories,” which astutely addresses the relationship between fairy tales and fantasy.
The book is the perfect opportunity for fans of Middle-earth to enjoy some of Tolkien’s often overlooked yet most creative storytelling. With dragons and sand sorcerers, sea monsters and hobbits, knights and dwarves, this collection contains all the classic elements for Tolkien buffs of all ages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547952093
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 256,268
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

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.

Date of Birth:

January 3, 1892

Date of Death:

September 2, 1973

Place of Birth:

Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)

Place of Death:

Oxford, England


B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919

Read an Excerpt

FAERIE is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold . . . The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost.      J.R.R. Tolkien, from On Fairy-Stories, a lecture given on 8 March 1939. The full text is reproduced at the end of this book.                         • • • Once upon a time there was a little dog, and his name was Rover. He was very small, and very young, or he would have known better; and he was very happy playing in the garden in the sunshine with a yellow ball, or he would never have done what he did.     Not every old man with ragged trousers is a bad old man: some are bone-and-bottle men, and have little dogs of their own; and some are gardeners; and a few, a very few, are wizards prowling round on a holiday looking for something to do. This one was a wizard, the one that now walked into the story. He came wandering up the gardenpath in a ragged old coat, with an old pipe in his mouth, and an old green hat on his head. If Rover had not been so busy barking at the ball, he might have noticed the blue feather stuck in the back of the green hat, and then he would have suspected that the man was a wizard, as any other sensible little dog would; but he never saw the feather at all.     When the old man stooped down and picked up the ball – he was thinking of turning it into an orange, or even a bone or a piece of meat for Rover – Rover growled, and said:     ‘Put it down!’ Without ever a ‘please’.     Of course the wizard, being a wizard, understood perfectly, and he answered back again:     ‘Be quiet, silly!’ Without ever a ‘please’.     Then he put the ball in his pocket, just to tease the dog, and turned away. I am sorry to say that Rover immediately bit his trousers, and tore out quite a piece. Perhaps he also tore out a piece of the wizard. Anyway the old man suddenly turned round very angry and shouted:     ‘Idiot! Go and be a toy!’     After that the most peculiar things began to happen. Rover was only a little dog to begin with, but he suddenly felt very much smaller. The grass seemed to grow monstrously tall and wave far above his head; and a long way away through the grass, like the sun rising through the trees of a forest, he could see the huge yellow ball, where the wizard had thrown it down again. He heard the gate click as the old man went out, but he could not see him. He tried to bark, but only a little tiny noise came out, too small for ordinary people to hear; and I don’t suppose even a dog would have noticed it.     So small had he become that I am sure, if a cat had come along just then, she would have thought Rover was a mouse, and would have eaten him. Tinker would. Tinker was the large black cat that lived in the same house.     At the very thought of Tinker, Rover began to feel thoroughly frightened; but cats were soon put right out of his mind. The garden about him suddenly vanished, and Rover felt himself whisked off, he didn’t know where. When the rush was over, he found he was in the dark, lying against a lot of hard things; and there he lay, in a stuffy box by the feel of it, very uncomfortably for a long while. He had nothing to eat or drink; but worst of all, he found he could not move. At first he thought this was because he was packed so tight, but afterwards he discovered that in the daytime he could only move very little, and with a great effort, and then only when no one was looking. Only after midnight could he walk and wag his tail, and a bit stiffly at that. He had become a toy. And because he had not said ‘please’ to the wizard, now all day long he had to sit up and beg. He was fixed like that.

After what seemed a very long, dark time he tried once more to bark loud enough to make people hear. Then he tried to bite the other things in the box with him, stupid little toy animals, really only made of wood or lead, not enchanted real dogs like Rover. But it was no good; he could not bark or bite.     Suddenly someone came and took off the lid of the box, and let in the light.     ‘We had better put a few of these animals in the window this morning, Harry,’ said a voice, and a hand came into the box. ‘Where did this one come from?’ said the voice, as the hand took hold of Rover. ‘I don’t remember seeing this one before. It’s no business in the threepenny box, I’m sure. Did you ever see anything so real-looking? Look at its fur and its eyes!’     ‘Mark him sixpence,’ said Harry, ‘and put him in the front of the window!’

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Tales from the Perilous Realm 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Farmer Giles of Ham and Tolkien's poetry in my old childhood copy of the Tolkien Reader. Farmer Giles' adventures are a fun read and the Mewlips still make me shiver a little bit. It is great to now have an electronic version that isn't falling apart. I am disappointed that the electronic version has no illustrations except a cover by Alan Lee. The description of the e-book said that it was illustrated and I was expecting the artwork from the hardcover. I would love an enhanced version with both Alan Lee's artwork and the original Pauline Baynes drawings.
Dpollere More than 1 year ago
A fun collection of short stories written by Tolkien. The reason why I bought this book was for the adventures of Tom B. and it definitely didn't disappoint. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has read The Lord of The Rings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My copy of The Tolkien Reader from the 1960s is held together with a rubber band. It is a treat to have this new hardcover edition with Alan Lee's beautiful illustrations and Tom Shippey's introduction. The material shows Tolkien at his most playful and as the academic. I highly recommend this book to long time Tolkien fans and those new to his writings.
DarthTyranus More than 1 year ago
awesome from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sandymc3 More than 1 year ago
Having been a Tolkien fan for many years, I was pleased to find a volume that included 2 stories that were new for me. Re-reading the ones i was familiar with was also pleasurable. Tolkien's essay that was included at the end was a good review of his views on the subject of Fairie. Alan Lee's artwork is excellent, as always. I would have liked to have seen a few of the drawings in color but their understatement enhanced the stories rather than competed with them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where are the illustrations by Alan Lee? The overview claimed this was an illustrated edition, but there is not one in the book. Terribly disappointed!
HiddlestonPro More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my mother, who is the Tolkien aficionado of the house. She hasn't put the book down since she got it! There are a series of not-so-short stories, including The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. A must-have for Tolkien fans!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love these stories, and the copy I have seen has what look like pencil sketchings. But I love Pauline Baynes and her work on the Narnia series and I would love to see those illustrations. These are great stories and I enjoyed them all, but Roverandom got a little tiring. Leaf by Niggle is especially inspiring to any artist who only have their work in their head, and can't seem to get it out.
1000_Character_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Tales From the Perilous Realm is a great compilation of short stories, poems and essays that were written during various periods of his life.  If you are choosing between this and "The Tolkien Reader" I would definitely recommend you go with this book.  The only thing you are missing out on is the Homecoming of Beorhtnoth...and that's ok.  In brief:  Roverandom was a charming story (would be a great bedtime story for kids) about a dog that runs afoul of a wizard.  Farmer Giles is a fun tale of an unlikely hero and a dragon.  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a wonderful collection of "Middle-Earth" poems and tales.  Leaf by Niggle is very thought-provoking.  Smith of Wootton Major is a great reminder to never judge a book by its cover.  Lastly, the book also includes the full On Fairy-Stories essay/speech if you want a view into Tolkien's mind.  Definitely a required read for Tolkien fans.
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I thought the drawing were going to be in color like the color but they are stick amazing. It is a great read for JRR Tolkien fans. I love it.
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A wonderul short read that will take you on a plethera adventures from start to finish!!!
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