The stories were enjoyable enough, but I didn't think they were very special. I liked the first story best; Farmer Giles of Ham because it had an unexpected, reluctant hero and it was an interesting fantasy story. I must admit that I skipped most of Tom Bombadil, because I wasn't in te mood for verses. Leaf by Niggle was interesting and slightly odd but I quite liked it. The smith of Wootton Major was too uneventful and cliche for my tastes. All in all, though, I did enjoy this little collection of short fantasy stories....Continua
This handy, cheap collection of Tolkien's fairy tales is a must for everybody who enjoyed the writer's humourous vein of The Hobbit's fame, as well as for Middle-Earth completists. But there's enough there for fans of epic fantasy too, thus for more traditional Tolkien fans, especially because of the hobbit poems from the Tom Bombadil book.
Farmer Giles of Ham is a delicious satirical fairy tale about a farmer who unwillingly, but wittingly becomes a hero of the land by luck and cunning. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is pure Middle Earth lore, as it presents itself as a collection of hobbit poems about Tom Bombadil and many other subjects. More than the poems themselves, the entertainment value rests on the volume being made as a scholarly anthology of poetry. The introduction to Adventures is especially merciless, often stating the simple and derivative nature of the poems, written in some cases by no less than Bilbo, Frodo or Sam Gamgee, that fans of Lord Of The Rings will devour with almost religious fervour.
Leaf By Niggle is the most poetic, allegorical of the bunch. Almost kafkian at some point, it turns into a touching defense of art and literature, as well as of the simple, common-sense based nature Tolkien praised and satirised so often in other cases.
Smith Of Wootton Major is the most traditional of these modern fairy tales and the perfect ending to the collection.
This book is a bit uneven, but overall absolutely charming and very pleasant to read. On the plus side is also its being perfectly suited for children, because there are all sides of human nature here, but the tone is definitely all-ages, and everything is fairly (and fairy-ly) presented.