Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Roverandom Reviewed


Among the works of JRR Tolkien that were unpublished during his lifetime, there is a wide range.

At the summit are things like The Marring of Men


Which is essential reading for any Tolkienian.

And at the base are things like Mr Bliss; which is little more than a diversion - you are missing nothing if you have not read it.


Somewhere in the middle are things like The Father Christmas Letters and Roverandom ; these are well worth reading (and looking at the pictures), your time will be amply rewarded - but they are non-essential.

I find Roverandom somewhat better than the FCLs. The plot does not seem worth summarizing, and it would be better to leave the various twists as a surprise; but there is a very pleasing atmosphere and style about the whole thing; a fluidity and a fluency, and a warmth of wit, that I find utterly charming.

Perhaps I most enjoy the vivid sense of Tolkien's personality, and in particular that aspect which was a good and loving Father.


The book has a few illustrations, all of which are worth a second glance, one of which is a fine drawing of a mountain, and another of which is a detailed and large scale waterclour of the Mer-King's palace - this is certainly one of the very best artworks Tolkien ever did; a really lovely thing.


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