Leaf by Niggle

  • by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by Derek Jacobi
  • 0 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tolkien's acclaimed modern classic 'fairie' tale, read by Derek Jacobi.
'Leaf by Niggle' recounts the strange adventures of the painter Niggle, who sets out to paint the perfect tree. But he senses that he will be snatched away from his work long before it is finished - if indeed it could ever be finished in this world. For it is in another and brighter place that Niggle finds his tree is finished and learns that it is indeed a real tree, a true part of creation.
Created in the early 1940s, at the same time as The Lord of the Rings was taking shape, 'Leaf by Niggle' is a passionate adult fairy tale about a man who has 'a long journey to make', thought to be an allegory of Tolkien's own life.

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What the Critics Say

"As with all good short stories, this one expands in the imagination. Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, indeed." (The Times)
"Brings a wistful charm to complex issues of truth, beauty, duty and creative aspiration." (The Herald)
"A haunting and successful demonstration of the qualities of faerie." (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

My Favourite Tolkien

I have read LOTR almost constantly for the past ten years- it fascinates and inspites me endlessly. But this little flibbet of a jibbet book is the one I would take to the ends of the Earth. It is buoyant and innocent as a nursery room tale, yet profoundly revealing of Tolkien himself in a way LOTR could never be. A treasure that I fear few will recognize...and a lively, characterful reading by Mr. Jacobi.
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- M. J. Palmer

Gazing through the Leaves

This is of Tolkien's non-Middle Earth stories, but it is a very memorable tale nonetheless. This is story tells of Niggle, a painter living in a dystopian dictatorship that places little to no value on art. I won't spoil anything, but this really is a wonderful story. Very highly recommended!
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- David S. Mathew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-23-2016
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited