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.


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


"Leaf by Niggle" is one of my favorite of Tolkien's short stories. It is a glimpse at what gives life meaning, the idea of purgatory and the High Places that come afterward. For one to be a well-rounded person, ready for their journey, hard work and the arts must go together. A Leaf by Niggle is quite a thing to see...
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- Becke "I am a language arts coach, studying to be a high school English teacher. Reading is what I do and audible makes it easier!"


A simple fable about the value and wonder that an ordinary unspectacular life carries within it if we take time and have the courage to notice.
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- Michael J Gore

Book Details

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