Roverandom

  • by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by Derek Jacobi
  • 2 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

While on holiday in 1925, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach at Filey in Yorkshire. To console him, his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, improvised a story about Rover, a real dog who is magically transformed into a toy and is forced to seek out the wizard who wronged him in order to be returned to normal. This charming tale, peopled by a sand-sorcerer and a terrible dragon, by the king of the sea and the Man-in-the-Moon, went through several drafts over the years. Now, more than 70 years on, the adventures of Rover, or, for reasons that become clear in the story, 'Roverandom', are published in A-format for the first time. Rich in wit and wordplay, Roverandom is edited and introduced by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond and includes Tolkien's own delightful illustrations.

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Delightful Magic from Tolkien and Jacobi!

Listening to Roverandom was a pure delight that made my world more magical; in fact, it's the first audiobook that upon finishing I immediately began listening to again. Though the book was not published until 1998, the story grew from Tolkien's attempts in the 1920s to soothe the pain his son felt at losing his toy dog at the beach. Derek Jacobi reads it with engaging enthusiasm, changing his voice for gruff magicians, wise whales, doomed and peevish shrimp, free-spirited seagulls, and excitable puppies, and his narrator feels like a twinkly-eyed and affectionate father reading a story to his beloved child.

The story brims with imagination, humor, and adventure. The fantastic settings of the moon and the world under the sea are fresh and funny, with Tolkien's characteristic vision of the beautiful and sublime and ugly and dark sides of life in our world. And Tolkien effortlessly tosses off wonderful images, clever ideas, and fantastic developments without ever looking down at his intended child readers. Here and there the story reminds me of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Five Children and It, and Pinocchio, and it is full of allusions, but always it feels like Tolkien's own creation. If you have read The Hobbit and especially the Lord of the Rings, you must experience this playful and charming side of Tolkien, which nevertheless expresses something of the same melancholy nostalgia for the pastoral past, awareness of human limitations, hope for transcendence, and feelings of loss and consolation.
Read full review

- Jefferson

The Father Tolkien and His Love for His Children

First, I think it's important to state that I think this is a good children's fantasy story--period. There's no need to summarize since the publisher's description does that for you. And while I generally write analytical reviews of fiction, this time I want to offer something a little different--something of which listeners may be unaware.

This small story reveals the love and heart Tolkien had for his children. While most of his stories were conceived in the midst of his family, Roverandom has particular interest because they had just lost their dog, Rover. He had run away from home, and (I imagine) in the midst of the tears that his children shed, Tolkien sat them down and said, "Now let me tell you about Rover, and where he's gone off to, and what he's been doing all these days." And thus commences a fantastical adventure in Tolkien-fashion with small tidbits of mythological explanation that bring our own world to life. It is clever and comforting.

A note on the narration: well done. Occasionally when the voices of particular persons/creatures come into my ears I cringe because of the pitch or the extenuated 's' sounds, but I have sensitive ears. I recognize that these voices bring the characters to life in a way I imagine Tolkien himself did around the fireside.

Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry
Read full review

- E. J. Boston

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2005
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited