Book Review

#18 Book Review

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Farmer Giles of Ham

by J.R.R.Tolkien

“Farmer Giles went home feeling very uncomfortable. He was finding that a local reputation may require keeping up, and that may prove awkward.”

Genre: Fantasy

As a Tolkien addict, I couldn’t absolutely forget to write a review of one of his books, but it took a while for me because I didn’t want to post something about the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, though I super adore it, the reason is that I wanted to make you discover – if you haven’t already – a few  titles of his not so well known books.

Well, if you are a super fan of Mr Tolkien then you will know everything by heart, and these books I want to write about are not so unknown to you.

But my intention is to help people to learn something more about this marvellous author, without taking into consideration the LOTR trilogy that is worldly super known.

Tolkien is more than LOTR and The Hobbit, so, firstly I decided to review Farmer Giles of Ham because it is not so close to the Middle-earth world we are use to.

In a way, we could say that this story took place a long time before the adventures of the hobbits, dwarves, elves and men of his most appreciated works ever.

But except for a few similarity and connection with the Middle-earth’s reality, this story is another thing.

The similarities with the famous saga are: the presumed Medieval setting of the events, a dragon, the fact that during the narration, at a certain point, dwarves are mentioned, and the presence of men.

Well, the presence of men is predominant because the protagonist and almost all the other characters of the story are men who live in the same village, Ham.

The dragon is immediately connected with the one from The Hobbit, Smaug who is certainly more dangerous than the one of this story.

It took me no more than one hour and a half to read this book, not just because it is quite short, but also because the story, though not so elaborated as the LOTR’s one, is super captivating.

When I read Tolkien’s I found myself so absorbed in his narration that I completely lose any connection with the reality that surrounds me.

I was there, in Ham, with Giles and the dragon, running, walking, breathing, in other words, I was living inside the story.

This sensation is not new to me, I have already felt it with The Hobbit and LOTR, and for me it is one of the most fascinating characteristic of Tolkien.

The story of Giles is simple as I said before; in Ham, Giles lives is life with his wife, his dog and all the other people of the village when one day, as a consequence of a certain previous event, Giles is sent to defeat Chrysophylax, a frightful dragon.

An interesting aspect of this book is the presence of a few comic moments that really entertain you and make you go on with your reading.

The edition I own has pretty illustrations by Pauline Baynes that I simply adore, maybe you have already seen them; she made the illustrations also for C.S.Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, for example.

I do hope you will read this book if you haven’t yet, it will be a pleasure, trust me.

 

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