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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.
©1998 The J.R.R. Tolkien Copyright Trust (P)1998 HarperCollins UK

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Magical Children's story

The narration by Derek Jacobi brings this story to life in the most wonderful way. I love the fact that Tolkien wrote this story for his son as a form of comfort. It reminds me of his Father Christmas stories with all the warmth and charm a father processes. wonderful for children. and the child at hart that has never grown up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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love this book

I love this book the reader is amazing the story is fun and it is a must read for all especially children

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A delightful and light-hearted story

Skillfully narrated, eliciting many a chuckle. Tolkien’s brilliant imagination and adventures in faerie never fail to disappoint, even when the protagonist is a little toy dog.

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A beautiful not-well-known children’s story

There is no finer narrator than David Jacobi.
He brings this JRR Tolkien story to life with a strong confident flawless performance.
A little dog, a magician, dragons, mermaids and the man on the moon... Ingredients for a beautifully written story.

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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

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Better than Laika! (Look out Sputnik!)

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It's a cute story. Many of my friends have kids and this is one of those stories that would be great to have kids listen to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Roverandom?

I would say each time Roverandom encounters another dog.

Have you listened to any of Derek Jacobi’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have. He does a great job. This story is for kids and he has a great talent to treat it as such.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did. It's a short story.

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A wonderful tale

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this audio book to anyone with young children who would like an excellent tale for a bedtime story. Let's face it most children's stories out there are pathetic. This is a brilliant story and is well written by Tolkien (originally for his own children). The narration is also well done.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Roverandom?

When the September's tail is bitten.

Have you listened to any of Derek Jacobi’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to his narration of Tolkien 's Father Christmas Letters and that was great as well, but can be a little slow. Derek Jacobi is an excellent narrator.

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  • luvyduvydoli
  • 07-08-17

such a beautiful 'tail' (of the doggy sorts)

one of my favourite stories. so beautifully written as always by Tolkien. I will be reading this over and over again to my children and grandchildren for years to come.