Tales from the Perilous Realm

Four BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisations
Narrated by: full cast
Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Four BBC radio dramatisations starring Michael Hordern as Tolkien - plus a special archive compilation exploring Tolkien's life and work.

The tales in this collection all reflect an aspect of what Tolkien himself called 'the perilous realm of Faerie'. Adapted for radio by Brian Sibley, co-writer of the acclaimed BBC radio production of The Lord of the Rings, they are rich in myth, magic and adventure. Among the supporting cast are Brian Blessed, Nigel Planer, Sorcha Cusack, Paul Copley and James Grout.

In 'Farmer Giles of Ham', having accidentally shot a giant, Farmer Giles' brave reputation is tested by Chrysophylax the dragon. In 'Smith of Wootton Major', a young boy eats a piece of cake containing a silver star, and is granted access to the magical land of Fäerie. 'Leaf by Niggle' is a thought-provoking allegory of the creative process, and 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil' features Tom and the Hobbits in scenes from The Lord of the Rings which were not included in the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation.

Also included is 'J R R Tolkien: An Audio Portrait', in which Brian Sibley draws together interviews from radio and television programmes featuring the author himself, his original publisher Rayner Unwin, his biographer Humphrey Carpenter and many others, to relate the story of both Tolkien the man and the worlds he created.

©2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd
What members say
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

an interesting little book. If you are a Tolkien

Tolkien fans will enjoy this little book. Give it a chance, and take an unexpected journey.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrative

Sorry, but these voices are terribly annoying. Made it 20 minutes in and gave up. Disservice to Tolkien

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good?

Tales from the Perilous Realm is a good book, but this dramatization doesn’t really do it justice.

My chief complaint is the voice of Garm. Every “R” is turned into an “Rrruff”.

Bottom line———————————————-
If you want to listen to this story collection, don’t waste your money/credits; get the full one narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi.

That one is worth it.

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I love Tolkien !

The stories were imaginative and performed really well! The portrait of Tolkien was so interesting and I loved the author's view of his stories and himself. This book also makes me want to read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings again! And, maybe, try the Sylmarilian again!

I enjoyed this so much!

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Cool LOTR extras, but not all stories

I am a pretty big nerd, so this was nerdy enough for me, but I wouldn't start here for any newer fan.

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The Lord Of the Middle Earth

The BBC adaptations of J R R Tolkien's classic The Lord Of the Ring is simply brilliant. Middle Earth came alive as did the tale of the man himself.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Needs work

Narrator has a strange warbling effect. It's not the recording because all other voices are fine and clear.

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  • Nigel
  • 12-03-17

A book of three parts

A book of three parts; the first three stories remind me of 1980s Jackanory, but with multiple voices - stories for children.

Farmer Giles of Ham, (55 minutes)
Smith of Wootton Major, (33 minutes)
Leaf by Niggle, (34 minutes)

The fourth chapter is taken from Lord of the Rings, a scene which wasn’t included in either the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation or Peter Jackson’s films. It is okay, but can understand why it was omitted as doesn’t really add anything to the LOR story.

The Adventures of Bombadil, (54 minutes)

And lastly my favorite part, a documentary about JRR Tolkien.

JRR Tolkien: An Audio Portrait, (1hr, 50minutes)

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Culwen
  • 02-03-20

Not quite what I expected but nice nonetheless

It feels like a mishmash. At first you will listen to the two tales which themselves don’t amaze me. Then you will hear the start of the story of Lord of the Rings. Which felt like it cut short. Then you get some haphazardly assembled comments about the author, which is nice but not what I expected.

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  • Sister Luke
  • 06-30-20

A mixed bag

There was some wonderful voice acting ( Brian Blessed was brilliant, as ever, as were the voices of Tom and Goldbery). However there were also some very odd choices made when it came to adapting Tolkien's stories into dialogue, and often the voicing/characterisation felt 'off',
; what they chose to leave vs what they left out felt arbitrary, and the conveying of visual information through ordinary media was generally clunky and awkward. The action scenes were particularly badly handled. Those problems pertained primarily to the Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wotton Major and Life by Niggle stories. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (which is actually the Hobbits stay in the House of Bombadil from the Lord of the Rings) and the audio documentary on Tolkien , on the other hand, were excellent (incorporating snippets from the BBC Lord of the Rings radio play) were by far the best parts, well worth it for that alone.