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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
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.