Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Roverandom - JRR Tolkien

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 116
Reason for Reading : Mythopoeic Challenge, Inklings Challenge, I love Tolkien and I want to read his whole back catalogue eventually

A charming tale about young dog Rover and his adventures. He bites the trousers of magician Artaxerxes who turns him into a toy dog as punnishment. He shrinks in size as does his bark and he is stuck in a begging position. He is bought by a mother to give to her son Two, but he falls out of his pocket on day on the beach. The sand wizard Psamathos gets super fast seagul Mew to fly him to the moon down the silver pathway it's light leaves to meet the Man-on-the-Moon (another magician) and his moon dog Rover. As the dogs share their name, they change Rover's (the main character) to Roverandom.

On the moon they have many adventures together as Roverandom is given wings to fly about with. They have problems with the fearsome White Dragon who lives on the moon and causes eclipses of the moon as well as sometimes turning it red. Eventually Roverandom is sent back to earth to see Artaxerxes to change him back to his regular dog form. Artaxerxes has married a mer-maiden (one of the mer-kings daughters) and is living under the sea. Whale Uin takes Roverandom under the sea in his belly where he meets another dog called Rover, this time a mer-dog. They have many more adventures under the sea waiting for Artaxeres to find the time to change Roverandom back including an incident with the giant sea-serpent who sleeps not far from the mer-kings castle. Roverandom is eventually changed back into a proper dog and travels home to find Two.

This was a lovely tale based on an incident when Tolkien's second son lost his favourite toy dog at the beach one day on a family holiday. Lots of parallels to The Hobbit can be seen (the dragon, the spiders on the moon and the three magicians have Gandalf like qualities) and I definitely recommend it as a bit of light fun and happy reading.


chrisa511 said...

Oh I've been wanting to read this one for so long!!! Did you get the one with Tolkien's illustrations in it too? I can't wait to read it!

Rhinoa said...

Chris - Yes it did have his illustrations (the colour ones were inside the front and back covers and the two line drawings were at the beginning and end of the tale) which I really liked. It shouldn't take you long to read and is definitely worth it. It's such a lovely tale and is perfect for cheering you up on a miserable day.

Jeane said...

Such a fun book! I just read it a few months ago and absolutely loved it. It's ticklishly funny and wonderful.