Roverandom

J.R.R Tolkien is, in my opinion, the greatest fantasy author in our day and age. He created entire cultures, languages, people groups, races, and set the tone for fantasy in our generation.

He also wrote Roverandom.

Bless this man.

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For anyone who has ever read The Lord of the Rings, you know that Tolkien was incredibly detailed in his writing. He wrote his books as if they were history, putting so much depth into his races, his characters, and his world in general, that it’s possible to study his works as deeply you would any history book or culture. He was a linguist, a professor of Oxford, and a poet. His books, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and The Hobbit, are world-renowned.

It brings such joy to my heart to know that this same man also wrote and published a story about a little dog who barked at a wizard and went to visit the moon.

Roverandom is a fairytale. One of the sweetest fairytales I’ve read in a long time, in fact, about little Rover, a dog who was rude to a wizard and, as a result, was turned into a toy. His adventures following this unfortunate turn of events lead him from the surface of the moon to the depths of the ocean. Because the story is one of Tolkien’s, it obviously has a dragon in it, and merpeople, and the Man-in-the-Moon, and many twists and turns along the way. Rover—or Roverandom, as the Man-in-the-Moon calls him—learns to fly, meets the first dog ever to be named Rover, plays on the moon, goes to see the King of the Sea, and becomes a merdog. But really, all he wants throughout the whole story is to get back to being a real dog and go home. But for that, he must track down the wizard he nipped at in the first place, and get him to change his spell.

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The story was written for Tolkien’s son, Michael, after he lost his own little toy dog while on vacation with his father. It has the detail and imagination of all of Tolkien’s works, the more childish fantasy of the Hobbit, and a charming wit that is all its own. I would definitely recommend it to any fans of Tolkien, or just anyone who likes a good fairytale.

Not every old man with ragged trousers is a bad old man: some are bone-and-bottle men, and have little dogs of their own; and some are gardeners; and a few, a very few, are wizards prowling round on a holiday looking for something to do.

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