Review of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Translated by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy Audiobooks - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by J.R.R. TolkienSir Gawain And The Green Knight
Translated by J.R.R. Tolkien; Read by Terry Jones
2 cassettes – 150 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 2000
ISBN: 0001053736
Themes: / Fantasy / Mythology / Arthurian Legend /

It’s Christmas at Camelot and King Arthur won’t begin to feast until he has witnessed a marvel of chivalry. A mysterious knight, green from head to toe, rides in and brings the court’s wait to an end with an implausible challenge to the Round Table: he will allow any of the knights to strike him once, with a battle-axe no less, on the condition that he is allowed to return the blow a year hence. At the center of the story of the challenge and its consequences is Arthur’s brave favorite, Sir Gawain.

*ALSO INCLUDED* ~An Essay By J.R.R. Tolkien
An introduction and background essay by the master himself, J.R.R. Tolkien regarding the translation and preservation of the anonymous fourteenth-century poem upon which this story is based.

Another mytho-historic tale translated by J.R.R. Tolkien, who was, as many forget these days, a professor of linguistics at Oxford. Another medieval scholar contibuted to this audiobook…. Though best known for his work with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Terry Jones lends not only his signature voice to Tolkien’s translation of the Arthurian legend but also his familiarity with the subject. Not just an internationally recognized comedian, Jones also happens to be a scholar of medieval literature. As such he is well equipped to flesh out the characters and voices of Tolkien’s text in an authentic way. The combination of the lilting verse and the audio medium bringing the absolutely right feel to the presentation, something that makes it quite clear that heroic tales were meant to be spoken aloud rather than simply read. Also of interest to Tolkien fans is the included essay by Tolkien on the translation. A hard to find audiobook but well worth the effort!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Farmer Giles of Ham & Other Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy Audiobook - Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. TolkienFarmer Giles of Ham & Other Stories
By J.R.R. Tolkien; Read by Derek Jacobi
2 Cassettes – 3 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 1999
ISBN: 0001056107
Themes: / Fantasy / Dragons / Giants / Magic / Humor / Art /

*Includes three tales from The Perilous Realm:

Farmer Giles of Ham
One of Tolkien’s most popular stories. Full of wit and humor and set in the days of giants and dragons, it tells the tale of a reluctant hero Farmer Giles, his grey mare, and his talking dog Garm, who all three conspire to save Ham and the middle kingdom first from the a deaf giant and again from the dreaded dragon Chrysophylax.

Smith of Wootton Major
Tells of baking a Great Cake to mark the Feast of Good Children and the magical events that follow.

Leaf by Niggle
Recounts the adventures of a painter trying to capture a tree on canvas.

A wonderful treat for the lovers of Tolkien. Though far overshadowed by his stories about Hobbits and rings the author of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit also wrote some great short stories, and here they are! Three amusing and interesting stories, by the greatest English fantasist since William Shakespeare. If you enjoyed The Lord Of The Rings for more than the battle scenes you should definietly try this two little cassette package on for size. Performed by Sir Derek Jacobi, best known for his role in “I, Claudius”, this is a skillful reading that transforms each character into a person, even the dog in the title story has his own voice. Jacobi captured my attention fully, I was really delighted to have a performer of such skill as his read it to me. Worth hunting down!

Posted by Jesse Willis