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Farmer Giles of Ham

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This is the 50th anniversary edition of Tolkien's best-loved short fairy story, originally told to his children in the 1920s and expanded for publication in 1949. Bluff Farmer Giles lives in a land-of-fable England, full of giants and dragons. A reluctant hero like the Brave Little Tailor or Bilbo in The Hobbit, Giles wins a great reputation by firing his blunderbuss at a wandering giant--who retreats not in fear but to avoid this tiresome stinging "insect". One thing leads to another, and despite all his excuses the now famous Giles is called to save his country from the marauding dragon Chrysophylax. He has a legendary anti-dragon sword and a lot of luck, but dragons can be as devious as politicians... Tolkien crammed much sly wit into his little story, plus jokey philological explanations that Giles's amazing adventures are commemorated in Thames Valley placenames like Worminghall and Thame. It's illustrated with nearly 50 line drawings by Paula Baynes: Tolkien loved these, but some look sadly faded here, like fourth-generation photocopies. As a bonus, the anniversary edition includes an introduction telling the story's history, a transcription of the original, unfinished draft, and 23 pages of notes on allusions and names (Chrysophylax means "keeper of gold", which is indeed what dragons do). A pleasant gift book. --David Langford

127 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1949

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About the author

J.R.R. Tolkien

516 books68.9k followers
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: writer, artist, scholar, linguist. Known to millions around the world as the author of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien spent most of his life teaching at the University of Oxford where he was a distinguished academic in the fields of Old and Middle English and Old Norse. His creativity, confined to his spare time, found its outlet in fantasy works, stories for children, poetry, illustration and invented languages and alphabets.

Tolkien’s most popular works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set in Middle-earth, an imagined world with strangely familiar settings inhabited by ancient and extraordinary peoples. Through this secondary world Tolkien writes perceptively of universal human concerns – love and loss, courage and betrayal, humility and pride – giving his books a wide and enduring appeal.

Tolkien was an accomplished amateur artist who painted for pleasure and relaxation. He excelled at landscapes and often drew inspiration from his own stories. He illustrated many scenes from The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, sometimes drawing or painting as he was writing in order to visualize the imagined scene more clearly.

Tolkien was a professor at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford for almost forty years, teaching Old and Middle English, as well as Old Norse and Gothic. His illuminating lectures on works such as the Old English epic poem, Beowulf, illustrate his deep knowledge of ancient languages and at the same time provide new insights into peoples and legends from a remote past.

Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892 to English parents. He came to England aged three and was brought up in and around Birmingham. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 1915 and saw active service in France during the First World War before being invalided home. After the war he pursued an academic career teaching Old and Middle English. Alongside his professional work, he invented his own languages and began to create what he called a mythology for England; it was this ‘legendarium’ that he would work on throughout his life. But his literary work did not start and end with Middle-earth, he also wrote poetry, children’s stories and fairy tales for adults. He died in 1973 and is buried in Oxford where he spent most of his adult life.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 644 reviews
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
November 12, 2016
This is a great little tale full of bravery, heroism and Tolkien’s ever so subtle humour.

Farmer Giles saves his farm and, as a consequence, the local village from a rampaging giant. This earns him a fierce reputation for heroism; thus, he is rewarded by the King with a rather glamourous sword. The King, believing this to be a mere ceremonial weapon, parts with the blade gladly. It turns out that the sword is actually Tailbiter, an ancient weapon that carries a powerful enchantment. Indeed, it cannot physically be sheathed when in close proximity to a dragon.

Can you guess what happens next?

A dragon appears! Bet you didn’t see that coming. He attacks the surrounding villages and there is little anyone can do to stop him. Naturally Farmer Giles is called upon for help, though he is very reluctant. He is old and who actually wants to fight dragons? His only act of heroism was defence of his own land, this is a different situation. He fears he may not be up to the task. But nonetheless due to the constant pestering of the villages, he resolves himself and hunts down the dragon. He opts to take a more tactical approach that the strutting knights of the realm:

“Well,” said Giles,” if it is you notion to go dragon hunting jingling and dinging like Canterbury Bells it ain’t mine. It don’t seem sense to me to let a dragon to let a dragon know that you are coming along the road sooner than need be.”


Giles has an interesting way of dealing with his problems. Instead of taking the predicted direction, the hack and slash route, he chooses a more careful approach. This in its self is a much more logical solution and leaves the tale going into unexpected directions. Instead of slaying the dragon he makes a deal with him and after forcing the dragon to complete his end of the bargain, they become unlikely friends. The dragon is bound to his service out of a respect for Giles and a fear of his sword. Trouble strikes when the King of the realm hears of the treasure Giles has taken for himself. He wants it for the crown, but why should Giles give his hard earned treasure away? He’s now friends with a dragon. Not much the King can do.

So this was a fun tale; it’s definitely aimed at a younger audience, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The ending was great, I do wish Tolkien has picked a more orginal name though for his hero.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,038 reviews2,388 followers
June 22, 2019
Happenstance leads to a simple farmer's becoming a town hero, but it's the man's clever wit that manages to bend a fearsome dragon to his will.

I was going to give this one only three stars as I was annoyed at how Farmer Giles treated his poor, faithful pooch, Garm, but the ending left me laughing, so four magical twinklers for this brief, fun fancy.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,065 reviews1,474 followers
September 18, 2021
This was a sweet little tale involving Giles the farmer, Chrysophylax the dragon, and Garm the dog (who was the star of the show for me).

When a giant entered the village of Ham, Farmer Giles somewhat accidentally was responsible for his leaving. He returned from the lands he came from and spoke fondly of the abundant foods and lack of knights he had witnessed there, prompting the dragons to become interested in this human realm. As Giles was heralded as Ham's saviour once before he is tasked with doing so again, but this new foe is far deadlier and far more intelligent.

This was full of the wry humour I have grown to love from Tolkien. This often had me smirking and giggling and I enjoyed my time with this story immensely. It was also one full of bravery and heart, again like the best of Tolkien's stories also are, and proved a joy to read on many levels.

The only unlikable aspect for me was how Giles and the other village inhabitants treated poor Garm the dog. He was often beaten or abused for speaking his truths, warning the village of impending danger, and for grieving over the loss of those he loved. He only ever showed loyalty in return for his harsh treatment and I thought a small moment of appreciation for his character would have appeared at the story's close. It did not. I feel this would have benefitted greatly from including an apology to Garm and realisation of past wrongs from at least Giles. This inclusion would be especially beneficial to the young readers this is targeted towards.
Profile Image for Ajeje Brazov.
727 reviews
December 31, 2020
Il Cacciatore di Draghi è una favola che Tolkien decise di inventare e raccontare ai suoi figli per intrattenerli, per farli fantasticare, ma anche per lasciarli riflettere sulla storia antica, di tempi ormai lontani e perduti, dove il folklore locale, britannico, si intrecciava con la mitologia e le canzoni popolari orali, tramandate di famiglia in famiglia, di generazione in generazione.
Così mi ritrovo tra le mani un racconto favolistico/folkloristico che Tolkien penò molto a far pubblicare e qui lo ritroviamo rimaneggiato, "aggiustato", allungato per poterlo rendere appetibile per la vendita.
Dopo averlo letto ed ammirato, nelle molteplici e caratteristiche illustrazioni, ne rimango discretamente soddisfatto, sinceramente leggerei quasiasi cosa scritta da Tolkien, però c'è qualcosa che non quadra...
Così, dopo il racconto, vi sono varie appendici, note ecc..., ma prima di esse, vi è una sezione dove troviamo il manoscritto di Tolkien della prima versione della favola di Giles il Cacciatore di Draghi. Ed eccomi immerso nel vero e puro Tolkien!
Profile Image for Martin.
327 reviews143 followers
June 15, 2019
A hungry dragon, a near-sighted giant, foppish knights, a greedy king and stolen treasure. All confront Farmer Giles to give much thought to the Wide World outside his fields, the village, and the nearest market.

The Wide World and the Giant
But the Wide World was there. The forest was not far off, and away west and north were the Wild Hills, and the dubious marches of the mountain-country. And among other things still at large there were giants: rude and uncultured folk, and troublesome at times. There was one giant in particular, larger and more stupid than his fellows.  He was very large, his walking-stick was like a tree, and his tread was heavy. He brushed elms aside like tall grasses; and he was the ruin of roads and the desolation of gardens, for his great feet made holes in them as deep as wells; if he stumbled into a house, that was the end of it. And all this damage he did wherever he went, for his head was far above the roofs of houses and left his feet to look after themselves. He was near-sighted and also rather deaf. He used to go out walking in the Wild Hills and in the empty regions at the feet of the mountains, all by himself.

His faithful dog
Farmer Giles had a dog. The dog's name was Garm. Dogs had to be content with short names in the vernacular: the Book-Latin was reserved for their betters. Garm could not talk even dog-Latin; but he could use the vulgar tongue (as could most dogs of his day) either to bully or to brag or to wheedle in. Bullying was for beggars and trespassers, bragging for other dogs, and wheedling for his master. Garm was both proud and afraid of Giles, who could bully and brag better than he could.

The night that Garm meets the giant
`There's a giant in your fields, an enormous giant; and he's coming this way,' said the dog. `Help! help! He is trampling on your sheep. He has stamped on poor Galathea, and she's as flat as a doormat. Help! help! He's bursting all your hedges, and he's crushing all your crops. You must be bold and quick, master, or you will soon have nothing left. Help!' Garm began to howl.

The blunderbuss
Farmer Giles's blunderbuss had a wide mouth that opened like a horn, and it did not fire balls or slugs, but anything that he could spare to stuff in.

. . .

The giant's face appeared, pale in the moonlight, which glittered in his large round eyes. His feet were still far below, making holes in the fields. The moon dazzled the giant and he did not see the farmer; but Farmer Giles saw him and was scared out of his wits. He pulled the trigger without thinking, and the blunderbuss went off with a staggering bang. By luck it was pointed more or less at the giant's large ugly face. Out flew the rubbish, and the stones and the bones, and the bits of crock and wire, and half a dozen nails. And since the range was indeed limited, by chance and no choice of the farmer's many of these things struck the giant: a piece of pot went in his eye, and a large nail stuck in his nose.

`Blast!' said the giant in his vulgar fashion. `I'm stung!' The noise had made no impression on him (he was rather deaf), but he did not like the nail. It was a long time since he had met any insect fierce enough to pierce his thick skin; but he had heard tell that away East, in the Fens, there were dragonflies that could bite like hot pincers. He thought that he must have run into something of the kind.

`Nasty unhealthy parts, evidently,' said he. `I shan't go any further this way tonight'

So he picked up a couple of sheep off the hill-side, to eat when he got home, and went back over the river, making off about nor-nor-west at a great pace. He found his way home again in the end.

The growing fame of Farmer Giles
Next day he found that the news had grown in the telling, and he had become an important local figure. By the middle of the next week the news had spread to all the villages within twenty miles. He had become the Hero of the Countryside. Very pleasant he found it. Next market day he got enough free drink to float a boat: that is to say, he nearly had his fill, and came home singing old heroic songs.

The king's letter and sword
The King sent a magnificent letter.
But better than the testimonial was the accompanying gift. The King sent a belt and a long sword. To tell the truth the King had never used the sword himself. It belonged to the family and had been hanging in his armoury time out of mind. The armourer could not say how it came there, or what might be the use of it. Plain heavy swords of that kind were, out of fashion at court, just then, so the King thought it the very thing for a present to a rustic. But Farmer Giles was delighted, and his local reputation became enormous.

All's well that ends well - but has it?
Giles much enjoyed the turn of events. So did his dog. He never got his promised whipping. Giles was a just man according to his lights; in his heart he gave a fair share of the credit to Garm, though he never went so far as to mention it. He continued to throw hard words and hard things at the dog when he felt inclined, but he winked at many little outings. Garm took to walking far afield. The farmer went about with a high step, and luck smiled on him. The autumn and early winter work went well. All seemed set fair – until the dragon came.

Hungry dragons in the Wild Hills hear of the good eating at Farmer Giles village
The warm summer was followed by a hard winter. It was bitter cold in the mountains and food was scarce.

The talk got louder. Lowland sheep and lone from the deep pastures were much discussed. The dragons pricked up their ears. They were hungry, and these rumours were attractive. `So knights are mythical!' said the younger and less experienced dragons. `We always thought so.'

`At least they may be getting rare,' thought the older and wiser worms; `far and few and no longer to be feared.'

Now Farmer Giles would face pressure to defeat the dragon, capture the treasure and resist the greedy king. Armed with a magic sword, his faithful dog and gentle mare he goes out into the Wide World and changes history.


Profile Image for Juho Pohjalainen.
Author 5 books282 followers
August 15, 2018
One of Tolkien's lesser-known works, what with having to compete with some of the brightest stars in the history of fantasy literature, Farmer Giles of Ham is nonetheless worth checking out and has little to be ashamed of in the company of the Hobbit and the others.

It's its hero that truly carries the story. Farmer Giles is neither a bold and fearless warrior such as Aragorn or Fëanor, nor a weak and meek little guy filled more with doubts than raw skill such as the hobbits, nor even an unsympathetic coward always trying to get rid of his responsibilities like Rincewind: instead, he's just a grumpy farmer that doesn't even seem to realize the how fantastic his quest is supposed to be, treating it all as nothing more than a chore to be only taken care of when he runs out of excuses to push it to another day. That sort of a thing is rare, and Tolkien if anyone knows how to draw out every bit of its potential.

Defending his home from a giant sends Giles on a thoroughly unwanted and (only in his mind) unpleasant fairytale adventure, to get rid of a dragon that's been menacing the countryside and that none of the local knights would like to try out. Sure, he gets a magic sword to help him out, but he's taking the whole thing with such nonchalant, grudging acceptance that you'd almost believe he could take care of the quest with nothing more than a garden hoe: the only thing the sword does is to take all the genuine but believable challenges he could have faced, and reduces them into a comedic farce of utter humiliation to the dragon, Chrysophylax, who until today thought knights were just a fairy tale. It could've been tense and gripping, had Tolkien chosen to write it in a different (more Hobbit-like) way, but he went down a different path and the end result is downright hilarious instead.

In the end, Farmer Giles of Ham is much like The Hobbit, only slightly lesser in every way except maybe comedy. If you read one of the two and enjoyed it (and how couldn't you?), then you'll like the other one fine as well.
Profile Image for Cindy Rollins.
Author 20 books2,153 followers
April 17, 2017
My husband Tim and I listened to this on our trip home from visiting my parents. We have both read this aloud to our children, read it privately and listened to it with Derek Jacobi on audio many, many times. Never gets old. We still laugh at the jokes which are now just plain old friends and we often call our dog Garm.

A true 5-Star book with an exceptional audio narration by Derek Jacobi.
Profile Image for Carlo Mascellani.
Author 18 books262 followers
April 7, 2022
Mi aspettavo una storia epica e ricca di pathos simile a quella di Bard ne Lo hobbit, invece ho trovato una fiaba in sé poco originale e già letta (con varianti) altre mille volte presso altri mille autori. Delusione. Peccato...
Profile Image for Lucia A. Tramontana.
92 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2023
Lettura piacevole e leggera. Il racconto si legge in poche ore in quanto é scorrevole e poco complesso. L'ho trovato molto simpatico, lo consiglio non solo agli amanti di Tolkien.
Profile Image for Lars Dradrach.
857 reviews
March 7, 2019
An enjoyable little story, with a wonderful narration from Derek Jacobi.

Would probably never have picked this up, if it wasn’t Tolkien and I have to admit to being somewhat underwhelmed by his non-middle earth stories.
Profile Image for Marko Vasić.
455 reviews140 followers
August 31, 2021
Genealogy of this satirical story was quite haphazard. In The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, Volume 1: Chronology, Scull & Hammond duo explained that, according to Tolkien’s eldest son John, the story originated during a family picnic, which was ceased by a sudden rain shower, when the family was coerced to find a shelter under the eaves, and while the rain was pouring, father Tolkien began a story of farmer Gil. The story was at first written in a form of a dialogue between father and the son, and Tolkien intended to publish it after “The Hobbit”, yet it waited for 12 more years to be exposed into the bookshop windows’. The very tale is, I daresay, sheer reflection of Tolkien’s devotion to medieval literature, and the form resembles much of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, yet, of course, Tolkien imprinted his own mark into it, using both Latin and Greek to name his characters. Thus, farmer’s name arose from the archaic Latin term for a farmer – aegidius, which means kid hide, and is somewhat mocking, common phrase for a farmer. And Gil is its English match. Ham is abbreviation from hamlet – a small village. Gil’s dog is Garm, and Garm is the guardian of the Hell’s door in Norse Mythology (yet Tolkien’s Garm is rather a weeper than a guardian, but is able to talk), his favourite cow is Galathea (the goddess of milk) and his wife is Agatha. When a dragon, by his name Crysophylax (Greek coinage, meaning “the guardian of the gold”), emerges into the village, King will send Giles, a reputed giant bewilderer, and bestow him a sword named Caudimordax (tailbiter - which leaps out of its scabbard in the vicinity of the dragon) to repel the dragon. Then, the entire story inverted, and became a satire, at which end Giles became a King of his little Kingdom. The story bursts of beautiful medieval terms well fitted into the narrative, and it is suitable both for children, who will find the adventure, and the adults – to find and enjoy all the linguistic puns that Tolkien employed in this tale.
Profile Image for LaCitty.
795 reviews142 followers
November 4, 2021
Racconto delizioso di Tolkien, una versione comica e dissacrante delle avventure cavalleresche. L'eroe è un semplice contadino che acquisisce fama per caso e che riceve in dono dal suo re una spada i cui poteri sono ignorati dal suo primo proprietario. Ovviamente quando farà la sua comparsa un drago sarà chiamato in causa per difendere il regno, ma stiamo parlando di un uomo comune e non di un eroe quindi... troverà un suo modo molto personale per assolvere all'ordine ricevuto.
Trovate divertetissime, personaggi di contorno irresistibili, in particolare la giumenta che porterà Giles in battaglia, è un racconto graziosissimo e scorrevole, adatto a tutte le età, un racconto in cui intelligenza e buon senso vincono su battaglie e prevaricazioni.
Profile Image for Ely Rugiada.
Author 13 books33 followers
May 8, 2019
Un bel racconto breve di Tolkien, in questa edizione annessa con la prima versione del manoscritto, che diverte insegna facendoci entrare nel magico mondo dell' autore.Imperdibile per gli amanti del genere.
Profile Image for Tijana.
765 reviews206 followers
August 5, 2017
Zapravo je ovo, a ne Hobit ili Gospodar prstenova, knjiga kakvu bih očekivala od profesora koji na Oksfordu predaje anglosaksonski: da svoju priču o farmeru koji mora da izađe na kraj sa divovima, zmajevima i kraljevima malo pastišira a malo parodira, da samu sebe ne shvata ozbiljno i da utrpava filološke forice koje će biti smešne drugim oksfordskim profesorima sem ako nisu na njihov račun.
A ako vam se desi da na osnovu mutnih uspomena o tome kako u knjizi ima otresitih seljaka i ne mnogo opasnih zmajeva i da je u suštini komična (a i kraća je od Hobita pa se neće poput njega razvlačiti mesecima) rešite da je, šta znam, čitate deci pred spavanje, suočićete se sa neophodnošću da deci svako malo objašnjavate neki britanski understatement (filološke forice su brutalno eliminisane a naročito tamo gde je čak i Radoslav Petković kao prevodilac osetio potrebu za fusnotom).

(Ok, ipak im se svidelo.)
Profile Image for Jim Ef.
326 reviews64 followers
March 7, 2021
Farmer Giles of Ham is a short tale from the master of fantasy fiction J.R.R.Tolkien. Although the story is about a hero and contains giants, dragons and talking dogs,(actually it is just one dog) it is not an epic tale full with action. Don’t worry tho, because although it will not amaze you with great battles, it will put a smile on your face with nice humour.

One nice night a giant went for a walk. He was out for a while and got lost, he was also very hungry. He started to walk faster trying to find his home, when suddenly a fly beat him. The giant thought that he was about to enter a dirty place filled with flies and creatures bad fo his health. He realized that he turned wrong and decided to go back.

Giles the farmer was sleeping when Garn, his dog, called him in the middle of the night. Garn informed his master that a giant entered his fields and step on his favorite cow. Giles of course didn’t believe the dog and threw a bottle to the poor dog. When the dog continued he had no choice but to check. He took his gun and went out. A bit later he faced the giant, who couldn’t see him cause of the moonlight in his eyes. Giles got so scared that he accidentally pulled the trigger, that for his good luck was facing the giant’s huge face.

Word got out of the brave farmer but it would only lead to more funny adventures that I suggest you read yourself.
Profile Image for Anna [Floanne].
564 reviews235 followers
November 10, 2016
Giganti maldestri, un drago sputafuoco, una spada magica, un astuto fattore, un re sprovveduto, un cane parlante, una simpatica giumenta grigia e un inestimabile tesoro: ecco gli ingredienti mescolati magistralmente da Tolkien in questa bella fiaba per bambini. Il tutto condito da quel pizzico di humor che fa sorridere ma non eccede mai. Posso solo immaginarmi i figli di Tolkien seduti accanto a lui, mentre racconta loro le imprese del Fattore Giles! Io lo leggerò ai i miei, perché è un racconto che ben si presta ad essere letto ad alta voce, le sere d'autunno davanti al camino.
Interessante anche l'introduzione a questa edizione che spiega la genesi dell'opera, la cui stesura definitiva richiese all'autore quasi vent'anni! Molto simpatiche anche le illustrazioni, vere e proprie miniature in stile medievale, che Tolkien stesso definì il completamento perfetto alla sua storia. Voto: ★★★★
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
March 3, 2018
Bought with the same Christmas book voucher as The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Smith of Wootton Major. My copy is an extremely shabby piece of bookage now.
Profile Image for El W. (readinthewillows).
315 reviews9 followers
May 7, 2021
Lovely little story of a farmer turned hero. It’s a fun story and family friendly, other than some good old fashioned endorsement for animal abuse (although none ever happens). As a religious Tolkien fan I adore his short stories. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is currently my favorite, still have 2 more on my list. Next up: Roverandom!
Profile Image for C. J.  Daley.
Author 1 book37 followers
September 21, 2022
This review is based off of the Harper Collins Pocket Hardcovers sold in a set as the “Tolkien Treasury.” This book includes the published version of the story, the first manuscript version, and the short outline for the sequel. I’m including that info because I don’t know if other versions include the same.

To me this was a great little tale, falling just short of me loving it. I think this is a cute, silly story that could so easily fall into the realm of other fairytale stories/the same popularity, if only it was more readily available. Although, it is again one of those older children’s stories where while I’m reading I’m like, “this was told to kids?!” So with that being said this could easily have been dulled down or “Disney-fied” or made even more adult in a longer version/adaptation.

I feel like pretty much from top to bottom this story is about greed. While Giles is considered to be good to his people, and well liked, he is also still tempted by the gold of the dragon. Albeit, not as grossly as the king and his court.

Of course we also get the dual pleasure of something light and enjoyable as with most of Tolkien’s earlier works (ie. Roverandom or even the full length The Hobbit), mixed with the lush imagination of the king of fantasy Himself.

Personally a 5/5* for me, as I liked it even more the second time around.
December 25, 2021
Bez obzira što je ovo delo više namenjeno deci, Tolkinova bajkovitost i magija pripovedanja ne izostaju ni u ovoj knjizi, tako da je ovo idealna prilika za prvi susret sa slavnim piscem, pre nego što zakoračite u Srednju zemlju.

Farmer Gil od Hama je srednjovekovna satirična vinjeta koja broji stotinak strana, na kojima se pored teksta nalaze i lepe ilustracije. U centru pažnje je farmer Gil koji vodi bezbrižan život, kao i većina stanovništva sela Ham, sve do trenutka kada u njegovu baštu zaluta kratkovidi džin i napravi mu veliku štetu. Vođen neverovatnom srećom i hrabrošću koja isijava iz njega u nekim retkim trenucima, farmer Gil će ubrzo postati heroj o kome će biti ispevane pesme, a do toga će dovesti upravo jedno takvo privremeno buđenje junaštva - kada kremenjačom (puškom) otera džina iz svog sela. Iako deluje naivno, nesumnjivo je da ova priča nosi ozbiljnu poruku - sreća prati hrabre, pa čak i one malo manje hrabrije. Saznajte kakve su okolnosti dovele do Gilove velike transformacije, pa sami donesite zaključak o tome da li se u ovom slučaju radi o čistoj sreći, ili ipak ima i herojskog duha u ovom naizgled običnom čoveku.
Profile Image for George K..
2,434 reviews318 followers
January 9, 2019
Τελευταία φορά που διάβασα βιβλίο του Τζ. Ρ. Ρ. Τόλκιν ήταν τον Νοέμβριο του 2012 ("Χόμπιτ") και δεν μπορείτε να φανταστείτε πόσο μου έλειψε. Φυσικά το "Ο αγρότης ο Τζάιλς απ'το χωριό" είναι κάτι το εντελώς διαφορετικό σε σχέση με τα υπόλοιπα βιβλία του συγγραφέα που έχω διαβάσει, όμως και πάλι μπορώ να πω ότι πέρασα ωραία. Πρόκειται για μια ιδιαίτερα καλογραμμένη και όμορφη νουβέλα, σαν ένα παραμύθι για μικρούς και μεγάλους, στο οποίο παρελαύνουν ιππότες, δράκοι, γίγαντες κλπ. Μην περιμένετε επικές μάχες και ατελείωτη δράση, αλλά μια ευχάριστη και απολαυστική περιπέτεια με ατμόσφαιρα παραμυθιού, καθώς και μια λεπτή αίσθηση του χιούμορ, την οποία πραγματικά ευχαριστήθηκα.
Profile Image for R..
85 reviews4 followers
January 2, 2017
Delightful. It has a much more light-hearted tone than The Hobbit or LOTR; I was laughing practically the whole time. It’s not connected with Middle-earth, but I guess it does have some magic since Garn (the dog) can talk (the most common words being “Help! Help!”) and Tailbiter jumps out of its sheath when a dragon is a couple miles away. Good for all ages!
Profile Image for Ellis ♥.
853 reviews10 followers
January 17, 2017
3 e mezzo su 5.
Una favola godibile, fresca e molto breve. Caratterizzata dalla scrittura magica ed evocativa tipica di Tolkien per dar vita ad una storia di avventura e grande coraggio.
Profile Image for Cori.
851 reviews147 followers
July 20, 2021
Farmer Giles's dog, Garm, is out enjoying a midnight stroll, as dogs do, when he happens across none other than a near-sighted giant, who accidentally squashes their poor cow, Galathea. Dashing home, he wakes up his master to warn him of the intruder. Unfortunately, Farmer Giles unwittingly scares off the giant, creating quite a bit of notoriety for himself with the local townsfolk. I say unfortunately because, naturally, the townsfolk have certain expectations of Farmer Giles when a dragon shows up...

I loved this story. I had all the expectations when I started it because of Tolkien being the author, but it was not misplaced. He's the absolute G.O.A.T. Not only would kids love this, there are laugh out loud moments for adults as well. I'm paraphrasing slightly, but an example is the description of Farmer Giles's hefty wife who reportedly took shrewd care of their finances. "Nothing got past her. Unless it took a very long walk indeed."

I'd rate this a PG for mild adventure and peril.
Profile Image for Daniel.
614 reviews45 followers
May 20, 2017
Tolkiens Fähigkeit breite, epische Geschichten zu schreiben (zumindest, was den Herrn der Ringe anbelangt) ist ja allgemein bekannt. In vielerlei Hinsicht sieht er fast schon wie der Schöpfer des Genres aus, ist seine Trilogie doch Vorlage für eine schier endlose Menge an Werken geworden. Allenfalls weiß man noch über "Der Hobbit" bescheid - schließlich gibt es dazu auch eine Verfilmung.

Aber dass nebenbei noch ein ganzes Universum an Ideen von ihm die Genesis seiner Welten betreffend verarbeitet wurde, das ist nur den wenigsten bekannt. Genauso wenige wissen, dass er ursprünglich eigentlich eher als Kinderbuchautor galt - ein Ruf, den er nur schwer loswurde, ehe er der breiteren Masse durch sein Hauptwerk bekannt geworden war.

So ist auch "Bauer Giles von Ham" eines jener Bücher, das nicht nur beinahe nie erschienen wäre, sondern auch nach seinem Erscheinen bald wieder verblasste. Zu unrecht! Denn mit dem tapferen Bauern schuf der englische Autor eine Figur von Witz, die er inmitten einer Mischwelt aus vergangenen Jahrhunderten und Vorstellungen verortete. Einer Welt, in der bereits Donnerbüchsen vorhanden waren, die aber noch von Drachen und Riesen (mit-) beherrscht wurde.

Ach ... ich erzähle schnell worum es geht: Ein Riese trampelt im mittleren Reich umher und schreckt den Hund eines Bauern auf, der zu verbotener Stunde auf den Feldern Kaninchen jagt. Dieser läuft natürlich schnurstracks nach Hause und alarmiert den Bauern. Natürlich glaubt der dem Hund kein Wort (denn Hunde plappern öfter mal wirres Zeug, muss man wissen), nimmt aber trotzdem seine Donnerbüchse mit und zieht aus um nach dem Rechten zu sehen. Nun ... wirres Zeug hin oder her - da stand tatsächlich ein Riese auf dem Feld.

Bauer Giles vertreibt ihn mithilfe einer Ladung des merkwürdigsten Schrots in der Geschichte merkwürdiger Waffen in merkwürdigen Königreichen. Der Bauer wird ein gefeierter Held, vom König mit einem Brief und einem Geschenk geehrt. Das Geschenk ist nichts geringeres als ein besonderes Schwert, das ihm später dabei helfen wird jenen eingebildeten Drachen zu verjagen, der sich (gereizt durch die Geschichte des heimgekehrten Riesen, der von weiten Feldern, Schafen und anderen Leckereien berichtete, die er vor Ort gefunden hatte) in der Nähe von Ham aufhielt. Nunja ... ich will nicht zu viel verraten - aber eines sei noch gesagt: Manche Helden schlottern mit den Knien, bevor sie sich ins Getümmel werfen. Oh! Und: Manche Getümmel involvieren Schwerter. Diese müssen dann aber nicht unbedingt die schärfste Klinge sein, die geführt wird.

Wie auch immer: Man erlebt, durch die ganze Geschichte hindurch, Tolkiens Gespür für sehr feinsinnigen Humor. Obwohl es sich bei dieser Erzählung eindeutig um ein Märchen (oder etwas, das sehr dicht dran ist) handelt, haben nicht nur Kinder etwas davon.

Da dieser Ausgabe auch die ursprüngliche Fassung (also jene, die er niederschrieb nachdem er die Geschichte seinen Kindern erzählte) beiliegt, kann man hervorragend nachvollziehen, wie Tolkien arbeitete. Besonders sein eigentliches Liebkind, die Sprachspielerei, erlebt dabei nämlich eine unglaubliche Evolution.

Dieses Buch zu lesen ist für (Hobby-) Tolkinisten sicher eine tolle Sache. Deshalb empfehle ich es besonders dieser Gruppe unter den Fantasy-Lesern. :)
Profile Image for Dylan.
234 reviews
November 29, 2021
Farmer Giles of Ham is written in 1937 but published in 1949 so within Tolkien lifetime. My thoughts are this has much more depth than Roverandom and a lot of cleverness that I saw behind the craft. Like how Don Quixote is many things, but primarily is a commentary on Chivalry Knighthood and those types of narratives. I believe Farmer Giles of Ham, serves a similar function, being a humorous take upon the Arthurian Legends. It’s not a deconstruction, but it seems to be more of a commentary and parody of certain attributes of those stories. The character Giles is a fantastic example, just being a farmer and using non-chivalry ways of overcoming his obstacles. Plus, it is another take on the Beowulf story, this is most apparent with the giant and primarily Chyrsophylax the dragon ( which is a very fun dragon to read). They are also a lot of Philological wordplays which some went over my head and some I understood. Honestly, where Roverandom is more targeted onward children here this has a larger appeal to both adults and children alike. I honestly think this is his funniest novel, I haven’t reread Hobbit and LOTR for some time but it's so good with its word choice. Even some themes it dealt with regarding unchecked power, though some of it not in the focus, the implication are very interesting.

Overall, it’s a very good novel and it's worth seeking out.

Profile Image for Tim Mercer.
280 reviews
July 9, 2018
4 stars. Thought I would reread this as when I looked up a Tolkein books for the Pageopoly Challenge I couldn't really remember it. Really enjoyed this short story. Farmer Giles is not a pleasant person but much nicer than the other characters so you eventually gravitate to him as he becomes reasonable over time. This is an easy read and a bit of fun for a change of pace. It was charming how the farmers dog and mare got to speak their thoughts on matters and the three of them make the story.

PS This is why I love these Goodreads challenges, they enrich your life by getting you to read books that at face value you would otherwise pass by. Thanks to the Greatest Mods Ever!
Profile Image for E.F. Buckles.
Author 1 book20 followers
December 29, 2018
This was a fun little story. The human characters reminded me very much of hobbits and I loved the talking dog and the whole storyline with the giants and dragons. The overall tone was funny and it was a very light and enjoyable read that I’m sure I’ll return to again and again. Since I listened to it on audio, I'll also note that Derek Jacobi's narration was excellent as always. I especially loved the voice he did for the dragon. XD
Profile Image for Pinkerton.
509 reviews43 followers
December 2, 2018
Non nascondo di essere rimasto un po’ deluso dal Professore questa volta. Anzitutto mi ha spiazzato il fatto che si trattasse di una fiaba per bambini, e non c’è nemmeno alcun legame con la Terra di Mezzo, quindi già di base le premesse non erano le migliori. La storia è quella di, un fortunato più che coraggioso, Ægidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo che fa una gran carriera grazie alla buona sorte e al cane Garm (non troppo benvoluto ^^’) che lo sprona all’abbisogna. Inizia affrontando e “sconfiggendo” un gigante con un sol colpo di trombone, da lì partirà una serie di equivoci che lo porteranno faccia a faccia col drago Chrysophylax Dives, armato della leggendaria spada Mordicoda. Un continuo, ripetitivo, spesso scontato, temporeggiare che a lungo andare ha incoronato l’agricoltore (alla faccia del mugnaio invidioso ed il fabbro pessimista) quale eroe, e non solo, del racconto.
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