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Summary

A brand new edition of the long unavailable children’s story, written by the author of The Hobbit and Letters from Father Christmas, with newly scanned manuscript pages and redesigned text. Now available as a downloadable audio edition.

Professor J.R.R. Tolkien invented and illustrated the book of Mr Bliss’s adventures for his own children when they were very young. This is a complete and highly imaginative tale of eccentricity.

Mr Bliss, a man notable for his immensely tall hats and for the girabbit in his garden, takes the whimsical decision to buy a motor car. But his first drive to visit friends quickly becomes a catalogue of disasters. Some of these could be blamed on Mr Bliss’s style of driving, but even he could not anticipate being hijacked by three bears. As for what happened next – the listeners, whether young or old, will want to discover for themselves. Thankfully all ended well, and even the yellow motor car with red wheels (to which Mr Bliss has taken an understandable and great dislike), came in useful at the end.

©1982 J.R.R. Tolkien (P)2011 Harper Collins

Critic reviews

"Owes a little to Beatrix Potter in its ironical humour and to Edward Lear in the style of its drawings, though Tolkien’s approach is less grotesque and more delicate than Lear’s." (Humphrey Carpenter)
"A celebration, in the spirit of The Wind in the Willows, of a vanished, vulgar England where everybody did – and spoke – exactly as he pleased, and life was consequently a series of amiable abrupt collisions, feebly refereed by the police in the shape of Sergeant Boffin. Although the book ought to feel dated, … dating has done little harm to Tom Kitten or Mr Badger, and there seems no reason why it should here.’ (T.A. Shippey, TLS)

What listeners say about Mr Bliss

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Tolkien's rather good country romp!

A lovely little story suitable for children. Reminds me a little of Wind in the Willows.

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Mr Bliss

The narrator speaks very clearly and with character voices. Great hearing Mr Bliss come to life through audio.

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Tolkien

Nothing to add to the already renowned
Acclaim these short stories are wonderful
Grandchildren love them read to and they
Love this audible think the narrator fabulous

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  • Lin
  • 17-07-18

Excellent narration but story lacking

Sir Derek Jacobi gives another phenomenal performance.
These short stories from Tolkien always seem to be lacking any meaningful themes, character development, or interesting settings. They tend to lack points where we can emotionally connect with the characters. I rarely pick up on any moral to the story. He instead just describes this thing that happened, then that thing that happened, then another. The stories seem like they were possibly bedtime stories he verbally told his children, making them up as he went along, then afterward went and wrote them down.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Corinna Haller
  • 28-08-21

Bonkers in the best way

Tolkien's short books are bonkers. Like... there's a guy...and he lives in a tall house and wears tall hats. And he has a girabbit. Which is essentially a rabbit with a neck the length of a giraffe. Mr. Bliss finds out at the end of the book he's supposed to have a permit for the girabbit, by the way, and owes a pretty penny. One day Mr. Bliss wakes up and decides he wants to buy a yellow motorcar that also is yellow on the inside with red tires on the outside. Naturally. So he sets out to buy a yellow car and meets a lady with bananas and a guy with cabbages and three talking bears. Pandemonium ensues.

I hate comparing everything to "Alice in Wonderland," but Carroll had the corner market on absurd whimsy. This vibed in the same way, but gentler for young children. My understanding is this is a picture book written and illustrated, by Tolkien, for his boys using their toy car and teddy bears as the inspiration.

One day in heaven, I'll run into John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, and I will stutter and stammer and blush and cry like a fangirl. And I will tell him that he was my most impactful author, along with C.S. Lewis, and I will scuff my toe along the ground and mumble 'thank you' and continue on my way apologizing for daring to be in his presence.

I am absolutely confident that's probably what will happen.

I'd rate this a G.

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  • Phillip J. Fitzsimmons
  • 08-02-21

This is much better

This is much better than I expected it to be. It is an excellent little story with an outstanding performance.

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  • J. Heuberger
  • 18-12-19

Fantastic Whimsical Children's Story

This entirely British children's story has all the cutting dry wit and silliness we've come to expect in alot of grown up stories in our present age.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 12-11-18

Perfect for All Children

A wonderful children's story with just enough silliness. I can't wait to read it to my children.
#childrenstales #magical #animals #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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  • Ryan Howcroft
  • 20-01-20

fun short listen

the story was fun and narration was spot on fun brief story. now I need to ramble on cause mug review wasn't long enough?

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  • R. Jones
  • 26-12-19

Very well done

I enjoyed mr. bliss. Derek Jacobi did a wonderful job bringing all the characters to life with his reading. This is a great story especially for children and anyone who just loves to listen to fiction. It was wonderful to hear more of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s work other than Lord of the rings which is also wonderful.

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  • ROBERT SUITER JR
  • 15-12-18

A must have for story lovers everywhere

Great fun! A must have for every nursery. The grandkid will love every minute of it.

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  • Russell Bernard
  • 16-08-18

Tolkien; what more can you ask

Tolkien’s short stories a treat for the reader and so clever. The narration by Derek Jacobi are not to be missed. Give all of Tolkien’s shot stories a try, they are very enjoyable and fun.

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  • Steve & Evie Wesner
  • 11-08-18

Very good, entertaining, and name's to.

I love it the narater is great as well as the words. I just love it.