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Smith of Wootton Major

Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
Length: 1 hr and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)
Regular price: £1.99
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Summary

Tolkien's acclaimed modern classic 'fairie' tale, read by Derek Jacobi.

Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the Land of Faery thanks to the magical ingredients of the Great Cake of the Feast of Good Children.

©1967, 2005 The Tolkien Trust (P)1999 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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Enchanting

Quite possibly my favourite Tolkien story (besides The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit of course).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A curious tale

This is an odd story, yet I find that I like it. Jacobi performs well. However, I much prefer the actual physical book with its mysterious illustrations.

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  • Babbi
  • 18-01-17

Charming

I loved this imaginative book, full of wonderful characters. It is such a fun read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Raymond
  • 04-02-17

A lovely and hopeful story.

I really enjoyed hearing this story read aloud. I had read the story myself years ago, but this was a real treat. In fact I listened to the last 5 minutes sitting in the grocery store parking lot😉😉.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn Maudlin
  • 17-12-16

A delightful journey along the edges of Faery.

J.R.R. Tolkien is best known for his epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, and the children's book, The Hobbit, with which it begins. But his shorter works are delightful and Smith of Wootton Major is a little gem. Don't miss it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 17-07-17

Wonderful story. Highly recommend.

Tolkien creates something wonderful here, a story truly worth reading. It is a story that lodges itself in the soul, long after it has been read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dragonfly Samurai
  • 02-04-17

Great short story!

Would you listen to Smith of Wootton Major again? Why?

Sure. I don't have any kids at this time, but if I did this is one of those stories that would be great to share with them while getting ready for bed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Smith of Wootton Major?

With a story this short, I wouldn't say that it is developed enough to really separate and say that there is a certain section that I can't wait to get to. However, being so short it is one of those stories that is still able to flesh out good characters and be a simple, enjoyable listen.

What does Derek Jacobi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think Derek Jacobi does a great job at treating this as a great story for children and as such treats it in a way that would be enjoyable to them.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

J. R. R. Tolkien. .. More than just an epic fantasy novelist!

Any additional comments?

This may not be for all people. It is not your typical adventure story. Probably something more along the lines of a subdued adventure story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • D M BOYCE
  • 26-01-17

What a pleasure

JRRT has created such wonder in his stories. this one is a good one read masterfully.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Britt
  • 14-02-19

Short, but Sweet

This is a quirky but sweet tale. A delightful fairy tale. I only wish it had been longer.

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  • Dale R.
  • 01-01-19

A Brilliant Short Story

This was a delight to listen to via Audio Book. The story and journey seem simple for such a short story, but there's so much more to it than that. I've no intention to trivialize or diminish this brilliant work, but it was simply wonderful to listen to. This was narrated by the magnificent Derek Jacobi. Two thumbs up! I can't help but express what a joy it was to listen to this, as J.R.R. Tolkien was such a literary genius.

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  • Brian
  • 16-12-18

Great story marred by odd music choice

This was Tolkien's last work published in his lifetime, written when he was in his seventies, or thereabouts. It's a mature tale told by a mature tale-teller. If I read it when I was a child, I've forgotten it. I've recently read it (on the page) as an adult, and it made me cry. It is a beautiful story--mysterious, evocative, tender, sensitive, serious.... but perhaps I don't really have the words to describe it.

Derek Jacobi is a fantastic interpreter of Tolkien. (When is Jacobi ever not fantastic?) Unfortunately, the producers chose to accompany Jacobi's reading with music that is light-hearted and jaunty, perhaps even silly. It does not fit the story at all. The choice strikes me as particularly unfortunate since part of the point of the story is that "fairy stories" are not by nature funny, silly, or light-hearted, and are not simply "for children": they are something much more serious. The producers don't seem to have been paying much attention. Indeed, there's a climactic confrontation late in the story between two characters, one who represents enchantment and one who represents the view that enchantment is "funny" or "something that (only) children would like": the scene is interrupted by this same silly, jaunty music, which is completely at odds both with the tone and the substance of the scene.

(Incidentally, the exact same music can be heard in other books in this series of short Tolkien works read by Jacobi. It feels more appropriate accompanying, say, Farmer Giles of Ham, which is a fairly light-hearted, humorous story.)

Summary: This recording contains an excellent performance, but I recommend that your first encounter with this story should be between just you and the text on a page (or screen).

[Edit: Possibly my experience of this story is a bit idiosyncratic. I suppose it is true that not everyone will experience this story the way I do; that many people will find it no more than a bit of light-hearted, charming fun; and that part of the mystery of enchantment that is story-telling is that one story can appeal to different people for different reasons.]

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  • Annie
  • 12-11-18

A Lovely Little Book

I loved this little book. It was so fun to read some of Tolkien's earlier works, and see little details used in this story that he ended up using and fleshing out more in LOTR.
A fun story of Faerie in the traditional style.
#faerie #magical #fantastic #tagsgiving #sweepstakes