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Farmer Giles of Ham

by J.R.R. Tolkien
62 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Lady Meriwen

A treat for any Tolkien fan.

Plot

When simple Farmer Giles chases away a large and lost giant with nothing but a blunderbuss, he gains quite a reputation in his village of Ham. The only downside to having a reputation is that now he must live up to it. And when the living up to it involves bearding a fearsome dragon in its den, the courage of his heart and the quickness of his sword are put to the test.

Morality

The dragon is bad, and the farmer who faces him, though highly imperfect, is good.

Spiritual Content

There's no mention of religion in this story except for the presence of a parson.

Violence

A giant is shot at. Another character is threatened with hanging.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The village people drink ale, and on occasion Farmer Giles drinks enough to set him singing "old heroic songs" on the way home.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

The farmer says "Drat you" and "Lord-a-mercy".

Conclusion

Tolkien's sense of humor is admirably displayed in this story, from the stuffy faux-introduction to the doleful blacksmith who turns every silver lining into a black rain cloud. Anyone who enjoys chivalry, satire, and largely-drawn characters will love of the story of the unwilling knight with the trusty blunderbuss.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

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