This collection of Tolkien's shorter works (Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf By Niggle, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and Smith of Wootton Major) rely on England's "tales of yore" and its faery-filled past.
Though not what he is remembered for, they are intriguing reads. Their whimsical nature echos the more fanciful scenes in The Hobbit
, but beyond that - and obviously the inclusion of Bombadil in Fellowship
- there is little resemblance to these short works and his epics. (For something in the middle, one might try Tolkien's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
No, the depth, the thrill and (for better or worse) the gravitas of LotR
and The Silmarillion
is lacking here. And fans of his Middle Earth world will be disappointed, little if any of this has to anything to do with that fantasy land. If you're looking for more ME, try something like the Unfinished Tales
Still and all, these stories are enjoyable and should be read by Tolkien enthusiasts.