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If I had a Hammer  by Grey Wonderer 246 Review(s)
AspenJulesReviewed Chapter: 20 on 6/7/2012
GW - I found this story through Dreamflower who mentioned it a week or so ago as being one of her all-time favorite stories, that it was a feel-good story she loves to re-read on a regular basis. I made a note that I would have to check it out but have been so busy it ended up in the back of my mind, about to be shoved out the back door by all the other junk that gets shoved in there. Well, this week I ended up with the [un]fortuitous occurrance of getting the flu, and in the process of trying to find something to take my mind off of feeling miserable, I remembered this story and looked it up.

Now, understand, I am a big fan of comfort food. If you saw me you would instantly realize that that is probably my first idea of where to turn when I am miserable (I'm rather hobbity that way, LOL). However, with this particular flu even THINKING of food made things worse, and so this story worked as a wonderful "comfort food" for my mind and soul, without stirring up things that are better off left unstirred.

Sorry I didn't review as I went, but suffice it to say that I loved it all. Sam was great (Gamgeefest did a good job watching over him), and I loved him stepping on the shellaced boards, and Pippin's realization and the Gaffer's teasing of him for it. I LOVED Frodo pushing Berilac into the dung - I will NOT believe that was by accident - and then dropping him back in a second time! And Merry's diatribe about "perfect Frodo" was hilarious. I wondered if/when he would realize all those apple cores were from Pippin. OH, and Pippin's confusion about what Merry was saying and worrying if Frodo was going to read him a poem in Elvish while talking to him about Tobias Tunnely.

All in all, this was definitely just what I needed to get my mind off of feeling miserable, and do you know - I'm feeling much better now! Thanks!

Author Reply: I'm so sorry that you've been ill but I'm glad you feel better now.
I was totally stunned to find a review for this story when I opened my email. It's been ages since I wrote this one and I think it was my last, long story or one of the last long ones.
Thank you so much for reviewing it. It's lovely to hear that someone still checks in on this one now and then and reads it. Also, this is such a great review. I love it when people mention favorite parts of the story and what they liked. Thank you for the kind words.
I will have to thank Dreamflower for her kind words as well. : )
This made my day.

And just between you and me, I'm pretty sure Frodo knew exactly what he was doing when he dropped Berilac into the dung. Bwahaha!

PipMerReviewed Chapter: 20 on 2/17/2007
I know you wrote this story a while ago, but I just read it, and it's one of my favorites of yours! When I read the summary, I thought it might be so-so, but then I got into's wonderful! I love all of Pippin's actions and Pippinish, and teenager-ish, as well. I never thought of him as being particular insecure, but he really would be, being surrounding by much older hobbits all of the time. I always thought he would be full of confidence and cock-sure, but that's more Merry's role, I guess. I keep forgetting Pippin is so much younger than all of his other friends and cousins. You brought that out very well indeed!

I know you've expressed before that you don't think you write Sam well, but I think you did a fantastic job of him in this story. He's so self-effacing here, and he really would be.

Excellent job, GW!

Author Reply: Thank you. I am so glad that you enjoyed it. And thank you for saying that you liked Sam. I had Gamgeefest watching over him as I wrote. She would let me know if he did or said anything un-Sam-like. It helped a great deal. I was nervous using him in so much of the story and it is very nice to hear that you enjoyed it!

As to Pippin's insecurity in this, well, I do think it would be very difficult to keep up with Frodo and Merry. After all, but were probably very talented at a great many things as well as quite popular. Sometimes, Pippin might have been a bit uncertain. Of course, we all know he managed to outgrow that in a hurry! LOL

MartaReviewed Chapter: 20 on 7/12/2006
Hey Grey Wonderer,

I have a question about this piece and how you'd like it to compete in the MEFAs. We're trying to finish off categorizing, so it's important that we talk ASAP.

I emailed you just now from mefasupport(at)gmail(dot)com, but I know sometimes gmail does not play well with Yahoo. If you don't receive this email could you email *me* at that address?


GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/3/2005
And to quote Wayne's World "Isn't it great that we're all better people?" *cheesy smile* lol.

I was surprised when Tunnelly swallowed his pride and congratulated Pippin and Sam. That was might big of him. Maybe that hammer knocked some belated sense into him. ~_^ He's seen what some patience and not assuming the worst can do to a student.

Frodo and Merry really shouldn't knock that coat-stool too much. Once it's perfected, that thing will be taking off. And how wonderful that Pippin gave Gaffer the wheelbarrow. Pippin is so thoughtful. *hugs Pippin*

I was smiling like a dork when they won all those prizes. They may not have gotten first place, but they can't complain. At least Sam didn't have to fret over the "best tutor" award for too long. And you're right, Pippin does have a way of saying the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time, lol. I loved the Gaffer elbowing that other hobbit in the ribs.

Well, I'm sad to see it's over, but as I said before, this is one of my favorites of yours. You did a wonderful job with it all around. :)

Author Reply: Hey, thanks again for all of your help with Sam. It was good to know that someone was looking in and would let me know if I truly messed up Sam's character. Glad you enjoyed this wrap-up chapter. I had fun doing the happy ending bit. Thanks again for the reviews, the support and just for reading this!

TopazTookReviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/2/2005
I love how Pippin is so confident that Sam will win the tutor's award, yet so surprised when he himself wins one! And I was laughing because it was so totally in character that he would buy the coat-stool, too, and think it was a great idea. His first sort-of girlfriend was pretty cute, too. :)

In the previous chapter, I don't know how Frodo knows about Berilac's comments (thin walls in Bag End? eavesdropping outside a door?), but I'm pretty sure he does, and it was so appropriate that he was the one to get him back. Great story! Another G.W. tour de force!

Author Reply: Thank you! Couldn't have written parts of this without your help. I could just see Pippin buying that coat-stool! LOL I did want one rather odd project for the contest as there is always one inventor in every group. I also wanted Sam to get full credit for his efforts.

I sort of decided to leave it a bit unanswered as to it Frodo knows or what he knows. He may have overheard Merry and Pippin's conversation but then again maybe he really knocked Berilac down by accident? Or that Baggins sight where he just seems to know things? I thought I might clear this up in a later tale and so I left it for everyone to decide on their own.

Thank you so much for the reviews and the help with the tools. In a way, you were my Sam on this project! Give yourself an award!

Baggins BabeReviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/2/2005
Ah, this was absolutely perfect! What a great chapter to finish on, and I was right in thinking the Gaffer would be the recipient of the wheelbarrow.

I'm so glad Tobias was able to be gracious and that Berilac apologised, and I loved Saradoc's response to the grumbling about the rowing-boat!

This was a terrific story, GW, and I would love to see a story on Sam showing Frodo how to build something. I'd love to see a more practical Frodo. :-)) He can't possibly be as inept as he is sometimes made out to be!

Author Reply: Glad you enjoyed this last chapter in what turned into a very long story! LOL

Good guess on the Gaffer getting the wheelbarrow.

I think of Frodo as very educated in languages and maps and books and even in surviving out of doors, but I always see him as a gentle hobbit who isn't exactly at home with things like carpentry. I don't know why because that certainly isn't in the books. It's interesting how certain ideas stick with you and you've no idea where they began. I know lots of people write Frodo as always ill or depressed even before the quest and I can't seem to do that. I think of him as a strong hobbit in many ways or else he would have never made it to Mordor.

Thanks for reading and for reviewing.

MarigoldReviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/2/2005
It's over! Sigh...It was a fun read, thanks! I think that this line was just perfect: "Yes, sir," Sam said. "I’m a gardener and I suspect that’s all I'll ever wanted to be. I like watchin’ things grow and helpin’ them on their way."

I'm looking forward to your next story!

Author Reply: LOL I didn't know you were reading this one. Glad to know that you enjoyed it and thank you for stopping by to review! I had fun with this one and it is one of my few stories with Sam in it in a major role. Thanks!

eilujReviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/2/2005
A wonderful chapter tying together all the pieces.

Author Reply: Thank you for reading!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/2/2005
Hooray! The moment I heard there was a prize for the best teacher I had everything crossed, you know! And glad there is a decent bone or two in Tunnely's makeup. Wonderful!

Excellent. And the Gardener has indeed helped a Hobbit bloom this summer.

Author Reply: I couldn't let Pippin win first prize but I did want Sam to win. He told the most inexperienced carpentry student in the Shire and taught him a thing or two. That was worth a prize. The only thing more amazing might have been if he had taught Frodo how to build a wheelbarrow!

Thanks so much for all of the feedback and for reading this one. Your support is much appreciated!

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 20 on 11/1/2005
Is it possible that this story gets any better??? I think it did! :-) What a sweet and most joyous ending to this excellent story. We can't always be first place winners; Pippin shows just how honorable second place can be, too. He was just excited to be participating--he didn't seem to care about which place he finished at; just having something entered delighted him to no end. Your Pppin is so...not just trusting, but genuinely and inherently good at heart and happy. Yes, he has is bad days like any other "kid", but generally, he so loving and childlike. I absolutely love your Pippin. :-)

LOL, that darned Merry! I do love this little spitfire, too. I know hobbits love to eat, but I think this particular Brandybuck has a bottomless pit for a stomach. :-P LOL, and Frodo being mischievous! Too cute! I was so focussed yesterday on my toffee apples that I forgot to mention how hilarious his casually knocking Berilac into the dung was! I *still* have a taste for toffee apples, you goose!

You have such a gift for comedy and drama! This was a fantastic, brilliant tale from beginning to end--and I'm truly sorry to see it end. :-( I had fun and enjoyed it all! Thank you for sharing your wonderful imagination! :-)

lol, I think I smell a story-bunny hopping round here that has lots of chicken stew in it! LOL, when you least expect it--expect it!

Author Reply: Oh, so now I am to sit around and expect stew to turn up when I least expect it? Evil, just evil that's all. I never get stew so I never expect stew and so now I have to expect it all the time, don't I? MMMMMMMMM.....

Glad you enjoyed the last chapter. I hope I got everything wrapped up and I did want to get some sort of prize for Sam who went through so much in this one. I don't usually write Sam and I am guessing that Sam is very glad that I don't after this adventure. LOL

Mister Tunnely did wind up with a bit of hobbit sense in the end. You know how I love a happy ending and so naturally I had to have everything wrapped up, including Tunnely. I may just want him for a future story at some point. LOL

Glad you had fun and any time you want to drop by my house with a big, delicious bowl of chicken stew, please feel free to do so!

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