The Mouse That Roared

Written by: Leonard Wibberley

The Mouse That Roared Book Cover
The tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick decides the only way to survive an economic downturn is to declare war on the United States and lose to get foreign aid - but things don't go according to plan.

The Mouse That Roared was originally published as a six-part serial in the Saturday Evening Post, and was made into a successful feature film starring Peter Sellers.
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The Mouse That Roared Reviews

James
Fun read from a man who, like the protaginists, comes from a small country which is constantly at odds with its neighbor (Ireland). A satirical, laugh-out-loud at times look at the farcical attempt by the Duchy of Grand Fenwick to lose a war with the USA so they can be rehabilitated (and the Count can get new plumbing for the castle).

Things go comi-tragically wrong when the armor-clad bowmen invade New York and succeed in actually winning the war with the USA. This is the first and best of the Fun read from a man who, like the protaginists, comes from a small country which is constantly at odds with its neighbor (Ireland). A satirical, laugh-out-loud at times look at the farcical attempt by the Duchy of Grand Fenwick to lose a war with the USA so they can be rehabilitated (and the Count can get new plumbing for the castle).

Things go comi-tragically wrong when the armor-clad bowmen invade New York and succeed in actually winning the war with the USA. This is the first and best of the five novels written in the Mouse series by Wibberley, and is a great introduction to teen readers in the art of irony and satire.
Beth
The Mouse That Roared is exactly what I needed to break me out of my reading funk. It's a side-splittingly funny, brilliant satire that manages to be incredibly apt, despite its 1955 publication date. It brought to mind The Pushcart War because it shares that deadpan humor, but The Mouse That Roared deals with war and nuclear proliferation in addition to capitalism and small business. And somehow, it does all that with a deft hand and careful balance.

I will say that the ending was fairly predict The Mouse That Roared is exactly what I needed to break me out of my reading funk. It's a side-splittingly funny, brilliant satire that manages to be incredibly apt, despite its 1955 publication date. It brought to mind The Pushcart War because it shares that deadpan humor, but The Mouse That Roared deals with war and nuclear proliferation in addition to capitalism and small business. And somehow, it does all that with a deft hand and careful balance.

I will say that the ending was fairly predictable, but I loved the book so much that I didn't care.
Anna
We all know the story or the premise behind this book at least, but what is almost more powerful upon reading through it is the message about nuclear armament and its consequences for the "tiny" nations who could never hope to be as powerful as the Big Three--unless something extraordinary happens. The moral discussions that go along with this tremendous power reversal are much more central to the plot of this wonderful little book than it would seem, if you only "know" the plot and haven't actu We all know the story or the premise behind this book at least, but what is almost more powerful upon reading through it is the message about nuclear armament and its consequences for the "tiny" nations who could never hope to be as powerful as the Big Three--unless something extraordinary happens. The moral discussions that go along with this tremendous power reversal are much more central to the plot of this wonderful little book than it would seem, if you only "know" the plot and haven't actually read it through.
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Valerie
This was a great book. It started out as just humorus, which isn't bad, but then it developed into something more. After Grand Fenwick had achieved the Q bomb, it gathered a political aspect that was first formed during the cold war but still holds true today.

I found it politically interesting in today's setting as the League of Little Nations might be comprised of a completely different set of nations, not all neccessarily quailified by their size, but rather by the international pecking order This was a great book. It started out as just humorus, which isn't bad, but then it developed into something more. After Grand Fenwick had achieved the Q bomb, it gathered a political aspect that was first formed during the cold war but still holds true today.

I found it politically interesting in today's setting as the League of Little Nations might be comprised of a completely different set of nations, not all neccessarily quailified by their size, but rather by the international pecking order. Makes me wonder what the Tiny Twenty would be today....
Diane Klajbor
This is one of my favorite books. I read it many years ago and it has always stayed with me. I recently re-read it and fell in love with it all over again. It is charming, funny,and poignant. But it also gives the reader much to think about; honor, global awareness, and the responsibility that comes with power, to name just a few. It is just as relevant today as it was in 1955 when it was first serialized. Do yourself a favor, sit down with a beverage of your choice and let this book take you to This is one of my favorite books. I read it many years ago and it has always stayed with me. I recently re-read it and fell in love with it all over again. It is charming, funny,and poignant. But it also gives the reader much to think about; honor, global awareness, and the responsibility that comes with power, to name just a few. It is just as relevant today as it was in 1955 when it was first serialized. Do yourself a favor, sit down with a beverage of your choice and let this book take you to the duchy of Grand Fenwick. You'll never be the same.
Travis
One of my favorite books and one of the greatest bits of political satire, as the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick tries to fix their money woes by declaring war on a much larger nation, losing and then fixing their budget and country with the money the larger nation will spend to 'rebuild' the conquered nation.

unfortunately, Fenwick wins and is suddenly a world power...

Witty and entertaining as it points out the absurdity of world politics. Written in the 60's, it hasn't lost it's punch or relevance One of my favorite books and one of the greatest bits of political satire, as the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick tries to fix their money woes by declaring war on a much larger nation, losing and then fixing their budget and country with the money the larger nation will spend to 'rebuild' the conquered nation.

unfortunately, Fenwick wins and is suddenly a world power...

Witty and entertaining as it points out the absurdity of world politics. Written in the 60's, it hasn't lost it's punch or relevance.

Christine559
Disclaimer: I went to school with some of Mr. Wibberley's children. He had quite a few.

I thought the book and movie were hilarious. There's some truth in this satire. The man was a wit.

Aside:
He wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the LA Times during the 1970s. The theme of it boiled down to "I don't believe in electricity, because I can't see it." The observations and logic that he used to back up his position had us in stitches. I can't find this gem via casual Google searches. I must try Disclaimer: I went to school with some of Mr. Wibberley's children. He had quite a few.

I thought the book and movie were hilarious. There's some truth in this satire. The man was a wit.

Aside:
He wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the LA Times during the 1970s. The theme of it boiled down to "I don't believe in electricity, because I can't see it." The observations and logic that he used to back up his position had us in stitches. I can't find this gem via casual Google searches. I must try harder.
Harry
As a child I used to love the film of this novel starring Peter Sellers, so when I saw it on Book Bub I took a chance and downloaded it. It's great fun and well worth a read. I seem to recall that Sellers played several parts in the film including Gloriana, the ruler of Grand Fenwick. In the book she is a very attractive young lady so I may have to watch the film again to see how Sellers pulled it off!
Art
What a terrific book! It has all the understated humour that I associate with British writing, but some North American brashness as well. If I were still in the classroom, I might consider reading it to a grade 7 or 8 class, with an accompanying unit on medieval life, military conventions and a bit on basic court life of the 14th century. If I could get archers and people from the Society for Creative Anachronisms involved, all the better!
Les
I remember the absurdity of this book which I read it back in high school (~1977). I need to find a copy and see how well it has held up over time. Grand Fenwick gets hacked off because America is making a knock-off version of their famous wine, so this little podunk country invades us without anyone noticing. That is until they wind up with possession of the world's most powerful weapon. Suddenly they've got everybody's attention.

Jason
The book was very intriguing. The storyline itself had comical and light elements in it. The satire of the book was well written. The book was very symbolic, and conveyed a deep meaning about the world. It was very meaningful, and delivered a symbolic satirical narrative of the current state of international politics. The paradox of mutually assured destruction, and the fragile world peace it has brought was well written. I enjoyed reading this book, as the plot itself was fun in itself.
Erica
I read this book in 8th grade English class. I was one of the few who really liked it, I even searched out the subsequent books. These books are hard to find anymore but I ran across this one at a thrift store. I was doing a happy dance right there in the aisle. After rereading it 25 years later I still love it. I even picked up more of the political satire reading it as an adult. Now, to keep an eye out for the others.....
Eleanor
A friend randomly bought this book at a stand on the side of the road--read it, liked it, passed it on to me.

So good...I was surprised I hadn't at least heard of it before. A movie with Peter Sellars was made of it...

Anyway, quick read and brilliant..The author wrote I think three other similar books afterward, which supposedly weren't as good..
Jared
This is the most amazing book. It's funny because it's funny and it's funny because it's true in some unexpected ways. The United States is invaded by a small European Duchy because some mean ol' grape growers in California create a cheap knock-off of the Duchy's only export.

Hilarious and thought-provoking.
Isaac Jensen
I thought it was quite funny and energizing. It effectively shows how even the smallest things can make the biggest difference. With its dangerous circumstances and odd little characters, it creates a plot and scenario which you can't leave until you finish it. The Mouse That Roared, in essence, shows a mouse emerging to the most powerful thing ever.
Jill
Really funny story with some great characters. It reminded me of a less dark version of Dr. Strangelove...fitting that Peter Sellers is also in this movie. All in all, a good find at a used book sale.
Becky
Like many books that my mother read to me when I was a small child, this book features communism, foreign policy, nuclear weapons, and the Marshall Plan. Also pomegranates, and a large number of birds. It is absolutely delightful and ought to be read by everyone, especially small children.
Howard G
I read this book in high school after seeing the movie and loved it, the book, so much that I "forgot" to turn it back in to the library. (Now that I've admitted that I'll get a visit from the Militant Library Loaning League!) Wonderful book!
Gemma
I read this so long ago! I read it after I saw the movie of the same name with Peter Sellers. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053084/ It was a fun satirical movie. Slow by today's standards, but made you think.
Yesenia
would've loved it if it wasn't for the next-to-last page, where Gloriana is the author's mouthpiece for advocating 14th century patriarchal relations...

take out those two paragraphs, and it's a joy to read!!!! even with all its naive pro-Americanness
Magpie67
A tiny nation in need of funds invades the U.S. using 15th century military technology in the hopes of losing and getting reparations. Written in 1955, but still entirely modern in it's satiric view of politics and warfare. Really funny, and a fast read.
Thom Swennes
It is a satire for all seasons. Imagine the mosquito on the elephant. What happens when an inconsequential country declares war on a super power. The declaration was missed and the invasion force finds no on at home. Light reading and worth the time as it gives you the world in a new perspective.
Arthur
Kokintz creates a large bomb. He is instructed by the president of the United States that such a bomb will be a weapon of peace that will rise warheads against mass destruction and win war against even Russia.
Deb
Loved these when I was a kid. Reading the title immediately took me back to my unheated third floor bedroom, my basket chair, my comforter that I would wrap around me so I could read the short winter afternoons away in peace....
Jonathan Palfrey
This is a very pleasant and amusing book that also has its thoughtful side. (view spoiler)[You can enjoy in full detail the incongruous imagery of a small force of 14th-century bowmen in chain mail invading New York during an air raid drill and improbably capturing a potent American weapon. (hide spoiler)]
Emily
This book is amazing. Super clever, absolutely hilarious, a classic!
Squeaky
A very small country declares war on the United States. I enjoyed the movie very much, and I enjoyed reading this book again.
Mary O'Connor
At last, these charming classic Mouse books are becoming available on Kindle!

Dave Leach
Cute, easy to read story. I was expecting a twist at the end, and received one, though it wasn't what I had in mind
Stephanie
Find out what happens when a happily isolated country needs more income. A great story!
Scott
Perhaps my favorite book from my early teens. Reread it and still love it.
Michael Melara
Very timely and funny satire with just the right amount of realism to make you think
Maria Renate
I've always like the books about the tiny taking on the big. This is like the Pushcart War, only on an international scale.
Alex
I first read this book when I bought it with birthday money at 14 in 1964. Thought it was funny then. Now it seems funny and clever in the tradition of Harold Nicolson's Public Faces.
Marcela
Fun read, an alternative ending to Cold War.
Crystal
although, I believe I was too young to really "get it" as well as I should...
Pamela
This is a brilliant political satire on war that is still relevant today.
Alvin
This little political satire exudes a lighthearted whimsy that's ultimately more subversive than plenty of more serious and self-consciously radical tomes. A must read for fans of micro-nations.
Lois
I read this in preparation for performing in the play. I loved it! If you like The Princess Bride, you'll like this.
Michele Lacroix
loved this book. It's so much better than the movie which was made in 1959.
Barbara
What a great commentary on mankind. Well worth reading and thinking about. Much better than the movie - way more insight.
Jared Lopatin
I really enjoyed this book. Although intentionally humorous, there were some distinct moments of insight that caught my attention and made me look at politics in a new way.
Brent
funny and delightful. A light read that is quite enjoyable.
Jason Liberg
A story of world-conquest only an Irishman could have written.
Hardeep
Lot of irony and sarcasm in this book. Considering it was written in the 50s,it's very apt.
Nicole
Easy to read. Written well. There were parts that were pretty funny, and, overall, the story was amusing.
Robin
A friend mentioned this book years before but sadly I waited to read it. What joy would have occurred earlier in life if I had read it then. Now I read it at least once a year.
Caely
Charming light reading. Reminded me of the Pushcart War, another war satire and an old favorite of mine.
Yosaggregator2
Absolutely wonderful! Very clever, funny, and sweet. Such a great story.
Mary Tuley
I thought the book was splendid, funny, and wise. The institutions toward which it directs its witty attacks DESERVE to be chastised.
Sean
Humor, clarity, and depth all come together in this work. An enjoyable romp that contains great depths. Read it if you haven't already.
Allison Borst
I loved this book when I was 12 and bet it's still just as good.
WalterVB
Een hilarisch verhaal. Al meerdere keren gelezen en altijd even hard gelachen. Klasse entertainment.
Tommyb
This is one of my favorite books of all time. That may be sad but we all have guilty pleasures.
Brent Mair
Fun and clever story about a small nation that conquers the world. Not surprisingly, this is better than the movie.
Vikas Datta
Fantastic depiction of the Cold War weapon race..
Anne Hawn Smith
This was one of my favorite books in high school which I found at a book sale. Some of the things are dated, but it is just as funny as it was all those years ago.
Anita
A satire revolving around the cold war. Although I did not find it very funny, it did have its moments. None the less, a pleasant way to spend a cold and wet weekend.
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