For what it is, it is brilliantly done. I'm just too fond of this story (the whole story) to be fully content with an abridged rendition.
That said, I take less exception to what was cut/changed (text and content-wise) in this version than some of the things done in the 2001 film. One of my favourite moments is the Fords of Bruinen as it was written, and that spirit is kept in this dramatization.
Five stars for dramatization, but only four as 'The Fellowship of the Ring' since it is missing so very much. It seems 'Fellowship' is usually the part of the trilogy that is cut down the most for dramatization.
A lovely story wonderfully dramatized. I only wish it were an unabridged version of the book. There are a few places where the dramatization (lack of full narrative) make the story a bit difficult to follow (but only a bit).
Unfortunately, I find this rendition of the Dwarves' song tedious though in the story it is meant to be rousing. And on purely personal preference I can't get past the pronunciation of the Dragon's name. 'Smog' has never sounded right to me, though many claim it is the correct pronunciation.
Despite nitpickings, I would absolutely recommend this version of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to anyone who enjoys being read to and likes a good story.
X – 1 does a wonderful job boiling down some of the best science fiction of early 20th century into 30 minute dramas. Like with any abridgement, the stories as written by their original authors are almost always better, but this radio series gives you exposure to stories and authors you might otherwise have missed.
Additionally, the show is just entertaining. It was well put together and performed.
Finally, this is an interesting peek into entertainment history. Before the TV was king, these radio shows were are central part of the American persona.