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.
This I think is the best of the 3 parts in this dramatised series by the BBC. It still contains enough plot to be exciting and the music and sound effects are very complimentary to it's production.
I can't wait to have time to listen to it again, which I think is best done in large chunks of listening time so that you get emerced into the plot.
Don't buy this if you want plot information purity.