This is not a reading of the book. This is like going to a play and keeping your eyes closed. We had no idea who was speaking, the setting, varying volumes of speech, etc. We stopped after 20 minutes, completely lost and disappointed as we were starting a long car ride.
We downloaded the Hobbit onto my MP3 player to take with us on a long drive. Unfortunately, we didn't get to listen to all of it, but what we did get to hear was very entertaining. The "dramatization" was what made it so fun. It was like listening to a play as opposed to someone just reading the book. There were different actors playing the parts and background sound affects.
The only drawback was that we couldn't seem to go to different chapters, but maybe that was a fault of the MP3 player--I don't know.
All in all, a good experience.
I enjoyed every minute; it's just too little of it because it's abridged. I cannot imagine why anyone would create an abridged version of such a beloved classic.
My husband and I were listening to this as we drove through New Zealand on a recent vacation. Not even the beautiful scenery was enough to distract from the terrible acting of the character of the main dwarf (forgot the character's name). If you've ever seen the Fawlty Towers episode with the American who wants a Waldorf salad (absolutely hilarious) you'll be able to imagine the sound. I thought it might even be the same actor. Fine for the part of an obnoxious American, but not for a dwarf in Hobbit land. Just awful!
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.
I've seen or heard several renditions of Professor Tolkien's magnificent works and this one is, as I said, second only to the books themselves in more ways than I can count! The next best is the Rankin/Bass animated "Hobbit" and perhaps the Ralph Bakshee rendition of the first book and a half. I must say that the live-action movies take a poor third for the excessive liberties that were taken with the characters. The effort that Rankin/Bass made to complete Bakshee's work is utter trash! Thank heavens for "the Mind's Eye" who, I believe, first put these wonderful radio-plays on tape!