three favorite words: "This is Audible."
I am so excited to see unabridged versions of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy made available on Audible. Rob Inglis is simply the best narrator ever. He gives each character a unique voice and makes listening to these classics a delight!
All 4 books should be considered "must reads" for everyone.
I read this book the first time many years ago. I was hooked instantly, and went on to read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I have loved these books ever since.
It was great this time 'round to have it read to me by a fabulous narrator. As I have read other reviews, I was struck by how many people were lucky enough to have a parent read this to them as children, or to read it along with a parent. I did not have that experience and am envious of it. So having Mr. Inglis read it to me is second best. That is not to say his reading is anything but amazing! and I also loved his singing of the songs. I want to believe he made the melodies up himself.
All in all, I was charmed again by this book, by the characters, the journey, the deep meaning, and the flow of Tolkein's writing. I rarely reread fiction, but this one is, and will be in the future, and exception to my rule.
The Hobbit was one of my very favorite childhood books, and I decided to revisit the lonely mountain with the release of the movie this year. If you are like me, you most likely re-read books with more of a skimming mentality rather than a first time thorough read through. This is impossible with the audiobook as every phrase and passage are stated explicitely allowing your mind to become immersed in the brilliance of Tolkien's diction and storytelling. Its amazing how much detail and character development can be fit into such a small book (compared to the lord of the rings). It's truly as though you are going along for the adventure with Baggins and Company. Totally worth the money.
"Please. Stop. Singing."
Granted, it's very hard to deal with a cast of 14-15 characters, but many of the characters' voices made me want to stop listening altogether. The narrator's default voice for every person other than most of the dwarves is a stuffy, old-fashioned sounding affair. Think of how you would imagine a stereotypical, British, upper-middle class grandfather of the 1940s to sound. Congratulations. You have heard Bilbo, Elrond, Gandalf, the LakeTown Master, and pretty much everyone over 4 feet tall. Thorin gets more of the same, but with an extremely affected, trying-to-be-posh inflection to top it off. However, on the dwarves, the narrator goes to the opposite extreme. Every single dwarf has his own "unique" voice, and most of these are incredibly annoying. Fili and Kili sound like idiots. They speak in a veeeerrrrrryyyy slllloooowwwwww, overly deep voice and mumble through consonants. They sounded, actually, rather like Crabbe and Goyle from Harry Potter. The voice made me think that the author was implying that they were extremely stupid goons.I would have preferred less "personalization" and more "reading what Tolkien actually wrote," as he's pretty good at identifying the speaker. The mixed-up, everyone-is-arguing parts are supposed to be muddled, so it's extremely unnecessary to inject a separate voice for everyone.This became utterly unbearable during the singing portions. In the narrator's defense, it is hard to come up with tunes for Tolkien's stuff, and it is acutely awkward to expect someone to sing a page's worth of unwritten melody, but augh! I had to fast forward through the elf songs. Rather than "elvish" or "merry" or "different but appealing" or anything Tolkien implied, the elvish music is closer to, "stuffy old guy blissed out on something very relaxing and probably illegal." By contrast, the narrator seems to be trying to rush through the dwarf songs, setting them at an overly brisk cadence and singing them as if he wants to get through as quickly as possible and is rather bored of the song. Awful stuff.
No; I liked parts of it, but the songs always made me abandon the story for at least a day or so, and the voices grated on my nerves.
Yes. I have listened to it several times already, and it is a classic.
Bilbo Baggins, of course. He comes through with resourcefulness and luck throughout the story, and ends up learning quite a bit by the end.
Rob is a stellar narrator who has the uncanny ability of bringing the characters alive in a way that I am pretty sure I would not have imagined had I read the book myself.
Yes, it is that kind of book, but it of adequate length that this is not really feasible. Definitely a book that will leave you sitting in the driveway waiting for the chapter to end!!!
The performance is all that kept me listening. The story couldn't have been more predictable.
Truly amazing! Well over a dozen believable characters by one man.
Yes, I would listen to it again and again just as I have read the book for myself on many occasions. The reader's voice sounds so much like I would expect the different character's voices to sound after having read the story myself. He adds so much with the way he sang the songs that go so far beyond the flat way my head did them when I read it. He makes me feel like I can smell the smoke, hear the sorrow and weariness. Though I always felt like I was there beside the characters when I read, he had a way making it so much more real.
The songs, and the way Tolkien had Bilbo find some much more depth and strength in his character than he thought he had at the start of the story.
The songs and the emotion he put into the words. He was able to take a story that I thought I knew from many reading on my own and make it new and fresh. Giving so much more to it.
When the dwarfs started turning to Bilbo for leadership/guidance after having treating him as a burden and useless waste.
The narration was outstanding.
I am 66 years old and have never read the book. Since I drive a lot, I thought it would be a good idea to heat the book before seeing the movie. I was not expecting very much, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
I read this when I was young and was bored with it. The performance helped me get through it again but I was still bored. I know a lot of people love these stories - so I tried to like it, really I did.
The performance of all the characters was really quite remarkable. My only complaint would be the annoying little stops and starts in the recording.
I tried. Didn't like that either.
Tolkien's tale it very tough to narate. I have read it three times and this is the first time I listened to it. No one person can sing like an Elf and reading these songs was not fun and listening to them was even less enjoyaable I thought. All in all, I thought Rob Inglis did a good job on a tough piece of work to deliver. Just ask Peter Jackson!