I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The story is entertaining. The best parts to me were the big conversations between major characters, like Gollum and Bilbo or Smaug and Bilbo. The fight scenes aren't really as exciting or dramatic as what I'm used to with modern fantasy. Tolkien tends to summarize and tell you what's going on instead of showing you. Some of that might be the "storyteller style" that Tolkien uses, occasionally interrupting with narrator comments or alluding to other parts of the story.
Rob Inglis does a good job overall with the narration with a couple exceptions. For one, his voice for Smaug didn't really hold up to Richard Boone's voicework for Smaug on the Hobbit cartoon, not that many people could. I suppose Inglis was going for a more fanciful interpretation where the dragon is funny as well as intimidating (and that's not out of line with Tolkien's writing) but Boone had the menace and "badassery" in his voice that I'll always remember.
Second, there's all the singing. I completely understand Tolkien's use of poetic song in his writing. It echoes the verses of Beowulf and other early tales that were spoken before they were written down. However, it was decided for Rob Inglis to sing these lines instead of just speaking them so he had to make up some tuneless song for each one (I'm assuming) and it shows. These are not songs written by a conductor with Tolkien's words applied to them. These are poems recited in a sing-songy voice. For some of the shorter songs, I could deal but Tolkien tends to go on and on and so the songs go on and on. I could have done without those.
Much like Return of the King, the ending of The Hobbit seems to stretch on longer than necessary after the adventure is done. Some people will like all the extra detail in Bilbo's trip home and some people will be waiting for Tolkien to wrap it up.
Overall, worth the listen. Now I have to go see the new movie and compare. :)
I have to admit, I am an avid science fiction/fantasy reader but had never read the Hobbit. I am going to get massacred by many for saying that this story was a little boring and slow. Unfortunately this book might have been a victim of over-hype for me. I think I had heard so may great things about the book and how it was one of the best ever written in the genre, my expectations might have been a bit too high.
On a good note... the narrator of this book was great. If nothing else he made the book more enjoyable.
I listened to this ahead of the release of the first movie, since it had been decades since I read it and I barely remembered anything. The story was charming and clever and I really enjoyed it. The narrator didn't really work for me. The character voices were not at all what I imagined and I never got used to it. That is a personal issue, however, and I'm sure many listeners would appreciate the narration. In any case, I tolerated it and was happy to have an unabridged version to listen to.
Narrator was very effective at maintaining energy and portraying individual characters as individuals. Very well done.
It was really good, I wouldn't say it was better then the printed version. But the narrator did a fantastic job at bringing the characters to life.
Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter because they have common elements int their stories.
Bilbo, or maybe Gandalf.
Yes - the reader does an excellent job in playing each of the characters and really does well in giving them voices of their own.
I will say this...i am not the target audience for this book namely because i have not read the Lord of the Rings book series. I have, however, seen all of the movies and loved them immensely. I decided that it might make sense, given the new "TRILOGY" based on this one book, to read it first and have an informed position on the subject matter for a change.
My issue is that i am mentally thinking about the tone and "vibe" from themovie series i have already watched and, pulling that into this book reading. BIG BIG MISTAKE! I say this because, if there are any other out there who, like me, think it might be a lot easier to digest one book now than "catch up" by reading the LOTR trilogy and this will find that there are MAJOR differences (which, i know, are to be expected in adaptations).
the biggest IMO is all of the SINGING?! I had to literally have a friend of mine, who is a massive Tolkein fan, explain this to me. He would remind me time and again "Bilbo came first...Bilbo went on a journey and Frodo was out fulfilling his destiny...they are not the same tonally...everything went bad AFTER Bilbo." He had to tell me this because, as i am listening to the story, we gat to these major climatic moments where there is high tension and just when you would almost expect a dark turn (ala LOTR), there is SINGING?!?!
Beyond that (which, as i understand it IS everywhere in the LOTR series as well), i found the sotry to be decent, but not great. a band of dwarves and a hobbit stumble onto numerous perils in attempts to help the lead dwarf restore his reign over a territory beseiged by a dragon.
It was cute but a) NOT worthy of three 3hour movies b) NOT the same as the tone of the LOTR series and c) Bilbo came first! Its likda like The Wizard of Oz and Snow White wrapped into a world created by Tolkein.
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
I would say that this book takes me out of myself and brings me into an adventure.
Definitely the riddles were memorable, but the end of the book was so poignant, and deep with wisdom.
Rob Inglis's recordings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the best audio book in the market I think. It literally changed my life.
It made me cry at the end of the book.
The book itself - it is a good story.
Lord of the Rings, of course. This is a good book, although it does not grab my attention as well as the trilogy.
A little faster cadence. His voice on the songs bothered me, but I think that is more related to the story and length of songs, rather than anything on the narrator's part.
No, it is more of an adventure novel, and I certainly was not looking for inspiration or emotional connection.
yes, I read it just to get it in before the movie came out... so should you!
he did an awesome job over all.
A great read/listen. Inglis' voice does the book justice.
The Hobbit ranks highly among all the audiobooks I've listened to thus far.
I loved the sense of adventure the story brought. It also had fully realized characters that you cared about.
Rob brings a terrific voice to the story that is unparalleled. He brings each character to life with his voice. Each character feels distinct from one another.
My favorite part was the riddles with Gollum. Creepy and excellent.