I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I was very impressed by the performance of the reader - great voices for various characters and great singing of the many songs that Tolkien has in the book.
The Hobbit is an all time favorite. Great narrating too...except for the singing!! Dear God, I've never heard such tone-deaf, tuneless singing. Tolkien's songs have such beautiful lyrics, and can be read as poetry. I wish the narrator would have taken that approach.
The story is great and the narration brings it to life really well. Two things that I found annoying were some of the voices like ogres and goblins and the songs (which should have been narrated and not sung).
This wasn't my first time in Middle Earth. I've been a fan of The Hobbit/Lord if the Rings books for more than 20 years I guess. However, having just seen the first of the 3 Peter Jackson Hobbit movies, I wanted to go back and familiarize myself with the original work, so I could tell what was changed in the movie. This version of the audio book was very pleasant to hear, and I enjoyed it very much.
Say something about yourself!
It is hard to believe its been over 75 years since this was originally published, giving birth to the high fantasy realm of literature. This is a timeless masterpiece that I would highly recommend everyone to experience in its written form.
Rob Inglis does a good job with the narration and I was surprised at the quality of his singing. However the task of singing these songs is a daunting one to say the least! I must admit that a few times I basically ignored the tune, and concentrated on the words themselves to grasp Tolkien's intent.
It seemed as though the actual recording of the reading could have been a bit higher quality, as there were several, albeit quite minor, issues with the recording that kept the performance from achieving its fifth star. This being said, even if you have read the book before, this recording is an experience that you should not miss!
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.
The story operates in a well aged culture and tradition mindset. The various races have their own histories that make up their present existance.
Gandalf. He seems to be the author of many an adventrue in and out of Hobbiton, of which Bilbo seems to be just one of which we have the opportunity to be a part of.
Very well presented. The voices give their own character to the players in the story. It is consistent with the follow one Lord of the Ring series as well. This provides continuity of listening to his storytelling style.
Too large an adventure for such a small Hobbit.
The story rolls where the story rests again and again between adventures. Fortunately repose preceeds great deeds. Very realistic in the need to recover from great stresses of physical, and mental challenges. Great story in a magical land.
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!!!
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.