Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all - a treasure-troving dragon named Smaug.
In this fantasy classic, master storyteller J.R.R. Tolkein creates a bewitching world filled with delightful creatures and thrilling dangers. Narrator Rob Inglis will hold listeners of all ages spellbound with his skillful portrayal of hobbits, dwarves, and enchanted beasts.
©1966 J.R.R. Tolkien (P)1991 Recorded Books
What can I say? The story's almost incomparable, so let me switch to commending Rob Inglis' performance. I tend to shy away from dramatizations, but Inglis' delivery is mostly narration. He does just enough variation in delivery to make the characters distinctive without resorting to silly vocal tics. It's masterfully done and a great example of how a good narrator can enhance a book just as easily as a poor one can ruin it.
"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.
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
Wow! WOW! This was so much happier then the other LotR books! And there's so much compacted into the story.
Now I can see why they are making this into three movies, it WILL take that long to go in depth on the battle of five armies, and the necromancer back-story, and so on. And the MUSIC! If you loved the singing dwarves in the movie, then you WILL LOVE Inglis's take on each of the songs Tolkien's written in the Hobbit. His voice is so deep and rich.
I was hopping up and down at work, grinning madly, every time I heard Inglis start singing. Even if you've already read the Hobbit, experiencing it audibly, especially with Inglis's narration, is not something to pass up.
I urge you to listen to this book, you will not regret it!
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
If ever a book was meant to be read aloud, it's this one! The storyteller is a tremendously important part of "The Hobbit", and Inglis just does a wonderful job enthralling us all with this adventure.
The tone and significance of this work is very different from that of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. As long as you recognize that and accept "The Hobbit" for the children's book it basically is, you will enjoy this version of a classic. And, when it comes to a good tale, there's a child in each of us who will absolutely love it!
Rob Inglis is the ultimate story teller! Perfect listen by the fire place! With multiple voices he is truly the Lon Chaney of audio! I have been borrowing these at my library for years. Now I can finally have them in my library. I listen to them yearly. Other versions of Tolkien's works by various authors pale compared to Rob Inglis' proper style.
Pleasant voice. Knows when to emphasize!
absolutely. The way Rob reads, allows for no dull moments.
1. Not A Prequel--love of god, can we at least separate the literary masterpieces from the mass market movie productions? The Hobbit was written first, whether or not Peter Jackson filmed it last.
2. Finally! Someone does an unabridged audiobook version!
3. It's Tolkien and brilliant.
4. The reading is great, but only one nit-pick: some characters and scenes should be read a little darker and not so upbeat. For example, the songs of the Dwarfs--these should be dark and foreboding, but the way that they're read/sung in this recording makes me think of lawn ornament Gnomes digging in the garden. Minor nit-pick. Overall, a very long awaited and welcome recording! Thanks!
For someone who hasn’t read The Hobbit since high school—nearly 40 autumns past—this was a journey of rediscovery. For years I’ve been reading things like Beowulf, The Mabinogion, Hrafnkel’s Saga and Audun’s Story, vaguely conscious that these were the Icelandic, Saxon and medieval wellsprings Tolkien drew upon to create his story. Now I realize this gifted medievalist really wrote the perfect vehicle to get younger readers hooked on those particular veins of Western literature. It worked for me and I’m hoping it works for our kids.
More, while every literary success in every age, from Chretien de Troyes to Bram Stoker, has bred imitators galore it is good to get back to the original tale that started all the fantasy/sci-fi conventions, the Dungeons and Dragons tournaments and the next season of Game of Thrones. The original retains its originality.
And, scholarly roots and modern imitators aside, the story is a delight. It was conceived as such and delivers in full measure. And it is made all the more delightful by Rob Inglis’ voice work. He brings the same sonorous, rolling ease to this tale that Patrick Tull lends to O’Brien’s Aubrey/Maturin series.
And, now that I’ve (finally, after all these years) embarked on the first volume of Lord of the Rings, I can look back and say that The Hobbit, while a good story wonderfully told, is really no more than the necessary prelude to what looks to be a profoundly great saga. (Yeah, I know. Generations of Tolkien readers already knew that. But I didn’t and I added it on the off chance that you didn’t either.)
I’m also beginning to feel reconciled to the fact that Tolkien never finished most of his translations of Middle English epics and Icelandic sagas. The time was better spent with Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf.
The hobbit needs no introduction. It is a start of a series that changed the face of fantasy in profound way. It starts off as more of a children story than the movie have you believe. Starting with Bilbo, author establishes the characters and their limitations. Tone is lighter at the start of the book, but it steadily grows serious to a point that end of the book deals with serious politics and large scale war. Story is told from third person perspective and it works well with the content of the book. A reader can feel a sense of adventure that it was established because of the limitations introduced by author earlier in the book. Dwarves are funny and entertaining even through sometimes it is difficult to keep track of them and their personalities while listening to the narration. In the end, book has a message positive message of anyone (no matter how small) can make a big difference.
Narrator did a great job and I really enjoyed the book. There were plenty of songs in this book and they were sang quiet nicely by the narrator. Needless to say that book is highly recommended and will provide great entertainment.
I will be picking up the Lord Of The Rings narrated by same person.
The Hobbit is truly an imaginative force to be reckoned with. It has spawned hordes of imitators in a variety of forms. At it's core it's an adventure story with more heart and character in the first chapter than most accomplish in an entire book. If you consider yourself even the slightest bit a fan of fantasy, then you should give this a listen.
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