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Publisher's Summary

Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

©2010 Cressida Cowell (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"David Tennant, best known for his role as Doctor Who, brings a slew of Scottish accents to this high-spirited rendering of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III's journey toward true heroism.... The taunting tones applied to Snotlout and his grunting sidekick, Dogsbreath, are a hoot. Tennant has a special talent for creating larger-than-life voices, particularly the lisping and stuttering of the dragon, Toothless, and the deep, malicious purring of the sea dragon. Music and ominous dragon roaring between scenes accentuate the performance." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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THE HARD WAY TO BECOME A HERO

BIG AX BOOKS
This is hilarious, entertaining and intelligent. I loved every minute of it. I was hesitant, because kid books usually ruin dragons by making them like dogs. That does not happen in this book. The dragons come in all shapes and sizes and they are all vain and selfish. Hiccup the main character is not overly strong, smart or have heroic powers. He does not usually get out of jams by having good luck (well, most of the time). All the characters, human and dragon, are interesting. I love the names of the characters such as FISH LEGS AND DOG'S BREATH. Dragons have many colors, of which some are POOEY BROWN OR SNOT GREEN. This will be enjoyed by all ages.

YELL AT IT
There was one problem and that was with the volume. At times the sound is whispering and I could not always hear and at other times the volume was loud screaming. It was impossible to adjust the volume to a comfortable level. It was very annoying. I also question the narrators accent. It seemed Scottish or at least not what I expected Vikings to sound like.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
I hope the volume control is not enough to keep you from trying the book, it would really be a shame to miss out on this excellent book. If it is too much for you, you could always return it.

38 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Terrific Fun!

The only reason I downloaded this book is because it is narrated by David Tennant. I couldn't help myself I just had to listen to Tennant read. I expected the book to resemble the movie - which I loved. But I was wrong. This story was very different than the movie and way fun. Tennant is an amazing narrator and he brought the story to life. And since the story was so different from the movie, it was all new to me. I highly recommend this audiobook if you have young kids or if you're a Tennant fan.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Great kid series that gets better as it goes

Consider this to be a review of the series, and not just this book. Though the book is good, the series gets stronger and stronger (and a bit darker) as it moves along:

I listened to this series with two children (6 and 9), and we all really enjoyed it. David Tennant (!!) is a stunning reader, though the accents can be a little challenging at times, and there is occasionally some sound effects or music as well. Cressida Cowell can write as well - mixed in with the typical elements of middle school adventures (incompetent adults, dumb bullies, heroic kids who don't fit in) and humor are some beautiful turns of phrase and even some real melancholy, especially in the epilogues. You miss the illustrations in the book, but it is more than made up for by the reading.

This is a total winner for adults and kids. There is lots of action, a bit of potty humor, some sly phrasing that appeals to adults (Hiccup's mother is "Valhallarama of the White Arms and Chunky Thighs"), and some violence that is occasionally just shy of too graphic/scary for an elementary schooler. In short, an excellent series when your kids are not quite ready for Harry Potter, but you can't read another Magic Treehouse or Rainbow Fairies without screaming.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Teresa
  • NAMPA, ID, United States
  • 08-06-14

Yell Loudly.

My son and I love the movie so much that we decided to get the book and give it a try on our car trip. First off the book is nothing like the movie. Second off it is still really good. This book was hilarious with just the right amount of goofy. I loved all the names and the description of events, driving by us in the car all you would see is a bunch of crazy people laughing there fool heads off. I do still like the movie better only because I liked Toothless's character better in the movie. I loved the narrator and I hope to see him do more audible works. The only thing I wish wasn't in the book was the music and growling noises that were added in between chapters.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Perfect for card drives with kids

Where does How to Train Your Dragon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

My twin 5 year olds, my readaholic 9 year old and I all loved this entertaining story. Wonderful.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Loved the movie, had to listen to the book.

Where does How to Train Your Dragon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was well read by David Tennant and a funny Viking adventure story. But, after all it is a children's book and I am an adult so it would not rank in my top 50 books.

What other book might you compare How to Train Your Dragon to and why?

Cannot really compare as I do not read many books like this.

Which character – as performed by David Tennant – was your favorite?

The main character, Hiccup the Useful was cute and had a good heart.

Any additional comments?

A great book for children that like adventure stories featuring dragons. Has a bit of humour and action with a good ending. The book is not like the movie.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very different from the movie (like a lot)

If you're expecting this book to be anything like the movie of the same name, then I hate to break it to you but it's VERY different. I really enjoy the movie so when I found this book I gave it a go. It is a pretty fun story despite all the differences but there are times when I remember that it's intended for a younger audience.

David Tennant is an excellent narrator and does different voices for each character which all sound very neat. I especially like his voice for Stoic, Gober, and the Green Death. Now for the not so good part...as I listened to this book in my car I would keep having to adjust the volume because sometimes Tennant would speak really softly especially when Hiccup was talking or thinking in the story and other times he would start off very loudly especially if it was Gober or one of the other tribe members. And then there's Toothless which I wasn't very fond of narration-wise. But maybe that's the point. On the other hand I did enjoy the little musical interludes at the start of each chapter. They really brought that out so you knew when a good stopping place would be.

I know there's a lot more books in the series but I'm a little nervous about listening to them especially if I have to keep adjusting the volume so I can hear the narration. I think I'll stick with this one for now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Liked this story better than the movie

Very enjoyable children's book well read by David Tennant.

two minor quibbles,

Quibble the first, somehow I never imagined vikings with Scottish accents (this is a quibble the reading of the book shares with the movie)

Quibble the second, I wish there were some shield maidens, surprisingly few (human) girls in this.(Although flamingwyrm and horrorcow do OK).

On the whole though the book is fun and funny balancing both witty and silly and gross humor well. Looking forward to the next book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tina
  • Nibley, UT, United States
  • 02-06-17

Sound quality is horrible!

I wanted to love this book but the sound quality is so bad I can't highly recommend. If you choose to listen then do so with very little competing noise AND stay near the volume control. You will have the smallest of whispers that are nearly inaudible to the loudest of shouts that rattle the windows. Be forewarned.

The story is creative and enjoyable. The characters are funny and quite human. The animals are inventive and well described. If I had not spent so much time working the volume control I would have rated this work 5 stars across all categories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Frustrating volume changes

The story is very entertaining and David Tennant does a great job reading the story. My complaint is with the volume changes from a whisper to full out yelling. If the volume was loud enough to hear much of the narration, it was painfully loud when the characters that yelled were read. Glad I was listening in the car and not using my earbuds. The variation was so great it has really detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful