by J.R.R. Tolkien
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
I’ve never read ‘The Hobbit’ before, but I’m a fan of the films and wanted to give this a try. It wasn’t until I started reading this library copy of the audiobook that I realised I had borrowed a dramatisation and I have to say it took me a while to get used to it. This BBC recording was made in 1937 and from what I can tell, it’s become a bit of a classic since.
Rather than reading the words directly from the page as written, this version of the book is abridged and dramatised, with voice characters, music and sound effects, like listening to a film or a play. Just imagine all of the dwarves talking at once and you’ll get a good idea of what this recording is like! It was loud and a little overwhelming at times and as I say, it took me a while, but once I got into it, I really enjoyed the style and quickly sped through this charming and entertaining adventure story. This fantastical dramatisation was excellent and really immersive so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
This version of the book is short and simple, but tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the dwarves well. I do think that I enjoyed it more because I already knew the story, but I still think that someone new to Middle Earth would be able to follow along with ease.
Not a criticism in any way, but I found it quite interesting that the pronunciation of some of the names varies from how we know them in the more recent films.
Overall rating: This version of “The Hobbit” is an unintimidating introduction to the J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It’s a fun dramatisation which kept me entertained for a few hours. I found it a little tricky to get into and sometimes it was hard to hear but overall, a great read – 4 stars.
Click the pictures below to view this book in various formats on Amazon
These are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own and your support would be greatly appreciated!