Tolkien's famous saga, the prelude to the Lord of the Rings, has all the ingredients of fantasy and adventure: dwarves, elves, goblins and trolls, a fearsome dragon, a great wizard, a perilous quest, and a dramatic climax. At the centre is the unsuspecting hero Bilbo Baggins, a home-loving unambitious Hobbit who is suddenly thrust into the biggest, indeed the only adventure of his life.
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While I concede that if you listen to, the truly wonderful, LOTR play before this as the earlier reviewer has you may be surprised at the different style and tone of the play. But I think the disappointment as he put it, may have clouded the plays many excellent qualities and caused him understandably, to be a too hash in his condemnation of this version of the book. The book of The Hobbit is not LOTR, it is children?s book, much lighter in tone but full of high drama for a young child and so wonderful tongue in cheek material for adults too but not as dark, serious and compelling as the later work, so the plays are naturally different and the way they are dramatized has rightly has to be different also (plus we must note they this was produced in 1968 and the LOTR produced in 1981 so the quality and technology is going to have improved) I had this play on tape as a child and wore it out, long before I fell in love with the written works of Tolkien and for the child then and the adult now, the eagle?s screaming voices came straight from the beaks of birds, the elves ululating tones made it clear they were from distant and higher & magical race, the music and actors seemed perfect for their places in this play, Gandalf is not the great Michael Hordern but he fits a friendly yet sinister guide who although he prove true at the end I never truly trusted of understood till the later books, just right for a wizard I think. Lastly the joint, mixed up and overleaping narration of Bilbo and a Tolkienesce narrator makes for a comforting friend in Bilbo that children can trust and rely on in later years. Too much to credit a children?s play with? I don?t this so! You?re kids need the Hobbit in their lives.
If you want a dramatised version of The Hobbit then simply put you can't go much wrong with this one. However if you wanted a dramatised version that didn't have dodgy singing, dated sound effects, sometimes confusing dialogue and a little too much old fashioned pomposity then you might want to look elsewhere or wait.
Kids love it, adults may suffer from occasional bouts of reality as they cringe.
Having never read this book, I have found this version easy to follow and understand. To be able to laugh along with the characters has brightened my day
This is a messy and noisy dramatisation. Bilbo, Gandalf and even the dwarves sound hysterical. I often had to turn it down or simply skip forward when decide to sing, scream or talk at the same time. Not even 4 hours and I couldn't finish this book. It was getting on my nerves! It was also hard to distinguish the voices of the characters. If I didn't know the story so well, I would end thinking that there are two dwarves max in the trip, that they all think the same, that Bilbo is a great wizard and Gandalf a proud little hobbit!
The story itself is still fantastic, just hard to follow in this version.
I love the BBC dramatisation of 'Lord of the Rings' with Michael Hordern as Gandalf and thought it would be good to 'complete' the story by purchasing their version of 'The Hobbit', which was, I regret, a great mistake. I do not personally respond to the voicing of many of the characters - too much school of funny voices for my taste; the goblins, wargs, eagles, wood elves etc are all electronically filtered and remind me of daleks (sic). Also, I find the odd pronunciation of many of the names (garn-delf etc.) difficult to accept. The final thing I would flag up is the fact that the 'episodes' have not been edited together so approximately a minute of each is repeated after play out/play in music. Not recommended.
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I am not a Tolkien reader but have watched the films (who has not) Just wanted something out of my comfort zone for those odd days. This is very different from the commercial Tolkien productions even one or two little songs included, but quite enjoyable if not a little old fashioned. Nice to have in my collection & will listen when those days strike.
Full cast well acted with excellent soundtrack adding the Tolkien atmosphere. The few bits of singing is not my thing but it is so well done it goes down well with this style of production.
Glad I bought it, will listen again. Not sure that the modern Tolkiener's will appreciate this style, bit if I was a Tolkiener, I would add it to my collection for variance & for something different.
"Takes a little getting used to"
It took me awhile to get used to "dramatised" and when I did, I decided I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong - it was done well, and was entertaining; but i found dramatization draining on my imagination. After awhile, I was overwhelmed with drama and couldn't keep up with the voices and images.
"An Old Favourite"
I was given this book to read as a child and have loved it ever since. (I'm now over 40). The style of the dramatisation is a little bit dated and I find the music grates a bit on my ear but it does add to the atmosphere. I have listened to it three times since I bought it this week! As with any abridgement, one can always be disappointed about what was left out and what was retained from the original book but the spirit of the story is still there. The actors are very wholehearted about the project. The book was aimed at children and I think they will love this although it does get a bit scary at times!
this is a jolly romp and great fun t listen to. 8year old nephew found the many songs a bit too much, but i loved it
"Revisiting a favorite from my childhood."
I first experienced this story on the radio in 1977, over NPR. They played it in half hour installments and my sister and I got to listen in my parents bedroom with a big bowl of popcorn. I loved the vivid mental images created by the actors readings... and the music is just as folksy and wonderful as I remembered. It will ALWAYS be my favorite way to experience "The Hobbit."
The characters voices are just as I imagined
I LOVE Bilbo's scene with Smaug.
I like spacing it into 30 minute sections.
Get it. You won't regret it. BBC BRILLIANCE.
"Wonderful Presentation of a Classic!"
This was the first Tolkien story that I read, and I was captivated by it, long before I read the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy. This audio dramatization has become a classic in its own right, and I enjoy listening to it frequently. As a dramatization, I prefer it to a full-length audio presentation of the original. "The Hobbit," either in book or this audio format, is my favorite way to suggest an introduction to Tolkien to people who are unfamiliar with his work, or who say they don't like fantasy. This dramatization catches the spirit of the original and I highly recommend it.
"the Hobbit" was my first "Dramatized" listen, and I found it to be quite enjoyable. I usually prefer to listen to unabridged books only, however, I desided to give this one a try, and I loved it. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to have this played to her. I would strongly recomend this audio to families on road trips, and any fans of J.R.R. Tolkian.
Listening to this version of "The Hobbit" really does give you a sense of how people read, and or thought about "The Hobbit" during the time it was recorded. It not only is interesting as a historical must-have for any LOTR fan, but they do a really upstanding job dramatizing it. This is the kind of thing I will keep on my external hard-drive no matter how many computers I go through.
"Agree with others review"
I like the voices, but for some reason it does not matches the book reading, it is a dramatized one, and I miss understood so one more I get that I don't get to enjoy again.
Well done, but needed more depth of voice for some of the characters, the dramatisation was well done, and this is still well worth the listening.
I've read this book many time since 1969 when I was about 13 and it remains one of my favorite books. While I prefer the unabridged version, this is nicely done. The character voices and the pace is good. Occasionally there is a little too much going on in the background, but still very enjoyable.
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