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Summary

Recognised as a master of high fantasy around the globe, Tolkien's skill for world-building is arguably unrivalled. In The Hobbit, he takes us on a journey as thrilling and unpredictable as the one in its famous sequel, The Lord of the Rings.

Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out onto the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to sleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance!

Whisked from his comfortable hobbit-hole by Gandalf the wizard and a band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

Click here to see all the titles in our J.R.R. Tolkien collection.
©1937, 1951, 1966, 1978 George Allen and Unwin (Publishers) Ltd. (P)1993 HarperCollins UK

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Hobbit

Listened to this in the car with the kids (8 & 13) & we all loved it. In this abridged version the story cracks along at a good pace & the narration by Martin Shaw is just right (it also has no singing which is a big plus!!).

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  • 27-05-07

THE HOBBIT (no singing version!)

I usually buy unabridged books but having skimmed most of the songs sections while reading The Hobbit (over the years) felt that I did not really want to listen to all the songs/rhymes etc. included in this book. I love The Hobbit and this recording was exciting and wonderful to listen to at bedtime or while travelling. None of the essence of the adventure is lost and I would really reccomend this book. My 14 year old son enjoyed it too.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

sweet

I loved every minute of this book on audible..
made work so much more fun.. Not easy to get to visit middle earth while being stuck at work but i did and it was amazing :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Established classic

Martin Shaw makes a great storyteller, I enjoyed his interpretation and the original version bears comparison against the film trilogy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

good old fashioned fantasty

the hobbit is a fantasy story, but it is not an epic tale; its quite a simple story, but one you cant help but love. it is essentially a children's book, and is not as intense or dark as the lord of the rings, but it still draws you in as an adult. it offers up lighthearted humor with a fun and captivating story- and also there is Gollum to enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Squidge
  • welwyn garden city, United Kingdom
  • 13-04-13

Great read!

It was fantastic to be able to listen to Hobbit in the car, my busy life style doesn't allow much time for sitting down with a good book. So lots tending to the story was fantastic for me and I love the way it was read, you were able to imagine the story unfolding before you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Di
  • Reigate, Surrey, United Kingdom
  • 22-11-10

An all time classic!

This was a 'must read' book for my 10-year-old son, so we decided to listen to it instead. I'd forgotten how rich and engaging the story was. Great to revisit it again!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

all good ;-)

this is a book everyone should have hear, read and share with all the family.
Have a listern it will take you on a far away journey.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!!

Really enjoyed it, not long watched the last film and having never read the book I thought I would give it a try, very glad I did. This is my first book that I've tried on here and enjoyed it very much!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb...!

What made the experience of listening to The Hobbit the most enjoyable?

Martin Shaw masterclass. I'd have Shaw and Roy Dotrice reading all my books if I could!
Much better than the films. So much more depth to the story..I was right there at times...

Who was your favorite character and why?

Has to be Bilbo

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Great ending to the story..

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were a few laughs along the way...

Any additional comments?

Well worth a credit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • P. Michelle
  • 26-08-11

abridged does not mean cut in half

I like the narrator and the story... it's just a shame that this book has been edited down 50% I wish I had noticed that this was the abridged version when buying :-( now I have to buy the regular copy just so I know everything that happens :-(

Do not buy this version buy the full version!

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • 29-05-13

A thrilling tail brought beautifully to life

Martin Shaw is perfectly cast as the narrator for this abridged version of The Hobbit. He reads with great characterisation, giving each their own voice and personality - no easy feat with such a large ensemble cast to portray! I love that Bilbo has a West Country inspired accent (by no means the full Wurzel) which reveals and speaks to his home-loving nature and gentleness while not at all seeming dumb.

Some may be disappointed that this is only an abridged version, but I can find to reason to fault it. Highly recommended, for the new listener to Tolkien's works, or for the seasoned fan looking to return to the Shire.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle S. McCreary
  • 16-04-18

ONLY 5 chapters

I really should have paid more attention but this is the ABRIDGED version of The Hobbit, I only realized this because of the number of chapters.

I went back and looked at the description, it does not mention ANYWHERE in the description that this is the abridged version. Abridged is written in tiny print along the thumbnail of the title.

I feel like audible should clearly mark abridged vs unabridged.

The Hobbit is a rather short book to begin with, it didn’t really NEED an abridged copy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 20-08-15

exciting

and different from the movie. very funny and humorous. a nice relaxing book with great story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ian Antill
  • 02-01-15

Not quite what expected but appreciated.

I watched the movies before reading the book. I appreciated Tolkien enthusiasm for poetry and old school English. I did however think that Hollywood's transformation of the novel and addition of characters and happenings in the tale made it 100 times more fascinating and gripping. The performance of the narrator was good but I didn't like how he read Smaugs part. A mighty dragon should have more of a deep bellowing voice then a snake like hiss. I think if one read the book first they would be delighted in the movies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ellie
  • 17-09-14

GREAT BOOK RUINED BY SKIPPING OF STORY!

If you could sum up The Hobbit in three words, what would they be?

fantasy, war & engaging

What did you like best about this story?

The riddles with Gollum by far! :)

Have you listened to any of Martin Shaw’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

PLEASE DON'T SKIP SO MANY PARAGRAPHS! I WAS TRYING TO FOLLOW ON WITH MY COPY AND IT MADE IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE! NO WONDER IT WAS ONLY 6 HOURS COMPARED TO 9 HOURS OF MOVIE TIME! Otherwise a great reading! :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • 05-02-09

A very enthused family of listeners

My children and I enjoyed this very much and would recommend it. It is read by one person rather than multiple readers, but this was not a problem, rather the narrator was excellent.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Le Attfield
  • 08-03-10

Fantastic Story

This is my first Audiobook, and I am currently on my fourth hour and I am absolutely loving it. I wish I could find another book that is as good as this one. I have looked around and can't seem to find a book that has a great adventure with diferent races like dwarfs etc,... I looked at the LOTR however when I listened to the sample that total put me off of Dramatised versions, the background music etc is terreble.

The Hobit is fantastic and I highly recommend it, it had a great adventure, many diferent races, and the nerrator just puts the cherry on the top.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Couch
  • 24-04-18

Brilliant narrative of the hobbit.<br />

Brought the story to life. Enjoyed every moment of the narration. Pleased to have listened to this story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Santeri
  • 10-02-17

Martin Shaw

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes!J.R.R. Tolkien is the best writer out there and Martin Shaw is the best reader of his work.

What did you like best about this story?

Martin Shaw

What does Martin Shaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His inimitable voice and ability to bring Middle-Earth and all it's riches to life!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Perhaps

Any additional comments?

J.R.R. Tolkien shall live forever!