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The Hobbit Paperback – 9 Mar 1981

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Unwin Paperbacks; New edition edition (9 Mar. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0048231886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0048231888
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,399 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘One of the best loved characters in English fiction… a marvellous fantasy adventure’
Daily Mail

‘Finely written saga of dwarves and elves, fearsome goblins and trolls… an exciting epic of travel, magical adventure, working up to a devastating climax’
The Observer

‘A flawless masterpiece’
The Times

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The acclaimed BBC Radio 4 production of J. R. R. Tolkien's famous saga. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Leandro Medeiros on 4 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must make it clear from the start that I will not review the story of The Hobbit, but just this (hardcover) annotated edition in particular:
ISBN-10: 0007137273
ISBN-13: 978-0007137275
Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition edition (7 April 2003)

It's important to note that Amazon unfortunately merges all the reviews from one story, regardless of each edition. The edition I pointed out looks similar to an American version with the same name, though I couldn't find the differences between them on the internet and I only purchased this British one.

PRESENTATION:
The build quality is superb, though I can't say I was expecting less. In fact, I was quite disappointed when I saw the book for the first time. The hardcover is quite solid but the fact that it is only a plain green front was quite unexpected. The illustration we see in the Amazon item is just the paper that comes wrapping the book (dust cover?), but the front itself has no illustration or writing at all. You could not tell what the book is only by looking at its front cover.
The side of the cover is quite another story. It contains the title and some other marks you would expect in the front. It's all beautifully written in golden letters and that is the section that gives the book the "premium feel".
The quality of the paper and the font are very good, so the reading is quite comfort.

ILLUSTRATIONS:
The book contains several illustrations scattered in the right places along the story. These illustrations are usually small-sized black/white drawings published in the various different editions of The Hobbit along the years.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 23 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
JRR Tolkien's `The Hobbit' is, of course, one of the greatest children's books to have been written in the twentieth century. Based on the stories he told to his children and originally published in 1937, it is an almost perfect blend of fantasy, magic and adventure. It follows the adventures of one Bilbo Baggins, as he sets off with thirteen dwarves and a wizard to recover a great treasure stolen from the dwarves by Smaug the dragon. Along the way they get into various scrapes with goblins, trolls, elves, shape shifters and, of course, a dragon. Through a mix of extreme good luck and his own resourcefulness Bilbo comes through all these adventures, only to find things are not as he left them at home.

It's a great story and works on many levels. For the younger reader there is the straight adventure story, which many will find thrilling. For the older reader there is the subtle growth in Bilbo's character, as he changes over the story from a passenger on the expedition to a main player and the person people look to for help. There is a study of human nature, and the effects of greed upon people. In some respects it is a morality play. But for all that, at heart, it is a great entertainment. There is a reason it is still so affectionately regarded by readers world wide of all ages. 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sinbad VINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
AMAZON TAKE NOTE: Because this version is so different from the book I think Amazon are wrong to lump all the reviews together and treat them as a single product. This will confuse buyers and create inaccurate ratings.

---

This version of The Hobbit is an audio play first broadcast by the BBC in 1968 (it is NOT an audiobook - ie someone reading the full book version out aloud). It features a whittled down version of the book in play form, with a narrator and audio actors coming together to tell the story.

THE GOOD
For keen collectors of Tolkien, this would no doubt be a valued item. Though it was before my time, it is apparently considered a classic of sorts, and is bound to inspire nostalgia for those old enough to have heard it the first time round. The story moves along quickly (much quicker than the book) so you never get bored, although of course, far less detail can be shared in this format. It's very much of the old-fashioned BBC era - so the langauge used is quite amusing and dry in parts.

THE BAD
Many of the scenes had a lot of shrill background noise - for example, when the dwarves are all talking in the background, or groups of elves or goblins were around. Although this was likely done to add atmosphere, it actually makes it hard to understand what the lead characters are saying at times. Sound levels could have been adjusted better so that this wasn't a problem. I was listening via a laptop - so it's possible that better speakers would have reduced this.

THE LOWDOWN
Good for Tolkien collectors but if you're looking for an introduction to The Hobbit - read the book. It's much better and this version just doesn't do what is a brilliant story the full justice it deserves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 23 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
*This review is specific to the BBC Radio adaptation of the Hobbit, broadcast 1968, released on CD 2012, ISBN-10 1445846632*

JRR Tolkein's `The Hobbit' is, of course, one of the greatest children's books to have been written in the twentieth century. Based on the stories he told to his children and originally published in 1937, it is an almost perfect blend of fantasy, magic and adventure. It follows the adventures of one Bilbo Baggins, as he sets off with thirteen dwarves and a wizard to recover a great treasure stolen from the dwarves by Smaug the dragon. Along the way they get into various scrapes with goblins, trolls, elves, shape shifters and, of course, a dragon. Through a mix of extreme good luck and his own resourcefulness Bilbo comes through all these adventures, only to find things are not as he left them at home.

It's a great story and works on many levels. For the younger reader there is the straight adventure story, which many will find thrilling. For the older reader there is the subtle growth in Bilbo's character, as he changes over the story from a passenger on the expeditin to a main player and the person people look to for help. There is a study of human nature, and the effects of greed upon people. In some respects it is a morality play. But for all that, at heart, it is a great entertainment. There is a reason it is still so affectionately regarded by readers world wide of all ages.

The 1968 radio adaptation presented here is a bit of a curate's egg. It follows the book pretty closely, but the style is very much of it's time. Actually, no, the style is very much of the time the book was published, and was out of date even when the play was produced. The very affected delivery of lines and the very plain production are quite striking.
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