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The Hobbit or There and Back Again [Hardcover]

J.R.R. Tolkien
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,887 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1978
A new edition of the fantasy tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. Re-set with colour illustrations re-originated from Tolkien's artwork.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: George Allen & Unwin; 4th edition (31 Dec 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0048231479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0048231475
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,887 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 862,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description


‘The Hobbit belongs to a very small class of books which have nothing in common save that each admits us to a world of its own. Its place is with Alice and The Wind in the Willows.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘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

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

The most successful of all Tolkien titles, The Hobbit has been translated into over 30 languages, with estimated sales of nearly 100 million copies. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated 5 Jan 2002
I decided to invest in this classic but I wasn't sure which edition to buy; the boxed set or the one book. I love hardback books, especially slightly oversized and I'm glad I decided to buy this one. The dust cover advertises the beautiful illustrations inside. It also has embossed gold foil writing and at the top and bottom the foil backed Runes. The bottle green hardback is gold embossed on the spine, and depicts in gold the Smaug (dragon) on the front. Inside you will find at the front Thror's map and at the back a map of Wilderland, to guide you through the journey of the heroes, whilst reading the book.
The pages are generously sized, clear and beautifully illustrated with Alan Lee's drawings in pencil and full colour throughout (I wish it had the old tissue paper covering the illustrations of bygone days!). There is also a Lord of the Rings edition in the same format. It is beneficial to read the Hobbit before the Lord of the Rings.
The Hobbit describes the adventures of a friendly, roughly 3 foot 6 hobbit called Bilbo. He is volunteered into an adventure beyond the scope of most hobbit's lives by a kindly old family friend, Gandalf the wizard. His journey is also initiated and accompanied by fourteen dwarves. Bilbo's contract is to steal the treasure back for the dwarves, stolen and held by Smaug the Magnificent. Smaug is a large and very perilous dragon. Bilbo even surprises himself by becoming a hero, despite his slight size. This is an enchanting book; Tolkien has a rare gift in creating books which capture the imagination of any age. It is beautifully written, comical, imagination stretching but with the skillfulness of convincing the reader that the story is factual and passing over a great empathy, tugging at the reader's heartstrings over the adventure's endearing characters. A must read book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the actual story and kindle edition. 12 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Firstly I was not aware the book was meant for children when I bought it becuse I found it in the Fantasy section expecting to find adult books. However this was my mistake so I will bear in mind this is a childrens book for the review.

The book is easy to read, with a very linear and predictable story which makes it great for children I suppose. There are many parts though where it was very dull; it took chapters to leave Bilbo's home and it felt like a lifetime to leave the jungle where the lights keep turning off. Another major issue is the names of the 13 Dwarves; they were very similar and although a novelty at first it was difficult to distinguish between them except for Thorin the leader. In addition they never actually do anything for the story untilthe end... quite pointless really.

The Kindle edition was top quality. No mistakes, misprints or errors and the images were helpful and the links were in working order. There are no complaints with the Kindle edition or it's layout.

Overall for me I would give the actual book 2* for my personal opinion, 4* for children. For the many who have already enjoyed the book and disagree with my opinion, who wish to know if it is worth getting on Kindle I would definitely recommend the edition. Personally i cannot understand the hype around the Hobbit but I hope the film will be better suited for adults as there is apparently a large adult audience due to the great impact LOR had.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very big adventure 17 Nov 2005
Format:Audio CD
The respectable Mr Bilbo Baggins, was extremely content and comfortable in his cosy little hobbit hole. He really didn't want an adventure so the wizard, Gandalf, had to trick him into joining the party of dwarves and helping them to recover their kingdom and their treasure from the dragon, Smaug. It was a dark and dangerous quest that took them through the realms of elves, orcs, eagles, a skin-changer, giant spiders and men, via mountains, caves and forests. Bilbo lost his buttons and his handkerchiefs but he found an amazing ring, made some wonderful life-long friends and learned what sort of person he was - not timid after all, but brave, hardy and resourceful when in a tight spot.
It's been one of my favourite stories since I first heard it, many years ago. It was read to our class in about 1961. Since then I've read it several times, listened to the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of it, listened to Martin Shaw's excellent abridged reading and now I've listened to this unabridged reading by Rob Inglis. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's true that this version does seem to have been read with the younger listener in mind, but I didn't find the character voices excessively exaggerated. It's a matter of personal taste, where you draw the line, of course. I will certainly listen to both the Rob Inglis (for the full story, beautifully told) and Martin Shaw (for a more adult orientated reading) audiobooks again and again. The BBC dramatisation (this is where I draw the line) is aimed squarely at the youngest audience however, and I would not want to listen to that production again. I've also listened to Rob Inglis reading the unabridged audiobook of Lord of the Rings, where he employs a more serious tone.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece! 8 Jan 2005
By A Customer
The Hobbit along with The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien in my opinion must be one of the best books ever written. I thought to myself is it worth spending 60 on this special edition though. However when I received it I knew it was money well spent. The quality of the book is amazing as they have used good quality paper which is brilliant white and means the text is crisp and clear unlike the majority of books. Also the colour illustrations are of superb print quality, not forgetting Thror's Map which folds out and changes when held to the light, altogether there are 18 illustrations all well worth it. There is even a ribbon page marker which is a pleasant rarity in modern books. The only thing I think they could have improved on, in my opinion, is the cover which is very plain and doesn't do much for the book.
So, although a bit expensive, I think that once you have this book you won't regret buying it and will want to buy The Lord of The Rings which has also been published in this special edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars book
good story carry on
Published 13 hours ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars easy reading. How they are going to make 3 ...
Enjoyable, easy reading. How they are going to make 3 movies out of it is beyond me!
Published 13 hours ago by KRz1981
5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien master writer
A very good book, but not quite as good as Lord of The Rings. Tolkien is a master of writing fiction with depth and emotion that draws you ever forward into his world of amazing... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ben Loveday
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit
Awesome book!
Published 8 days ago by El Foley
1.0 out of 5 stars eventful
This was a bit eventful for my liking and boring but I'm only 9 so I don't know if you would like it !!!!!!!
If you like disaster you will hate this !!!!!!!!
Published 8 days ago by issy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit
Great read while on holiday and now I have started The Fellowship of the Ring which is every bit as enjoyable.
Published 8 days ago by What I Think
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Bex
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
bought this for my son i know he will love it
Published 9 days ago by Rosemary Maciver
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I read this book years ago and loved it. I enjoyed it even more the second time around. As you would expect there is more content in the book than the films. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Jo ridgway
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book
this book was very good I could not put it down I have now read all of the Lord of the rings as well as the hobbits .Tolkien must of had a brilliant mind.
Published 11 days ago by glynis woodcock
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