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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The unoverlookable prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
This is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a well-off, quiet little halfling (a Hobbit) who'd never wanted any adventures in his life, and of how he became the reluctant participant in a perilous treasure hunt.
It all began one afternoon, when Gandalf the wizard came knocking at the round door of his cosy Hobbit Hole. The next morning, thirteen dwarves were crowding his...
Published on 2 Feb 2004 by Stephanie Noverraz

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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Martin Shaw Narration of The Hobbit (Abridged)
This audio version of The Hobbit tells the first tale of Bilbo's adventures with his trusted Dwarf companions and of course Gandalf. It tells the tale of their journey to gain wealth and treasure and all of the dangers they experience along the way. It more importantly tells how Bilbo comes across "The Ring" and its affects on him. From this the follow up story...
Published on 19 Mar 2002 by mike@wottle.free-online.co.uk


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The unoverlookable prequel to The Lord of the Rings., 2 Feb 2004
By 
This is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a well-off, quiet little halfling (a Hobbit) who'd never wanted any adventures in his life, and of how he became the reluctant participant in a perilous treasure hunt.
It all began one afternoon, when Gandalf the wizard came knocking at the round door of his cosy Hobbit Hole. The next morning, thirteen dwarves were crowding his living-room and enrolling him to steal the gold guarded under the lonely Mountain by Smaug, the last of the great dragons.
So off he went, through forests old and mountains cold, deceiving trolls, solving riddles in the dark, escaping from goblins and elves, and most of the time rescuing the dwarves from the many perils he himself inadvertenly put them in, thanks to a magical ring he found in Gollum's cave, a ring that has to power to render him invisible.
This was the second time I read The Hobbit, and looking at it now with the critical eye of the (amateur) reviewer, I'm afraid to admit I was somewhat annoyed at the beginning by Tolkien's paternalistic tone, by how he sometimes addresses the reader and makes references to the real world, or hints at what's coming up later in the story. This makes the book seem clearly targeted to a young audience, and indeed, The Hobbit would be perfect for reading aloud to a child. However, this tone changes in the course of the story, and especially during the final Battle of the Five Armies, where it reaches a more epic scope, more suitable for young adults. Mark you, I'm not saying I didn't like it, but was just slightliy disappointed not to enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Oh, the heresy!
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167 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated, 5 Jan 2002
This review is from: The Hobbit (Hardcover)
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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very big adventure, 17 Nov 2005
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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. After enjoying that enormously - and satisfied that he'd done Tolkien's great legend full justice - I knew I wanted to hear him reading The Hobbit. I was not disappointed and would have no hesitation in recommending this unabridged version to anyone who likes listening to stories.
As a previous reviewer has mentioned, it would have been good to have a map with the audiobook. I referred to the one in my copy of the book, which I can now visualise in any case after so many readings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of story-telling!, 28 Jan 2001
By 
Mr. Jonathan Jenkins (South Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hobbit (Paperback)
What do dwarves and elves, wizards, magic rings, glowing swords, bear-men, giant eagles, vicious wolves, evil goblins, a fearsome dragon and a gigantic battle have in common? They are just some of the joys that are contained in the late professor J. R. R. Tolkien's ' The Hobbit'. Originally written for Tolkien's children, the book tells the story of Bilbo Baggins (the Hobbit of the title) and his adventures with Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves in their quest to regain their gold from the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent. With them travels the mysterious but friendly wizard, Gandalf, who becomes a close friend of Bilbo's. This has been a firm favourite of mine since I first read it at the age of 10. From the opening words, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit", to the closing pages depicting the change in Bilbo due to his adventures, this book is pure joy. Although obviously written with a younger readership in mind, this in no way detracts from the enjoyment that one receives from this classic. As 'The Times' put it, this book is 'one of the most influential books of our generation'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Masterpiece (warlockb@hotmail.com), 21 Oct 2004
By 
B. Jonsson "Literate Warlock" (falun, dalarna sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
An attempt to review this epic story anew must be considered feeble and almost sacrilegious, but I want to pass on my view nevertheless. The book is the start of the immensely popular Fantasy genre, sagas, myths and lore all in one.
Bilbo is, unknowingly, a very important person, with powers far beyond his wildest dreams. Being a lazy, dull sort of character, avoiding every potentially upsetting event, he suddenly- and very much against his will- comes alive under pressure from Gandalf, the wizard, the dwarves and, as it later turns out by his destiny. It is he who finds gollum and the One Ring, it is he who helps captives escape, eventually stands in the line of fighting and keeps the dwarves alive.
It truly is a marvellous book, yet easily approached and is the gate to the wonderful world of Tolkien's fantasy , Middle earth. I give it a five, only out of possibility of a higher mark!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There and back again in style, 18 Feb 2004
By 
Marco Busani "Proven Intellect" (Edgware, London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Hobbit (Hardcover)
The Hobbit is the prologue to Lord of the Rings and is more of a children's fantasy novel as opposed to an adult one. Don't let that discourage you though, as The Hobbit is an enjoyable read for all ages alike.
Reading this book will help enhance your enjoyment of LOTR as there is a lot of background information, introductions to certain characters, locations and artifacts that are prominent in that trilogy. The novel is centred on Bilbo Baggins and his quest to help the dwarves retrieve their treasure trove from Smaug the dragon.
Bilbo gradually increases in confidence and capability as the novel progresses and the dwarves opinion of him improves radically. From Gloin's "little fellow bobbing and puffing on the mat" at the start of the novel to Balin's "Good old Bilbo" some 8 chapters in.
Tolkien gives the reader an early introduction to the slippery Gollum and The Riddles in the Dark chapter is one of the most impressive in the novel. Bilbo's one on one conversation with Smaug is also particularly enjoyable.
The novel has plenty of depth to it taking the reader from the endearing Shire to a narrow escape from a troll's banquet, from capture by the goblins and wargs to an encounter with the formidable Beorn etc. The novel draws to a close with the grand Battle of Five Armies and Thorin's repentance. There is plenty in here to keep the reader engaged.
If I had one small criticism of the Hobbit it is the fact that Tolkien opts not to individualise the Dwarf characters enough. Other than Thorin, Balin, Bombur, Fili and Kili little is known about the characters of the rest of the dwarves.
This deluxe edition is generously illustrated by Alan Lee with extensive full page colour illustrations aswell as smaller black & white diagrams. The gold colour cover and nice maps help complete the package. This is certainly the edition to opt for and the Hobbit is an effective introduction to the world of Tolkien.
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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
This review is from: The Hobbit (Hardcover)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, 6 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
A great book and a great lead to The Lord Of The Rings. A hobbit (Bilbo Baggins) was swept from his home in a hill to go on a great adventure through mountains, forests and a dragon in hope of finding a tresure. With the help of Gandalf (a wizard), 13 dwarves and a whole load of other magical cretures, will Bilbo reach the treasure before he gets killed ?
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien's classic, but with a little bit of added magic!, 5 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hobbit Gift Pack (Hardcover)
This is the timeless classic of J.R.R. Tolkiens' 'The Hobbit', the story is a timeless tale of Hobbits, wizards, Dwarves and dragons. The tale will keep you entertained for years. The added bonus of this pack is the C.D. of Tolkien reading the first encounter with Gollum. This is just wonderful as you start to imagine what Tolkien was creating, and the different charcters' actions within the book. The extras also include an illustrated map, and limited postcards which are colourful and excluive to this pack. I recommend this pack to all collectors of Tolkien, but also to new commers.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A window to another world, 12 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
This book first introduced me to Tolkiens Middle Earth at the age of eight - and I still enjoy reading it. "In a hole, in the ground, there lived a Hobbit." Easy in reading style, with a well thought plot to follow it is undoubtedly a children's book rather than an adults book - but it provides an easy entry to the Lord of the Rings, which is Tolkien's great masterpiece. It suffers slightly from a simplistic and somewhat formulaic plot, and is slightly inconsistent, but the hints and peeks into the events of the Elder days, the Gondolin wars and mighty deeds that were done show the true scope of the epic saga that awaits. Worth reading as a entree - this is a book every child, and adult should read at least once, and ahving read this, progress onwards!
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