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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit: JRR Tolkien - The greatest children's book ever.
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...
Published on 23 Oct 2012 by Victor

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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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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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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The well-read Hobbit, 17 Aug 2004
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Hobbit (Audio CD)
Our teacher read The Hobbit to us over the course of a few of weeks when we were about seven. It's one of the few stories that stuck in my imagination from those early school days - four decades ago. Our teacher was good at reading stories. She could mesmerise us. I wouldn't expect Martin Shaw to be anywhere near as competent as that teacher. I would have been satisfied if he'd been half as good. Well, he was much better than I was expecting. He was good! The right reading style for this book is really a matter of taste and opinion. Martin Shaw's reading hit the spot for me. He conjured up different characters with different voices - all realistic and none exaggerated. I closed my eyes and I was there, with Bilbo and the dwarves.
I have listened to the BBC Radio Collection's dramatised version of The Hobbit and didn't like it at all. It was clearly produced for the younger audience and I shouldn't complain about that because, of course, The Hobbit is a children's book. I've heard that the unabridged reading by Rob Inglis is also aimed at the younger listener (though I'd like to hear it before making a judgement). I'm an adult (oh yes I am!) and this version, read by Mr Shaw, met with my total satisfaction because even though I enjoy some children's literature, I still want to be read to as an adult.
There is no mention on the CD case of the person responsible for abridging the tale, but I would like to congratulate that person for doing an excellent job. I had to check that I was actually listening to the abridged version because it seemed so complete and seamless.
I recommend this audiobook. It's one of the best I've heard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This version is good, but not perfect, 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Annotated Hobbit (Hardcover)
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. The different artists involved (including Tolkien himself) causes the book to lack an uniformity in style, but I think that is a good idea for an annotated version, because you have some sort of historical compilation of the art of The Hobbit.
My huge disappointment about the illustrations is the lack of full-page prints and also the scarceness of colored drawings. Colored drawings do exist, but they are all grouped in the center of the book, forming a section completely separate from the context. That's even dangerous for someone who is reading the story for the first time, for if you looked at these pictures when you reach the middle of the story, you would be bombarded with spoilers. The way these colored pictures are presented makes me feel that it would be better that they didn't even exist, although I would love to see some of them in full-size in the right places along the book.

ANNOTATIONS:
I think the annotations are indeed the strength of this version, though it's important to note that they are really annotations about The Hobbit, not about Middle-Earth. You do have some notes linking to other stories such as Lord of The Rings, Silmarillion, etc, but they are not abundant. Most of the annotations are about the differences in previous editions of The Hobbit (including really small details) and also about the biographical facts behind Tolkien that must have inspired him at some parts of the tale. So I see the annotations as some sort of historical registry of the publications of The Hobbit as well as hints behind the story linking to Tolkien's reality. In that scope I feel safe to say that they are quite complete, but they must be too cold for just a casual reader that would probably prefer more notes about the mythology itself.

CONCLUSION:
I was unsure whether 3 or 4 stars would be fair for this edition. In the end of the day I removed only 1 star out of 5 to summarize all the "imperfections" I noted above. I think we can only judge a book by the success it got on its own objectives, not the objectives that we have. When our objectives are not the same of the book's, it's no fault of the book, but of the information that lead us to false expectations. I think reviews are important to align the expectations to the reality of the books. That said, I recommend this edition for people already familiar to The Hobbit and that probably won't have only this edition on their shelves. Tolkien's enthusiasts and collectors must have this book, but casual readers probably should look for other editions. This is the definitive guide of The Hobbit, not the best way to present the tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no other words than timeless classic, 15 April 2013
By 
Ben (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I read this book last year & I had no idea that it was written in the 1930's, you honestly wouldn't have guessed it! This book is a timeless classic & something that everyone needs to read.

My edition is from the 80's and is just one book, not split into two but basically, read this book you wont be able to keep it down!
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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet, 29 Oct 2000
By A Customer
As audio books go, this does an excellent job, since such a book, I imagine, would prove very difficult to adapt into another media type since everyone who has read the book has a different perception, for example, of what a goblin or what a hobbit looks like, or more relevantly, sounds like.
It has an extremely able and experienced cast, which includes internationally acclaimed actors such as Alec Guiness, which provides and adds to the quality of this production.
I am one who grew up with Tolkien's books, and this audio book strengthened and extended my already preconceived ideas about the contents of Middle Earth, as it gave me an idea of the music and the way in which people spoke.
Above all, this audio book gave me a new insight into the world of Tolkien, and does an amazing job in keeping the themes of the book clear and strong, and remains loyal to its contents throughout.
This is a fantastic adaption of the breathtaking book, and every Tolkien fan must have it, but so should anyone who simply just wants a good audio book to listen to.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant introduction to Middle Earth, 9 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
The Hobbit, first published in 1937, is a mix of mythical creatures, adventure, battles and magic. It serves as a marvellous prelude to Tolkiens other masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. In fact if The Hobbit hadn't been so popular and well written it is possible The Lord of the Rings might never have been written.
I wold recommend The Hobbit to anyone who enjoys tales of adventure or to anyone looking for a more mature fairy tale: not a story involving Prince Charming or Snow White, but one involving graceful elves, fierce wild wolves, mysterious wizards, sniggering evil goblins, burly dwarves and, of course, comfort loving hobbits.
The Hobbit is only eclipsed by Lord of the Rings. If you havent already done so, read it soon!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Adventure and Literary Excellence to Boot, 25 July 2003
By 
Capt I. McRae "The Ancient Mariner" (Angus, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
The Hobbit is often ignored in preference to the larger work, "The Lord Of The Rings", however if you really want to understand that book, "The Hobbit" is an essential introduction which provides the essential background. I hope this review will persuade some not to read "The Lord of the Rings" until they have read"The Hobbit" first. Better still, buy them both together and one book leads natually and seamlessly into the other. Both books are wonderful experiences, and Tolkien had the happy knack of drawing the reader in to become totally identified with the characters and the plot. The books are also much better that the film versions, in my opinion.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most amazing adventure story, 18 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hobbit (Hardcover)
At the age of 31 I thought that it was about time for me to read Tolkien's classic "The Hobbit" and I was not disappointed. I love to escape into a fantasy world now and again and "The Hobbit" gave me every opportunity to do this. Beautifully illustrated, the story actually comes to life and throughout the book the reader continues to picture the famous hobbit, little Bilbo Baggins with his pot belly and his hairy feet! This is the most amazing tale of an adventure beyond your wildest dreams and is almost like a pantomime at times making you want to boo and hiss at the wicked goblins and wolves and cheer when one of the 'good guys' overcomes adversity. The illustrations throughout the book allow you to see the forests and the dwarves and the great wizard 'Gandalf' and of course the mighty dragon 'Smaug'.
If you're a reader of modern day adventure stories like 'Harry Potter' (which I am) - you'll love this. Read it and enjoy it, then treasure it to read to your children and your grandchildren. This is truly a classic and will never go out of fashion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the first Tolkien book to read, 8 April 2010
By 
This review is from: The Hobbit (Paperback)
So, the cult fantasy novel. What can I possibly say that hasn't been said before? Probably nothing. Still...

The protagonist Bilbo belongs to a race of small humanoid creatures called hobbits. He leads a quiet comfortable life until he is approached by a group of creatures of similar size but quite different character known as dwarves. They need Bilbo's (dormant but nevertheless existing) special talents for their quest that involves fighting a dragon. Bilbo doesn't really know how to object and so finds himself reluctantly dragged out of his sleepy routine, to set out on a journey to face hardship and danger beyond his wildest nightmares.

I read it first as a child and it seemed somehow complicated and not all that interesting. Then, in the era of primitive computers, I fell in love with the computer game "Dungeons of Moria" (a "Nethack" clone and much better one if you ask me) which inspired me to re-read "The Hobbit", and I just loved it. Somehow Mr. Tolkien's interesting philosophy came across better in my adult age.

It is recommended that you read this before "Lords of the Rings" as it describes events that happened earlier.
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The Hobbit
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Paperback - 29 Aug 2013)
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