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4.8 out of 5 stars23
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 15 November 2013
Peter Jackson's Hobbit films come with so many tie-ins that it can be difficult knowing which to go for. First, there are the Annuals, essentially children's activity books. The Movie Storybooks are magazine-like plot synopses jam-packed with gorgeous screen-grabs. Jude Fisher's Visual Companions are heavily illustrated slimline encyclopaedias for people who find Middle-earth confusing and need a bit of help as to who's who and what's what. The Chronicles are lavish design albums celebrating the work of the films' art team. Lastly, the Movie Guides are traditional making-of books, comprehensive access-all-areas accounts for anyone, young or old, with a general interest in how the films were created.

The present volume - a sequel to last year's Official Movie Guide (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) - is the second of what will obviously be a trio. Available in hardcover or as a large, sumptuous paperback, it provides a nice mixture of text and copious behind-the-scenes colour photographs. Interviewees include actors returning from the first film of Mr Jackson's trilogy as well as newbies debuting in his second; and there are also many fascinating conversations with the sometimes unappreciated craftspeople whose off-camera labour created the universe in which stars like Miss Lilly, Mr Bloom, Mr Cumberbatch and Mr Fry could do their diamantine sparkling.

The quality of the writing is much above the norm for an entertainment tie-in. Sometimes, sadly, film books are cobbled together by overtasked studio publicists; this one is a substantial piece of work by the award-winning author who dramatized The Lord of the Rings for BBC Radio 4 and wrote Mr Jackson's biography. Expect great expertise lightly worn and a kindly sense of humour. As for the illustrations, they're as fascinating (and often amusing) as they're numerous.

It's becoming plain that the three Movie Guides as a set will together give us a life-story of Mr Jackson's Hobbit that will surpass even Harper's magnificent The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy. Nobody curious about how the Hobbit's magic was made can really afford to miss them. And both this one and its predecessor certainly have the Wow!-factor that you want if you're looking for something to give to a Hobbit enthusiast for Christmas.
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on 3 January 2014
I was not sure what to expect from this book, but I was satisfied very quickly with my purchase.
This book gives excellent insight into the work happening behind the scenes we see in the movie. The author knows the crew since the time of the Lord of the Rings and delivers a string of interesting interviews with cast and crew, as well as great photos documenting the making-of process. I very much appreciate to learn which daily miracles were made to happen by costume designers, set decorators, make-up artists, WETA-props and prosthetics makers and countless many more people, so to manufacture an incredible end performance. These movies are not just about the right plot and good acting, hundreds of people were involved to create them and I am very keen to understand how they contributed. From the hair-punchers to the knitters, all of them were important and I very much like the thought that these easily overlooked crew members get their deserved acknowledgement as well.

The style of wirting is entertaining and informative at the same time. The persons interviewed are strategically well chosen, so the reader can get a comprehension of the dedication and commitment of ALL cast and crew which was administrated.
If you love the LotR and Hobbit-movies, I can only recommend to read this book, particularly if you are interested how your favourite characters or scenes were made to come "real".
I absolutely enjoy reading this book, I also bought the Official Movie Guide of the Unexpected Journey, but haven't read it yet - I trust it is of the same quality.
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on 21 January 2014
I enjoyed it but would have liked more pictures and interviews from the stars and people concerned in the production.
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on 23 March 2015
I have not yet seen any of the film trilogy, but without reading this guide and also the guide to the Five Armies, I would not have recognised the films being a true representation of Tolkien's descriptions of the Hobbit.
The additions of various characters that do not appear in the book would have been confusing without reading the guides.
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on 18 November 2014
Another fantastic insight into the hard work that goes into the making of these awesome films. Recommended for anyone who enjoys learning about the logistics of making movies, or if you are a fan of the book and films.
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on 28 May 2014
Bought this to add to my collection of hobbit/lord of the rings books and it doesn't disappoint. Pictures stunning, text informative. Only downside is how long it took to arrive, over a week
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on 12 February 2016
The making of book. Very similar. To the other making of books. Gives profiles on characters actors back room staff production info. .very good book and a must for all Tolkien film buffs
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on 1 January 2014
This book gives you some gat insights to not only the storyline but also the making of the film. Fab
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on 3 October 2014
Just a lovely book, for all hobitt/lotr fans! Full of interesting information and pictures
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on 27 June 2015
Having bought other books in this series was just as pleased with this one.
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