Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Enchanting - and not just for the nostalgia.
on 7 December 2013
This production introduced me to Tolkien when I was nine. I missed the final episode because I had Brownies on Friday and spent my pocket money on the book to find out the end! Over thirty years later I still love Tolkien and remembered loving it but I couldn't remember much about the actual production other than Bernard Cribbins (voice of my childhood) and listened again with a certain amount of trepidation fearing that I would not love as an adult what I had loved as a child and thinking it might have been better to leave memory untarnished. Much to my relief, it still had a great deal of charm.
It is an abridged version, of course, but what is there IS Tolkien. Jan Francis makes a warm and lively narrator who keeps the story moving. Bernard Cribbins is as perfect as Bilbo as I remember him while Maurice Denham and David Wood do sterling work as just about everyone else! One small quibble is that Elrond sounds more mad professor than elf lord but as a stand alone tale this is rather nit picky. On the radio you do have to ring the changes somehow.
It is very much a children's story still and while a lot of detail is inevitably missing I believe it would make as good an introduction to Tolkien now as it did for me all those years ago..it keeps the story as a fairly light romp. I think it would be a good adjunct to the new Jemima Catlin illustrated Hobbit (whose cover it shares). I am sure many do and will enjoy the Jackson films, but this is a Hobbit which is suitable for a very young audience and which prepares those who move on to the book to discover its extra richness.