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The Hobbit (ISIS Large Print) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Oct 1990
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|Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Oct 1990||
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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.
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As others have mentioned, the first edition of The Hobbit is not within most folks budget and so I was quite excited to see this offered many years ago. I'm not sure I am going to actual pore over it and check to see what the differences between the first edition and subsequent ones (Rateliff's The History of the Hobbit does that). But just to look at it and page through it is worth the purchase price.
It is a wonderful addition to my bookcase!
This hardcover edition is a single volume print, and l think the description refers to a paperback 3 volume version.
It is frustrating that there are so many versions and yet the reviews are all lumped together on the Amazon website.
Although disappointingly only one volume this is still not bad value for money. Size wise it is slightly easier to handle for reading than the single volume 1991 edition with the Alan Lee illustrations.
However, the print is smaller and some may find it too small to read comfortably, even though the book is attractively presented on white paper pages. There are only the original maps and in-text rune illustrations (some in red print) in this 50th anniversary special edition, ie no additional illustrations. The text has been emended in consultation with Christopher Tolkien to reflect his father's original wishes which were apparently sometimes over-ridden by the publishers!
In summary, might suit if you want a single volume hardcover edition and are not bothered by fairly small print or the lack of additional illustrations.
Otherwise, if looking for something easier to handle and read you may want to go for a 3 volume set, although a new 3 volume hardcover set will probably set you back considerably more than this edition.
Needless to say the book itself is a masterpiece which is well worth reading if you are not daunted by the length of it.
The story itself needs no introduction, so what do you get with this deluxe commemorative edition? Not much in the way of thrills. Just a beautiful hardback copy containing all 3 books and appendixes in one volume (along with fairly brief notes on the text (assuring you this is the most accurate edition etc.) and the prologue--"Concerning hobbits etc."). The print is crystal clear, the paper good quality and the 3 maps (two of which--but not the first map of The Shire--fully fold-out) are beautifully printed in black and red. The ring inscription (in "The Shadow of the Past") is also in nice red. The cover sleeve is soft and somewhat felt-like, with strong lettering on the spine, Tolkeins art beautifully embossed on the front and a suitably classy (minimal) feel to it. The hard cover itself is quality red (with no image on the front, but the same quality styled writing on the spine) and the binding is of good quality.
If you're looking for a definitive copy to read year after year, this is probably the one. If, on the other hand, you're looking for something with more illustrations there are better options out there (if you can get hold of the ones with Alan Lee's illustrations in, they are beautiful). This is a lean, but high quality edition, that allows you to concentrate on the text alone.
In this second part of the trilogy, the tale becomes quite complex and breaks off into several strands. We are treated to Sam and Frodo's journey towards Mordor, The advenutures of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli as they search for Merry and Pippin, and the adventures of the two missing Hobbits themselves. Along the way we meet the riders of Rohan, the men of Minas Tirith, Ents, Saruman and many other characters. There are tales of courage, bravery, treachery, wizadry, epic battles and lonely quests. This is a book that has it all.
I find when reading this that it not just the plot that I love, but the completeness of Tolkien's world. He has developed a whole history, mythology, geography and etymology for it, all incredibly detailed. The book does not describe these in detail, but has frequent sideways references to them. This is what sets it apart from other fantasies, the feeling of a complete reality in which the adventures are taking place, a rich and textured world. This adds a depth to the books which few others can match.
In all this is a great read in it's own right, and sets everything up nicely for the third installment. It has a lot of high advenure, and Tolkien's rich multilayered tale telling. It's a classic of it's time, and has to get 5 stars.
This unabridged reading from Rob Inglis is pretty good. For the most part it is excellent, though he can be a little flat in his delivery at times, and some of his voices are ill suited to the characters at times. All in all though it's a good reading. At 14 discs and clocking in at 16 hours 43 minutes of listening, this is perfect for the car on long journeys! I have to say that I listened to it back and forth to work over about a week, and my interest was maintained throughout, a testament to the skill of both author and reader. 5 stars all round.
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