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on 15 November 2016
This has been a long-delayed product, but I found it to be worth the wait. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the slipcase was and it arrived here in the U.S. undamaged, which is not always the case. I had to order this from AmazonUK because AmazonUS cancelled the product, several times. And I wasn't going to wait for them to actually get it in stock. Because frequently many of the Tolkien offerings from AmazonUK never end up here in the U.S. To me, it's well worth international shipping.

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!
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This review is from the 50th anniversary (black covered) hardback edition.

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.
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This is written exellantly there is a lot of hype at the moment around the hobbit but I remember my father always telling me as a young child always read the hook first then watch the film I am so glad I did I now base the hobbit on j r r Tolkien not by Peter Jackson and Hollywood I really enjoyed this read not to long jot to short just right the way Tolkien builds the story up it's levels the way each character is discribed in detail I could not put it down it was completely mesmerising highly recommended.
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on 23 February 2016
Wonderful sketches by a master artist. It is also the story of the artistic process of making LOTR where Lee must have had to draw lightning fast, at a moment's notice when the production team wanted to go in close on some small device or area of a room/town/world! Terrific imagination and innovation, but he shares the limelight by naming his collaborators who brought his sketches to life on the big screen.
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on 22 July 2017
Having already read "The Hobbit" as a necessary prelude to the magnificent "Lord of the Rings", surely one of the world's great creative works, I then found it more satisfying to read each of the saga's three volumes separately than manage them all in one collected edition. Too awkward to handle! Amazon's boxed set of four books fitted the bill nicely. About this great story, which without hesitation I consider the best book I've ever read in eighty plus years! I can only echo what American college students declared on LOR's publication "Tolkien is hobbit forming!"
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on 10 May 2017
I've read this a number of times before but I always find it hard to put down. If you've only watched the films you may find some differences but be advised, however good the film is, the book is much, much, much better.
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on 6 June 2013
For all the controversy over the films, it is great to pick the book up again, and read it. I haven't read it in years, but it is as fresh as when I first read it as a child. Compared to The Lord of the Rings, it is much simpler and less detailed. This is no bad thing, just different. I haven't yet seen the first Hobbit film, but it is easy to see how the story can be padded out, as much detail is left to the imagination - as it should be in good fiction. This is a book for all ages, and the perfect introduction to Tolkien.
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on 9 June 2017
This is to replace a copy of this great work to which I no longer have access. I am about half way through and am just as entertained as I was the first few times I read it. The book itself seems well constructed and the spine is holding out so far. How it will perform over the years, time will tell.
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on 12 July 2014
One of my all time favourites - the prequel to The Lord of the Rings explains how the ring made its way to The Shire. The perfect fantasy adventure complete with hobbits, trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves, mountain tunnels, raging rivers, a dragon, even some humour, and of course - Gollum and Gandalf the Wizard. A classic that should be read by any fantasy lover...even if it is now shorter than the three films they've managed to eke out of it!
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on 12 April 2016
Love this book. Constantly pick it up to look at the sketches, some of which are incredible. The paragraphs by Alan Lee that accompany the sketches are excellent too and give nice insight into the work and his time working on LOTR. Would highly recommend to any Tolkien and art fan.
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